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Why Dispensationalists Can't Argue for a Young Earth and a Global Flood
American Vision ^ | 1/16/2007 | Gary DeMar

Posted on 06/07/2007 11:23:25 AM PDT by topcat54

Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, devotes a chapter to the subject of eschatology in his book The Evolution-Creation Struggle.1 He believes that the interpretive methodology of dispensational premillennialism is inexorably linked to the way its advocates defend their position on creation. Ruse isn’t the first to point this out. I’ve been making the same claim for years. It’s about to catch up with young-earth/global flood creationsists.

Consider the following comments on Matthew 24:34 from Henry M. Morris, a dispensationalist and a founding father of the modern-day creationist movement. The following comments on “this generation” come from his creationist themed Defender’s Study Bible which was first published in 1995: “ The word ‘this’ is the demonstrative adjective and could better be translated ‘that generation.’ That is, the generation which sees all these signs (probably starting with World War I) shall not have completely passed away until all these things have taken place” (1045). Morris describes the use of “this” as a “demonstrative adjective,” but it is better designated as a “near demonstrative” adjective identifying what generation will see the signs. In Greek and English, the near demonstrative (this) is contrasted with the distant demonstrative (that). Greek language specialists make this very point:

Greek grammars and lexicons recognize two demonstratives: near and distant. The near demonstrative, as the name denotes, points to someone or something “near,” in close proximity. They appear as the singular word “this” and its plural “these.” The distant demonstratives, as their name suggests, appear as “that” (singular), or “those” (plural).2

The near demonstrative “this” always refers to something contemporary, as the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature makes clear: “[T]his, referring to something comparatively near at hand, just as ekeinos [that] refers to something comparatively farther away.”3 Prior to his comments in his Defender’s Study Bible, Morris wrote the following extended comments on Matthew 24:34 in his Creation and the Second Coming :

In this striking prophecy, the words “this generation” has the emphasis of “that generation.” That is, that generation—the one that sees the specific signs of His coming—will not completely pass away until He has returned to reign as King.4 Now if the first sign was, as we have surmised, the first World War, then followed by all His other signs, His coming must indeed by very near5—even at the doors! There are only a few people still living from that6 generation. I myself was born just a month before the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Those who were old enough really to know about that first World War—“the beginning of sorrows”—would be at least in their eighties now. Thus, we cannot be dogmatic, we could very well now be living in the very last days before the return of the Lord.”7

Matthew 24:33 tells us what audience Jesus had in view: “so, you too, when YOU see all THESE things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” It is obvious, and without any need for debate, that the first “you” refers to those who asked the questions that led to Jesus’ extended remarks (Matt. 24:2–4). Jesus identifies those who will “see all these things” by once again using “you.” If Jesus had a future generation in mind, He could have eliminated all confusion by saying, “even so THEY too, when THEY see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, THAT generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Instead, Henry Morris and others have to massage the text to support a future tribulation period.8

Then there is the problem of the way Morris understands the meaning of “last days” in the notes found in his Defender’s Study Bible. He states that “this ‘last days’ prophecy of Joel was fulfilled at Pentecost only in a precursive sense” (1179). Even though Peter says that the events at Pentecost are a fulfillment of what Joel predicted (Joel 2:28–32)—“this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” Acts 2:17)—Morris argues that “its complete fulfillment must await the time of the end. . . . Thus Peter’s statement: ‘This is that’ (Acts 2:16) should be understood in the sense of ‘This is like that’” (1179).9 What implications does this have for the young earth-global flood interpretive methodology that is defended by dispensationalists as the most literal interpretation of the Bible?

Ruse demonstrates that evolutionists are beginning to pay attention to the hermeneutical model used by young earth-global flood creationists and how inconsistent they are in their interpretive methodology. How will we ever convince skeptics of the truthfulness of the Bible when it is distorted to defend interpretations where “this” means “that,” and “this is that” actually means “this is like that”? An evolutionist like Ruse may rightly argue that if Morris can make “this generation,” with its obvious first-century meaning, “have the emphasis” of “that generation” (distant future), then why can’t the time element of Genesis 1 (the use of yom= a 24-hour day) “have the emphasis” of long ages of time? Maybe the days of Genesis 1 are just like 24-hour days, given dispensational hermeneutics. If time indicators in the NT are not interpreted literally, then why must they be interpreted literally in the OT? The dispensationalists have a big problem on their hands, and so do the creationist ministries that tolerate their eschatological hermeneutic.


