Friday, August 27, 2021

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Hermeneutics of George E Ladd

The following is an older article by Mike Vlach on Ladd's hermenutics. 

As I continue my discussion on Historic Premillennialism (HP), I want to focus my thoughts on the hermeneutics of HP’s #1 defender in the 20th century—George Ladd. Specifically, I want to address Ladd’s views on how the New Testament (NT) uses the Old Testament (OT). Since Ladd is often looked to as a primary leader of HP, his views on hermeneutics should be examined to help us understand HP or at least modern expressions of HP...keep reading

Long Addendum:

Someone left a comment taking issue as to whether Ladd was really Classic Historic Premil (HP). They referred me to an article on Lynda's blog HERE

Over the years I've noted that many futuristic premil posttribulationists identify as HP or Classic HP. Some of them have been from the prewrath camp (PW). One case in point is the Orange Mailman who challenged Mike Vlach's position on Ladd. See HERE and do a search on Mike's blog

I assume identifying as HP may be a rapture timing thing; an appeal to historic legitimacy - dispensationalism and the pretrib rapture being "new ideas." Ladd's "The Blessed Hope" has been recommended reading within the posttrib and prewrath community. Yet George Ladd differed in various ways to current futuristic premil thinking, aside from his hermeneutics and views on Israel. 

But, in fact, Craig Blomberg (HP) regarded Ladd as a scholar who overshadowed the rest. I disagree with Blomberg's views on Israel and dispensationalism (and his use of NT over the OT) and addressed some of this HERE. Sadly a few links no longer work. This is what I noted at the time,

Dr Blomberg chides outright replacement theology by pointing to sufficient OT evidence indicating that national Israel has some future in the Millennium. He even points out that RT has led to anti-Semitism. This is an important admission which I’ll explore in a later post. He affirms that George Ladd is a scholar who overshadows the rest and, like Dr Ladd, he fails to see a necessity for either a Temple, or national Israel in Palestine prior to the Millennium. He punctuates that point several times.

The question arises - what defines Historic Premillennialism or Classic Historic Premil? 

In my understanding many CHPs (the Bonars, Spurgeon etc) were at least partial historicists. They were informed by their Covenant Theology and this affected their hermeneutics. For more on CT and its hermeneutics see the book "Forsaking Israel."

From some of Spurgeon's comments it's evident he viewed the church as Spiritual Israel even though he saw a future redemption of ethnic Israel. These older HPs regularly applied OT texts addressing Israel, to the church. Was this for the sake of sermon lessons or did they see Israel as the OT church? Did they see the Jews one day becoming a part of True Spiritual Israel (the Church including saved Gentiles)? I suspect so. 

In conclusion, that George E. Ladd was HP is unavoidable in my opinion. I also wonder what he thought preparation for death, martyrdom, Antichrist etc actually looked like, aside from his opposition to pretribulationism.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Current Issues in Soteriology

The International Society for Biblical Hermeneutics (ISBH) has produced a book called Current Issues in Soteriology. It is also available for free in different formats. Get it on PDF HERE.

The dispensational writers take a contra non Lordship Salvation position. I repeat here what I've said before; the controversy and the arguments on both sides are somewhat above my pay grade. Even so, I've spent enough time on this issue to have reservations about some of what has been said against LS (and its defenders) at times. I've previously touched upon the subject HERE.

To be fair I've only spent a couple of hours or so going through this particular Soteriology document, looking at specific issues. Perhaps in the future (if I get the time and find the inclination) I'll make some further comments below this post. 


This conclusion at the end of one of the essays worried me,

This paper has sought to follow the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation of John’s Gospel with respect to the condition of belief in Jesus Christ for eternal life. When key salvation verses in the book are interpreted contextually, coupled with a correct understanding of Greek grammar, the conclusion is clear that the requirement for everlasting life is a single moment of faith in Jesus Christ rather than continual belief

This conclusion leads to two important spiritual applications. First, this conclusion leads to greater personal assurance of one’s salvation. Rather than assurance waiting until one has faithfully persevered to the end of life, assurance may be possessed immediately at the moment of initial faith. Second, our evangelistic message is affected in the sense that the condition of eternal salvation will simply be faith in Christ, rather than faithfulness to Christ. As a result, the focus of our message will be on the proper object of faith, Jesus Christ and His finished work, rather than a person’s subjective faithfulness and perseverance. (Emphasis mine)

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:19 (see also 1 John 3:7-9, 2 Pet 1:10, Heb 3:12)

I could find nowhere in the document where these verses (and others) were addressed or discussed. Do all the contributors hold to this position? I hope not.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

New Ryrie Library

There's a new online Charles Ryrie resource website...Click Here

Friday, August 13, 2021

Tribulation Beginnings - Daniel's 70 Weeks

A study by Stan Feldsine. 

Daniel understood that Judah's captivity was decreed to last 70 years. God had commanded Israel to give their land a Sabbath, meaning that every 7th year, the land was to lie fallow...keep reading