Saturday, March 18, 2023

Artificial Intelligence & Ouija Boards

Funnily enough, I've been thinking about the correlation between AI and Ouija. Alcasan's Head in That Hideous Strength also comes to mind. 

Lewis Ungit asks some intriguing questions:

A group of my friends sat in the dark candle-lit room with their fingers on the Ouija Board planchette. The creepy attic setting heightened the tingle of fear I think we all shared as they tried to conjure a spirit. Disturbing answers followed. Was there a spirit in the room? The board said, yes. Was it a good spirit or a bad spirit? The spirit said bad. After a few more questions like that, one of the girls got freaked out, turned on the lights, and the experience was over. Later, we debated if one of the kids was intentionally guiding the planchette or not. The materialist in me concluded that it had to be the case. But today, I wonder. It is certainly possible that it was one of the kids guiding it. But I am also much more open to the idea that other entities interact with our world. And I am much more disturbed by the idea of a group of kids in a candle lit attic trying to contact them...continue reading

Addendum: For more related topics see the interview Lewis Ungit - Psychedelics and the Bible

Also his blog.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Revelation Chapter Six

E. W. Bullinger held that the opening of the sixth seal is a summary, not chronological. He said the seal carries through to the end. You can read his Commentary on Revelation HERE

Darrel Cline seems to agree. In The Rapture is When? he writes,

The difference between Jesus' words in Matthew 24 and Jesus' revelation of the sixth seal is that the event described in Matthew 24 is a presentation of the coming of Jesus from heaven to earth to gather the nation of Israel to her promised land (Deuteronomy 30:4) from one end of heaven to the other, while the revelation of the sixth seal is a large overview of the entire scenario of Daniel's seventieth week by use of the concept of "inclusio". This concept is one in which a writer takes a "front-end issue" and links it to a "back-end issue" so that it represents the entire unit.

For a few years I've been leaning heavily that way too. In any case, I thought the Commentary on Revelation Chapter Six by Precept Austin was pretty neat, although it maintains the traditional view. Find it HERE

PS Related Passages and Themes

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Olive Tree Metaphor

Another great article by Dr. Reluctant.

Some passages of Scripture have suffered under the myosis of its interpreters more than most. At the forefront of these abused passages is surely Romans 11:16-29. For sure, there is a bit of deciphering of Paul’s language to do, but all in all I think the apostle’s thrust is easy to grasp. The problem with so many interpretations of the verses, especially by those who like to employ the NT to interpret the OT, is that they tend to read their theology into the passage while ignoring the details...continue reading

Monday, March 6, 2023

Vern Poythress: Spiritual Warfare

For various reasons I won't go into here, I found the following three presentations by Dr. Poythress surprisingly helpful.

Part One) Great Texts About Preaching

Part Two) Spiritual Warfare

Part Three) Spiritual Warfare

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

About “Deep in History”

What does “Deep in History” Really Mean? An interesting article by Matt Ferris.  


Many have said that reading the early church fathers will “make you a Catholic” or something similar. But, reading Thomas Torrance’s assessment of the fathers actually strengthened my commitment to the Scriptures alone as the only ground of authority. Torrance’s book (his doctoral dissertation) The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers is a survey of several sub-apostolic writings for how they deal with the concept of grace vis-à-vis the New Testament..continue reading

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Biblical Covenantalism: Overview of the Course & Book of Revelation

I'm on board with Dr. Henebury's position on the flexibility of the term "The Day of the Lord," and when the 6th seal of Revelation occurs. It makes sense to me. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023

Revival Conference 2021

With all the talk about whether Asbury is a true work of God or not, I thought posting this playlist might be helpful to any interested.

Watch the Conference HERE

Read my Zeteo 3:16 article HERE

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Rapture Explicitly Posttrib?

Is a posttribulational rapture explicitly taught in Scripture? A participant in a Facebook group discussion has cited two statements made by John Walvoord: 

1) "The fact is that neither pretribulationism and posttribulationism is an explicit teaching of Scripture. The Bible does not in so many words state either."

2) "Both pretribulationists and posttribulationists are confronted with the fact that the Scripture does not expressly state either view."

Then this individual claims that Walvoord's statement is only partially true:

"It is A FACT that pretribulationism is not an EXPLICIT teaching of Scripture. However, it is a FACT that the Scripture teaches a rapture AFTER the tribulation." (All capitalization his)

The idea of posttrib explicitness is based on his assumption regarding the "context" of the Mathew 24 Olivet Discourse. But what does this alleged rapture passage actually say?

