During the round-table discussion phase of the Reno, Nevada, Symposium on the Book of Revelation, each of us was asked what there is about the two competing positions that we say is a positive feature. When premillennialist Jim Hamilton was asked about preterism, you could tell he had a hard time coming up with something […]
At the February 23, 2013 Symposium on Revelation, premillennialist Jim Hamilton (Hamilton) took issue with my argument that the phrase “this generation” refers to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking. During the critique session, Hamilton argued that “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 and elsewhere in the gospels means a “type of generation” rather than […]
Bill O’Reilly stepped in it the other day when he called those in opposition to homosexual marriage and who use the Bible to make their case “Bible Thumpers.” This is hardly the case, but it passes for good TV. O’Reilly is as familiar with the Bible as the New York Times reporter who wrote, “Easter […]
Traditional Marriage is a union between a man and a woman at the most intimate level. It’s Traditional Marriage not because a group of people decided to make it so. It’s traditional marriage because God made it so and made men and women biologically suitable that makes it so. The two become “one flesh” (Gen. […]
On February 23, I participated in a Symposium on the book of Revelation in Reno, Nevada (you can find supplemental study material here), with Dr. James M. Hamilton, Jr. Dr. Hamilton is the author of Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. He serves as Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He […]
Ripping a verse out of context in the book of Revelation is standard fare for a lot of Christians. They look at events in the world around us, then go to the Bible and pull out a prophecy that they can make fit and call it fulfillment of Bible prophecy. In order to accurately interpret […]
American Vision received an email from a Christian who claims that it is unloving to condemn the homosexual lifestyle. His arguments are based on faulty science, bad logic, and a misreading of the Bible. His comments are in bold, my comments follow:
Part of the problem in interpreting the Bible is that while it has the marks of ordinary writing, it is much more than literature. Jesus sat down with His disciples after His resurrection and poured over the OT to showed them how all of the books – designated as “Scripture” or “the Scriptures” – applied to Him (Luke 24). We have to assume that the book of Job was included in the survey. In what way is the book of Job a sign post that points to Jesus Christ? I believe it’s found in the use of “sons of God” (Job 1:6; 2:1). Many commentaries have posited that “sons of God” is a reference to angels rather than human beings.
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
I’m beginning to see that prophetic speculation is taking place on the fringes of the Christian publishing industry. Of course, you will still find the occasional prophetic pot-boiler. Mark Hitchcock writes a couple of prophecy books a year. They are mostly exercises in “newspaper exegesis,” driven more by current events than the Bible. Consider these three, all to be published in 2009: The Late Great United States (Multnomah), 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World (Harvest House), and Cashless: Bible Prophecy, Economic Chaos, and the Future Financial Order (Harvest House). How do you go from The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey’s mega-best seller from the 1970s, to the end of America? It seems to me that The Late Great Planet Earth would have included the United States. Anyone familiar with Lindsey’s timetable will remember that it was all to happen before 1988. Of course, these publishers are counting on people not remembering or not even knowing of past failed predictions. As P.T. Barnum is reportedly to have said (it was actually David Hannum), “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and these suckers make money for companies that continue to publish out-of-date prophecy books that end up being an embarrassment to the Christian faith.
Ken Ham, who believes in a literal six-day creation that happened around 6,000 years ago, says the church opened a door for the exodus of youth, beginning in the 19th century, when it began teaching that “the age of the Earth is not an issue as long as you trust in Jesus and believe in the resurrection and the Gospel accounts.” Ham concedes that “salvation is not conditioned on what you believe about the age of the Earth and the six days of creation.” He admits that there “are many who believe in millions of years and are Christians.” Even so, the Genesis issue does matter, he argues, “because salvation does rise or fall on the authority of Scripture. The message of the Gospel comes from these words of Scripture.” But Christian old-earth advocates believe in the authority and integrity of the Bible as much as young-earth advocates do. By their own admission, young-earthers note that a number of well respected theologians and scholars did not and do not believe in a young earth. Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) had this to say about the age of the earth.
In the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew, we begin to see a very familiar scene unfold. The trials and crucifixion of Jesus should not be read in isolation from the rest of Scripture. Although the events of the crucifixion are unique, they are actually fulfillments of many prior events from Israel’s long history contained in the Old Testament. Theologians refer to events and people that foreshadow – or point to – other events and people as “types.” The fulfillment – or reality – of the type is referred to as the “antitype.” The Bible is loaded with these types and antitypes, and almost every type finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The events of the crucifixion are especially filled with antitypes, as we shall see in this passage.
Neither the Framers nor the Ratifiers of our Constitution wanted to make the new national government a democracy. They were, overwhelmingly, republican, not “democratic,” political thinkers. And with plenty of good reasons, for they were not ignorant of the Bible, the nature of man, or the performance of various kinds of civil government in history. Strictly speaking, democracy is a form of civil government ruled directly by the votes of a majority. Democracy is based on the notion that all men are equal.
What is so troubling about Christian involvement in politics? Christians like John MacArthur, Cal Thomas, and Ed Dobson have written on the subject. MacArthur’s Why Government Can’t Save You includes the following subtitle: An Alternative to Political Activism. While MacArthur does not "believe we should remove ourselves from the political process," he does object to "the prevailing mindset that makes political and social activism the primary business of Christianity and reduces faith in Christ to just another political force."
On January 30, 2009 Joel McDurmon posted an article on the American Vision website regarding his attendance at my debate with Bart Ehrman on January 21 that was held at the Airport Sheraton in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to specific statements that appeared in that article.
I was riding my bicycle up South Mountain, a 7 mile long ascent with portions hitting a 12% grade. I was listening to an interview on Issues Etc., and the guest was Bart Ehrman. Ehrman had burst onto the textual critical scene with his 1993 work, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. His new book, Misquoting Jesus, was a popularization of much of what was in the earlier, scholarly work, along with general information about the history of textual criticism, interwoven with Ehrman’s conclusions.
Throughout church history, the difficulty of comprehending the infinite and finite has played itself out in many ways, just as it has in philosophy.