You are hereHal Lindsey, Obama, and the Antichrist

Hal Lindsey, Obama, and the Antichrist


By Virgil - Posted on 09 August 2008

By Gary DeMar

It’s a mystery to me why anyone would listen to Hal Lindsey on Bible prophecy. His 1970 Late Great Planet Earth is a lasting testimony to getting almost everything wrong. In 1977, Lindsey stated that if his 1948-1988 prophetic scenario did not come to pass, he would be a “bum.” Sorry to say, that Lindsey has stayed in prophecy business and is still making predictions He said the following in an articole posted on World Net Daily: “Obama is correct in saying that the world is ready for someone like him—a messiah-like figure charismatic and glib….The Bible calls that leader the Antichrist. And it seems apparent that the world is now ready to make his acquaintance.”While Lindsey is not saying that Obama is the antichrist (others are), he is saying that we are on the brink of the end times. Of course, he’s been saying this for quite some time. It was in 1970 that Lindsey stated that he believed that the antichrist was alive somewhere in the world. (Obama was born in 1961). Lindsey repeated this belief in a 1977 interview when he stated that it was his “personal opinion” that “he’s alive somewhere now. But he’s not going to become this awesome figure that we nickname the Anti-Christ until Satan possesses him, and I don’t believe that will occur until there is this ‘mortal wound’ from which he’s raised up.”

The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins shows that there is still a large appetite for end-time books, even after the memory of a long history of failed predictions—from Oswald J. Smith (1889–1986), who in 1926 predicted that Mussolini was the dreaded antichrist to Edgar Whisenant who was emphatic that the rapture would take place in 1988. When 1988 came and went, Whisenant pointed to 1989. With the arrival of 1990, twenty-three reasons were offered into evidence for a 1993 rapture that never came. Still not shaken by his poor prophetic track record, Whisenant predicted earth’s destruction by nuclear fire in 1994. He continued to speculate into 1997 with similar results. Here’s what’s on the front cover of the 1927 edition of Smith’s Is the Antichrist at Hand? (also see Smith’s When Antichrist Reigns):

In 1934, Benito Mussolini sent his black-shirted Fascists down into defenseless Ethiopia and preachers all over the country got up in their pulpits and preached spellbinding sermons that had their congregations bulging at the eyes in astonishment about “Mussolini, the Anti-Christ,” and to prove their point they quoted from Daniel 11:43, which says, “And the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” Later, Benito, whimpering, was hung by his own countrymen, and preachers all over America had to toss their sermons into the scrap basket as unscriptural.

Ewing goes on to mention Hitler and how his storm troopers took Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, North Africa, and set up concentration camps where millions of Jews were killed in what has become the modern-day definition of a Holocaust. Once again, preachers ascended their pulpits and linked these events to Bible prophecy and assured the church-going public that Hitler was the antichrist. When the allies routed the Nazis and drove them out, sermons were once again tossed out or filed away to be revised at some future date hoping people’s memories had faded. Little has changed.

The Antidote to Antichrist Speculation: Biblical definition of Antichrist

1. The antichrist is a religious figure: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22), and “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7).

2. The word antichrist does not appear in the book of Revelation or in Daniel 9:24–27, even though the antichrist is suppose to be the main character of these passages.

3. There is no mention of a rebuilt temple Daniel 9 or in Revelation where supposedly antichrist is to take his seat. The temple was still standing when Paul described the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2). For a study of this overused and abused chapter, see my book Last Days Madness.

4. There is no mention of an antichrist making and/or breaking a covenant with the Jews.

5. Antichrists were alive in the first century because it was the “last hour,” the time before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (1 John 2:18). Speaking of antichrist, John wrote “For many deceivers have gone out into the world” (2 John 2:7).

From: http://www.americanvision.org/garyblog/?p=45#more-45

Starlight's picture

Gary is correct of course and the destructive attitudes that permeate American religious circles because of an over literalizing of scripture continues to result in gross cultural misapplications. Countering this mass biblical ignorance has no simple solution but overcoming that dilemma is the only means to lessen the masses from following comparable witchcraft and voodoo ideas. We think we have come a long way since the 15 and 1600’s and the days of Salem trials when people were physically hung because of religious ignorance but in truth we may be just as ignorant in a collective sense as were the residents of Salem as some try to hang poor old Obama politically.

Just as provocative as the end times literalizing and it’s detrimental effect upon American economic and cultural life is the same process occurring at the beginning of scriptures. Because of poor biblical hermeneutics concerning Genesis we have mass numbers of Americans who are scientific weaklings causing degradation in the collective American scientific community. Mass numbers of children nowadays enter college with an anti scientific mentality and cannot function emotionally in a strong scientific worldview.

