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Old Dispensationalists Never Die . . . And They Never Seem to Fade Away . . .
Riddleblog ^ | 8/3/2007 | Kim Riddlebarger

Posted on 08/09/2007 7:47:51 AM PDT by topcat54

I was making my semi-annual trip through the local Christian bookstore (actually, a trinket store) when I saw the third reincarnation of John F. Walvoord's best-seller Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East. Originally published back in 1974 by Zondervan, the book was re-issued with a snazzy new cover after Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

Lo and behold, here it was again on the shelves of a Christian bookstore! This time published by Tyndale with an update (apparently) by Mark Hitchcock. I refused to buy it (since I've already purchased the two prior incarnations), so I can't tell you what has been updated. But the title says it all. Now that Saddam Hussein is pushing up daisies somewhere near Tikrit, the focus switches from a Soviet-Arab invasion of Israel and a revived Babylonian empire, to a more general Muslim threat to Israel and the new foil of dispensational end-times theorizing--Islamic terrorism.

Dr. Walvoord, who died in 2002 and now a member of the church triumphant, obviously, was not able to contribute to the new edition.

The shamelessness with which books like this can be corrected, updated and then republished with new covers and a new chapter or two, only to sell a gazillion more copies, is simply breathtaking. Doesn't it trouble people that the 1974 edition and the 1990 edition got many things wrong? I thought if we interpreted the Bible "literally" all the mysteries regarding the end-times would be cleared up.

The Soviet Union no longer exists . . . Saddam Hussein is dead . . . Militant Islam is the new menace from the east (displacing Communism and a revived Babylonian empire). Barring the return of our blessed Savior, I suspect another edition, with another new cover, is a mere ten years away. I can only imagine how the cover art and title will be tweaked this time.

As one who has written two books on eschatology, let me just say, if you see a new edition of A Case for Amillennialism or Man of Sin, in which my exegesis is "updated and corrected" to explain an as yet unforeseen world event that I failed to predict, don't buy it. It means I didn't know what I was talking about!

That being said, I am now hard at work on an expanded eschatology text which will deal with a broader range of eschatological issues, including preterism and postmillennialism. We do need a Reformed/covenantal/amillennial equivalent of the venerable J. Dwight Pentecost's Things to Come. Lord willing, this will come to fruition . . .


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: dispensationalism
While I appreciate Dr. Riddlebarger's response to dispensational errors, I take his comments about postmillennialism and "amillennialism=reformed eschatology" with a grain of salt. The reformed confessions on this subject are broader than he may care to admit.
1 posted on 08/09/2007 7:47:56 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 08/09/2007 7:49:27 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
Every generation for the past two thousand years saw their times as the end times and had 100% proof(sic) that they had evidence of every word in Revelation being fulfilled in their time. I see no difference in them and the current dispensationalists, especially as the modern ones seem to change their evidence on a yearly basis to fit whomever the foe is at the time.

I guess I fit into the category of a believer in preteristic eschatology (that most, if not all of Revelation was written about contemporary events to the author.)

3 posted on 08/09/2007 7:52:34 AM PDT by mnehring (Ron Paul is as much of a Constitutionalist as Fred Phelps is a Christian)
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To: topcat54

I actually enjoy sequals. Ideas for future books:
Late Great Planet Earth-Still Kickin.
Late Great Planet Earth- What went wrong?


4 posted on 08/09/2007 8:26:18 AM PDT by Augustinian monk (Peace if possible, truth at all costs- Martin Luther)
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To: topcat54

Pre-Mil, Pre-Trib INTREP


5 posted on 08/09/2007 8:55:57 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Augustinian monk
Late Great Planet Earth-Still Kickin.

Choose your own Adventure:Late Great Planet Earth.

6 posted on 08/09/2007 9:14:43 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalism -- threat or menace?")
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To: Lee N. Field
Choose your own Adventure: Late Great Planet Earth.

Hal Lindsey's There's A New Wife Coming

7 posted on 08/09/2007 9:29:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (As heard on the Amish Radio Network! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1675029/posts)
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To: LiteKeeper

Should be a short book: “Whatever, whatever, whatever, Jesus comes back, whatever.”

On all OT prophecies: “Details, schmetails.”


8 posted on 08/09/2007 9:31:59 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: BibChr

Huh?


9 posted on 08/09/2007 9:36:35 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: BibChr; LiteKeeper; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy
Should be a short book: “Whatever, whatever, whatever, Jesus comes back, whatever.”