And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mat 24:31

This person's expectation (among other things) is that the gathering is the rapture, and that the elect is the church. His "context" is derived from superimposing a prewrath-posttrib assumption onto the text. One might just as easily (even more so) make a case that this passage refers to Israel's final gathering. 

Given this, John Walvoord was right: neither posttrib nor pretrib is explicit in Matt 24.  

For more see a previous post: Conclusion to Messiah's Lecture on Israel

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

On the Asbury Revival

Read Denny Burk's thoughts HERE. See especially the points on Scripture evidences of a work of the Spirit. 

And Alisa Childers....

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Postmillennial Vendetta Against Dispensationalism

From Peter Goeman...

Many postmillennialists spurn dispensationalism because they view dispensationalism as standing in the way of cultural reformation. As a case in point, here is a recent comment that up-and-coming postmillennialist, Joel Webbon, posted about the need for Christian involvement in artificial intelligence. Although the tweet was about Christians leading in innovation, Webbon somehow managed to work in his dislike for dispensationalism...continue reading

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Calvinism and the Antichrist

The new Left Behind movie has drawn a few comments from non-pretrib folk. I recall one popular activist some years ago spouting that pastors are negligent if they don't prepare their flock for "Antichrist's Great Tribulation."

More recently a five-point Calvinist borrowed from Pascal's Wager, remarking that if his view was wrong pretribs are OK. But if they do face the Antichrist, many could become susceptible to apostasy and lose everything.

I presume losing everything means becoming unsaved. How does Calvinism (TULIP) operate in concert with that concept?

For a brief rundown on Calvinism's TULIP system, see Got Questions' article: What is a Calvinist? Calvinist R. C. Sproul answers the question: Can a Christian Lose their Salvation? Read the Got Questions Version. See also The Threat of Apostasy and this on Hebrews 6. Note Paul Henebury's comment on the latter, and find his commentary on Hebrews HERE.

So the non-pretrib Calvinist evangelist must say something odd like this: 

"O, and by the way; you're predestined and eternally saved and can't lose your salvation; but you better prepare for the Antichrist or risk losing it (apostasy)."

The OSAS opponent might say: 

"You better prepare for the "Antichrist's Tribulation" or you'll (somehow) get confused after not being raptured and possibly take the Mark of the Beast, and lose your salvation."

I've asked how they prepare. It surely can't be that they merely expect to face the Antichrist. The lengthy equivocations never answer the question directly. They don't target postmils and amils, so one assumes these groups are somehow naturally prepared.

Both examples are self-exulting, divisive postures that seek to justify activist behavior and various non-pretrib ministries.

John Murray wrote,

If we prize our life (that is, our natural life) more than Christ's honor and will compromise his truth and glory rather than part with life, then we are not Christ's. That's the simple issue. We're not his if we will compromise truth and justice and honor in order to preserve our life in expense of God's glory. (The Cost of Discipleship)

The question ought to be: have you truly placed your faith in Christ now? Examine yourself. He is the One who keeps you.

Perseverance: Jesus will not lose any who have been given to him by the Father (John 6:38-39); he gives eternal life to them so they will never perish (John 3:16; 10:27-28), and those who leave the faith were never believers to begin with (1 John 2:19).

Additional thoughts

If you're a genuine Calvinist, you understand that God is sovereign in salvation. If that's the case, God is also the one who keeps a believer. For more on this see John MacArthur's "Ashamed of the Gospel," especially the chapter called "The Sovereignty of God in Salvation." See also J. I. Packer's "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God." 

God is sovereign in electing and preserving. No one can stand in their own preparation. The non-pretrib Calvinist's warning is disingenuous. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Interview: "The Procedure (Abortion)" with Kevin Sorbo and Laura Klassen

Watch The Procedure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Begg-ing the Eschatological Question

Keep in mind that I appreciate Alistair Begg and attend Parkside Church. 

A Challenge to the Pre-Trib Rapture? (Pt. 1)

From Dr. Reluctant...

I have received the following objection to the Pre-Trib Rapture from a brother named Jerry Parks. Jerry is a good man who blogs here. He states his argument thus (I have brought together his main assertions from several comments etc.)...continue reading

It was posted in a Facebook Group where a couple of prewrath adherents responded. Some of the comments are TLDR (too long, didn't read); but I skimmed through a few. Perhaps after Paul finishes I'll add my 2 cents. For the record, I rarely engage there as I find the debates go in endless circles.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What is Theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism?