Many take pride in this dumbing down of America but end times scandals are only the tip of the iceberg. Mark Knoll in his 1995 book “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” lays out the problems that will unfortunately continue with us for an indeterminate period of time into the future.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

It is unfortunate that you also seem to have succumbed to the blatant error that has been deliberately fostered that permeates American religious circles: the blatant error that claims dispensationalism is the conclusion derived from over literalizing of scripture.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is not a problem of over literalizing, but not literalizing at all, as Gary points out clearly in this posting.

It would seem from your comment that you advocate following the same path in this regard as the dispensationalists as it pertains to the beginning of scriptures.

Again as Gary seems to point out, the single correct cure for all of these errors is the system to which dispensationalists falsely give lip service: the system that agrees with the propositional truth contained in a literal interpretation of scripture.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Let me give you a choice between literal and spiritual below. From these sections of scripture can you tell me which ones are speaking primarily about farming and agriculture and which ones are speaking of the spiritual?

For the earth which drinks in the RAIN that often comes upon it, and BEARS HERBS useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears THORNS AND BRIERS, it is rejected and near to being CURSED, whose end is to be burned.

and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-- … "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it."

He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful

"Son of man, say to the land, 'You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.'

Be patient, then, brethren, till the presence of the Lord; lo, the husbandman doth expect the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, till he may receive rain--early and latter;

Blessings

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

The is never simply a choice between literal and spiritual. The choice is between the proper, or univocal definitional, use of a word and the improper, or metaphoric, use of a word as the subject or predicate of a proposition. And the choice between the natural physical or the non natural spiritual use of a word, either or both of which could be used properly or improperly. God is a spirit but God is literally God.

The consideration then is to determine whether the form of the words being used to function as the subject are being used properly or improperly and the whether the form of the words that function to predicate something of the subject are being used properly or improperly.

But, at all times both those things physical natural that are seen and those things non physical spiritual that are not seen are literal.

Given this explanation you might want to ask me whether the words functioning as the subject and predicate of Genesis 1:1 are being used properly or improperly. Since this scripture seemed to be the one you were referring to in your comment. And if they are being used properly you might ask by what authority I would have the right to claim they were being used improperly, if that was what I or anyone else were to claim.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

There is a simple Preterist hermeneutic called letting scripture interpret scripture. You don't really need any contorted explanations for those verses that I presented to you as the context of the Bible describes them as speaking of spiritual things. All you need to do is see how scripture uses these metaphoric symbols and apply them across the board.

All the verses are randomly picked throughout scripture and all deal with the spiritual language of the Bible. The second quote which are from Genesis 2 and 3 shows the same patterns of symbols that the rest of scripture portray. Therefore one must choose to go outside the biblical methodology to state that the Genesis verse were speaking physically about agriculture and farming.

Going outside the biblical symbolism that is applied to these terms destroys the Hebrew continuity and consistency of scripture. Doing so just to make Genesis suit ones own preconceived ideas then would be violating the word of God and place one in jeopardy of adding to and taking away from Gods word.

If scriptures are consistent then one must show just cause for discarding that consistency when exegeting scripture and we just can't pick and choose when to follow biblical patterns at our own whim and fancy.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

As far as I can determine your method is to ignore all laws of grammar and deny any laws of reasoning or definitions of words and consider all of scripture to be a spiritual metaphoric language to be interpreted by a predetermined method of preteristic hermeneutics that is not able to be understood by the uninitiated.

As a simple example of your metaphoric biblical language I wonder if you would exegete Matthew 16:28 according to the method of preteristic hermeneutics.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

You are overcomplicating a simple discussion. You must look at the context of the scripture and also determine not only the grammatical structure but whether it is symbolical language at times. Trying to ignore what has been consistently symbolic in all of scriptures is the problem that I am identifying.

I’m sure you recognize symbolic language when you feel comfortable with it but the trick is to learn to accept it when it undermines ones long held paradigms.

Tom take a look at some more verses concerning death which you bring up and see if you can determine whether they are talking about physical or spiritual death.

(John 6:50 NIV) But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which A MAN MAY EAT AND NOT DIE.

(John 11:26 NIV) and whoever lives and believes in me WILL NEVER DIE. Do you believe this?"

(Rom 8:13 NIV) For if you live according to the sinful nature, YOU WILL DIE; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

(1 Pet 2:24 NIV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, SO THAT WE MIGHT DIE TO SINS and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

(2 Cor 3:7 NIV) Now if the MINISTRY THAT BROUGHT DEATH, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, … If the MINISTRY THAT CONDEMNS MEN is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!

