Thursday, December 31, 2020

Alisa Childers on Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr has become popular among those who identify as Progressive Christians. I've mentioned him here and there. But nothing I could write would come close to Alisa Childers' articulate presentation. You can also find a list of her articles on Rohr HERE.

Below is a YouTube video by Childers. It is fast-paced and packs a lot of information. I wish I had a transcript. The introduction sets it up well:

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest, author of several books, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His teachings are gaining influence, especially among millennials who grew up in the Evangelical church. He is particularly influential in the progressive Christian movement and is referred to as a spiritual father, hero, and mentor by well-known progressive voices. But what does he really believe? In today's video, I analyze Rohr's teachings regarding the gospel and focus especially on his view of the Bible, which he believes does not give a clear theology of God and is full of contradictions.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

DISPENSATIONALISM, POLITICS, AND CULTURE

 The 2020 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics conference papers can be read HERE

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Pretrib Problems and Miscellaneous Issues

Recently I wrote an article for Zeteo 3:16 addressing the last of seven alleged problems for pretrib which appears in a documentary. This one involved the Early Church Fathers. I've since written an Addendum because at least one person apparently had some issues. I briefly discuss some of these there. 

I certainly didn't interact with every single point, and stated so. But if anyone feels they need further clarification on some matter, or are unhappy about something unfair I said, they can leave a BRIEF to-the-point comment here. Long essays will be deleted. I'll have more to say right here later.

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Servus Christi & Jacob Prasch

A two-plus hour video created by Servus Christi (Josh Chavez), called "The Pretrib Rapture Deception: A False Hope" is making the rounds. One ministry (which shared it twice) claims unfamiliarity with him and won't vouch for his other teachings, but that the video is worth watching and sharing. 

It's remarkable how folk howl if anyone dares challenge their system, or refers to it as deceptive. Yet they've no qualms about attacking or employing similar derogatory terms. Moreover, if you disagree with these folk it's because of your "eisegesis."  

This imperious attitude dates back to Rosenthal's polemic which claimed pretrib was a satanic deception. Yet when his position was critiqued, supporters cried foul. For example, "Their [pretrib critics] argument is not with us, it's with the Word of God." After years of interaction with this system and its proponents I have a different assessment of what's going on.

All this said; Chavez has been a close associate of Jacob Prasch (Moriel Ministries). I'd guess his eschatology likely mirrors Prasch's version of prewrath, the Inter-Seal rapture

Chavez's video predictably includes the Darby routine. He acknowledges Morgan Edwards but says he's midtrib. As noted HERE, Edwards kept the church out of the last three-and-half years. There was no common idea of a future seven years then. Also, Prasch claims to have arrived at his position before Van Kampen. We might ask Chavez - whoever heard of Inter-Seal before Prasch wrote Harpazo? 

And he asserts that all rapture and Second-Advent verses speak of the same event. Yet his system has more than one future arrival of Christ. How does that work? As for the rest, it isn't like Chavez's two-plus-hour video is cutting edge. We've heard this stuff before. 

Aside from this, be wary of Chavez and Prasch. They go hand in hand. Their cult-like behavior is dangerous to the church as a body and to individual Christians. For example Prasch's attack on James White was inexcusable. I don't always agree with Justin Peters, Chris Roseborough or Jordan Hall. Nor do I agree with others who use derogatory terms when confronting these men. But their warnings ought to be heeded. Do some homework.     

Scan the videos on Servus Christi's YouTube channel; it doesn't take a genius to see red flags. Like Prasch he slanders good men (Justin Peters, James White, Paul Washer, John MacArthur etc). Shouldn't it be negligent for a leading ministry to not issue a strong warning? Then again, Chavez's video does have a catchy title, doesn't it? And stamping out dangerous pretribulationism is the main thing, right?

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The Orange Mailman (Darrin Ball) wrote a review of the "Before the Wrath" documentary. We've exchanged notes on Ladd in the past. I haven't seen the doc. I'm just not interested in watching "prophecy" videos or daily-weekly "prophecy" updates. Therefore I can't fairly comment on his review - except for the last paragraph.

But first; we premils tend to obsess about prophecy. Yeah, yeah it's 25% (whatever) of the Bible. Yeah, it's important. That's no reason for it to virtually dominate our attention. I even saw one comment tying the gospel in with eschatology. Yes, it is by virtue of our redemption and future glorification through the cross. That's it. Don't make a particular eschatological view an essential to divide over.

If you think I've left out the "essential" of "Antichrist's Great Tribulation preparedness" (I've addressed this before) please drop a comment outlining how you prepare for that event. I mean, aside from just expecting to be in it.

Ball wants to promote his view. I get that. He asks why it's OK for Markell to create videos and promote her view, but promoting his view causes division. Well theoretically it shouldn't. He then says, "What about my view makes it Satanic (sic)?" He's referring to Markell, Farag and Tsarfati where they allegedly called prewrath satanic. I discussed it HERE. My article generated hits from a PW Facebook group. It was listed as an example of someone calling PW satanic. I didn't. Whoever shared it didn't pay attention. 

As mentioned above, the first PW book on the market labeled pretrib a satanic deception. Don't you people ever see the irony? Stop whining and grow up. Do the hard work of presenting your view (videos, conferences, books etc) without constantly using pejoratives such us "sloppy exegesis" (Ball's last paragraph re God's wrath). 

I've read my share of arguments (from both sides) re God's wrath. I don't rely on Jan Markell for theology and have some small issues there. I doubt "Before the Wrath" was intended to address objections to when God's wrath occurs. However I believe pretribulationists (e.g., Showers etc) do better at showing why it is located before the 7th seal. And while I disagree with the PW view on God's wrath, I wouldn't loosely apply the term "sloppy exegesis" to their arguments. That's what I'd call being divisive. 

*******

So this extended post has ended up as somewhere for me to grind my ax. I hadn't intended it to be. Over the last few years my main focus hasn't been prophecy though (obviously) I maintain an interest in it. I'm still an admin of a private pretrib prophecy group though one rarely sees discussion about rapture timing. And from time to time I see stuff which I want to comment on. I may eventually start a fresh post. But for now here are two more gripes.

1) If you're a non-pretrib blogger who gets an email from a pretribber calling you a false prophet for teaching the wrong rapture timing - welcome to the club! It shouldn't happen. But don't dive into the tissues. Nearly every week my friend Jack Kinsella got mail from people calling him a false prophet for being pretrib. I have friends who are close to prominent pretrib ministries. They constantly get hate mail because they're pretrib. Incidentally, we don't tolerate that sort of behavior (pretrib or not) in our group. 

2) Using terms such as "self-proclaimed" or "pop-prophecy" teacher is unhelpful and divisive when you're a leading figure and folk re-post your articles. Moreover you know you'd jump at the chance to share a platform with these "pop-prophecy" teachers in order to promote your view. Sadly proponents of your system have had a combative reputation from the beginning.