1. Michael Ruse, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005). In the Acknowledgments, Ruse writes: “At a more personal level, I have gained much from the friendship, insights, writings, and criticisms of Ronald Numbers [author of The Creationists] and David Livingstone [co-editor of Evolution, Science, and Scripture]. They showed me that my story would be radically incomplete without sensitivity to the significance of millennial thinking” (319).

2. Cullen I K Story and J. Lyle Story, Greek To Me: Learning New Testament Greek Through Memory Visualization (New York: Harper, 1979), 74. “Sometimes it is desired to call attention with special emphasis to a designated object, whether in the physical vicinity or the speaker or the literary context of the writer. For this purpose the demonstrative construction is used. . . . For that which is relatively near in actuality or thought the immediate demonstrative [houtos] is used. . . . For that which is relatively distant in actuality or thought the remote demonstrative [ekeinos] is used.” (H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament [New York; Macmillan, 1957], 127–128, sec. 136).

3. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 4 th ed. (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1952), 600.

4. There is nothing in Matthew 24 that says Jesus is going to return to earth to reign as king.

5. Why does “near” mean “even at the doors” for Morris in the twentieth century, but it did not mean “near” in the first century?

6. Notice how Morris uses the far demonstrative “that” to refer to a generation in the past. How would he have described the generation in which he was living? Obviously with the near demonstrative “this” to distinguish it from “that” past generation.

7. Henry Morris, Creation and the Second Coming (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1991), 183. Morris died on February 25, 2006 at the age of 87.

8. The latest example is found in Tim Demy and Gary Stewart, 101 Most Puzzling Bible Verses: Insight into Frequently Misunderstood Scriptures (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2007), 105–106. There is no mention of the audience reference in Matthew 24:33, just that “The phrases ‘this generation’ and ‘these things’ are linked together by context and grammar in such a way that Jesus must be speaking of a future generation.” This tells us nothing without an actually discussion of the grammar and the audience reference.

9. Thomas Ice argues in a similar way: “But this is [like] that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” He tries to explain the addition of “like” by claiming that “The unique statement of Peter (‘this is that’) is in the language of comparison and similarity, not fulfillment.” (Thomas Ice, “Acts,” in Tim LaHaye, ed. Prophecy Study Bible [Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000], 1187).


Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author of more than 20 books.
Permission to reprint granted by American Vision P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460.


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: creationism; dispensationalism
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1 posted on 06/07/2007 11:23:28 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: ItsOurTimeNow; HarleyD; suzyjaruki; nobdysfool; jkl1122; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Reformed Eschatology Ping List (REPL)

"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)

2 posted on 06/07/2007 11:25:07 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54

Like most everything else from Gary DeMar, this article is undiluted nonsense.


3 posted on 06/07/2007 1:09:47 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Run Fred RUN!)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Agreed!


4 posted on 06/07/2007 3:10:38 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: topcat54; ears_to_hear; 1000 silverlings; Lee N. Field
How will we ever convince skeptics of the truthfulness of the Bible when it is distorted to defend interpretations where "this" means "that," and "this is that" actually means "this is like that"? An evolutionist like Ruse may rightly argue that if Morris can make "this generation," with its obvious first-century meaning, "have the emphasis" of "that generation" (distant future), then why can't the time element of Genesis 1 (the use of yom= a 24-hour day) "have the emphasis" of long ages of time? Maybe the days of Genesis 1 are just like 24-hour days, given dispensational hermeneutics. If time indicators in the NT are not interpreted literally, then why must they be interpreted literally in the OT? The dispensationalists have a big problem on their hands, and so do the creationist ministries that tolerate their eschatological hermeneutic.

Interesting article. Dispensationalists are reaping what they've sown.

5 posted on 06/07/2007 4:41:29 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: topcat54

This means that...Me means you...Black means white...