In this episode, we introduce the concept of Theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism. Theonomy and postmillennialism have been popularized by individuals like Jeff Durbin, Gary DeMar, and Doug Wilson. This episode talks about what it is, and where it came from.

Elizabeth Johnson - A life well lived

Elizabeth Johnson: July 13, 1976 ~ January 2, 2023 (age 46)

Elizabeth was a member of Parkside Church (which I attend). Sadly, I never had the privilege of meeting her. While the links are live, take the time to read her obituary (which he wrote) and watch the Parkside service. I was humbled at how she mirrored God's grace and praised Him. She ended her obituary with this,

Thank you for supporting Rusty [husband], Marita, Ané, and Gavin [children]. If I can have one last wish it will be this…believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not harden your heart. Do not wait for tomorrow.  He is your only way to Heaven. He loves you and made a way for you to know Him.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Using Lament to Form Hearts of Trust: Scott Aniol

One of the most important purposes of the psalms in our lives is that they help us deal with the reality of the ungodliness that surrounds us in a sin-cursed world. This kind of adversity characterized most of David’s life. Consider how he describes it in Psalm 86:14...continue reading

Monday, January 23, 2023

Learning About Evangelical Zionism

Some time ago, Perry Trotter put together a series of seven short videos (transcripts available) addressing Evangelical Zionism. They are highly recommended viewing. See HERE and HERE. More to follow soon....

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Biblical Covenantalism : Church, Rapture, Antichrist

Another excellent clarifying presentation from Paul Henebury.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Polishing Brass on a Sinking Ship: Scott Aniol

A long article by Scott Aniol. I've seen a few emotional hits on dispensationalism by postmils. Postmillennialism appears to be on the rise on social media and a few are becoming more vocal. What I don't often see is thorough biblical engagement by them. Do the charges hold water?

Dispensational premillenialists have long been charged with cultural retreat, characterized by J. Vernon McGee’s infamous question to his radio audience, “Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?”

This paper will show that, despite the rhetorical extremes of some dispensationalists, dispensational premillenialism does not necessitate withdrawal from cultural engagement; rather, it actually provides a theological basis for equipping Christians as they are active in society. After exploring the underlying rationale for common portrayals of traditional dispensationalism as culturally impotent and briefly summarizing the alternative evangelical philosophy of cultural transformationalism, the paper will present a traditional dispensational philosophy of the church and cultural engagement along four lines...continue reading

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Genesis: no room for theistic evolution

I'm thrilled that C.M.I. has finally reviewed this important book.

Cornelis Van Dam’s In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2 is an exegetical tour de force of the opening chapters of Genesis that combines a careful listening to the text with a thorough examination of recent scholarly developments that would seek to reconcile the creation account with modern evolutionary theory (p. 9). The author notes that due to “the enormous prestige enjoyed by science and its championing the theory of evolution … the previous several decades have seen a remarkable momentum toward the acceptance of theistic evolution in theologically conservative circles” (p. 2)...continue reading

Get it HERE

Monday, January 16, 2023

Varieties of Atheism : The Theology Pugcast

"Drawing from John Gray’s book: Seven Types of Atheism." 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Friday, January 6, 2023

Systems of Interpretation

"A Testimony of Jesus Christ" is a fantastic commentary on Revelation by Tony Garland. I think it easily stands beside Thomas' work. I got a lot out of the section discussing Systems of Interpretation. Read it HERE.

Incidentally, Tony is also working on a commentary of Daniel.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Ten Quotes from H.G. Wells (The Open Conspiracy)

 Article by Carl Teichrib (author of Game of Gods). 

H.G. Wells was one of the most influential visionaries of the early twentieth century. His many books, both fiction and non-fiction, inspired multitudes of men and women who, like Wells, looked to a “World State” as the savior of humanity. Although he wrote often of an international order, Mr. Wells’ optimism for the future waned due to the destruction of World War II. Nevertheless, his desire for an “Open Conspiracy” – a movement of organizations and people seeking the establishment of a world collective – was forefront in his thinking.

Here are ten quotes from Wells...continue reading

Excerpt: 6. “The world needs something stronger than any possible rebellion against its peace. In other words it needs a federal world government embodying a new conception of human life as one whole.” – Wells, The Outline of History, Volume III – Modern History (Triangle Books, 1940 edition), p.1170.