Quote: Hype up prophesy (sic) events that are taking place before the rapture, while claiming on the other side of their mouth that “the rapture is imminent.” 

Really, do I even need to break that down? There's no contradiction. It doesn't take an eschatologist to figure it out. But again this sort of thing does the rounds. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mike Stallard interviews Andy Woods

Mike Stallard interviews Andy Woods HERE 
You can also read the 2020 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics materials (2020 - Dispensationalism, Politics, and Culture) HERE

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Woke Hermeneutics - Tom Buck

An important presentation.

For some time, the godless ideologies of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are spreading like gangrene in our evangelical seminaries. Positionality, a fundamental tenet of intersectionality, is now being injected into the practice of biblical hermeneutics – the science of biblical interpretation...

Friday, November 13, 2020

What Happened to John Piper?

I debated a long time before deciding to post this video. Harris has gone a fair way to helping me understand some issues regarding John Piper's Christian Hedonism and Pietism, and how these affect his worldview.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Dispensationalism Moniker....

In the book "Forsaking Israel" Dr. Larry Pettegrew spends a little time on the term "Dispensationalism." He notes that, "Dispensationalists have always been aware of dispensations in Scripture, but so have other theological systems." See page 203. 
He further cites Todd Magnum who believes that, "1936 was the first time that dispensationalists accepted the label 'dispensationalism' for themselves." It is further suggested that this label was accepted "only reluctantly", and in response to criticism written against them by Northern Presbyterians. According to Pettegrew, because of the baggage this term carries, 
Some have proposed that we call this system "futuristic premillennialism," and others have suggested "restorationism," i.e., the system that believes in the restoration of a redeemed Israel to the center of God's plan. Another possible good name is "biblical covenantalism" because this system is not built on the foundation of dispensations, but on the major biblical covenants... (page 204)
In a brief footnote Dr Pettegrew acknowledges that the term was coined by Dr Paul Henebury and notes Paul's blog, Dr Reluctant. I wish he had said more here. But Dr Pettegrew has to move on as this is a tangential point (perhaps) and he must cover a lot more territory. By the way, the term Futuristic Premillennialism is what is suggested in MacArthur and Mayhue's Systematic Theology "Biblical Doctrine."
Further reading:

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Review of David Platt's Book Before You Vote

Some clear thinking here, IMO...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Two Books on Israel & Circular Reasoning

Two posts ago I mentioned the book "Forsaking Israel." I've done a speed-run through some sections and am now going through it properly. The authors (especially Larry Pettegrew) have produced a book which everyone should get. Pettegrew's efforts outlining how quickly the Early Church Fathers adopted Replacement Theology (even where they were premil), and how Covenant Theology shaped Israel and eschatology, make for fascinating reading.

The other book is "The Message of the Psalter" by David C. Mitchell. You can find out more on his website. Years ago I began reading the Psalms regularly for comfort. Almost immediately I noticed the eschatological elements. Mitchell's book explores this. 

I talk a little more about both books HERE

Circular Reasoning:

Someone took a shot at a pretrib prophecy commentator. Popular pretrib presenters tend to draw the attention of the Rapture Police. The critic devised a graph demonstrating his "circular reasoning" regarding the Great Multitude (GM) and the Great Tribulation (GT). It goes roughly like this - because the church doesn't go through the GT, the GM of Rev 7 can't be the (raptured) church...because it doesn't go through the GT. 

It's clever, but unfair, given that potshots like this don't present a target's full reasoning. One could make similar claims about the critic's deductions and pre-understandings regarding Rev 7, the rapture, resurrection and the GM (and a host of other areas for that matter). 

I discuss some of these issues HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Friday, October 2, 2020

Book Review: Forsaking Israel

I've only just begun going through this book. But so far it is very good. Its treatment of the Olivet Discourse (including rapture timing) and numerous other issues makes it well worth reading. I plan to refer to it in future articles:

Forsaking Israel contains years and years of research and study on behalf of Pettegrew and some other distinguished colleagues at Shepherds Theological Seminary. The book is divided into two main sections. The main thrust of the first section is church history, and a discussion of the Church Fathers and why Israel began to be neglected in early church history. This section of the book also includes one of the most detailed analyses of the history of Covenant Theology and how the theology itself contributed to a downplaying of Israel as God’s chosen people...keep reading

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Abner Chou on the Authorship of Hebrews

 Abner Chou on the authorship of Hebrews... Click Here

Sunday, August 30, 2020

"Time’s Running Out" - Romans 11:25-27

Tom Drion makes some interesting comments about Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Church & the Day of the Lord

Here's a thoughtful essay by Daniel Goepfrich (Theology is for Everyone). Click on the First Link to read the PDF article.

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Angel of the Bottomless Pit

Dr. Paul Henebury has been writing a series of articles on the Angel of the Bottomless Pit. There are more installments to come.

This was an interesting observation - one that I've been thinking about for some time. Does it have merit?

Are not Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12-13 describing the same events?  I do realize that some scholars teach that there are five end times “blackouts” (e.g. Fruchtenbaum, Footsteps of the Messiah, 220-221).  Still, even if one allows this for sake of argument, just how many times do the stars fall out of the sky?  This is one reason why I hold that Revelation 6 runs through the entire 70th Week from year 1 to year 7.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Where is the Ark of the Covenant? Does anyone really know? Is it even important? 

Like many of my friends, I've always been fascinated by the different speculations. Of course, while it's fun to speculate, we can end up lost in the rabbit warrens if we don't watch out. 

Many years ago I was halfway through reading Graham Hancock's book discussing the Ark. At one point after totally misreading the intent of an OT text, Hancock admitted that he started with an assumption and discarded anything which contradicted it. I stopped reading right there. If I remember correctly he thought the Ark of the Covenant was hidden somewhere in Ethiopia. 

Recently I came across David Mitchell's website Bright Morning Star. Mitchell has two interesting articles on the Ark of the Covenant. I thought they were a good read.

The interesting thing is that I tried to post links to Mitchell's articles on Facebook. But for some reason Facebook repeatedly rejected these attempts. I kept getting notifications from them saying the articles contravened their "Community Standards." 

You can't share this link brightmorningstar.org. Your content couldn't be shared, because this link goes against our Community Standards. If you think this doesn't go against our Community Standards let us know.

So, as per its protocol Facebook invited feedback as to why I might think this is incorrect. And so I, on several occasions, provided detailed feedback. To date, Facebook has ignored me. But I guess they're very busy monitoring all that False News going round.

I can only guess why Facebook blacklisted the entire website. And of course I might be wrong. But I have to wonder whether it has anything to do with Mitchell's premise that the Ark of the Covenant might be under the controversial Temple Mount. 

Perhaps one day I'll get an explanation...and pigs will learn to fly. Pardon my cynicism. 