Ruined the Rapture and Pre-Millienialism on one word and someone’s opinion of what the ‘original’ Greek interpretation of that word is...

Sure, I’ll buy that...You got a bridge I can buy as well???


6 posted on 06/07/2007 4:59:25 PM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: topcat54
He believes that the interpretive methodology of dispensational premillennialism is inexorably linked to the way its advocates defend their position on creation.

Which is why his work is a pile of dung. Dispensational premillenialism is a natural result of the historical grammatical approach to biblical interpretation combined with proper theological method. What he is proposing as an explanation is incoherent.

7 posted on 06/07/2007 9:27:40 PM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

“…and without any need for debate”

Mr. DeMar should stop trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. He should study all of God’s word and try to understand that Our Lord also tells us in Matthew 24…“Take heed that no man deceive you”.


8 posted on 06/08/2007 3:18:44 AM PDT by secessionist
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To: dartuser
Dispensational premillenialism is a natural result of the historical grammatical approach to biblical interpretation combined with proper theological method.

Exactly. Gary DeMar has absolutely no foundation upon which to make his argument against dispensationalists (even ignoring the fact that his arguments about Greek demonstrative pronouns are not sound in the least). DeMar's eschatology, and Reformed eschatology in general, are based upon a completely figurative and exceptionalist approach to Biblical interpretation - in essence they twist the Scriptures to force them to fit into a historicist mold. The way DeMar and other anti-dispensationalists approach the Scriptures essentially turns the Word of God into a "choose-your-own-adventure" book like the ones we read as kids.

9 posted on 06/08/2007 5:15:01 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Run Fred RUN!)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; dartuser; secessionist; LiteKeeper; Dr. Eckleburg
Exactly. Gary DeMar has absolutely no foundation upon which to make his argument against dispensationalists

I see it's easier to throw stones than address the substanmce behind the charges. E.g.,

How will we ever convince skeptics of the truthfulness of the Bible when it is distorted to defend interpretations where "this" means "that," and "this is that" actually means "this is like that"?

Thus the true state of dispensationalism and it's fundational methodology is revealed.

10 posted on 06/08/2007 7:19:59 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
I see it's easier to throw stones than address the substanmce behind the charges.

You missed the point. The basic assertion of his work, a priori, is wrong. There is no need to dissect point 4 when point 1 is seriously flawed.

There is absolutely no basis in his assertion. He is making an argument by starting with a false premise. The interpretive framework for Dispensational premillenialism rests on its own merit, not on the perceived relationship to a theological position that some evolutionist doesnt support.

11 posted on 06/08/2007 7:50:54 AM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: dartuser
You missed the point.

No I didn't as evidenced by your non-response.

12 posted on 06/08/2007 8:00:47 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
It wasn't a non-response. I thought it was pretty cogent. A mathematician who recognizes a step 1 error in the "proof" of a theorem will not waste his time going through the other steps. He will look at his student and say "You have a big problem here in step 1, go fix it and come back when you have a solid proof."

The article clearly states the authors underlying belief ...

He believes that the interpretive methodology of dispensational premillennialism is inexorably linked to the way its advocates defend their position on creation.

My response was ...

Dispensational premillenialism is a natural result of the historical grammatical approach to biblical interpretation combined with proper theological method.

Whether all dispensational authors recognize the same approach is debatable. But it is theological method that separates dispensational from non-dispensational threology. Only dispensationalism is grounded in proper method. The reason why non-dispensational eschatology (i.e., Reformed) is a hogde-podge of uncoordinated results is its inability to deal with the OT. A dispensationalist develops a Biblical theology of the OT from the OT text. The non-dispensationalist develops a Biblical theology of the OT from a NT understanding of the OT text.

That is why a non-dispensationalist has no use for Israel, the millenium, an earthly kingdom of God ... everywhere you see the kingdom of God in the OT, you are thinking "Kingdom of God in the heart."

13 posted on 06/09/2007 6:52:55 AM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: dartuser
The reason why non-dispensational eschatology (i.e., Reformed) is a hogde-podge of uncoordinated results is its inability to deal with the OT.

One of the silliest statements I've seen in a while.

