Wednesday, July 31, 2019

National Israel is the Key

Thomas V. Moore wrote a commentary on Zechariah. He said that symbolic language characterized the whole book. Commenting on Moore's Zechariah, an Editor of The Banner of Truth: Magazine Issues 1-16 affirms:
Similarly, Zechariah - accommodating his language to the understanding of his times - uses Jewish conceptions to express New Testament truths, e.g., the conversion of the Gentiles (8: 20-23) is signified by the coming of the nations to Jerusalem, and the joy of the Church in her final perfection (14: 16) is figuratively represented by the keeping of the feast of tabernacles.  
Banner of Truth notes:
The closing chapters of Zechariah, containing references to events which are evidently not yet accomplished, are notoriously difficult. The principles of interpretation which Moore adopts in his cautious expositions of these profound portions of Scripture are most helpful and his conclusions provide much food for thought.
May I suggest that these closing chapters are, indeed, awaiting fulfillment. The only true difficulty occurs when attempting to make sense of them while assuming that the Church is True Israel. They mean what they say.

Horatius Bonar got it right when he stated: 
The Prophecies regarding Israel are the key to all the rest. True principles of interpretation, in regard to them, will aid us in disentangling and illustrating all prophecy together. False principles as to them will most thoroughly perplex and overcloud the whole Word of God. ~ Prophetical Landmarks
I believe that God’s purpose regarding our world can only be understood by understanding God’s purpose as to Israel. ~ “The Jew,” The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Acts 1:6-7 and the Restoration of Israel

Does the Bible teach that the nation of Israel has a distinct role in the future plan of God?

Many Christians deny that it does. According to Bruce K. Waltke, “no clear passage [of Scripture] teaches the restoration of national Israel” because “the Jewish nation no longer has a place as the special people of God.” In the words of Herman Ridderbos, “The church . . . as the people of the New Covenant has taken the place of Israel, and national Israel is nothing other than the empty shell from which the pearl has been removed and which has lost its function in the history of redemption.” The words of Waltke and Ridderbos represent well the belief of many—no future for Israel...keep reading

See also Paul Henebury's A Disingenuous God? and his series on Replacement Theology.

In 2013 I picked up P. W. L. Walker's book "Jesus and The Holy City." One review stated:

"Walker’s book is a healthy antidote to the earth bound and materialistic theology of much Christian Zionism, preoccupied as it is with the rebuilding of an earthly Temple, with supporting Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and their conquest of most of the Middle East to fulfill the Abrahamic promise."

I commented on it at the time. See HERE. Note that some of the links in that article are now defunct.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rapture in Revelation 3:10?

Rev 3:10 is one of those hot-button issues which will never go away. Years ago I read a cautious discussion on it by a prewrath proponent. See also Dave Bussard's article HERE for a somewhat different take.

Pretribbers are typically more convinced that this verse speaks of a removal from the Hour of Trial. I happen to be one of them. See Jeffrey Townsend's article on Rev 3:10.

More recently leading proponents of the prewrath position have embraced Rev 3:10 as a rapture passage. Many PW proponents still reject it. In 2012 Dr. Charles Cooper wrote a small booklet called "Revelation 3:10 A Bombshell." He later expanded on it and followed up with a video titled "The Pretrib rapture is Dead."

He (and others) arrive at this conclusion by imposing a number of PW assumptions onto the verse. They reason that Rev 3:10 is a rapture passage, but that prewrath is also true - therefore, pretrib has been refuted. I discuss some of this "Bombshell" reasoning HERE.

Friday, July 26, 2019

J. I. Packer: Losing Sight but Seeing Christ


“Over Christmas macular degeneration struck so that I can no longer read or write.” 

For many who have appreciated and benefited from James Innell Packer’s writing ministry—the author of more than 300 books, journal articles, book reviews, dictionary entries, and innumerable forewords—this will come as especially saddening news. 

Packer, 89, will no longer be able to write as he has before or travel or do any regular preaching. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease that causes the loss of vision. While for now Packer still retains peripheral vision, it’s doubtful he will ever regain the ability to read...keep reading

Sunday, July 21, 2019

On Typology

I was skimming through a response to Michael Vlach's position on Israel in Rom 9-11. The responder is an amillennialist. To be fair, I didn't have time to read the full rebuttal - it's located in a book (Three Views on Israel and the Church) which I don't own.

It seemed to me that the author's responses to Vlach relied somewhat on an appeal to typology. In fact my first thought (perhaps unfairly) was, "He's defending his doctrine on Israel via typology."

As Dr. Paul Henebury writes, we can't cast out typology. However, we ought to be careful about using it to prove doctrine. See HERE and note the links to more articles at the end of the answer.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Importance of Christ's Second Coming

Thought this was balanced and sober...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Seminary Confidential

Thanks to James White for sharing on Facebook. Following is an insider's perspective on what is going on in seminaries.

Critical theory (CT) “in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating…influence” … (Horkheimer 1972, 246).” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
CT identifies the primary dichotomy in life as oppressor and oppressed. It has been applied to gender, to sexuality, to race, even to colonialism. It has given us the fields of Queer Theory, Postcolonialism, and Whiteness Studies, among others. These are not just fields of study at secular universities – they are the latest and greatest in the world of Christian theology.
You can see how nicely CT dovetails with autonomous individualism: you are morally excellent if you embrace all your identities and liberate yourself and others from the shackles of the oppressors (systemic white, capitalistic, patriarchal heteronormativity).
Technically, critical theory is a form of academic analysis. Practically, it functions as a rival religion to Christianity. Instead of life’s main problem/solution being sin/grace, it is now oppression/liberation. It creates a new system of sinners (oppressors) and saints (the “woke” or “allies”) and all the requisite devotional duties.
Read the article HERE