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Articles Posted by wmfights

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  • Millennial Series: Part 6: Amillennialism as a System of Theology

    07/27/2014 4:05:57 PM PDT · by wmfights · 16 replies
    Bible.org ^ | 1950 | John F. Walvoord
    The Growing Importance of Millennialism While the millennial controversy is nothing new, it has come to be recognized only recently that it plays such an important part in determining the form of theology as a whole. Instead of being simply a way of interpreting prophecy, millennialism now is seen to be a determining factor in any system of theology. Premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism each influence the system of theology of which each is a part. The controversy between amillennialism and premillennialism for this reason has taken on a new and sharper antagonism and its outcome is now seen to assume...
  • Millennial Series: Part 5: Amillennialism as a Method of Interpretation

    07/13/2014 2:04:19 PM PDT · by wmfights · 8 replies
    Bible.org ^ | 1950 | John F. Walvoord
    The Issue There is a growing realization in the theological world that the crux of the millenial issue is the question of method of interpreting Scripture. Premillenarians follow the so-called ‘grammatical-historical’ literal interpretation while amillenarians use a spiritualizing method. As Albertus Pieters, an avowed amillennalist, writes concerning the problem as a whole, “The question whether the Old Testament prophecies concerning the people of God must be interpreted in their ordinary sense, as other Scriptures are interpreted, or can properly be applied to the Christian Church, is called the question of spiritualization of prophecy. This is one of the major problems...
  • Millennial Series: Part 4: Amillenniallism from Augustine to Modern Times

    07/06/2014 10:51:42 AM PDT · by wmfights · 14 replies
    Bible.org ^ | 1950 | John F. Walvoord
    It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Augustine in the history of theology. Not only did his thinking crystallize the theology which preceded him, but to a large extent he laid the foundations for both Catholic and Protestant doctrine. B. B. Warfield, quoting Harnack, refers to Augustine as “incomparably the greatest man whom, ‘between Paul the Apostle and Luther the Reformer, the Christian Church has possessed.’“1 While the contribution of Augustine is principally noted in the areas of the doctrine of the church, hamartiology, the doctrine of grace, and predestination, he is also the greatest landmark in the early...
  • Millennial Series: Part 3: Amillenniallism in the Ancient Church

    06/29/2014 9:54:35 AM PDT · by wmfights · 33 replies
    Bible. org ^ | 1949 | John F. Walvoord
    In recent years interest has been revived in the origin of millennial theology. This has been caused, first by the decadence of postmillennialism which seemed to demand a new search for perspective in this field; second, by the popularity of premillennialism with its claim that the early church was premillennial; and, third, by the trend toward more serious Biblical studies—a result of the decline of extreme liberalism. The reduction of millennial theories to only two principal viewpoints—amillennial and premillennial—has tended to simplify the issue and make the millennial argument largely one for or against a literal millennium. The nature of...
  • Millennial Series: Part 2: Postmillennialism

    06/22/2014 10:51:11 AM PDT · by wmfights · 15 replies
    Bible.org ^ | 1949 | John F. Woolvard
    One of the outstanding facts about postmillennialism is that it was, until the present generation, one of the most important and influential millennial theories. It was probably the dominant Protestant eschatology of the nineteenth century and was embraced by Unitarian, Arminian, and Calvinist alike. It influenced as well the prevailing concept of amillennialism during this period. In the twentieth century the course of history, progress in Biblical studies, and the changing attitude of philosophy arrested its progress and brought about its apparent discard by all schools of theology. Postmillennialism is not a current issue in millenarianism, but the principles that...
  • Millennial Series: Part 1: The Millennial Issue in Modern Theology

