Saturday, March 31, 2018

Emergent Eschatology

An important article by Bob DeWaay.
After publishing my book about the Emergent Church, I attended an Emergent conference in Chicago, where Dr. Moltmann spoke to his dedicated following—250 Emergent leaders. One such follower, Danielle Shroyer, had published a book about his theology, describing it as "neo-Hegelian, panentheistic, universalism." The front cover of the book contains an endorsement by Moltmann. Interacting with various Emergent leaders confirmed how foundational Moltmann's theology and its unique eschatology is to their movement...keep reading 
The Emergent Church movement is an association of individuals linked by one very important, key idea: that God is bringing history toward a glorious kingdom of God on earth without future judgment. They loathe dispensationalism more than any other theology because it claims just the opposite: that the world is getting ever more sinful and is sliding toward cataclysmic judgment. Both of these ideas cannot be true. Either there is a literal future judgment or there is not. This is not a matter left to one's own preference.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Shepherds' Conference 2018

The Shepherds' Conference 2018 videos are now up. You can watch them HERE or HERE

Friday, March 23, 2018

He Will Reign Forever - Book Review

No, this isn't my review of Michael Vlach's He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God. Paul Henebury has just completed a four part structural analysis of Vlach's book. Is the book worth reading?

We read in Part Four:
In summary, He Will Reign Forever is the kind of book dispensationalists have been waiting for for a long time. It keeps to its thesis – meaning that it doesn’t concern itself with such things as the pre-trib rapture – but it conveys the grand narrative in a way that is faithful to what the Bible itself says; and it shows that the Old and New Testaments can be understood as a unit, without changing the meaning of God’s words to accommodate the Church.
This is high praise from someone like Henebury. I liken him to two particular teachers I respected at school. I'd always get nervous when they corrected my exams because I knew the high standards they placed on their students. Incidentally, Dr Henebury has been working on his own book. Perhaps one day Mike Vlach can review it.

Here are the links to the review:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Biblical Covenantalism Contrasted with Other Systems

The more I dialogue with and the more I watch discussions among dispensationalists, the more I'm convinced that Dr Reluctant is correct in his observations. I post this here for my own easy reference. While I've listened to many of these before, I find that I need to revise the issues for them to sink in. In this series, he contrasts Biblical Covenantalism with Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism.

See Synopsis of Biblical Covenantalism

Listen to the "contrasts" HERE (A lot work went into this)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time for the Pre-Wrath Folk to Grow Up

Honestly, I don't want to keep bringing this up. This prophecy group needs to take an objective look at itself. Especially if it wants to be taken seriously.

Some time ago I wrote that Jan Markell was accused of calling the system satanic. The PW folk flocked to the offending video expressing their discontent. The prevailing opinion was that the pretrib biggies felt threatened by the growth of the PW system and that this was their knee-jerk reaction.

Actually, Jan was referring to the attacks, not the system. She never called prewrath satanic. Jan is tired of the constant e-mail diatribes (as are others). My friend Jack Kinsella - now gone to be with the Lord - constantly received mail from proponents of this group labeling him a false prophet because of his pretribulationism. I could say much more here.

But these easily offended folk resisted checking, even when prompted to. At least one PW website owner reached out to Jan and subsequently corrected his position on the fiasco. Kudos to him!

Now I find that my Zeteo3:16 article has also been accused of labeling this system satanic, or that its proponents aren't Christian. It was lumped in with Bill Perkins' graceless attack on the PW system. But did the person who referenced my article actually read it? Did anyone bother? Apparently no one went past reading the title.

Here's what I stated:

So, is the Pre-Wrath rapture satanic? Nope! Neither is the midtrib, posttrib or pretrib rapture. No one should go down that route. All rapture timing views are deductions. I defend the pretribulational view because I think it has far better arguments than the others. But I don’t consider rapture timing a doctrine to divide over.

It's time to grow up, People.

Addendum (and for the record):

Manfred Kober refers to Marv Rosenthal's comments in "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church":
The pretrib position is beset with “impossible-to-resolve problems” (p.197) and “insurmountable exegetical” difficulties (p.147). Even worse, the pretribulational teaching leads to “calamitous” consequences and “a spiritual catastrophe” which is in reality “a satanically planned sneak attack” (p. 281-282).

