Saturday, December 28, 2019

Apologetics Dissertation: How Language, Beauty, and Literature Point Toward the Existence of God

Haven't read this yet. Plan to do so in 2020.

From The Domain for Truth (Thanks, Jim) - Click Here

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Is Episunago a Rapture Term?

Is episunago a rapture term? Get into any discussion about Matt 24:31 with a non-pretribulationist and you’re bound to see the Greek term episunago (gather) used. It (and other Greek terms) occurs in almost every statement of beliefs. You’ll be directed to 2 Thess 2:1 and referred to Paul’s rapture language (gathering-episunagoge)...keep reading

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Apocalyptic & Prophetic Genre?

An apologist has pointed out the inconsistencies and errors in an atheist's book touching on church history and the gospels. One of the "problems" the atheist must have raised was Christ's allegedly unfulfilled prophecies in Matthew 24 - Bertrand Russell anyone? Even notable Christians have supposedly seen problems with "literalism" in these passages (C. S. Lewis, William Lane Craig etc). The apologist dropped the magic word "genre." I skipped over the shots fired at popular futuristic premillennialism as I was more interested in the next segment.

No, futuristic premils don't have problems with "unfulfilled" prophecy in the Olivet Discourse. Invoking "genre" and name-dropping Gary DeMar and R. C. Sproul, along with the fallibility of popular-prophecy teachers (often true) doesn't cut it. If you want to fairly critique or refute a system, engage its best presenters and arguments.

Futuristic premillennialists understand apocalyptic-prophetic genre very well. But I rather suspect that genre is a useful tool used by amillennialists and postmillennialists (Covenant Theology) in order to get around troublesome passages which don't comply with the church-is-new-spiritual-Israel narrative in all its stripes. I know...that was a mouthful of a sentence! 

Some links addressing aspects of this subject (by no means exhaustive)...

Tony Garland:

The Genre of the Book of Revelation

Interpreting Symbols

Systems of Interpretation

Paul Henebury:

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 1) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 2) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 3) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 4) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 5)

Falling Through the Porch (1)

Falling Through the Porch (2)

Falling Through the Porch (3)

Falling Through the Porch (4)

Zeteo 3:16:

Preterism and Prophetic Scripture

Dan Phillips (always a favorite):

25 Stupid Reasons for Dissing Dispensationalism

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Can the Old Testament be Understood Without the New Testament?

Another great presentation by Tony Garland.

Doug Wilson – That Hideous Strength

By accident, or more likely providence, I recently came across several presentations by Doug Wilson on YouTube – one of them was on C. S. Lewis’ largely dystopian novel, That Hideous Strength.

The book is the final installment of a trilogy, most often referred to as Lewis’ Space Trilogy. Wilson prefers to call it The Ransom Trilogy, and I agree. Ransom is the central character of the first two books, and is also one of the central characters (there are many) of the third book. But that isn’t Wilson’s only reasoning – for that you have to watch his introductory presentation Ransom Trilogy: The Silent Planet. Yes, he also has one on Perelandra...keep reading

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Christmas Devotionals

If you're looking for devotionals - perhaps for Christmas gifts or personal use - here are a few suggestions (shameless plugs ahead)...

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon: the one edited by Alistair Begg is excellent. See the pic below.

Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book

The Valley of Vision

Voices From The Past

Piercing Heaven - Prayers of the Puritans

Friday, December 6, 2019

Rise of the Witch Hunters... & Wilson on Mohler

Okay, I wasn't sure what to call this post. So it is what it is.

I have a love-hate relationship towards some "discernment ministries" - mostly the latter, which is why I used scary quotes. Many are - by their very nature - witch hunters scouring other ministries and pastors for any missteps and questionable associations.

They'll tell you they're serving by warning the sheep. It's true in some cases. Some are fair and necessary. Others I'm rather more cynical about. I may say more later on - not that I'm the best or right person to comment on these things.

In my ground-level, popular, social-media experience I find that we often uncritically attach ourselves to certain discernment ministries. Notice that I said "we." We become eager to find the latest gossip-scandal and then post it on social media to "warn others."

Do we relish hearing juicy gossip on some formerly honorable pastor so we can nod our heads and mutter, "apostasy"? Do we check sources? Are we always familiar with the circumstances behind the scenes? Are we OK with throwing a good ministry in the danger-apostasy-dumpster based on questionable information?

On James White's advice I watched the Crosspolitic video link posted below. It features Doug Wilson along with other men I'm not familiar with. White recommends listening to Wilson's comments regarding the beleaguered Al Mohler during the closing stages. It's a worthwhile watch.

Click HERE

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac?

From Michael Kruger...

Armenia. Cambodia. Rawanda. Bosnia. Darfur. All well-known modern examples of genocide where entire people groups were wiped out (or almost wiped out). These are awful tragedies, worthy of our sorrow and grief. 

And yet, ask the critics, is the God of the Bible really any different? When the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, was it not God that commanded them to wipe out all the indigenous people (Deut 20:17)? Is God not guilty of genocide? It makes me think of the famous bumper-sticker quote, “The only difference between God and Adolf Hitler is that God is more proficient at genocide.”...keep reading


... God uses a variety of instruments to accomplish his judgment. Sure, God could just miraculously take all the lives of the Canaanites in a single instance. But, he has a history of using various means to bring judgment. Throughout Scripture, such means have included natural disasters, disease and pestilence, drought, economic collapse, and yes, even human armies. At numerous points throughout biblical history God “raises up” a human army to accomplish his purposes. And in the Canaanite conquest, God used the nation of Israel as his instrument of judgment.

An Unholy Tribulation Temple?

Is the future Tribulation Temple unholy? On a fairly regular basis, I see comments by futuristic premillennialists of all stripes calling the tribulation temple "unholy" or even a "fake" temple.

Incidentally, I regularly spot "fake modern Israel" tags from some premils. These folk observe that modern Israel is in a state of unbelief. They'll cite Paul's comments regarding what constitutes a true Jew (true Israel). The same folk do it regularly enough that I suspect in some cases there's an underlying animus driving it. But that's another story for a future axe to grind.

Is the future tribulation temple unholy? What does Scripture say?

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains Matt 24:15-16 (see also Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11)

....who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  2 Thess 2:4

Given the above verses, how can an Abomination of Desolation occur in a fake temple? How can something unholy stand in a holy place, in a fake temple? Can the temple of God be a fake temple? Can a fake temple be desecrated?

I infer from certain verses that unbelieving Israel will be brought to final salvation through a process. This will occur during a future tribulation. Perhaps the temple is a marker of that process.

BUT, please note that I'm not claiming the 70th week sacrifices in a tribulation temple contribute to Israel's salvation. Salvation is always by grace through faith in Christ.

More on the process...

I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. Hos 5:15

….so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. Zech 12:10

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say,`Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Matt 23:37-39

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, Mat 24:30

What do you think?

For more on this topic see Randall Price's book "The Temple and Bible Prophecy." Chapter 23 "Blasphemy or Blessing - Sacrifices in the Last Days Temple" is helpful. See also his website and this article.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Does Israel have Continued Significance in God's Plan...

"A response to believers who assert there is no continuing significance for Israel in the plan of God or relevance to Jewish evangelism in light of evangelizing the nations."

Q346 - Does Israel have Continued Significance in God's Plan and in Relation to Evangelization?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Who is the Overcomer?

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5