    06/15/2014 9:22:05 AM PDT · by wmfights · 14 replies
    Bible.org ^ | 1949 | John F. Walvoord
    [Author’s note: Many have requested that Bibliotheca Sacra publish a series of articles dealing with the contemporary discussion of the millennial issue in theology. Beginning with this Number, this series will be undertaken. It is the desire of the author to be constructive, not controversial; but due note will be taken of the many recent books which have appeared bearing on this subject. The author will welcome suggestions from readers.] The events of the last quarter of a century or more have had a tremendous impact on the thinking of the scholarly world. In philosophy there has been a trend...
  • Supersessionism, the Holocaust, and the Modern State of Israel

    06/08/2014 10:22:57 AM PDT · by wmfights · 30 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Perspectives concerning supersessionism have been seriously affected by two twentieth-century developments—the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern state of Israel. These events have pushed questions and issues concerning Israel and the church to the forefront of Christian theology.[1] More than any other event, the Holocaust has been the most significant factor in the church’s reevaluation of supersessionism. According to Irvin J. Borowsky, “Within Christendom since the time of Hitler, there has existed a widespread reaction of shock and soul-searching concerning the Holocaust.”[2] Peter Ochs asserts that Christian reflections on the Jews and Judaism after the Holocaust “have generated theological...
  • Martin Luther and Supersessionism

    06/01/2014 1:00:10 PM PDT · by wmfights · 17 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Martin Luther’s views concerning the Jews and Judaism have been the subject of much debate. According to Hans J. Hillerbrand, “There is scholarly agreement that the early Luther spoke thoughtfully and positively about Jews.”[1] Luther (1483–1546) prayed for the Jews and called for their friendly treatment.[2] He said, “We ought, therefore, not to treat the Jews in so unkindly a spirit, for there are future Christians among them, and they are turning every day.”[3] Luther also held to a special distinction for the Jews in God’s plan: “Moreover, they alone, and not we Gentiles, have this promise, that there shall...
  • Augustine’s Contribution to Supersessionism

    05/25/2014 6:31:35 PM PDT · by wmfights · 47 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Augustine’s contribution to the doctrine of supersessionism is significant. James Carroll points out that Augustine’s attitude toward the Jews was rooted in “assumptions of supersessionism.”[i] According to Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Augustine (354–430) introduced a “negative element into judgment on the Jews.”[ii] He did so by advancing the “‘theory of substitution’ whereby the New Israel of the church became a substitute of ancientIsrael.”[iii] In line with supersessionist theology, Augustine explicitly stated that the title “Israel” belonged to the Christian church: “For if we hold with a firm heart the grace of God which hath been given us, we are Israel,...
  • Origen and Supersessionism

    05/18/2014 10:49:02 AM PDT · by wmfights · 21 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    The influential church father, Origen (c. 185–254), was important to the development of supersessionism. He taught that Israel was permanently rejected by God and that the church was the new Israel. Concerning Israel’s rejection, Origen promoted a punitive supersessionist approach in which the people of Israel were forever “abandoned because of their sins.”[1] He also declared: “And we say with confidence that they [Jews] will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the Saviour of the human race in that city where they offered up to God...
  • Justin Martyr and Supersessionism

    05/11/2014 1:50:36 PM PDT · by wmfights · 53 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 100–165) is important in the history of supersessionism because he was the first Christian writer to explicitly identify the church as “Israel.”[1] Justin declared, “For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham . . . are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ.”[2] He also said, “Since then God blesses this people [i.e., Christians], and calls them Israel, and declares them to be His inheritance, how is it that you [Jews] repent not of the deception you practise on yourselves, as if you alone were the Israel?”[3] Justin...
  • Defining Supersessionism

    05/04/2014 11:23:13 AM PDT · by wmfights · 2 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach.
    This section we will attempt a precise definition of supersessionism. Various titles have been used in identifying the view that the church has permanently replaced Israel in God’s plan. As Marten H. Woudstra observes, “The question whether it is more proper to speak of a replacement of the Jews by the Christian church or of an extension (continuation) of the OT people of God into that of the NT church is variously answered.”[i] The most common designation used in recent scholarly literature to identify this position is “supersessionism.” Commenting on this term, Clark M. Williamson writes, “‘Supersessionism’ comes from two...
  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF EARLY PREMILLENNIALISM (Dispensational Caucus)