14 posted on 06/10/2007 10:21:46 AM PDT by Lee N. Field
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To: dartuser

“A dispensationalist develops a Biblical theology of the OT from the OT text. The non-dispensationalist develops a Biblical theology of the OT from a NT understanding of the OT text.”

You are absolutely correct. Because dispensationalists refuse to read the Bible in its whole unity they become confused and fail to see the unity of God’s purposes.


15 posted on 06/10/2007 10:36:33 AM PDT by the_conscience
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
I don't agree with the article either.

"This generation shall not pass" doesn't need to be turned into "That generation" to make sense. I read it as Christ saying, "This generation (in which all these things I'm speaking about will happen) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled".

16 posted on 06/10/2007 11:20:41 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: topcat54
Sheesh. The problem is easily solved by discarding the "new testament" (and its Greek language) altogether.

And as far as the "new testament's" claim that "this" is a fulfillment of "that," one has to first believe in the authority of the "new testament" before one accepts any of its claims. This means "proving" the claims by merely quoting them is an exercise in circular reasoning.

17 posted on 06/10/2007 12:59:30 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Vayehi kekhalloto ledabber 'et kol-hadevarim ha'elleh, vatibbaqa` ha'adamah 'asher tachteyhem.)
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To: dartuser
The non-dispensationalist develops a Biblical theology of the OT from a NT understanding of the OT text.

Mind telling me why you think it's a bad idea to pay attention to the way Jesus, Paul, the gospel writers, Peter, Jude, James and whoever it was who wrote Hebrews interpreted the Old Testament?

18 posted on 06/10/2007 2:30:37 PM PDT by Lee N. Field
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To: Lee N. Field
First, those strictly NT figures (which is precisely my point) didn't interpret the OT inconsistent with normal historical grammatical methods. Jesus read from Isaiah in the temple, closed the scroll, and stated "In your hearing this is fulfilled." The leaders got upset. Why? He was claiming, in himself, a literal fulfillment of the passage.

If you read the NT back into the OT, it is a trivial matter to impute to a passage a meaning that would not be gained from grammatical and historical associations. I.e., you can read into the passage whatever you want.

Instead of considering textual, grammatical, and historical factors as the primary instruments for interpretation, the non-dispensationalist considers theological factors of primary importance. The OT context is downplayed and gives way to the NT theological interpretation. I.e., by reading the NT back into the old, you minimize the OT background of the NT text ... and at the extremes dispense with it altogether.

By starting in the OT, the dispensationalist enhances and expands the NT understanding as he already has his Biblical theology of the OT in hand when he comes to the New. When you start in the New and read back into the Old, the tendency is to undo or replace the understanding that would have been had by constructing a true Biblical theology of the OT.

19 posted on 06/11/2007 8:04:02 AM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: topcat54

Gary DeMar should check out the website reformation.org, owned by Niall Kilkenny. That website promotes a young earth and a global flood, yet Niall Kilkenny is not a dispensationalist. She is a historicist.


20 posted on 08/05/2007 10:26:49 PM PDT by kevinw
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To: dartuser

IMHO, the article manifests the mindset of many “reformed” believers who attempt to find solace by rationalism, worldly club attendance, and adversarial attacks upon those who simply believe in God through faith in Christ who aren’t members of their club.

IMHO, insofar as we remain faithful to God through Christ, all we need to know is what is available in the younger earth interpretation. Likewise, we know His return is imminent, not immediate. Those pastors associated with dispensationalism come closer to grasping His Word from the work of the Holy Spirit, than those who attack ‘dispensationalism’.


21 posted on 08/06/2007 6:29:31 AM PDT by Cvengr (The violence of evil is met with the violence of righteousness, justice, love and grace.)
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To: topcat54
How will we ever convince skeptics of the truthfulness of the Bible...??

Since when did Christians like DeMar take it upon themselves to do the work of the Holy Spirit?

22 posted on 08/06/2007 6:42:28 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: topcat54
so you have a dispensationalist who says "this" means "that" and you have non-dispensationalist who say "all" doesn't mean "all". So it seems both camps play the same game.