The offending article:

Some people will tell you that the Ark of the Covenant is lost and gone for ever. And, to be sure, over the last two thousand years, many have sought it in vain. Some even claim that it will never be found. Yet it is not so much lost as well hidden. And the place where it lies is not beyond our power to deduce. Want to know more? It’s all here. (But don’t imagine you’ll be able to turn up and see it any time soon.)...keep reading

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tolkien and Lewis on Virtue: ‘On the Shoulders of Hobbits’

I'm currently enjoying re-reading this book by Louis Markos at bed time. Paul Henebury reviewed it HERE

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

By the way, they will not listen to you!

For personal reasons I found this Cripplegate article encouraging. Click Here

Monday, August 3, 2020

Dr. Michael Svigel on the "Mark of the Beast"

Theology 101: Look, no matter how you read Revelation, there’s NO scenario in which you will inadvertently receive the “mark of the beast.” If you’re striving to worship and serve Christ alone as Lord—and refusing to worship and serve anyone or anything else as Lord—you’re safe. ~ Michael Svigel (Twitter)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Washer Experiment

I have an agnostic friend who was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. Like other nominal Catholics he doesn't go to church etc. Every once in a while he asks me about my beliefs. Of course I try to articulate the gospel as best I can. Unfortunately, like many today, he has the ingrained conviction that he's basically a good person. And I have to confess that in many ways, he's better than I am. In fact I told him so. But that doesn't cut it.

His premise is that a loving God wouldn't cast a person into hell for lack of belief in His Son - especially someone who is otherwise a good person, who performs good deeds. So if there's a God, he thinks he'll go to heaven. This is a difficult mindset to break through. I could only answer via Scripture. We let it go at that.

The last time this came up in conversation, I introduced him to the Paul Washer experiment. In The Gospel's Power & Message, Washer has a section called Are We Really That Bad? In it he asks us to imagine how we would feel if there was device which could project every guarded secret thought and action we ever had, or done. Now imagine that our family and all our friends sit down and watch it all on a movie screen. How would we feel at the prospect of that? 

My friend looked decidedly uncomfortable at the concept. It stopped him in his tracks. It should also be a sober thought-experiment for us all. Are we that bad? Yes we all are!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church

John MacArthur weighs in on the current Gov imperatives for Church meetings HERE.

No doubt this will stir up more controversy - likely already has. I'm on his side on this one.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Red flags & Michael Heiser

Dr Michael Heiser is very popular in prophecy circles. I've been aware of him for a number of years (around 12). He's written extensively on the Divine Council and other related matters.

Some time ago I watched Dr. Darrell Bock interview Mike Heiser regarding his book "The Unseen Realm." So I bought it. I had several concerns. The Creation Ministries International article linked below goes into others. Dr. Heiser is a very smart man. He'll tell you that his ideas and materials are peer-reviewed (they are) and do not fall out of the realm of orthodoxy. Perhaps that's one problem facing the church today...

 Dr Michael Heiser is a scholar of Hebrew and semitic languages who moves in Evangelical circles. CMI’s first interaction with him was something in common: criticism of alien abduction claims (see the Alien Intrusion book and DVD). However, later on, there were serious concerns.

He is very opposed to biblical (‘young-earth’) creation. But unlike, say, Hugh Ross, who affirms biblical inerrancy, albeit pretzelizing it beyond recognition, Heiser uses another tactic, all too common among compromisers these days. This is to impugn Scripture itself, by claiming that it was teaching an erroneous cosmology, including a flat earth. So, they claim, if we don’t accept its flat-earth teaching, we should not accept its chronology and order of events if it conflicts with modern ‘science’...keep reading

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

"Cling to the Cross" - 1 Corinthians 1:18

Tom Drion of GraceLife London


Monday, July 20, 2020

Commentaries on Revelation

You can read Dr Paul Henebury's Personal Thoughts about Commentaries on Revelation HERE One of the commentaries mentioned is a new one by Buist Fanning. I was sufficiently interested that, when I was graciously gifted with some money, I bought it on Amazon.

Buist M. Fanning III – A new and impressive premillennial work with great exegesis. Tries to please everyone and dabbles in idealism, but still good. 600+ pages, but needed more. ~ Dr. Henebury

There's a fuller review of it HERE Excerpt:
It seems strange to describe a 600+ commentary as brief, but this only in comparison to the mammoth commentaries from Aune and Beale. Fanning’s contribution is worth consulting, especially as a representative of a future-orientated commentary on Revelation. ~ P. J. Long
I might add that many of the pages are double column. There's a lot there to digest.

Incidentally when I Googled Dr Fanning's Commentary I came across a website called pretribulationism-dot-com. In fact the site is an extension of Eschatos Ministries - a website dedicated to promoting the prewrath rapture and debunking pretribulationism. I guess pretribulationism-dot-com functions as "clickbait" for attracting pretribbers. Nevertheless, I'd like to thank the webmaster for promoting an excellent commentary on Revelation which takes a firm premillennial and pretribulational position.

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Father’s Love for Jesus as Mediator

Paul Washer talks about Puritan Robert Hawker. Some of Hawker's prayers appear in the book "Piercing Heaven." In the video, Washer says he loves the old books. So do I!




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Timing of the Day of the Lord in 1 Thess 5

I recently posted an article on Zeteo 3:16 on the topic of the Timing of Day of the Lord in 1 Thess 5. You can read it HERE. This is a controversial topic which I've been thinking about for a while. Can the eschatological Day of the Lord really be restricted to narrowly defined parameters, or is it more flexible than some insist? The more I study this topic the more I'm persuaded that it's the latter.

I was prompted to briefly comment after reading Nicholas Claxton's two interesting articles at Tyndale, and Paul R. House's lengthy Day of the Lord discussion in Central Themes in Biblical Theology.
In the Bible 'the Day of the Lord' is one particular way, but not the only way, of discussing judgment. Every 'Day of the Lord' is an instance of judgment although not every depiction of judgment is called a 'Day of the Lord'. ~ House
Passages such as Joel 2:30-31 indicate that cosmic signs occur before the Day of the Lord. Yet House and others connect passages such as Isaiah 2 with the DotL and the 6th seal. In his commentary on Revelation, Buist Fanning notes this too, as well as noting several Old Testament DotL motifs in the 4th seal (see his chapter on Rev 6:1-17).

From my Zeteo 316 article:
For a discussion on the timing of the Day of the Lord in 1 Thess 5, see Nicholas James Claxton's two-part series in Tyndale's Journal of Dispensational Theology : Part One (p 77) and Part Two (p 53). Without being dogmatic, and while making a fair case for pretribulationism, Claxton discusses many of these themes including imminence, expectancy, suddenness, the term "thief in the night" etc. 
For more read Tony Garland's The Day of the Lord and When Does the Day of the Lord Dawn? and also Jacob's Trouble and the Great Tribulation. Tony's articles can be accessed HERE (original source) as well.

