Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Hubris of John Chau

Who is John Chau? See this article for some details.

Once you're up to scratch, go read The Domain for Truth's article: Double Standard of the “Christian” Left Concerning John Allen Chau.

Hopefully, Jim won't mind that I link to the article he's addressing. The blog is called the Salt Collective and the lengthy title is: Chau’s Death is a Tragedy of Arrogance and Hubris. Let’s Learn from His Mistakes. The writer notes this:
Sadly, John was killed by the Sentinelese. Killing him can be justified as self defense, as his arrival on the island had the potential to bring diseases the Sentinelese people are not immune to, which could threaten their very survival.
One friend quickly noted the sheer hypocrisy [and overall article's racism] within this comment, in light of the current US Border Security issues. It's also obvious these professing progressive Christians espouse universalism, and take a dim view of the efforts to bring the gospel to the lost. The blog author states her reasons for leaving Missionary Work. After reading this article and perusing the blog, I say "Thank God for that!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Last Days of Dispensationalism – A Review

I once wrote an Amazon review of a book "the last days of dispensationalism: a scholarly critique of popular misconceptions" by Alistair W. Donaldson. It ended up being trolled by several activists who dislike Israel. The comments ran into the hundreds. All the current Amazon reviews are 5 star.

My attempt to review the book failed to make the same erudite observations as Sam Mangai. So I'm linking to his review below. The only obvious thing I disagreed with Manga was his disappointment that this would be fair scholarly book - not when Stephen Sizer wrote a glowing Foreword!
It is no secret that Laidlaw College is anything but a friend of dispensational premillennialism. The college’s liberationist, supersessionist theology, drives an underlying eschatological view that can at best be described as antagonistic towards dispensationalism. What is unfortunate – and somewhat ironic - is that the man from whom the college currently draws its name, was a premillennialist who was sympathetic to dispensationalism! The subtitle to Alistair Donaldson’s The Last Days of  Dispensationalism claims the book to be a scholarly critique of popular misconceptions’. As a Christian who seems to have appropriated some “popular misconceptions”, I had hoped that this book would offer a fair, well-reasoned, and indeed scholarly evaluation of the dispensational position. Above all, I had hoped that this book would promote, and encourage, sound, biblical theology as it relates to eschatology and ecclesiology. Unfortunately, I found it to have failed on all accounts...keep reading 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Poison Pen Ministries

I've mentioned before that I attend Alistair Begg's Parkside Church. Over the past year, Begg has made it perfectly clear - as has John MacArthur - that the gospel is not to be associated with Social Justice Issues. During one sermon he preached through Philemon and touched upon slavery. I thought he sounded a little nervous as many members are African-American. In fact the young guy in front of me was black. I recall getting sweaty palms wondering what he was thinking. I was relieved to hear many "Amens" and the guy in front of me often nodding his head in agreement. Kudos to Begg for defending the gospel's purity, when so many are mixing it in with Social Justice Agendas.

Now I see on Facebook, that a prominent individual is tarnishing Begg's name through guilt by association (TGC), as if he's bought into the "Marxist Gospel." Judging by the comments, many are blindly buying into this erroneous smear. Rather, this person's association with a particular polemical "ministry" is damaging his reputation, in my opinion. Don't people ever think for themselves? Don't they ever check the facts?

How tragic!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sin Becoming Evangelistic Technique

Never in its history has the evangelical church been more intentional and more systematic in its efforts to imitate the world than in our day. In fact, worldliness, which used to be a sin-to-be-avoided, has not only become an obsession for the church, today it has become the evangelistic technique of choice.

In the Old Testament, God told Israel, “You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you” (Lev 18:3). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul told the church, "Do not be conformed to this world" (Rom 12:2). Nonetheless, today’s self-appointed evangelical relevance experts tell us that the only way to reach the world is to be like the world: we must talk like them, dress like them, be entertained like them, sport tattoos like them, address human sexuality like them, and so on...keep reading

Note: John MacArthur addresses many of these issues in a new book Christ's Call to Reform the Church

Friday, November 16, 2018

Disproving Pretrib in 10 minutes

There's a YouTube video which claims to disprove pretrib in 10 minutes. The presenter is Nelson Walters who is a published author, presenter, and prominent exponent of the prewrath rapture position.

A little while ago I came across a surprising comment of his in a well-populated PW forum. I say surprising because I assume most PW proponents hold to a distinction between Israel and the church. Walters stated that believers are grafted into Israel; Israel doesn't join the Church, and Christians become part of Israel. At first I thought it was a monumental typo. But, at the time, no one there challenged him.

It wasn't a typo. Walters' blurring of the Israel-church distinction figures in his pretrib debunking video where the focus is on Matt 24:31. He asserts that dispensationalists are mistaken in taking OT verses relating to national Israel's gathering, and only applying them to Israel in Matt 24:31. This is because the church is also Israel.