    04/28/2014 3:24:30 PM PDT · by wmfights · 13 replies
    Idolphin ^ | DR. THOMAS ICE
    Premillennialisin is so clearly taught in Revelation 19 and 20 that it is hard to understand how anyone can think otherwise without realizing honestly that they are going against the Biblical text. A kingdom reign of the Messiah was just as clearly taught in the Old Testament. Jesus and His Scripture-writing disciples also support the notion of an earthly kingdom headed by the Messiah. Such clearness in the Bible provides the likely reason why the early church fathers who spoke on this matter were all premillennialists. THE FIRST PREMILLENNIAIJSTS The first premillennialists were those who received God's revelation and wrote...
  • What are the seven dispensations? (Dispensational Caucus)

    04/21/2014 2:32:58 PM PDT · by wmfights · 34 replies
    Question: "What are the seven dispensations?" Answer: Dispensationalism is a method of interpreting history that divides God’s work and purposes toward mankind into different periods of time. Usually, there are seven dispensations identified, although some theologians believe there are nine. Others count as few as three or as many as thirty-seven dispensations. In this article, we will limit ourselves to the seven basic dispensations found in Scripture. The first dispensation is called the Dispensation of Innocence (Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-17). This dispensation covered the period of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In this dispensation God's commands were...
  • Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection? (Dispensational Caucus)

    04/13/2014 11:16:00 AM PDT · by wmfights · 111 replies
    Question: "Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?" Answer: There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles' Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead”...
  • WHY ALL THE CONFUSION ? (Dispensational Caucus)

    04/09/2014 1:55:12 PM PDT · by wmfights · 38 replies
    "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." 2 Timothy 2:7 Did you ever wonder why there is so much confusion in religion today? Why is it that you can hear so many people teaching contradicting doctrines when they all use the Bible? There is an answer. Most of the confusion and contradicting doctrine that you hear today is a result of failing to obey God’s command in II Timothy 2:15, to “Rightly Divide the Word of truth”. Most people do not distinguish between the KINGDOM MESSAGE of Christ and his apostles found in Matthew...
  • Are You a Dispensationalist? (Ecumenical)

    04/06/2014 12:12:06 PM PDT · by wmfights · 20 replies
    Personal Update News Journal ^ | March, 2011 | Leisa Garcia
    It is possible that you are a dispensationalist and don’t know it. If you’re like me, I’ve been taught the essentials of dispensationalism all my life without knowing exactly what the term itself meant. Hopefully, by the end of this discussion you will have a better understanding of dispensationalism, and you may be able to determine if you are a dispensationalist. What is a Dispensation? The central idea of the word dispensation is that of managing or administering the affairs of a household.1 A dispensation is NOT a time period. If things stayed the same and never changed, it would...
  • "That's My King"

    03/19/2014 7:10:45 PM PDT · by wmfights · 26 replies
    Across Pacific Magazine ^ | 1976 | Dr. S.M. Lockeridge
    My King was born King. The Bible says He's a Seven Way King. He's the King of the Jews - that's an Ethnic King. He's the King of Israel - that's a National King. He's the King of righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that's my King. Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don't try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of...
  • Tomorrow May Be Too Late

    03/16/2014 11:06:06 AM PDT · by wmfights · 7 replies
    Biblebelievers.com ^ | 1870 | D.L. Moody
    I have learned that when anyone becomes in earnest about his soul's salvation and he begins to seek God, it does not take long for an anxious sinner to meet an anxious Saviour. "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). Those who seek for Him with all their hearts, find Christ. I am tired and sick of half-heartedness. I don't like a half-hearted man. I don't care for anyone to love me halfheartedly. And the Lord won't have it. If we are going to seek for Him and...
  • Christ All in All