See also Robert Culver: Israel, Church & the Rapture.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020

Unmoved and Unafraid (Psalm 46:2-3)

A few years ago I was going through a particularly difficult time. I found reading the Psalms to be very encouraging. One which I constantly went back to was Psalm 46. I often read it aloud. Steven Lawson's recent blog strikes a familiar and helpful chord with me...

In times of great difficulty, we often feel like the ground is shaking beneath our feet. It may seem like the world is collapsing around us. Nevertheless, there is one sure foundation that will never be moved—found in God Himself.

In Psalm 46, the author found himself in such an earthshaking time of upheaval. He wrote, "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride (verses 2-3)...keep reading

Monday, June 29, 2020

Black LIES Matter?

Doug Wilson pulls no punches HERE.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Call Me a Conspiracy Theorist but....

A Lament: How TGC is Destroying Justice and the Church...


Theoretical Inerrantists

An important article by Tom Ascol:

One of my growing concerns about American Christianity (and I include myself and the congregation that I serve in this analysis) is that we have been blessed with ready access to the Bible for so long and have seen reaffirmation of its full authority so boldly declared by many of our pastors, churches, and institutions that we have made the affirmation of its inerrancy almost meaningless. I am not saying that a full-throated affirmation of biblical inerrancy is unimportant. On the contrary, I contended for that very thing in the so-called “Conservative Resurgence” in the Southern Baptist Convention during the last two decades of the twentieth century.

I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in May 1979, having been convinced by a prominent member of that faculty that inerrancy was at best unimportant and that the “Fundamentalists” were storming the walls with the intent of firing all of Southwestern’s faculty and turning it into backwater Bible College intent only to indoctrinate and not educate...keep reading

Excerpt:

Theoretical inerrancy is killing the church in America. It is spreading like stage 4 cancer. Only God can stop it. If He does, it will be through the Spirit-empowered preaching and teaching of His Word. If He does, there will be deep repentance among pastors, leaders, and churches where sin is confessed, new resolve is given, and new patterns of living and ministering are embraced.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

When your church goes woke...

Phil Johnson (Twitter @Phil_Johnson_) Executive Director of Grace to You joins us to discuss the religion 60 years in the making and what to do when your church goes woke...




Monday, June 8, 2020

Getting Israel & the Disciples Wrong

As mentioned previously, I've profited immensely from reading Reformed-Puritan materials and listening to several Reformed Pastors' sermons. As much as I love them, occasionally they'll make statements which give me pause. I'm forewarned and expect to hear the odd conflation of Israel into the church - but whenever it happens my OCD goes into overdrive. Thankfully their focus is on Christology, the Trinity, the Attributes of God, Doxology, and Soteriology etc.

During one particular sermon a favorite pastor confidently asserted that, even after 40 days of private Bible study with the Lord, the disciples still got it wrong regarding the restoration of the kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6-7). The following week he warned that the OT had to be interpreted in light of the NT. Sadly, he's reading from the standard Reformed-Amil notebook. Citing Alec Motyer and the Catechisms etc doesn't automatically make the assertion correct. I responded (admittedly clumsily) HERE.

More recently I came across a further example of this conflation. I've been reading another favorite pastor-theologian: in fact I'll continue to read him because he has been so profitable to my spiritual welfare. He gets it 99% right...but not always.

In a chapter called "Loved with Everlasting Love: The Gospel's Wonder" this pastor recalls listening to a riveting sermon by another pastor. This latter pastor cited Geerhardus Vos: "The reason God will never stop loving you is that he never began." Vos was evoking Jeremiah 31:3: "I have loved you with an everlasting love."

The former pastor writes that. "...the truth Vos drew out from these words all but overwhelmed me." Yet the whole chapter is about God's love for Israel! See the problem?

The same God, who predestines and elects believers, also loves Israel with an everlasting love. One cannot apply these particular verses to the church without changing the identity of the entity they were addressed to. And that's what happens. I suggest this does violence to the original intent of the entire chapter (and others).

Unfortunately, this is a large blind spot within the Reformed Camp. John MacArthur addressed some of these issues in Christ's Prophetic Plans.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Steve Hays (1959-2020)

From Triablogue:
We just learned that Steve Hays has passed away in a hospice. He had cancer and heart disease. Both conditions were initially treatable, but he declined treatment. He was content to let go and die a natural death. What he lived by, he died by. He was preceded in death by both his parents...keep reading

The Last Days of William Tyndale

Here's some eschatology for us all to ponder. I wonder if Tyndale spent time preparing for the Antichrist. How did he (along with many before and after him) prepare to die for the Lord?

Excerpt:
The godly Christian who is distressed on this earth for a little while by various trials (1 Peter 1:6) is not stoically indifferent to them. He does not seek after them as if they could somehow increase his personal righteousness, after the manner of the monkish asceticism of a young Luther. Neither, however, does he complain about his lot to man or God; he entrusts his soul to a loving Father in whose eyes no sparrow escapes notice (Luke 12:6).
Read the rest HERE

Friday, June 5, 2020

Recent Steven Lawson Tweets

"We have never been so close to the second coming of Christ. I do not know when He is coming, but we had better be ready."

"Following Christ will lead us into the storms of life. But better to be in raging tempests with Him than in false peace without Him."

"If you have any doubt about where you stand with the Lord, now is the time to make it certain. Come all the way to a living faith in Jesus Christ! Now! There is no other way to be right with God."

God’s Word in Godless Times, or...

Tom Ascol's article "God’s Word in Godless Times, or the Appearance of Godliness in Signaling Virtue" should be read along with Doug Wilson's.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Christ’s Prophetic Plans

I'm going through this book again. You can read a review HERE

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Minneapolis Burning and Black Privilege

This looting and rioting is hitting close to home (near me) with promises of more to come. What lies at the heart of these issues? I'm nearly all talked out with frustration, and mostly frustrated by what I'm hearing from some professing Christian leaders.

But enough of what I think, agree with him or not Doug Wilson makes many thoughtful points. What do you think? Read it HERE 

He concludes with this:
So here is the gospel, straight and true. It addresses the central problem of every human heart, which is that we are all of us crooked and false.
Christ is the eternal Word of God, and He took on human flesh in order to be able to die. He lived a perfect sinless life, ran afoul of the authorities, was arrested by the police, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, He rose again from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, where He was seated and enthroned at the right hand of the Ancient of Days. On that great coronation day, He inherited every black tribe and every white tribe, not to mention all the other tribes, and declared His everlasting purpose to do something glorious with all of them.
That “something glorious” did not include building a whites-only country club. That “something glorious” did not include looting a store and running off with a free PlayStation.
I admit to being somewhat frustrated because there is so much more to say. But here it is in a nutshell: Christ is everything. America needs to be pierced to the heart. It is Christ or chaos. If you get the chaos, it is because you loved it more.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

What is Zionism?

