Wednesday, October 27, 2021

David Guzik on Pretribulationism

I've always regarded Guzik as a clear thinker.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Interpreting the End Times

Follow Dr. Henebury's series on the Telos Ministries YouTube Channel. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Christianity or Critical Theory?

From TableTalk,

Throughout history, the church has found itself at the crossroads of the sacred and the secular, where competing voices would lead us in different directions. The recent surge of interest in varying aspects of critical theory has forced many church leaders and members to make active decisions as to how, or to what extent, to engage with these issues. The purpose of this article is to interact with critical theory from a Reformed, Christian perspective, particularly wrestling with the question of whether the two systems are compatible. This will be done in five steps. First, the importance of the subject will be addressed. Second, an overview of the origin and history of critical theory will be given. Third, the worldview of critical theory will be examined. Fourth, a critique of critical theory from a biblical and theological point of view will be offered. Finally, some practical ways the church can engage the issues critical theory has raised from an unapologetically Christian point of view will be proposed...keep reading

Friday, October 8, 2021

Bifurcating the Parousia

This one is a repost. See also HERE. Essentially, if "apokalupsis" indicates One Future Parousia of Christ, how does the prewrath view explain its multi-phase system? And why could it not then be allowed in a pretrib "dual-phase" future coming of Christ? 

During a fairly recent protracted (often frustrating) exchange on Facebook someone commented that pretribbers "bifurcate the singular future Parousia of Christ into two events," among other grievances. It came from a proponent of the prewrath rapture view.

Years ago I met a zealous blogger (O) who was proficient at reciting what I call the Prewrath Catechism. This person's testimony attributed their conversion to Rosenthal's book, and a pastor. O recommended Van Kampen's The Rapture Question Answered & The Sign, and also challenged the pretrib "two-stage" coming of Christ.

I responded that if the Great Multitude was the raptured church worshiping Christ in heaven, then O's system also has a dual-phase aspect. O countered that Christ remained in the atmosphere above earth. This response wasn't exactly a Plain & Simple or Face-Value understanding of Rev Chapter 7. Perhaps Rosenthal's vagueness regarding the Parousia wasn't helpful. He wrote that: "Not once does the Bible speak of two comings..." O was just going by his book.

To this day I see two-stage charges from this camp. I've cited examples in previous posts. Here's one example from a Van Kampen dedicated site:
...pretribulationism sees two separate parousias (comings) of Christ, one when He comes "for His Church" and the second, when He comes "with His Church," a grammatical position with not one verse of substantiation or explanation...
"Before God's Wrath" author Heidi L. Nigro also took issue with pretrib's "two-stage" HERE. This was her novel response to Renald Showers' prewrath-multiple-comings critique:
First of all, Jesus may have the ability to be in more than one place at once. Second, God and heaven exist outside of time as we know it, so one moment of earthly time can be all the time Jesus needs in heaven to judge a billion or more saints, and have a wonderful wedding celebration. While I hold to the multi-phase view, the single-phase view is no problem either. (Emphasis mine)
Prewrathers look to Matt 24:30 as Christ's coming with a "continuous presence." Like Classic Premil Posttribulationists, they want to affirm a Single Future Coming of Christ. Their problem is the "shortened great tribulation" (Matt 24:22) and how it ties in with the rapture, Rev 7 and Rev 19. They must keep Matt 24:30-31 and Rev 19:11 somehow distinct - but still united - where the latter isn't the beginning of Christ's coming, yet an integral part of it. Got all that?

The system also allows for Christ's return to heaven and then two or three more comings to earth, depending on how you interpret Van Kampen's The Sign. Some of these comings are secret in the sense that they're not located in any texts. They are deduced. See Charles Cooper's rather paradoxical Parousia article.

According to Renald Showers' prewrath analysis citing The Sign, there are four future second coming events (page 83 of Showers' book):

1) The rapture between the 6th & 7th seals, then Christ returns to heaven
2) After the end of the 70th Week to save-gather Israel, then back to heaven
3) After the 7th bowl judgment to defeat Antichrist, then back to heaven to deliver the kingdom to God
4) Then Christ returns permanently to rule the earth

Is this a single continuous presence, or actually four separate parousias? If we apply the same criteria PW insists for pretrib, then it must be the latter! Is it a Greek grammar issue, or something else? No wonder many proponents are in denial when initially confronted with this data (at least in my experience). It isn't in the charts, and neither is it clearly articulated in the books. They inevitably default to the Christ-is-continually-present position.

Eric Douma rightly said that: "There is a logical fallacy in attempting to maintain that Jesus can come bodily in the Parousia, and then somehow be continually present – without being present bodily."

There must be some sort of cognitive dissonance at work when you militantly criticize another position's "two-stage" second coming, yet hold to several event comings and goings under the innovative banner of a Continuous Parousia. For instance, see This Example. PW proponents need to take a close hard look at their own systems before using phrases such as "false pretrib dichotomy" in context to the difference between the rapture and Second Advent.

Note that the idea of an extended-parousia-program isn't allowed for the pretrib model. Not even theoretically. There aren't any grounds for this stance other than the desire to tenaciously hold onto as many criticisms of pretrib as possible. While these people entertain one or two coming events of Christ not mentioned in Scripture, they cannot allow an extended coming by Christ for His church before Matt 24:31.

This is echo-chamber mentality. It convinces no one except those who have bought into the PW view.

Dr Reluctant - The Rapture

Darrel Cline's lengthy review of The Rapture Question Answered

(I disagree with Cline's position on the 1st seal)