As proof, Walters cites Gal 3:28 and gives us the only-one-people-of God argument. He follows up by saying that Christians are grafted into the root of the Olive Tree, which is Israel. These are familiar supersessionist statements, routinely debunked by Dispensationalists.

Although I disagree with his conclusions, Alan Kurschner (Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord) proposed four reasons why Matt 24:31 was the rapture of the church. None of these involved a blurring of the distinction between Israel and the church. While I have a number of PW books on my shelf - with good reason, Kurschner's book and Eschatos Ministries are the only mediums I currently recommend to anyone interested in learning about the system.

Some resources:

Discussion on the Olive Tree HERE

Paul Henebury: Replacement Theology: Is it Wrong to Use the Term?

Paul Henebury: Contra the 95 Theses Against Dispensationalism

An Analysis of Neo-Replacement Theology

Monday, November 12, 2018

Michael Reeves on The Trinity

I first encountered Michael Reeves in the book High King of Heaven. Reeves contributed the first chapter The Eternal Word: God the Son in Eternity Past. Though I didn't mention him in my review of that book, I really enjoyed his essay.

Since then I've bumped into him in various places. He recently presented at a 2018 Ligonier Conference in Belfast Ireland. Reeves is the author of  Delighting in the Trinity and several other books. You can read his brief article Delighting in the Trinity HERE. I especially loved listening to his audio presentation The Trinity: The Secret to Joyful Christianity

Friday, November 9, 2018

Banner of Truth 2018 Christmas Specials

I was hoping to see a discount on the works of John Flavel. But it wasn't to be. For those interested, here's a link to the Banner Christmas Flyer 2018.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics 2018

The presentations from the 2018 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics are now available to read HERE 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Barry Horner responds to Gary Burge on Israel

Below I'm linking to an older article from the Pre-Trib Research Center where Barry Horner responds to Gary Burge.

Horner is the director of Future Israel Ministries. Burge has written articles and at least one book challenging the legitimacy of modern Israel. In October 2018 he participated in the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference staged in Oklahoma.

One of Burge's contentions is that the state of Israel is out of covenant fellowship with God because of disobedience. Therefore it doesn't have a God-given right to its land. Interestingly, he favors the predominantly Muslim Palestinian entities who deny Christ. And ironically, in 2015, he supported former Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins who stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. The Hawkins drama is now the subject of a film titled Same God.

That said here's a link to Horner's Territorial Supercessionism: A Response to Gary Burge

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Trials Tribulations and Nicolae Carpathia

If you don't know who Nic is you can find out HERE. Or if you'd rather not, Nicolae Jetty Carpathia is the Antichrist character from the fictional Left Behind books. Yes, I read them. No, I didn't enjoy all of them for a number of reasons. But there were bits I liked - sorry about that.

The thing that offends a lot of folk is the "false premise" that believers get raptured before Nic comes along and struts his devilish stuff. They say this leaves the unprepared in grave danger. This apparent concern has spawned a considerable cottage industry of blogs, books and videos warning people of the dangers of not preparing for the Antichrist.

The problem with all these materials is that they're invariably only focused on changing the intended audience's position on the rapture. I once interacted with a posttribber who claimed his criticism of pretrib was motivated by concern. So I pressed him as to how he was spiritually preparing for "Antichrist's Tribulation." He finally responded that he was living in Canada and Antichrist's influence will be restricted to the Middle East and Mediterranean area. In other words he didn't have an answer.

How was he spiritually preparing for the possibility of future persecution and martyrdom which may come to the West long before the Antichrist? The books, blogs and videos don't discuss this. These efforts are generally virtue-signaling exercises which assume one's eschatology is the key to preparation.

Without going into details this has been a particularly tough three years for my family. To be honest, I've struggled. Moreover, I know people who've been in worse situations. Google Christian News to get an over-all indication of what Christians around the world are currently going through. We all need to be prepared now, and eschatology has nothing to do with it. It is our daily relationship with Christ which counts. Anyone who tells you different is sadly mistaken. I discussed this topic in a recent article on Zeteo.

Rather than buying a book emphasizing some eschatological position, go read John Murray's "O Death, Where is Thy Sting?" See especially chapter 11 "The Cost of Discipleship." Another book one ought to read is John MacArthur's "Hard to Believe - The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus." Here's an excerpt:
When Jesus told His listeners to take up their crosses, it meant only one thing to them. It meant willingly facing the possibility of death for His sake...The disciples understood that to "take up the cross" meant a willingness to die any death. It meant abandoning self to the lordship of Christ. The love of Christ has to overrule both the powerful appeal of family love and the more powerful instinct of self-preservation. (p 135)