Perry Trotter has produced a great little video titled "What is Zionism?" There's a useful transcript below it. Watch and read HERE 

See also Perry's "Learning About Evangelical Zionism."

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Pastor of Kilsyth

John MacArthur recommends The Pastor of Kilsyth; a little biography by Islay Burns on the life and times of his father, Pastor W. H. Burns. Watch it HERE

Excerpt from the Book Description:
What we have here then is the life of an ‘ordinary’ faithful pastor. He held no prestigious pulpit, he held no important professorship in theology. He founded no institution. He simply laboured in relative obscurity, but did so faithfully and with perseverance. Yes, he ultimately saw great revival. But along the way there were spiritually discouraging days in the nation, there was personal hardship (for example, the early death of children) and sacrifice (for example, in supporting the founding of the Free Church of Scotland he gave up his manse and church building) and years of no great visible fruit...keep reading
A very encouraging little book!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Michael Vlach: Dispensational Theology

You can read a recent article on dispensationalism by Dr. Vlach HERE

I'm sure some will say there's more to the system than this essay (I agree). But I think it's a helpful summary.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Why Clint Archer is a Premillennialist





















Tony Garland: Timing of Events in Revelation

Tony has also written an in-depth commentary on the Book of Revelation.



Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Wanderer: When did you last weep?

I've appreciated Jeremy Walker's sermon snippets and thoughts. The following is an excerpt from an article by his father commenting on matters relating to death, COVID etc. Regardless of my personal opinion on COVID-19, he makes some very good observations:
Surely, then, we who profess to be the true church of Jesus Christ should be imitating our Saviour by weeping over the present predicament of our nation in its unbelief and apparent determination to continue flouting the law of God? We live in the same fallen world that Christ entered. It is all too easy for us to react to what we continually see before our eyes by saying it is what our nation deserves. We can react with holy indignation and display little or no grief and shed no tears. The result will be a hardening of our hearts and the growth of a self-righteousness that will blossom into an ugly pride. On the other hand, we can descend into sentimentality by displaying only sympathy. The truth is we live in tension while we are here. On the one hand there must be righteous indignation, but it must be joined with grief, compassion and Christlike tears. He alone is the pattern for our response to this present crisis and if there is to be revival in the church this certainly ought to be one of the things that must characterise the church. Have we become so dulled and adopted such an ungodly apathy and indifference that our hearts no longer feel any real compassion and our eyes shed no tears.
Read the article HERE

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Robert Culver on the Rapture

In his book Daniel and the Latter Days, Robert D. Culver wrote:
I must assert that the precise relation of the rapture of the church to the coming Great Tribulation has been purposely veiled for moral reasons. I have heard and read the arguments of the pre-, mid-, and post-tribulationists, and have been much impressed by many of them, to say nothing of the evidence of Scripture that I have surveyed in preparing this book. I have the personally expressed opinions of the heads of at least three premillennial schools of higher learning that any just presentation of this subject by a premillennialist must recognize these three respectable opinions. E. S. English's series in Our Hope magazine entitled "Rethinking the Rapture" was, I think, a harbinger of more gracious understanding of our differences in matters of this sort.
My copy of Culver's book is the 1977 Revised Edition. Since then, of course, the Prewrath Rapture system has been formulated. I sometimes think of it as a Neo-Posttrib view. It is a modified posttrib system. Some will prefer to use the word "refined." Its proponents are currently more vocal than classic futuristic posttribbers and there is a strong affinity between these two camps.

No doubt proponents of the prewrath view would be tempted to think that had Culver been aware of this new system, he would have embraced it as the correct view. Yet Culver's hope of a "harbinger of more gracious understanding" hasn't been realized. Rapture timing discussions almost inevitably devolve into heated debates.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Mark Tooley interviews Owen Strachan

Interesting thoughts in this interview:

"Besides his fascination with war and courageous statesmen, Strachan here discusses the state of American evangelicalism, his support for gender complementarianism, his thoughts on gay Christians, his hopes for Southern Baptists, and his attitude toward generating controversy."

Click Here

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Justin Peters’ Response to Servus Christi

As an ex New Ager I took particular interest in this video by Justin Peters. In trying to take Peters (and Phil Johnson) down, S.C. (or Josh Chavez) has also attacked baby-Christian Doreen Virtue. From what I gather, Virtue left the New Age in 2017, and has been humble and gracious in admitting making mistakes since her conversion. She has also been open to correction. I wrote more on this HERE

People like Chavez develop a cult following. Sadly, these followers often become stuck in their attack mind-sets and cannot be reasoned with.

Long Addendum:

I've been debating whether I should comment any further. Several times I've been privately asked about Chavez and his associates and have been uncomfortable about replying. I'm going to be blunt now.

Chavez's ministry has been linked with Moriel (Jacob Prasch). Both are notorious for attacking other ministries. It seems that in recent years, Prasch's main target has been John MacArthur and anyone associated with him. This includes Phil Johnson, Justin Peters, and all the other so-called MacArthur "sycophants." Prasch's vendetta against MacArthur may have festered after the "Strange Fire" conference.

Some time after Justin Peters responded to Chavez, the latter removed his attack video. Why would he do this presuming he was right and given his discernment focus? If he had second thoughts, he ought to have apologized. But he didn't.

Soon afterwards, Chavez's video was hosted on YouTube by Amos Farrell, who is also associated with Moriel Ministries. It was soon taken down and replaced by Peters' response. Then the entire channel disappeared! At time of writing Jacob Prasch (Moriel TV) went into bat for Chavez with his own video. And a new channel calling itself "Truth Matters" suddenly appeared featuring Chavez's edited video attacking Doreen Virtue. What a tangled web!

As for Virtue, you can watch her position HERE. There's no doubt she's made some problematic statements. There's also no doubt in my mind that she has a humble and teachable spirit. It has been only three years that Virtue came out of the New Age. She is striving to learn and change and is attending a seminary. I also came out of the New Age (circa 2000). It took a lot longer than three years, and many false tracks, before I fully left it behind. Frankly, she humbles me.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Effacement Theology: Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik responds to the New Danish Bible Translation and fleshes out its problems HERE

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Robert D. Culver's Systematic Theology

No, I'm not reviewing Culver's Systematic - thankfully, you say! Rightfully so too.

Recently Dan Phillips mentioned Culver's little commentary on Daniel in a tweet. That little exchange spurred me to get out his Systematic and the Daniel commentary, and take a quick look at them again.

From a prophetic angle, I appreciate a lot of what he writes - his position on Israel in Daniel and the Olivet Discourse, the rapture, the millennium, and some interesting comments on the Restrainer. Culver is also irenic and respectful of positions he disagrees with.

I find that I'm spreading myself a little thin over too many areas lately. There are so many non-prophetic books I want (and need) to catch up on. That said, Culver has sparked my enthusiasm for some possible future articles.