At least there won’t be any need for revisions.

On all OT prophecies: “Details, schmetails.”

Right. What difference do details make if all these prophecy gurus can change the interpretation every few years to suit current events?

We just give a chuckle every time one of these guys cries out “literal hermeneutic”.

10 posted on 08/09/2007 9:45:44 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: Lee N. Field

I loved those books as a kid.


11 posted on 08/09/2007 9:47:48 AM PDT by Augustinian monk (Peace if possible, truth at all costs- Martin Luther)
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To: topcat54
I take his comments about postmillennialism and "amillennialism=reformed eschatology" with a grain of salt.

A-mil is the traditional reformed view, although post-mil and historic pre-mil are acceptable under the confessions. I'd have to see what he actually writes to know whether or not I agree with his conclusions.

12 posted on 08/09/2007 10:23:27 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: BibChr; P-Marlowe

"I repeat, there is no imminent return, everything is getting better." —American Vision Information Minister Gary DeMar, (AKA Don't worry/Be happy Gary")

Riddleblog Information Minister Kim Riddlebarger

"The information I received from American Vision was more precise and comprehensive than the information I got from the Bible. I was sincere in everything I said, even just before the imminent return." "The information was correct, but the interpretations were not," he said. "I did my duty up to the last minute." [the rapture was a] "very difficult time. Not just on one man, but on all."

13 posted on 08/09/2007 10:41:02 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: LiteKeeper

Should be a short book: “Whatever, whatever, whatever, Jesus comes back, whatever.”

On all OT prophecies: “Details, schmetails.”


14 posted on 08/09/2007 10:48:24 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: topcat54; All

Given Calvinists sensibilities and ???willful??? (how can THAT be???) blindness about such matters, the following post is not directed to them. They can certainly attempt to snooze on through prophetically unfolding events as long as they can get away with it.

Dr. Walvoord’s excellent

EVERY PROPHECY IN THE BIBLE

is a wonderful resource for those unallergic to the Biblical facts of END TIMES issues, dyanmics, events.

Worth the time considering Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 as Biblically predicted.

Add in the MARK OF THE BEAST already being required by some employers for access to high security areas . . .

All the nations of the world finding Jerusalem a heavy burden around their necks . . .

The growing drama and unprecedented nature of VARIOUS signs in the heavens . . .

The looming one world government . . .

The unprecedented expansion and exchange of knowledge world wide . . .

The unprecedented expansion of rapid travel world wide . . .

The massively global effectiveness of the globalists defining evil as good and good as evil . . .

The looming completion of the task of communicating the Gospel to every people group on the planet within the next 12-25 years . . . likely within the next 12 . . .


15 posted on 08/09/2007 10:57:40 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

Not all premill beleive in selling books that set dates, etc.


16 posted on 08/09/2007 11:15:01 AM PDT by Augustinian monk (Peace if possible, truth at all costs- Martin Luther)
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To: blue-duncan; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk

The names and faces have been changing for the pop prophecy gurus for 4 decades now (longer if you count all the pre-WWII old-school Scofield dispensationalists).

Don’t you guys ever get tired of having to reinvent your eschatology every time the folks at the Jerusalem Times write another essay? Or John Hagee gets another vision?

BTW, is that a “horse” over the shoulder of you rather Arab-looking friend? Or have you given up on a “literal hermeneutic”?


17 posted on 08/09/2007 11:23:56 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: PAR35
A-mil is the traditional reformed view,

Some folks would like us to all believe that. The evidence is far less conclusive than the assertion.

18 posted on 08/09/2007 11:26:33 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: blue-duncan

An advantage of the CT/amil view is that, if you think Bible prophecy is meaningless, you’re never wrong. (Or won’t ever admit you’re wrong.)

A disadvantage is that it’s indistinguishable from lazy unbelief.


19 posted on 08/09/2007 11:41:11 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: BibChr; blue-duncan

And the advantage of the dispensational view is that you probably be dead before you can be proven wrong, and no one will really care cuz the next new exciting theory of Israel’s future will already be turned into the best-selling fiction series.

Don’t you feel bad that “serious” dispensationalists like John MacArthur and the new breed at Dallas Seminary have to take a back seat to the crackpots with their ever-changing view of “end times”?


20 posted on 08/09/2007 11:48:06 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk

Imminence is a moment by moment thing. It’s like “you had better be ready ‘cause you don’t know when the master of the house is coming home”. All eschatologist get paid to read signs of the time. Some get paid for “now”, some get paid for “not now”. The “nows” make money off the “not nows” and the “not nows” make money off the “nows”. Gauranteed, if we were transformed according to our eschatological theories, all would be pre-trib.


