Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy

New book from Moody...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Mike Reeves on John Owen

Dr. Reeves testifies to England’s historical inability to produce theologians. He also mentions that perhaps the most famous British theologian ever was Pelagius, though he is hardly someone to emulate. However, one of the best candidates for the greatest theologian is certainly John Owen, who was once dubbed the Calvin of England. The emergence of this champion of Reformed orthodoxy from his anti-Puritan Laudian context at Oxford is surely a testimony to the sovereign grace of God. This lesson opens up the life and theology of Owen, while the next lesson provides a more in-depth look at his doctrinal here

A Thought about Prophecy

I often hear the complaint that churches don't teach enough prophecy. "Eschatology is neglected," they say. After all, isn't the Bible 25% prophecy (estimates differ)?

Some people want to find a church which not only teaches eschatology, but their particular brand as well. For example, we premillennialists want to find a premil church which teaches the rapture view we subscribe to.

The church I attend is Parkside in Cleveland Ohio. Its head pastor is Alistair Begg. Eschatology isn't a focus. In fact I think it's deliberately avoided. I get the feeling Begg understands how divisive and a distraction prophecy can be. Parkside has a Christological, Trinitarian gospel-commission focus in the tradition of the Puritans. And this is what I need. I can do the prophecy thing in my own time.

I love prophecy - it's a passion. It is important! But here's the thing; while prophecy may account for 25% (or whatever) of Scripture, let's not give it the larger part of our focus. I'm afraid this may be too often the case with those of us who love to study it.

I'm aware that Dr. Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries took issue with the above. A  response is forthcoming...when I eventually get around to it.

Epic addendum: According to Eschatos Ministries- Those Who Avoid Biblical Prophecy Do Not Love God Rightly.

My original post was a result of introspection about how I spend my time. Secondly, how my online pretrib prophecy friends spend their time. Thirdly, I wanted to say something about recent comments from (pretrib) conference speakers bemoaning churches which don't get into prophecy. Finally, I've seen comments from people looking to find churches which teach their particular view of prophecy. Some even aspire to convert their churches to their brand!

The downgrading of biblical prophecy will continue as we approach the arrival of the Antichrist. This includes the false dichotomy between the gospel and eschatology, as if they can be compartmentalized. ~ Alan Kurschner.

Read carefully - for me it wasn't about avoiding prophecy; it was a matter of proportion. A thing may be important but wrong in too large measure. This should include all areas of our lives. The people I referred to aren't "downgrading biblical prophecy." Unless one intends that this downgrading involves taking the wrong rapture position.

Let's also not link the gospel with any particular view of eschatology in order to justify the latter. The gospel may be linked to eschatology within the bounds of the amil-postmil positions (Personal Eschatology and Cosmic); though they think it occurs within a different context. The love of Christ's appearing (and glorifyng God) may undergird everything we do. But everything we do ought not to be centered on prophecy.

How much more prophecy do people need? Prophetic resources are almost limitless. What happens if your church teaches a position you disagree with? Do you jump ship? There's far more to church than prophecy. Until the Lord returns there will always be differences, imbalances and protective stances on eschatology.

Parkside Church pastors (predominantly amil?) clearly realize that membership comprises of people of varying eschatological positions. When Alistair Begg ventures into Daniel or Revelation, I've appreciated his admission that there are differing views. He encourages people to study for themselves. Begg understands that there are historical and futuristic aspects to Daniel and doesn't impose himself onto the latter. He, like Spurgeon, finds lessons for the church in Daniel's living conditions in a godless culture. What is being avoided at Parkside (wisely I think) is a focus on prophetic (end times) matters.

Yet by "biblical prophecy" I infer that Dr. Kurschner means his brand. He has a vested interest in prophecy. Eschatos Ministries is set up to promote the premillennial prewrath rapture system. He aims to convert others. A considerable - even major - part of this involves polemics against pretribulationism. I'm taking the opportunity to address this.

Practically every proponent I've met believes pretribulationists are unprepared for Antichrist. Rosenthal called pretribulationism a satanically inspired deception. One Eschatos article invokes Corrie ten Boom and miraculous interventions. Kurschner applies the lesson to the Great Tribulation. He writes that the faithful can rely on God's providence. However he draws a contrast:
...I believe it will be the faithful who will be blessed by such miraculous deeds of God. Those believers who have been taught all their life that they will be raptured before this awful time, will be the very ones who will be fretting over their faith. At a time when they should be edifying the church, they will be confused and vulnerable to Antichrist’s schemes.
Another person has stated that pastors who aren't preparing their flocks for potentially facing the Antichrist are failing in their roles as shepherds. How does one prepare, exactly - by changing rapture positions? What myopic self-elevating statements! While one can always find a bad example to use as a stick (I've seen them too), most sober pretribbers understand we're not spared tribulation.

Logically, then, if pastors such as James White, Mike Reeves, Sinclair Ferguson, Ian Hamilton, Paul Washer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon etc avoid "biblical prophecy" or don't warn about the Antichrist, they also don't love God rightly and are failing in their roles as pastors - right? I wonder what their responses might be.

If you want to prep people for Antichrist, teach them to love Christ more than their lives. That's what I get from Parkside Church and the folk mentioned above. The Puritans may not have taught "biblical prophecy" but they loved Christ over all other things and taught others to do so. According to John Murray:
If we prize our life (that is our natural life) more than Christ’s honor and will compromise his truth and glory rather than part with life, then we are not Christ’s. ~ O Death, Where is Thy Sting? (p 181)
These people do far more for preparedness than anything I've read in contemporary pious warnings of an incoming Antichrist.

See also Paul Henebury's Some Mud that Sticks...

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Voddie Baucham on racial reconciliation

An important talk... (Truth Matters 2019 Conference)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Barry Horner: Territorial Supercessionism

This funny sounding bloke...

Notes HERE

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Trojan Horse Ep. 3: Critical Race Theory

If you listen to all this (I did at 1.5 speed) you'll hear the phrase "cooking the books" a fair bit. Scary stuff if this is allowed to follow its natural course.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

AD Robles on that Court Room Scene

Rather gritty, emotional video by AD Robles engaging two professing Christians who did not like the Gospel Court Room presentation mentioned in my previous post. I may not totally agree with every sentiment, and some of the language. It's pretty tough. And perhaps needs to be. I share the concern and frustration.

For more on the "woke" issues, regularly check out James White's Alpha & Omega YouTube Channel.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Gospel Grace in a Courtroom....

Tom Ascol: Gospel Grace in a Courtroom and the False-Gospel Resentment it Provoked 

Paul draws out a further implication our new life in Christ when he writes, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer” (16). Being joined to Christ, who shed His blood to reconcile us to God, transforms the way that we regard people—how we think about and relate to them. We no longer look at people through lenses supplied by this fallen world. Rather, we view them with new, spiritual eyes that are supplied by our crucified and risen Lord.
This is what enables Paul to write in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What Christians share in Christ trumps everything and anything that they may not have in common. What this means is that a middle-aged black Christian who is a husband and father has more in common with a teen-aged white Christian single mother than he does with other middle-aged black husbands and fathers. Oneness in Christ forbids Christians from participating in the tribalism that intersectional ideologies promote so strongly today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019