You can read Dr. Paul Henebury's in-depth review of Culver's Systematic Theology HERE

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Secrets of the Cosmos that Confirm the Bible

Dr. Jason Lisle. Some discussion on the speed of light as well....



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

James White interviews Jason Lisle

I found the White-Lisle interview fascinating. Dr. Jason Lisle has written "The Ultimate Proof of Creation" which I've read and should re-read. He's also written "The Physics of Einstein" which I own, haven't read yet, but ought to. Both books are mentioned in the interview. They can be obtained from Dr. Lisle's website. I also recommend his YouTube Channel.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Wilson's "That Hideous Strength"

I can't help thinking Lewis had some lessons which are very relevant today. Wrote about it HERE



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Why We Need Eschatology Now More than Ever

Full title: Is Everything Sad Going to Come Untrue? Why We Need Eschatology Now More than Ever. I can already anticipate a long string of objections. Nevertheless, I think this short article by Michael Kruger ought to be read and taken to heart. Read it HERE

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Thanking the Faithful Pastors

I wanted to give a quick shout out and thanks to all the pastors who are faithfully feeding and ministering to God's people, especially during this virus lockdown.

There are the well-known pastors: John MacArthur, Alistair Begg, Steven Lawson, Paul Washer, Michael Reeves, and a bunch of others.

But there are also countless lesser-known pastors who normally fly under the radar, and who are no less deserving of thanks.

One of the latter is Paul Henebury who pastors Agape Bible Church. He has been a great help to me. Paul and his family have graciously opened up their house for virtual hymn singing (Heb 13:1-2). You can find his sermons (including a series on The Pilgrim's Progress) on the Agape Bible Church Facebook page. He has also written a series of short encouraging sermons on his blog. Thank you, Paul.

Another person who comes to mind is Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church. I came across him via the Media Gratiae YouTube Channel. His A Word in Season series is very helpful. Jeremy has been going through Thomas Watson's book All Things for Good. You can watch these on the Maidenbower Baptist Church YouTube Channel. Jeremy also runs a blog called The Wanderer.

Let's keep all these faithful pastors and their families in prayer.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dr. Reluctant on the New Covenant

Dr. Paul Henebury has just completed a great ten-part series on the New Covenant. Read the posts HERE

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020

When Wright is Wrong (on that virus)

My apologies for the badly over-used pun.

First of all some axe  grinding. I saw a statement on social media linking Tom Wright's TIME Christianity-has-no-answers-about-Coronavirus article to "amillennial hopelessness." I thought it was a careless remark - and I confess to being a frequent offender BTW.

Wright's problems have nothing to do with his millennial view. In fact he's been well responded to by Reformed folk who aren't premillennial. We shouldn't be using our millennial or rapture positions as hammers to beat up on people who disagree with us. Our hope is only found in Christ, not in our particular eschatological positions.

Some responses to Wright:

Doug Wilson

Dan Phillips

Owen Strachan

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Christ the Image of God

Michael Reeves dishes up another feast. Appreciate the Spurgeon snippets as well.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God Moves in a Mysterious Way - a hymn by William Cowper from the book Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book (Hymn No. 211).

GOD moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov'reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

There's an interesting back story to this hymn. Spurgeon relates that the English missionary Richard Knill prophesied over him when he was about ten years old. According to Spurgeon:
Mr. Knill took me on his knee, and said, 'This child will one day preach the gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes. I am persuaded that he will preach in the chapel of Rowland Hill, where (I think he said) I am now the minister.' He spoke very solemnly, and called upon all present to witness what he said. Then he gave me sixpence as a reward if I would learn the hymn, 'God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.' I was made to promise that, when I preached in Rowland Hills's Chapel, that hymn should be sung...
Years flew by. After I had begun for some little time to preach in London, Dr. Alexander Fletcher was engaged to deliver the annual sermon to children in Surrey Chapel; but as he was taken ill, I was asked in a hurry to preach to the children in his stead. 'Yes,' I replied, if you will allow the children to sing "God moves in a mysterious way." I have made a promise long ago, that hymn should be sung.' And so it was: I preached in Rowland Hill's Chapel, and the hymn was sung.

Monday, March 23, 2020

MacArthur: The Gospel, the Church, and This Present Crisis


A Word In Season: When Overwhelmed (Psalms 61:1-2)

For this special season of uncertainty, Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England, began making short devotions to warm our hearts to Christ and remind of the certainty of the sovereignty of God. Today's devotion is from Psalm 61:1-2.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Global Anti-Christian Totalitarian Threat

Creation Ministries International reviews Gabriele Kuby's book, The Global Sexual Revolution - Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom.

Excerpt:
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this threat is the sexualization of children. The material in chapter 12 will prompt a defensive response in most parents and is almost beyond belief. Kuby states that since mandatory sex education was introduced in German schools in the 1970s, it has been “a journey toward complete demoralization of sexuality”. Kuby explains that children “are incited to masturbate” (p. 215). This was so shocking that I requested a copy of the material. Kuby sent me a copy of Lisa & Jan, which has been used since 1996 and in one picture shows a small boy with a teddy bear masturbating.11 Perhaps nothing exemplifies the shocking nature of the agenda to sexualize children from infancy more than Kuby’s statement that “in the accompanying booklet for parents, [Sielert, one of the authors] clearly states that children must be guided into it: ‘Naturally, children discover this pleasure on their own if they are positively caressed ahead of time by their parents. If they don’t know at all what lust is, there will be no sex play’” (FN332, p. 223). This is pedophilia and should be abhorrent to any parent. Kuby states that the core objective of this obligatory school sex education “was ‘sexual liberation’ through destruction of Christian values” (p. 217). As a parent, you might decide that you would rather home school than have your child subjected to material so damaging to their innocence. But in Germany, home schooling is illegal.12 There is no escaping the State’s desire to subjugate your God-given authority as a parent to protect your children. Kuby asks:
“HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that a whole generation has fallen into the hands of a cultural revolutionary mafia that appears bent on turning future generations into amorphous, rootless masses of sex-addicted consumers?” (p. 228).
Read it HERE

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Paul Washer: The Holy Spirit

Paul Washer discusses Iain Murray's book, Pentecost Today? - The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival. I reviewed it HERE. You can get it from Banner of Truth.




Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Early Christians and Plagues

I'm seeing some chatter about this current virus possibly having "prophetic" portent. I wonder what the chatter among futuristic premils would have been during the two world wars of last century. Let's not jump the gun. Anyway, I thought this PJ Media article was pretty good:
Christians facing the corona virus today would do well to remember how the selfless love of the early church helped spread the gospel in a world much more hostile to Jesus' message than our world is today. Christianity spread in the face of persecution for many reasons, but in two cases it spread in the midst of deadly plagues — because Christians risked their lives to save others.
Two historic plagues ravaged the Roman Empire: the Antonine Plague (165-180 A.D.) and the Cyprian Plague (249-262 A.D.). The plagues killed roughly a quarter to a third of the population, striking down emperors (Marcus Aurelius, Hostilian, and Claudius II Gothicus), and ravaging the empire. As in the case of the coronavirus today, panic spread because the society did not understand the disease...keep reading

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Trust in the Lord

From Dr Reluctant:

Because of the present concerns over the coronavirus and the precautions that must be taken over it, I thought that one thing I could do was post some encouraging meditations for my readers.  I’ll try to write two or three of these a week.  This first one is a revision of something I wrote previously...

Click HERE

Monday, March 16, 2020

To Church or Not to Church

When I was a teen - centuries ago - I was temporarily employed by my dad's boss. My job was to shovel several cubic meters of soil from the front yard and transport it to the back...all day long. Because the days were hot, and I was overweight and unfit, my dad advised me to pace myself or I wouldn't last. The problem was that one of the other senior workers derided me for being too slow. When I paced up, my dad would berate me for not listening to him. I couldn't please both men.

In a different context, James White astutely tweeted:

"When the elders agreed that we will be gathering for worship and the Supper tomorrow, I specifically noted that we should not announce it in such a way to condemn those not gathering, while being prepared to be condemned by some of the same." ~ James White

Sure enough some people just had to criticize the decision to assemble. It was inevitable.

However, I've also seen criticism leveled at those pastors who decided not to congregate on Sunday 15th March 2020. One critic is a well-known presup apologist. The other is a blogger - apparently, John MacArthur has bowed down to Caesar. Does anyone seriously believe that?

Both these guys are very smart - smarter than I can ever hope to aspire to. What they aren't are pastors of large churches who have to make informed, difficult, biblical decisions.

The church I attend decided against assembling:
Dear Parkside Family,
In response to Governor DeWine’s statement on March 12 restricting large gatherings over 100, Parkside Church has decided to cancel all Sunday services for March 15. While religious institutions are excluded from this ban, in an abundance of care and concern for our neighbors, and with the hope of slowing the spread of this virus, Parkside Church has decided to follow the state's guidelines.
Please note:
On Sunday, March 15, at 9:45am, we invite you to join us online at the Parkside Church homepage or the Parkside Facebook page for a streamed service.

All Parkside events scheduled through Saturday, March 21, are canceled.

Sunday services for March 22 will be decided as this situation develops and we have further information.

All nursing home-related events including nursing home Bible studies and meetings are suspended until further notice.
While all of Parkside’s public gatherings are canceled through the week, our facility is open, and our pastoral and administrative teams will be in the office to continue to care for the needs of our congregation. And, while this situation is unprecedented, we are hopeful that each one of us will take opportunities to care for those around us with the love and compassion exemplified by Christ.
Please continue to pray that this situation will cause hearts to open and respond to the Gospel.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Sincerely,
Steve Terrell, on behalf of the elders at Parkside Church
One of Parkside Church's members is a medic from Cleveland Clinic. I can't recall her official role but she's at the forefront of what is going on. Alistair Begg asked her to come and answer some brief questions re the virus. Her response was measured - don't panic, yet take precautions. My guess is that Parkside's decision to forego meeting on Sunday was partly based on her advice.

For the record Parkside normally advocates for Morning and Evening church attendance. The commitment of its pastors is unquestionable. Yet some people never waste an opportunity to point fingers. What a pity!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

New Earth: The Eternal State

Michael Vlach on the New Earth & Eternal State, from the 2020 Shepherds' Conference. Click HERE

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020

Friday, March 6, 2020

James White on Hank Hanegraaff & Sola Scriptura

I don't always see things James White's way; for instance on eschatology. But there's no doubt that he's a smart man who has defended Christianity very well in many areas. This video is a good example of this. His astute observations on Hanegraaff's (and anyone's for that matter) use of the early church fathers (e.g., Irenaeus) was interesting as well.


Exodus: Abner Chou

Hat tip to a Twitter friend. You can listen to a series on Exodus by Abner Chou HERE.

My friend says Chou's series demonstrates premillennialism. I see where others think it points to a particular rapture position! Be that as it may, I've listened to and read a lot of Chou's materials and like the way he thinks.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Paul Washer: The Great Commission - Passing the Baton


On Flying Cast Iron Kites

Doug Wilson's response to Christianity Today's soft article on polyamory:

It should be noted at the outset that Preston Sprinkle and Branson Parler are not exactly sons of thunder. They recently wrote an article on polyamory for Christianity Today, in which they pelted this particular noxious sin with some cotton balls. The cotton balls were thrown with a modicum of force, which allowed them to make it all the way to the target, and amounting to a modest disapproval, but they didn’t even use up the whole bag of cotton balls...keep reading

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Worshiping in Pain

From the TMS blog:

It's difficult to recall the number of perplexed looks I've received over the past two-and-a-half years as I have explained to people my doctoral research project. Some have mused that wrestling with lament for this long must be disheartening.

I have experienced the opposite.

My intrigue with lament in the psalter was born from deep grief in my life. I was struggling to adore God with my soul while my wife and I were wading through a miscarriage, the loss of a child that had long been anticipated and prayed for. As this season of struggle continued in my life, it became obvious my trials were not unique. It became apparent that most in our church were in pain, in some form or another. The psalms of lament became something of a somber, unifying anthem for my congregation and I...keep reading

See also Abounding in Hope.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Prophecy and Covenant Theology

There have always been debates about prophecy, even among people holding the same millennial views. I recently noted in an article that Spurgeon went from postmil to premil. Yet he strongly discouraged prophetic debating. Michael Reeves (Spurgeon and the Christian Life) notes that:
His concern was that the person of Christ - not the millennium or the date of Christ's return - should be central to the Christian's hope.
I wonder what he'd say to all of us prophecy nuts now. Yes, I can imagine the responses to Spurgeon's concern. But I think he makes a good point.

Some amil-postmil Covenant Theologians regarded premillennialism with suspicion. This comes out in various comments in Andrew Bonar's Diary and Life. Bonar expressed concern that his brother Horatius was being set aside from positions because of his millennial view and interest in prophecy.

These days, the Banner of Truth has all of premillennialist J. C. Ryle's books, except anything on prophecy. Some things haven't changed. I also found Waldron's reaction to Barry Horner's book Future Israel both interesting and over the top. Horner noted:
There have been many blog responses such as from Dr. Sam Waldron, Professor of Systematic Theology at Midwest Center for Theological Studies. Staunchly Reformed Baptist and amillennial, he commented: “I had to pray for grace and patience not to fire it across the room...."
You can read Barry Horner's article HERE

Saturday, February 8, 2020

An Evaluation of the Hermeneutics of Historic Premillennialism

Dr House will have something to trigger most posttribulationists here...