JM
23 posted on 08/06/2007 6:44:30 AM PDT by JohnnyM
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

The shark deMar jumped is now a blip on the horizon in his rear-view mirror.


24 posted on 08/06/2007 6:48:54 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: P-Marlowe
Since when did Christians like DeMar take it upon themselves to do the work of the Holy Spirit?

So, in othe words, Christian apologists can speak as irrationally as their wish, and as long as we have the Holy Spirit they are off the hook. Curious position, but it explains a lot, esp. why dispensationalism is so popular. It matches the irrational times we live in

25 posted on 08/06/2007 7:18:18 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: JohnnyM
so you have a dispensationalist who says "this" means "that" and you have non-dispensationalist who say "all" doesn't mean "all". So it seems both camps play the same game.

It may look like a game to some. The difference is that plainly not every occurrence of "all" means literally "all", e.g., "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered." (Luke 2:1) Did Caesar really expect his lackeys to travel to what is modern Bolivia or Iceland to conduct the census? So, context helps us to understand the intent of the word

Which demonstrates why “this” means “that” is a forced explanation with no contextual support at all. And what happens when theologians allow their preconceptions about the text dictate what they think the text is saying.

26 posted on 08/06/2007 7:37:16 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
So, in othe words, Christian apologists can speak as irrationally as their wish, and as long as we have the Holy Spirit they are off the hook.

They will be judged in accordance with the knowledge and wisdom with which they have been entrusted.

Beyond that, as a Calvinist in the Tradition of Arminius, I would have to say... no harm, no foul.

Skeptics will not be excused at the judgment for failing to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit because some dispensationalist confused them. Nor is there anything any one of us can do to somehow use our own powers of persuasion to convince some skeptic of the truth of scripture.

God will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy and if he chooses to show mercy to some skeptic, then he will obviously convince that skeptic of the truth of scripture as part of the process.

FWIW there is nothing logical or reasonable about the gospel message. Skeptics do not need to point to the words of irrational dispensationalists to find a reason NOT to believe. They can point to the arguments of preterists and reconstructionists and replacementarianists as well. To the natural man all of this stuff is foolishness. You will be barking at the moon if you think that your version of eschatology is any more rational to a skeptic than that of the dispensationalists. They think we are all nuts and if you think you can convince them that you are not as nutty as a dispensationalist and therefore they should follow Christ because your gospel is more reasonable, then you are nuts.

We cannot convince the skeptic of the truth of the gospel. Only God can do that. And if God has determined to convince some skeptic of the fact, then there is nothing Tim Lahaye or Gary DeMar or topcat or Marlowe can possibly say that will dissuade them from that decision.

27 posted on 08/06/2007 9:06:08 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
They will be judged in accordance with the knowledge and wisdom with which they have been entrusted.

The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus placed equal emphasis on Spirit and Truth (John 4:23). God does not call his people to preach an irrational message. So, while it is true that no one will be convinced apart from the operation of the Spirit, it is equally true that God intends the message to be accurate and in accordance with the Word of God.

Your initial comment stand as a testament to irrationality in bringing the gospel message.

28 posted on 08/06/2007 9:43:05 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
Your initial comment stand as a testament to irrationality in bringing the gospel message.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

We can struggle to make it as rational as possible, but in the absence of the work of the Holy Spirit, we are not going to convince anyone that what we are preaching is anything other than nonsense.

People may try to use Henry Morris as an excuse not to believe in Christ, but that ain't gonna fly. Especially if we someday find out that Henry Morris was right.

29 posted on 08/06/2007 10:28:37 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

The foolishness is because of a defect in the hearers, not in the speakers. The gospel is quite rational to rational people. Unfortunately, the unsaved are by definition irrational. Thus the rational gospel is foolishness to their (dead) ears.

Let's not loose track of your initial suggestion.

Since when did Christians like DeMar take it upon themselves to do the work of the Holy Spirit?

By this statement you were clearly insinuating that gibberish could come out of ones mouth and they would be preaching the gospel according to the will of God, since all one needs to believe is the Holy Spirit.

The wise crack backfired.

30 posted on 08/06/2007 12:28:38 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
By this statement you were clearly insinuating that gibberish could come out of ones mouth and they would be preaching the gospel according to the will of God, since all one needs to believe is the Holy Spirit.