    03/09/2014 5:20:50 PM PDT · by wmfights · 12 replies
    Biblebelievers.com ^ | 1870 | D.L. Moody
    A LIGHT HEART On one occasion, after I had been talking this way, a woman came forward, and said, "Oh, Mr. Moody, it's all very well for you to talk like that, about a light heart. But you are a young man, and if you had a heavy burden like me you would talk differently. I could not talk in that way, my burden is too great." I replied, "But it's not too great for Jesus." "Oh," she said, "I cannot cast it on Him." "Why not? surely it is not too great for Him. It is not that He...
  • The Qualifications for Soul Winning

    02/16/2014 5:10:37 PM PST · by wmfights · 20 replies
    Biblebelievers.com ^ | February 5, 1837 | Dwight L. Moody
    1. Shake off the vipers that are in the Church, formalism, pride, and self-importance, etc. 2. It is the only happy life to live for the salvation of souls. 3. We must be willing to do little things for Christ. 4. Must be of good courage. 5. Must be cheerful. God had no children too weak, but a great many too strong to make use of. God stands in no need of our strength or wisdom, but of our ignorance, of our weakness; let us but give these to Him, and He can make use of us in winning souls....
  • How To Opt Out Of Obamacare

    12/05/2013 2:34:37 PM PST · by wmfights · 40 replies
    The Federalist ^ | 12/3/2013 | Sean Parnell
    December has arrived, and the deadline to apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act that will be effective January 1 is looming large. Recent press accounts suggest the online exchanges are working somewhat better than before, although there are still problems with the federal site and several of the state sites as well. At the same time that people are being urged to sign up for health insurance by the Obama administration and its allies, others are urging people to ‘opt out’ of Obamacare, particularly the young who are generally being asked to pay much higher premiums than...
  • Is Obama locked in a victim mentality?

    10/10/2013 3:11:06 PM PDT · by wmfights · 37 replies
    Fox News.Com ^ | October 10, 2013 | Dr. Keith Ablow
    President Obama’s rhetoric is finally coming closer to what appears to be his psychological truth: Because America victimized him and countless millions of others, any person or party or movement that opposes his views and does not yield to him is not just his adversary, but abusive, predatory and even threatening. Again and again, President Obama has described members of Congress who insist on fiscal responsibility as having taken “hostages,” “demanding a ransom,” using “extortion,” and threatening to “blow up” the government. On Tuesday, in fact, the president used these exact words when speaking to the press, “What you haven't...
  • Yes, I Think This Means the GOP is Winning

    10/08/2013 7:22:43 AM PDT · by wmfights · 46 replies
    Red State ^ | October 8th, 2013 | Erick Erickson
    Polling shows more Americans blame the GOP than Barack Obama. I think this means the GOP is winning. You’ll need to let me explain. Republican leaders have lived in abject fear for the last two months that there would be an overwhelming backlash against them. In 1995, public opinion ran against the GOP 2 to 1. Bill Clinton consistently got the better of the GOP. With that history in mind, the GOP leadership in Washington, when no fundraising off Ted Cruz’s hard line, has been soiling itself afraid the GOP might actually go along with him. And the party did....
  • Cruz vs. McConnell and Why it Matters

    09/26/2013 2:26:37 PM PDT · by wmfights · 35 replies
    Red State ^ | September 26th, 2013 | Matt Bevin
    The most shocking thing about Ted Cruz’s 21-hour filibuster was not that the courageous Texan managed to stand for 21 and 19 minutes. What was truly shocking, however, were the criticisms coming from Sen. Cruz’s own Republican colleagues. Every Republican politician in Washington has campaigned against Obamacare. A good number of senators and representatives were elected to Congress on a platform of repealing Obamacare no matter what it takes. But when push came to shove, when the occasion demanded courage and guts, most of these Republicans were nowhere to be found, including the so-called leader of the Republican Party, Sen....
  • A Cruz Missile Launch, Like a Light, Shows the Cockroaches Scurrying