Ladd gets several mentions.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

95 Theses Against Dispensationalism & A Response (Redux)

The Ninety-Five Theses Against Dispensationalism
Disputation of NiceneCouncil.com On
The Power and Efficacy of Dispensationalism
-or-
The Ninety-Five Theses Against Dispensationalism
By Ken Gentry and Jerry Johnson

Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it? Every once in a while I like to re-post Dr Paul Henebury's detailed response to the above on different forums. I still get a lot out of reading it.

The link on Paul's blog to the "Theses" he is responding to has moved. You can find them HERE 

Read the Answers to the 95 Theses in Order HERE

Over the last few years, I've tended to read more materials from the Reformed community than from dispensationalists. Of course I regularly come across frustrating statements. They tend to be entrenched in their traditional view that the church has replaced Israel, despite often elaborate arguments-statements denying Replacement Theology. This impacts their position on eschatology and hermeneutics (in some cases).

On the other hand I've also spent a good deal of time in dispensational forums. For reasons I won't go into now, I've often found this frustrating as well. Dispensationalists need to pick up their games in a few areas too.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Evidences of True Revival

An article by Allen Nelson IV:

Currently, I’m working through the book Revival! A People Saturated With God by Brian H. Edwards as part of my writing with Accelerate Books. With 2020 being a brand new decade, I’ve thought a lot about revival lately. And while I would eschew “revivalism”*, I think it is a sincere desire of the Christian heart to long for more of God’s presence.

Brian Edwards defines revival as: “a remarkable increase in the spiritual life of a large number of God’s people, accompanied by an awesome awareness of the presence of God, intensity of prayer and praise, a deep conviction of sin with a passionate longing for holiness and unusual effectiveness in evangelism, leading to the salvation of many unbelievers” (p. 28-29).

With that definition in mind, I’d like to offer a few evidences of Revival that Edwards points out and which I agree are backed by Biblically and in Church history...keep reading

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Story of Eschatological Readiness

From the Cripplegate:

Christians look forward to the return of Jesus Christ and his restoration of all things. The consummation of history is the reason for the great hope that we have who trust in the Person and work of Christ. Writing near his death, the apostle Paul said, “[I]n the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Christians love the future appearing of their Lord. The Jesus of the Bible will bring an end to sin, suffering, death, and disappointment one day. This is reality for all who have surrendered in faith to Christ.

I am always encouraged by people whose lives tangibly reflect the future we have in Christ. It nudges me to put my chin up and hold current troubles in perspective. I want to tell you a story of an acquaintance who held that future hope of Christ in a, perhaps, comical-convicting reality. The following story is real...keep reading

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Michael Reeves: Trinity, Family, the Global State of Christianity

Always appreciate what this man has to say.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

No Two-State Solution

Speaking of Israel, Stephen Sizer recently did some hand-wringing re the Middle East scenario. I'm not going to bother parsing what he wrote but he wants certain folk to "leave well alone." Sadly he's done his share of fomenting, though he wouldn't see it that way. You can read him HERE.

Anyhow, a hat tip to Dexter Van Zile for pointing to this article: There is no Two-State Solution

Sizer writes: "A fear and deep-seated hatred of Islam also pervades their [Christian Zionist] apocalyptic theology."

Here's some food for thought - while Islam isn't the only oppressor of Christianity, it is a significant one. Read Anti-Christian Oppression Around the World. I'm sure Mr. Sizer will have issues with that as well.

Fake Israel, Fake Jews, Anti-Zionism etc

Over the years I've interacted with Christians who I'd classify as strongly anti-Semitic and/or anti-Zionist. While I don't want to pigeon-hole anyone, I've come to suspect that too often there's a link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Most of these extreme examples have come from people who hold to Amil-Postmil-Preterist positions. Hence they also subscribe to Replacement Theology.

Note: I am not saying that RT is the cause of anti-Semitism or that all proponents are anti-Semitic.

But there have also been samplings from Futuristic Premillennialists who don't necessarily hold to RT. These FP examples have tended not to be as virulent as the former, though in some cases they are. However, I have detected an animus against modern Israel within some who identify as dispensational posttribulational and non-disp posttrib, even while not being overtly anti-Semitic. I have no idea why this should be so.

More recently one of these folk raised the Khazar Myth. I've come to the conclusion that no evidence will satisfy certain people. They want to believe what they want to believe. They can explain it all to the Lord one day. In response, watch Chris White's excellent rebuttal of that myth HERE.

Links addressing associated topics:

Blessing & Cursing Israel

Fake Modern Israel

An Unholy Tribulation Temple?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

God’s Devil

Dualism, that philosophical idea that says good and evil are two equal and eternal forces, is shown to be false in the Word of God in its very first verse. When the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), the words the heavens and the earth are a synonym for “all things.” In the beginning, God created all things; this includes the Devil. Although he is very powerful, Satan is ultimately a finite creature who is by no means a match for our Lord...keep reading

Excerpt:

That Satan is a creature means he is subject to the Lord, who uses him to fulfill His good purposes (Rom. 8:28). In the final analysis, the Devil is God’s Devil (to summarize Martin Luther) and never operates outside the Lord’s decree.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bereavement: Comfort in Grief

Below are links to two videos produced by Media Gratiae. The subject matter is bereavement and Andrew Bonar (Diary & Life). For a number of reasons it was happy providence that I came across Bonar's little biography by Banner of Truth.

I find this man's thoughts and life, very comforting and instructive. His book lives on my bedside table. If you've ever lost a spouse, loved one, or good friend, Bonar will comfort you.

Bereavement I: Comfort in Grief

Bereavement II: Lessons on Grief

See this as well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Is Seventh-Day Adventism a Cult?

By far the greatest hits I get on this blog is an article I wrote about Adventist Steve Wohlberg. In my experience as an admin on several prophecy related forums, young Adventists have had a significant presence. Seventh-day Adventism is still very popular.

Grace to You's Phil Johnson is an ex Adventist. He was recently interviewed re SDA HERE. And here's another link.

Spurgeon & Imminence

It's nice that Alan Kurschner occasionally reads this blog - not too many do. However, I want to make a few things clear. I don't consider myself to be a typical pretrib blogger. For example, I don't believe the rapture was always imminent, and I don't think any rapture position is iron clad, including pretribulationism.

But regarding Charles Spurgeon's position and my article(s) - please do note the title, Spurgeon – The Need for Living with an Imminent Mindset. Spurgeon was no pretribber.

It's obvious Spurgeon was a posttribulationist and an historicist. And for the record, while I think Renald Showers made some good points about imminence, I don't subscribe to all of them.

The reason for citing Spurgeon was that he (and many others) saw the value in living as if Christ could come at any moment. That was the point. I attend a church which is neither premil or pretrib, yet it stresses the value of living with an imminent mindset.

The exercise was a response to Kurschner's proposition that because of human nature imminency does not generate urgency. Well, according to Spurgeon (and many others) it should.