21 posted on 08/09/2007 11:48:46 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: blue-duncan; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk
Imminence is a moment by moment thing.

Then why do the date-setting "Jesus is absolutely gonna return to this generation” crowd make it seem that “imminence” is the sole domain of futurist, literalist dispensationalists? And unless you believe with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength that Jesus is gonna return before you finish your cup of coffee you really do not understand imminence?

People who make a profession out of reading the signs of the times often go by another title, "false prophets".

22 posted on 08/09/2007 11:57:08 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54; BibChr

“And the advantage of the dispensational view is that you probably be dead before you can be proven wrong”

That’s impossible by definition. If one dies before they believe the tribulation starts, they win. It’s kind of like a “serial rapture”. If the tribulation occured around 70 A.D., they win since they didn’t go through it just as they believed they would not.


23 posted on 08/09/2007 11:58:55 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: topcat54; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk

“People who make a profession out of reading the signs of the times often go by another title, “false prophets”.

Let’s see which camp I want to be in.

2 Peter 3:3-4, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

or

2 Peter 3:8-14, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

I think I will choose the “And unless you believe with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength that Jesus is gonna return before you finish your cup of coffee” camp and count the delay as His long suffering mercy.


24 posted on 08/09/2007 12:12:14 PM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: topcat54
Bro's and Sis', let us not throw the baby of actual, covenant-based understanding of the past, present, and future, when we throw out the "dispensationalist" bathwater.
25 posted on 08/09/2007 12:14:25 PM PDT by unspun (We are still in the end times.)
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To: blue-duncan

FWIW, imho, on this subject, trying to dialog seriously with topcat about the Bible is exactly the same as trying to talk with Campion about the Gospel.

IOW, I don’t.


26 posted on 08/09/2007 12:15:38 PM 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: blue-duncan; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk

I don’t see anything about date-setting or futurist speculation in those verses, or that somehow the “last days” is limited to early part of the 21st century.

In fact the NT understanding of the phrase is quite different from that of the dispensationalist:

“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, ...” (Acts 2:16,17)

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)


27 posted on 08/09/2007 12:43:34 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: blue-duncan; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk
If one dies before they believe the tribulation starts, they win.

Well, that’s silly. Obviously, we all "win" in the end, but some of us will still be wrong when the roll is called up yonder. E.g., since the “great tribulation” described the events in AD70, the pretribbers are, by definition, wrong on this one point of their eschatology, since Christ’s return for His church is post-tribulational.

But if you are “in Christ” you still win in the end along with the rest of us who are right.

28 posted on 08/09/2007 12:49:49 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: BibChr; blue-duncan

I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings by refusing to dialog about the Bible.

Oh, I forgot, I wasn’t asked.


29 posted on 08/09/2007 12:52:05 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: unspun
Bro's and Sis', let us not throw the baby of actual, covenant-based understanding of the past, present, and future, when we throw out the "dispensationalist" bathwater.

"For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom. 2:28,29)

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:26-29)

30 posted on 08/09/2007 12:56:53 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk

“I don’t see anything about date-setting or futurist speculation in those verses”

Perhaps you missed these phrases”

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night”

“Looking for and hasting unto”

“look for new heavens and a new earth”

“seeing that ye look for such things”

The whole “thief in the night” should arouse in one the idea that if I don’t take precautions now, he/she (don’t want to appear too sexist)may come tonight. That is dat/time setting.

The other three phrases “look[ing] for” all carry with them the idea of expectancy. Now if you don’t have an imminent expectancy i.e. proposed time/date, you are not “looking for” or anticipating but just going with the flow. The whole idea of “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” presumes an expectancy that it is now, not not now.


31 posted on 08/09/2007 1:09:04 PM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: blue-duncan; BibChr; P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk
Perhaps you missed these phrases”

No, actually I didn't miss anything.

What I didn’t see is anything in the passage that would lead me to believe that eschatological speculation about current events in the Middle East is anywhere authorized in the Word of God.

On the contrary, we are told that Christ will come as a “thief in the night” and that men will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. IOW, it will be impossible to tell the nearness of Christ’s return by investigating “signs”.

All of God’s people are to live as if He might return at any moment, from the saints of 2000 years ago to the saints 2000 years from now.