    09/24/2013 3:52:09 PM PDT · by wmfights · 18 replies
    Red State ^ | September 24th, 2013 | Erik Erickson
    The GOP has made a mint off opposition to Obamacare and, ironically, now attack conservatives as being in this fight for the money. Takes one to know one, except these groups are not stopping. It is dawning on Republican leaders these groups actually, really believe in this fight. Like a light switch flipping on, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are casting light on the scurrying of Republican roaches in and out of the Capitol. Republican congressmen and Senators are now openly attacking Cruz and Lee. Outside groups like Americans for Tax Reform and outside media interests like the Wall Street...
  • Poll: Republicans embracing libertarian priorities

    09/11/2013 1:56:48 PM PDT · by wmfights · 198 replies
    Politico ^ | 9/11/13 | JAMES HOHMANN
    Two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they want their member of Congress to “keep their promises and stick to principles” as opposed to “compromise in a bipartisan way to get things done.” “From Obamacare on down, sticking to principle is where the Republican base is today,” said David Kirby, vice president of opinion research at FreedomWorks. “It’s an example of how off the Republican establishment is from their base.” Social issues have become less salient to GOP voters: 41 percent said gay marriage is not one of their top 10 issues. Asked about abortion, about one-third said it is...
  • The Age of the Universe

    08/05/2013 6:15:40 PM PDT · by wmfights · 158 replies
    GeraldSchroeder.com ^ | Gerald Schroeder
    We look back in time, and say the universe is 15 billion years old. But as every scientist knows, when we say the universe is 15 billion years old, there's another half of the sentence that we rarely bother to say. The other half of the sentence is: The universe is 15 billion years old as seen from the time-space coordinates of the earth. The key is that the Torah looks forward in time, from very different time-space coordinates, when the universe was small. Since then, the universe has expanded out. Space stretches, and that stretching of space totally changes...
  • Poll: Obama holds 8-point lead over Romney among Catholic voters

    09/13/2012 9:41:26 AM PDT · by wmfights · 89 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 9/12/2012 | Neil Munro
    A new poll by a Catholic advocacy group shows President Barack Obama has a slight lead over Gov. Mitt Romney among non-Hispanic Catholics, despite the stalled economy and his 2012 establishment of church regulations requiring them to fund contraception and abortion-related services that they abhor. The poll of 2,629 likely Catholic voters, an unusually large sample, showed that 46.5 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics support Obama, while 45.6 percent support Romney. The poll was commissioned by The Catholic Association, and it showed Obama getting 49 percent of Catholics overall, including those of Hispanic descent. Only 41 percent support Romney, while 10...
  • HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE And WHY WE BELIEVE IT IS GOD'S WORD

    07/27/2012 2:27:56 PM PDT · by wmfights · 67 replies
    Baptist Bible Believer's Website ^ | 1926 | W. H. Griffith Thomas
    CHAPTER ONE STRUCTURE AND HISTORY OF THE BIBLE OUR English version, and probably most of the translations of the Bible, consists of sixty-six Books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New, and is regarded with special consideration by all Christians because it is held to be the record of the divine religion of Redemption. The Old Testament shows how this religion was prepared through many centuries; the New tells how it was at length provided and proclaimed. The keynote of the former is, therefore, Preparation, and this is twofold: - The preparation of the Redeemer for the...
  • PLATONISM’S INFLUENCE ON CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY

    07/24/2012 4:50:47 PM PDT · by wmfights · 43 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D
    IMPACT OF PLATONISM ON ESCHATOLOGY Randy Alcorn has specifically addressed the impact of Platonism on Christian eschatology. In doing so he has coined the term, Christoplatonism. As the title suggests, Christoplatonism is a philosophy that “has blended elements of Platonism with Christianity.”46 But as he points out, this merger is not a good thing since this mixture of Platonism with Christianity “has poisoned Christianity and blunted its distinct differences from Eastern religions.”47 According to Alcorn, Christoplatonism’s pervasive influence 41 Blaising, “Premillennialism,” 162. 42 Russell D. Moore, “Personal and Cosmic Eschatology,” in A Theology for the Church, ed. Daniel L. Akin...
  • PLATONISM’S INFLUENCE ON CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY

    07/22/2012 12:14:15 PM PDT · by wmfights · 70 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D
    Much attention in recent years has been devoted to the influence of Greek philosophy on Christian doctrine. This has been especially true in regard to the nature and attributes of God. Some have also contended that Christian eschatology has been negatively influenced by Greek Platonic assumptions and ideas. Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, for instance, asserts that biblical eschatology has been largely replaced by Christoplatonism which is a merger of Christianity and the ideas of Plato.1 According to Alcorn, common conceptions of heaven are often influenced more by Platonic ideas than they are the Bible. In an interview with Time, N....
  • Theological Implications of Zechariah 14

    07/05/2012 3:44:31 PM PDT · by wmfights · 11 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | 23 August 2011 | Michael Vlach
    In my two previous blogs I summarized Zechariah 14. Now I want to highlight some key theological implications of this chapter. First, Zechariah 14 affirms that there is a coming kingdom upon the earth. Verse 9 explicitly states—“And the LORD will be king over all the earth.” God will rule over the planet He created. Eugene Merrill is correct that, “The God who led His people through spatial, temporal history will recreate the cosmos in those same categories. This is why a literal hermeneutic is essential in the absence of compelling evidence otherwise.”[1] Second, Zechariah 14 affirms that the kingdom...
  • Zechariah 14:10-21 and the Nature of the Coming Kingdom

    07/02/2012 3:33:37 PM PDT · by wmfights · 6 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | August 17, 2011 | Michael Vlach
    (The following is Part 2 of a three-part series on Zechariah 14) Zechariah 14:1–9 revealed the timing of the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom comes in the context of a multi-national siege of Jerusalem that is foiled by the Lord’s intervention on behalf of Jerusalem and the people of Israel. At that time, “The Lord will be king over all the earth” (v. 9). Verse 10–21 reveal important details about the nature of the kingdom. The kingdom involves even more changes to Jerusalem as verse 10 indicates: “All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon...
  • Zechariah 14 and the Timing of the Kingdom

    06/25/2012 1:36:41 PM PDT · by wmfights · 14 replies
    TheologicalStudies ^ | August 15, 2011 | Michael Vlach
    This is first of a 3-part series on Zechariah 14 Part 1 will discuss the timing of the kingdom. Part 2 will discuss the nature of the kingdom. Part 3 will tackle theological implications of the kingdom from Zechariah 14. Zechariah 14 has significant information concerning the kingdom of God, and thus should be a major area of study for those desiring to understand the kingdom. Important for our purposes is verse 9 which states: And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only...
  • Amillennialism vs Premillennialism

    06/19/2012 1:55:20 PM PDT · by wmfights · 66 replies
    Rapture Notes ^ | Gary Vaterlaus
    In this article, we first examined the tap root that contributed to the rejection of a literal thousand-year kingdom on earth, the dominant view for the first two centuries of the church, in favour of a spiritualized kingdom unlimited in duration (amillennialism). The single factor: the adoption of an allegorical hermeneutic, which replaced the literal or face-value hermeneutic of Jesus and the apostles. Four sub-roots fed this hermeneutical shift. First: the anti-Jewish bias of the early church developed as a result of a church dominated by gentile believers. Second: an overreaction to heresy, which included the condemnation not only of...
  • Why Premillennialism Mattered in the Early Church’s Battle against Gnosticism

    06/15/2012 2:12:00 PM PDT · by wmfights · 14 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D.
    Discussions about eschatology and millennial views are sometimes dogged by questions about their importance and practical relevance.1 Yet early church history shows that belief in a particular millennial view, in this case premillennialism, was no small thing. In fact, it was a major weapon in the early church’s battle against the greatest enemy to Christianity of that era— Gnosticism. Donald Fairbairn argues this point in his article, “Contemporary Millennial/Tribulational Debates.”2 Fairbairn is a professor of historical theology at Erskine Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate in patristics from the University of Cambridge. I would like to summarize some of Fairbairn’s...
  • What Did Christians Close to John the Apostle Believe about the Millennium?