IIRC something like that happened on the day of Pentecost.

31 posted on 08/06/2007 12:54:30 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
IIRC something like that happened on the day of Pentecost.

When I wrote that I thought to myself, “He won’t bring up Pentecost, will he?”

In case you missed the details of the story, the men heard the Word preached in their own, known languages (Acts 2:6,11). They were not speaking heavenly gibberish.

32 posted on 08/06/2007 1:00:59 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
What happened at Pentecost was that men were preaching the gospel in a manner in which those hearing it could not naturally understand what was being communicated. The Holy Spirit miraculously made their incomprehensible language fully understandable to those to whom God had chosen to make it understandable.

It is not the power of the preacher or even the eloquence of the message that will bring a skeptic to understanding, but the power of God's word and the moving of the Holy Spirit.

You act as if Henry Morris, by contending for the truth of the flood, is somehow going to be responsible for some skeptic going to hell because he didn't believe Henry Morris. Well that ain't gonna happen. If that skeptic wants to use Henry Morris as an excuse for not believing the Bible, then that skeptic will have nobody but himself to blame when he stands before God on Judgment day.

Personally while I am open to just about any interpretation of the creation, I tend to believe that since the creation was a miracle and since God affirmed in Exodus Chapter 20 that he created the heavens and the earth in six days, that, in fact, God created the heavens and earth and all that in them is in 6 days.

You got a problem with that?

33 posted on 08/06/2007 2:37:00 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
What happened at Pentecost was that men were preaching the gospel in a manner in which those hearing it could not naturally understand what was being communicated. The Holy Spirit miraculously made their incomprehensible language fully understandable to those to whom God had chosen to make it understandable.

That's absolutely not true. The men all heard the message in their own native language. It was not gibberish to them.

6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" 13 Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine." (Acts. 2)
With their natural ears they heard the message in their own language. Of course, God also needed to sovereignly open their spiritual ears to apply the message. God saves those whom He wills to save.

You got a problem with that?

You sound like a presuppositionalist when it comes to apologetics.

34 posted on 08/06/2007 3:34:01 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
The men all heard the message in their own native language. It was not gibberish to them.

Translated by the power of the Holy Spirit in a manner in which each who heard it was convicted. Are you suggesting that the men who spoke the words were men of strong persuasive oratorical skills and that is why there was such an intense and unparallelled response to the gospel, or was it that these men simply spoke what they believed and the holy spirit convicted those who heard.

Does not the Holy Spirit have the power to turn hearts and minds at the preaching of an imbicile? Should credit be given to the speech writers or should it be given to the subject of the message?

You sound like a presuppositionalist when it comes to apologetics.

I offer no apologies for the gospel. I presuppose only that the Bible is true and that the facts presented in that book are facts and not fables. I have no reason to doubt that when God wrote upon the tablets that he made the heavens and the earth and all that in them is in 6 days, that God did exactly as he said. If that makes me a presuppositionalist, then by gosh I'm proud to accept that title.

35 posted on 08/06/2007 4:03:41 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Translated by the power of the Holy Spirit in a manner in which each who heard it was convicted. Are you suggesting that the men who spoke the words were men of strong persuasive oratorical skills and that is why there was such an intense and unparallelled response to the gospel, or was it that these men simply spoke what they believed and the holy spirit convicted those who heard.

All I'm saying is that it was a plain, clear, sound Word of the Lord. No more, no less. It was not gibberish. God does not expect His people to speak gibberish. After all, if He came make an ass speak clear intelligible words, He does not need us to speak gibberish and expect the Holy Spirit to do some mystical translation on the fly.

So, want to retract your statement about DeMar now that we have beaten this horse to death?

36 posted on 08/06/2007 7:44:31 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
So, want to retract your statement about DeMar now that we have beaten this horse to death?

As soon as you retract any negative posts you've posted about Henry Morris.

BTW what did I say that was negative about DeMar?

37 posted on 08/06/2007 7:55:33 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
As soon as you retract any negative posts you've posted about Henry Morris.

I don't recall ever mentioning Henry Morris.