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Bible Tells Me So

Peter Enns has written a book called The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read It. See his bio HERE He has become somewhat of a mentor for (what I call) progressive popular Christians such as Rachel Held Evans, Jen Hatmaker and others.
In a previous post, I linked to Michael Kruger's The Power of De-Conversion Stories. Kruger has also responded to Enns. The article was written in 2014 but still very relevant... 
I confess that I do judge books by their covers. Or at least by the back cover. I read (and review) a lot of books and am always careful to read the endorsements on the back and the description on the inside flap. Although endorsements aren’t everything (and are sometimes even misleading), they can reveal quite a bit about where a book is headed. That’s their purpose anyway. In this case of Peter Enns’s new volume, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, the endorsements (and endorsers) reveal quite a bit. One will find blurbs by Rob Bell, Rachel Held Evans, and Brian McLaren, among others. Interestingly, Tony Campolo also offers one but with the caveat that, “As an old-fashioned evangelical, I have some problems with what he has written.” Given that Campolo is by no means a conservative fundamentalist, his statement does an admirable job preparing the reader for what’s coming.
But perhaps most illuminating was the inside flap, where the publisher describes the book’s purpose: “In The Bible Tells Me So, Enns wants to do for the Bible what Rob Bell did for hell in Love Wins.”...keep reading 
P.S. Speaking of Rob Bell, this is a good read: The Fundamentalist: Rob Bell Walks Through Airports.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Telos Theological Ministries Apologetics

Dr. Reluctant:
Here are the 12 video presentations on Apologetics & Worldview: An Introduction I recorded last year before a group of lay Christians who ranged from ages 15 to 70+.  I cite quite a few authorities, and I hope to place these in readable form in the future.  The average running time for each video is around one hour and thirty here 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Rosaria Butterfield at RTS Charlotte

This is a recent lecture (HOJB Lecture Series 2018) by former lesbian professor Rosaria Butterfield. I've listened to a few of her presentations and read her book. The story of her struggles, conversion and final submission to Christ never gets old for me.

Watch it HERE (begins around the 12 min mark)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Revelation: A Testimony of Jesus Christ

I'm regularly alerted to all kinds of eschatological (and other) teachings on YouTube. Some of it isn't bad and some highly commendable. Other material ought to be avoided. Bad examples can be found in all groups. On the pretribulational side I can cite the Sep 23, 2017 fiasco, and more.

I was made aware of a popular posttrib ministry which seeks to correct myths regarding Revelation and end times through its teaching series and books. It infers that people believe what they believe because they've not bothered checking their Bibles. And perhaps their pastors haven't either. On the other hand, this ministry purports to have diligently studied Scripture. After some samplings, I'm not impressed.

Two pretrib "myths" highlighted were: only the first four chapters of Revelation are intended "for the church"; and the church isn't present for most of the time span of the book.

Whether the church is present or not during the bad stuff is a hotly debated issue. A well-argued differing point of view should be engaged rather than relegated to the myth pile. Revelation was written for everyone, regardless of their eschatological position. It is Jesus' testimony and warning to the world. Jesus is its focus. Believers throughout the centuries have gone to be with the Lord. While many weren't premillennial, most would have still drawn comfort from God's revealed plan for the redeemed.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:3-4

While I have several commentaries on Revelation, the one I most often go to is Tony Garland's A Testimony of Jesus Christ. It is from a pretribulational standpoint. The fact that it can be read online for free, isn't a testimony to its value (no pun intended). I may not necessarily agree with everything, but he frames his arguments very well. The work is a goldmine of notes and resources. It stands shoulder to shoulder against Robert L. Thomas' Two Volume Commentary.

The same cannot be said for most of these YouTube commentaries. I can hear some complain that this is just another pretrib commentary. Well, Tony has put a lot of work into it and it deserves attention. My suggestion to those who gripe that their points of views aren't presented is to to roll up their sleeves and produce something worthy of consideration. YouTube just doesn't cut it. Moreover the one or two online written commentaries I've seen don't have the depth (IMO) of Tony Garland's work. Depth alone doesn't guarantee correctness. But it does demonstrate the effort expended.

Read A Testimony of Jesus Christ (Tony is also working on a commentary on Daniel)

P.S. Rev 4 is sometimes offered as a proof text for pretribulationism. I disagree. Even so, I thought this Triablogue article was uplifting - especially coming from a CT person.