    06/13/2012 1:12:26 PM PDT · by wmfights · 79 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D.
    It has been said that one can use church history to prove just about anything. There is some wisdom to that old adage and that is why we must be careful when we use church history to support what we believe. Also, evangelicals have often rightly declared that as important as church history is, our doctrinal beliefs must first and foremost be grounded in Scripture. Thus, the proper perspective is to pay close attention to church history and learn from it, but also understand that Scripture takes priority over church history when it comes to what we should believe. With...
  • The Importance of Supersessionism to Theology

    06/11/2012 12:11:54 PM PDT · by wmfights · 15 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    In recent years, a greater awareness of the relationship between supersessionism and the major categories of Christian theology has developed. R. Kendall Soulen, for example, points out that current perceptions toward supersessionism are “fraught with profound implications for the whole range of Christian theological reflection.”[i] Craig A. Blaising asserts that issues related to supersessionism affect the doctrines of God, anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology, and eschatology.[ii] Although it is beyond the purpose of this work to examine fully how supersessionism relates to all aspects of Christian theology, a brief sketch of this relationship will highlight the importance of the supersessionist view to...
  • The Arguments For and Against Supersessionism

    06/08/2012 8:22:58 AM PDT · by wmfights · 120 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    The doctrine of supersessionism holds that the New Testament church permanently replaces or supersedes national Israel as the people of God. Those who are nonsupersessionists, however, assert the opposite. They hold that the church is not the new Israel who replaces or supersedes national Israel as the people of God. In this article we will briefly list the major hermeneutical assumptions and theological arguments of both supersessionism and nonsupersessionism. The purpose of this article is not to evaluate the arguments of either side. We are simply listing the main arguments made by both sides in this debate. HERMENEUTICAL ASSUMPTIONS OF...
  • Origen and Supersessionism Origen and Supersessionism

    06/05/2012 2:42:18 PM PDT · by wmfights · 18 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    The influential church father, Origen (c. 185–254), was important to the development of supersessionism. He taught that Israel was permanently rejected by God and that the church was the new Israel. Concerning Israel’s rejection, Origen promoted a punitive supersessionist approach in which the people of Israel were forever “abandoned because of their sins.”[1] He also declared: “And we say with confidence that they [Jews] will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the Saviour of the human race in that city where they offered up to God...
  • Justin Martyr and Supersessionism

    06/01/2012 12:02:44 PM PDT · by wmfights · 157 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 100–165) is important in the history of supersessionism because he was the first Christian writer to explicitly identify the church as “Israel.”[1] Justin declared, “For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham . . . are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ.”[2] He also said, “Since then God blesses this people [i.e., Christians], and calls them Israel, and declares them to be His inheritance, how is it that you [Jews] repent not of the deception you practise on yourselves, as if you alone were the Israel?”[3] Justin...
  • Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30: New Testament Evidence for the Restoration of the Nation Israel

    05/28/2012 7:30:18 AM PDT · by wmfights · 3 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Those who hold to replacement theology often claim that the New Testament is silent concerning the idea of a restoration of the nation Israel. But is the New Testament really silent on this matter? Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30 appear to be two passages among several that offer explicit New Testament evidence in favor of a restoration of the nation Israel. Matthew 19:28states: And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones,...
  • Matt 23:37–39 and Luke 13:34–35: NT Reaffirmations of the OT Expectation for Israel

    05/22/2012 2:27:23 PM PDT · by wmfights · 35 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Certain passages like Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30, Romans 11:25-27, and Acts 1:6 explicitly reaffirm the Old Testament expectation of a restoration of the nation Israel. In addition, the passages of Matthew 23:37–39 and Luke 13:34–35 also appear to be New Testament evidence for such a restoration.[1]Matthew 23:37–39 records Jesus’ words to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold your house is being left to...
  • Is the Church Called “Israel” in Romans 9:6?