We won’t be able to figure out the nearness by paying unnecessary attention to some petty dictator in the Middle East. They are a dime a dozen and come and go according to God’s providential will.

32 posted on 08/09/2007 4:43:28 PM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: topcat54
You know tc, for most of here eschatology is something like a hobby or a diversion, but for you it appears to be an

Don't you have better things to do with your life than to dig up old articles that rag on dispensationalists every day?

Just curious.

33 posted on 08/09/2007 5:01:30 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: topcat54

Hello? Stop spamming me with pings, please. I’m not interested in anything you write on this subject.


34 posted on 08/09/2007 5:41:37 PM 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: Augustinian monk

For sure.

Though I still think that WHEN we are very close, we will be able to discern the year/season but not the date.


35 posted on 08/09/2007 8:03:48 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix
Though I still think that WHEN we are very close, we will be able to discern the year/season but not the date.

Is there any biblical warrant for thinking that?

36 posted on 08/10/2007 5:31:01 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalism -- threat or menace?")
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To: P-Marlowe; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; Augustinian monk
Don't you have better things to do with your life than to dig up old articles that rag on dispensationalists every day?

First of all, most articles I post are not old.

Secondly, I do have much better things to do, but nothing else of interest gets the kind of visceral reaction that we experience here on FR from the dispie crowd. After all, it managed to get your attention, and you even took time off from posting about the predestination and American Idol to stop by here. You even took the time to post a cutesy sign. I must be touching a raw nerve to get such reaction.

But at least you are not a “drive by” commentator who refuses to engage in coversation.

37 posted on 08/10/2007 6:45:07 AM PDT by topcat54 ("... knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:3))
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To: Lee N. Field

Christ’s chiding the Pharisees . . .

who could discern the weather but not the prophetic times and seasons.

Read that passage again from the modern prophetic perspective . . . with all of Matt 24.

There’s nothing in Scripture to indicate we will not know the season, year—just that we won’t know the date.

There’s several verses indicating we can and should be alert, watching, aware of the prophetic “season.”


38 posted on 08/10/2007 7:11:17 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: topcat54

I’ve never observed you to be genuinely interested in healthy give and take conversation on the topic.

I’ve only observed you to be interested in lock-step indoctrination and conformity to your perspective.


39 posted on 08/10/2007 7:12:44 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: topcat54
...only to sell a gazillion more copies, is simply breathtaking.

They're undoubtedly looking for for more double buyers.

40 posted on 08/10/2007 9:23:15 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Quix
Christ’s chiding the Pharisees . . .

who could discern the weather but not the prophetic times and seasons.

you mean this?:

" 54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? "

It's about Jesus' first coming.

The Pharasees saw this guy preaching the Kingdom of God and/or Heaven, saw him healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, etc. It went [whoosh!] right over their heads. They watched for a herald with the face, name and fingerprints of Elijah (the letteralist interpretation of Malachi 4), and missed the herald with spirit and power of Elijah (the true (Jesus said so) interpretation of that prophecy).

Read that passage again from the modern prophetic perspective

I'm guessing by "the modern prophetic perspective" you mean dispensationalism? To run it through that filter would be to presuppose what's in question.

41 posted on 08/11/2007 9:49:43 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalism -- threat or menace?")
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To: Lee N. Field

Interesting translation you chose.

I think you know that’s not the only plausible one.

I certainly don’t think it’s the most likely one.


42 posted on 08/11/2007 1:53:30 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix
I quoted Luke 12: 54-56 using the English Standard Version, which I've set as default in Gnomesword.
43 posted on 08/11/2007 4:44:16 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalism -- threat or menace?")
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To: Lee N. Field

Actually, I don’t quibble about the “preesent time” translation.

But I do quibble that we can quite reasonably and logically use the analogy Christ was making then about the pharisees failing to discern the times of His coming the first time

to be just as applicable about the current era’s pharisees failing to discern the era of His 2nd Coming.


44 posted on 08/12/2007 6:32:52 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix
OK, but it's just an analogy. People from many generations between then and now have thought they knew, for absolutely sure, they they had discerned the season of His coming, Real Soon Now. "The Turks are on the move. Sure sign."

The ESV inherits that particular rendering from the RSV. KJV and ASV (and 1599 Geneva) have "this time". Maybe if I can get motivated I'll go find my Greek NT and see if my rusty Koine skills are up to puzzling out why the RSV and ESV translators made that a little more definite. (NIV also renders "this present time.")

45 posted on 08/12/2007 7:57:15 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalism -- threat or menace?")
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