Since when did Christians like DeMar take it upon themselves to do the work of the Holy Spirit?

Now, was DeMar really taking the work of the Holy Spirit upon himself? Or were you just itching to make a comment about him?

38 posted on 08/06/2007 8:11:36 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
Now, was DeMar really taking the work of the Holy Spirit upon himself?

If he thinks that with the power of logic he can turn a skeptic into a believer, then yes.

39 posted on 08/06/2007 8:14:22 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe

You’re not seriously trying to equate DeMar’s legitimate criticism of Morris’ scholarship with your backhanded slam of DeMar, now are you?


40 posted on 08/06/2007 8:15:25 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
You’re not seriously trying to equate DeMar’s legitimate criticism of Morris’ scholarship with your backhanded slam of DeMar, now are you?

Sure, why not?

41 posted on 08/06/2007 8:16:48 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
Sure, why not?

I guess I expected better. Was your issue that DeMar criticized Morris' scholarship, or that he criticized Morris period?

42 posted on 08/06/2007 8:31:57 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
Was your issue that DeMar criticized Morris' scholarship, or that he criticized Morris period?

If you read my first post you would know that my issue with DeMar was that he seemed to think he could somehow convince a skeptic of the truth of scripture using logic and persuasive argumentation.

43 posted on 08/06/2007 8:36:38 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Interesting article. Dispensationalists are reaping what they've sown.

There is no reason to believe that "the space of six days," the language found in the Westminster Standards, means anything but the obvious and normal meaning of the words. There are two issues here to consider. First, the interpretation of the days of creation as being long ages or normal days separated by long ages is a position which arose long after the drafting of the Westminster Confession. To allow men who hold such views today to say that they are in full agreement with the Westminster Standards is to stretch the language of the confession beyond the intent of its authors. As if to remove any doubt as to their understanding of the days of creation, the Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 120 states that one of the reason we are to work six days every week but not the seventh is "the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day."

Second, the language of the confession is a phrase used by John Calvin to oppose Augustine's teaching of instantaneous creation. The Westminster divines were learned men who were no doubt aware of Calvin's usage of the phrase when they chose to use it themselves. In Augustine's position, the six days of creation are a literary device with no literal chronological significance. If the phrase "the space of six days" means anything, it means that the days of creation refer to a literal space of time as opposed to being a non-chronological literary framework. Men who today hold to a literary framework view of Genesis one usually believe in creation over long ages and not in instantaneous creation. Still they agree with Augustine that the days of creation are a non-literal teaching device and not six days in an historical narrative. In this sense, men who today hold to a literary framework view of Genesis one hold to the same general position which Calvin argued against using the very words "the space of six days." To allow literary framework men to say that they are in full agreement with the confession is to go beyond stretching our confessional language. It is to allow the language of the confession to encompass a form of the very position which that language, as previously used by Calvin, was meant to exclude. If we allow this, then how can we say with any consistency that our doctrinal standards actually define our doctrine? We must not become post-modernists for whom language and standards have no fixed meaning.

Grover Gunn

44 posted on 08/06/2007 9:00:54 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe
If you read my first post you would know that my issue with DeMar was that he seemed to think he could somehow convince a skeptic of the truth of scripture using logic and persuasive argumentation.

a) you misconstrue DeMar's words, and b) Morris’ explanation of the text is indefensible.

DeMar never said that only by logic and persuasive argumentation will a person become convinced of the truth. Reading everything he’s written should convince you that is not his view. On the other hand, the apostle Paul used logic and persuasive argumentation in many instances to convince unbelievers on the truth of the gospel, all the time recognizing that it was the Holy Spirit working through his words to bring about God’s salvation.

What you seem to wish to ignore in this entire discussion is that when Christians say silly things in defense of the gospel, they cast the Word of God and their Savior in a rather poor light. If a skeptic/unbeliever can see through the exegetical gymnastics that folks like Morris need to construct in order to make the Bible fit their view of the future, then they ought to be taken to task, just as DeMar has done.

If you wish to defend the indefensible, then have at it. But don’t read more into Demar’s comments than are truly there.