    05/16/2012 3:48:19 PM PDT · by wmfights · 129 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Romans 9:6 is a passage sometimes used by supersessionists to show that the church is explicitly called Israel.[1] This verse reads, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.” Some see in the first mention of “Israel” a concept of Israel that goes beyond ethnic boundaries. Thus, Paul is allegedly making a distinction between ethnic Israel and a spiritual Israelthat consists of all believers including Gentiles. This is the view of Ridderbos: “Even the distinction Paul makes within national Jerusalem between who is and who...
  • Famous Theologians Who Affirm a Future for Israel

    05/14/2012 7:23:53 PM PDT · by wmfights · 13 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    The purpose of this document is to provide quotations from famous theologians who have affirmed some form of a future for the Jews or national Israel. We have also included statements from historians who have made comments about how theologians of a particular era or group viewed Israel's future. (Please note that we are not asserting that all these men believe the same thing about Israel.) Thomas Aquinas "It is possible to designate a terminus, because it seems that the blindness of the Jews will endure until all the pagans chosen for salvation have accepted the faith. And this is...
  • Does Matthew 21:43 Support Replacement Theology?

    05/10/2012 4:23:42 PM PDT · by wmfights · 29 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    One text often used by supersessionists to support the idea of the permanent rejection of national Israel is Matt 21:43.[1] In this verse, which Frederick Dale Bruner calls “one of the most important verses in Matthew,”[2] Jesus addressed the unbelief of the leaders of the nation Israel and announced his rejection of them because of their stubborn unbelief: “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.” What is the significance of Jesus’ words in Matt 21:43? Supersessionists often assert that Jesus was making...
  • Does Acts 1:6–7 Teach the Restoration of the Nation Israel?

    05/09/2012 4:46:59 PM PDT · by wmfights · 4 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Acts 1:6–7 reads: “And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.’” This text is important in the debate over whether national Israel will undergo a national restoration. Nonsupersessionists, who believe in a restoration of national Israel, claim this text, which describes Jesus’ final interchange with his apostles, affirms the idea of a restoration of the nation Israel.[i] They usually do...
  • Defining Supersessionism

    05/07/2012 2:38:10 PM PDT · by wmfights · 89 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    This section we will attempt a precise definition of supersessionism. Various titles have been used in identifying the view that the church has permanently replaced Israel in God’s plan. As Marten H. Woudstra observes, “The question whether it is more proper to speak of a replacement of the Jews by the Christian church or of an extension (continuation) of the OT people of God into that of the NT church is variously answered.”[i] The most common designation used in recent scholarly literature to identify this position is “supersessionism.” Commenting on this term, Clark M. Williamson writes, “‘Supersessionism’ comes from two...
  • Augustine's Contribution to Supersessionism

    05/03/2012 5:00:42 PM PDT · by wmfights · 22 replies
    Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach
    Augustine’s contribution to the doctrine of supersessionism is significant. James Carroll points out that Augustine’s attitude toward the Jews was rooted in “assumptions of supersessionism.”[i] According to Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Augustine (354–430) introduced a “negative element into judgment on the Jews.”[ii] He did so by advancing the “‘theory of substitution’ whereby the New Israel of the church became a substitute of ancientIsrael.”[iii] In line with supersessionist theology, Augustine explicitly stated that the title “Israel” belonged to the Christian church: “For if we hold with a firm heart the grace of God which hath been given us, we are Israel,...