45 posted on 08/07/2007 7:43:35 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg

I’m a six-day creationist ala the Westminster Confession position that you quoted. I fail to see your point in offering Grover Gunn’s comment.


46 posted on 08/07/2007 7:46:04 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54; Dr. Eckleburg; xzins; blue-duncan; LiteKeeper; Iscool; dartuser; kevinw; JohnnyM; ...
I’m a six-day creationist ala the Westminster Confession position that you quoted.

So does that mean that you hold to a literal creation in the span of six days. (Six spins of the earth in temporal time)?

I fail to see your point in offering Grover Gunn’s comment.

The comment was directed to Dr. Eck. If DeMar can defend the six day creation, young earth and global flood using non-dispensationist hermenutics, then by golly he should write a book about it. Instead he gloms onto the Skeptic's argument as a means of trashing dispensationism rather than refuting the Skeptic's arguments about the young earth and global flood using his own non-dispensationist hermenutics.

DeMar rags on his fellow Christian for appearing to be inconsistent while at the same time offering no arguments of his own that would stand his own test of consistency. In other words the global flood and young earth subject is merely a platform for his denunciation of dispensationism. What a surprise coming from DeMar (/sarc).

If DeMar is a young earth creationist and a global flood believer, one certainly can't tell it from this essay.

47 posted on 08/07/2007 8:17:32 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg
So does that mean that you hold to a literal creation in the span of six days. (Six spins of the earth in temporal time)?

That's what that means.

… then by golly he should write a book about it. Why, just to satisfy your views on what constitutes appropriate commentary? For the record, you can search the American Vision web site and see the creationist activities of DeMar and his colleagues, including the Worldview Super Conferences they offer which often have speakers/topics on creationism.

All this info is easy enough to find out if one were interested.

DeMar rags on his fellow Christian for appearing to be inconsistent while at the same time offering no arguments …

Methinks you have not read enough DeMar to make that determination.

But just in case you really missed his point, let’s try it again.

The hermeneutical method that Morris allegedly employs to support a six-day creation/young earth view fails him miserably when it comes to future things. The method that arrives at “this” means “that” and “this is that” means “this is like that” is so transparently false that even skeptics can see the error.

It doesn’t require a book length treatment to show the error of such a method. Besides, a book would only make you task that much more difficult, since you have yet to actually come to Morris’ defense and help solve his hermeneutical dilemma.

Maybe your friends that you pinged to the party can help you out.

48 posted on 08/07/2007 9:38:25 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
The hermeneutical method that Morris allegedly employs to support a six-day creation/young earth view fails him miserably when it comes to future things. The method that arrives at “this” means “that” and “this is that” means “this is like that” is so transparently false that even skeptics can see the error.

Well that hermenutic is often employed by calvinists who claim that all means some and some means all. Additionally that Hermenutic is employed by Preterists who claim that the 70AD siege of Jerusalem was the worst tribulation that the world has ever seen, despite the fact that more people were killed in the six year siege that began in 130 AD than were killed in 70AD.

WWII dwarfed any tribulation that had occurred in the first century and yet we are to believe that the 70AD siege was the worst that would ever occur?

Everyone has their inconsistencies. The Bible is true, but our understanding of it is clouded and we see through a glass darkly. I have found that the dispensationalist model is the most consistent interpretive method. You may disagree. We are probably both wrong. When that which is perfect is come, then the whole thing will become clear.

49 posted on 08/07/2007 10:14:29 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg
Well that hermenutic is often employed by calvinists who claim that all means some and some means all.

Been there done that. It’s been explained how the biblical use of the word “all” is vastly different than the sleight of hand attempted by Morris. You need a different tune.

Your task is to answer Morris’ critics.

WWII dwarfed any tribulation that had occurred in the first century

That’s your opinion only. It is not support from any explicit biblical theology. It’s obvious that a person making such a claim does not understand how comparative language is used in the Bible. It’s merely a tactic to scare away the uninformed. It’s won’t work with me.

Everyone has their inconsistencies.

Yep. Admitting them is the key to growth and knowledge of the truth. That is why I’m not longer a dispensationalist. The inconsistencies are big enough to drive a truck through.

50 posted on 08/07/2007 10:24:58 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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