Tom is the “MINISTRY THAT BROUGHT DEATH” given to Moses talking about physical death or spiritual death? You see there are clearly two discussions within scripture that talk about “death”, one physical such as the verse you provided and others are spiritual such as these above examples. Surely you would not have biblical students ignore these well understood distinctions concerning death?

Context is so important in determining which “death” is under discussion in scriptures. It’s the same with the verses that I first presented to you. One must first recognize that rain, ground, thorns, thistles, curse and burning is used symbolically throughout scripture. Then when one finds such language it must be determined how to apply this language. Since we have clear usage symbolically of those terms by Isaiah, Paul and others we know then that they are to be used contextually symbolically.

If the only place that one finds in scripture that they are not symbolic is Genesis then I would venture to say that most likely they are indeed used symbolically in Genesis as well, especially since the prophets and apostles derived their understandings from Genesis. We know from Paul’s writings that he considered the death of Adam in the Garden was spiritual, we also know that he made spiritual application of the discussion of husband and wife from Genesis to Christ and the church (Eph 5:32) We also recognize that it was the commandment/law that brought spiritual death (separation from God).

Rom 7:9 Once I was alive apart from LAW; but when the COMMANDMENT came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very COMMANDMENT that was intended to bring life actually BROUGHT DEATH.

You see Tom it makes no sense to change hermeneutic horses in the middle of the stream when we deal with Genesis. It was the foundational beginnings of scripture and how it was perceived by the Jews is how they used it in later scriptures as they were led by the spirit. We know that they chose to understand it symbolically so it might just be important for us to learn from them and apply it consistently instead of applying our own outside methodology to Genesis.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

Somehow you seem to combine the spiritual with symbolism. With the spiritual as symbolism you seem to think spiritual truth is not literally true.

There is that which is spiritual and that which is natural. Death physically is literally true and death spiritually is also literally true. Neither of these two truths are metaphoric or symbolic of anything else. As is the truth of physical life and spiritual life, both are literally true and not symbolic of something else. As is the resurrection of the dead.

Norm, you say: "Tom is the “MINISTRY THAT BROUGHT DEATH” given to Moses talking about physical death or spiritual death? You see there are clearly two discussions within scripture that talk about “death”, one physical such as the verse you provided and others are spiritual such as these above examples. Surely you would not have biblical students ignore these well understood distinctions concerning death?"

With this comment you clearly acknowledge that there is the natural death and there is the spiritual death. You also seem to understand that both are literally true and not symbolic or metaphoric of something else, the term death has a definition and is not symbolic of something else. You also confirm that it is the context that determines the meaning whether natural or spiritual. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING.

Contrast that with a term that has no spiritual meaning but can in fact be used improperly to be symbolic or metaphoric of something else. A term for instance of a LION. There is a scripture that speaks of: "The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed..." (Rev. 5:5) There is no natural or spiritual lion being described in this verse. The immediate context clearly reveals the the term LION is being used improperly as a symbolic or metaphoric description of our Lord, also combined with the metaphoric description of our Lord as the: "Root of David." Nor can your method of Consistency or Comparing scripture with scripture be applied to the term Lion to always describe our Lord. By comparing scripture with scripture, as witness: 2 Tim 4:17 and 1 Peter 5:8 we find that the term Lion is being used improperly or metaphorically not of our Lord but of Satan.

Similarly the two olive trees described by Paul (Romans 11) there are indeed actual physical olive tree both cultivated and wild but there are no actual spiritual olive trees. This passage is using the olive trees improperly as a metaphoric description of something other than actual olive trees with branches and leaves and roots.

The same is true for the two cities. There is an actual city of Jerusalem but there is no spiritual city of Jerusalem. The heavenly city of Jerusalem is being used improperly or metaphorically to describe something other than an actual city.

Again Norm, I hope this explanation helps.
Tom

Starlight's picture

Thanks Tom,

Now that you have described the process of determining the meaning of scripture I now take you back to my original question. I will also simplify the matter and eliminate all of the scriptures except three. I leave you with Hebrews 6:7-8 and Gen 2:5-6 and 3:17-18 and I leave you with this simple task. I will ask you to explain how the reader is to determine through your process whether these verses are speaking of spiritual blessings and curses or are they speaking of physical blessings and curses.

Now we notice that both sections speak of rain, plants, thorns and thistles/briers, working the ground or cultivating.

Also the context of Hebrews is the discussion of the eminent destruction of the Mosaic covenant known as the “body of death.” (2 Cor 3:7)

The Genesis section originally discusses the absence of these attributes for blessings and then later after the introduction of the beginning of “Adamic death” (1 Cor 15:21-22) there is a cursing of the ground.

My request to you is for you to demonstrate through your method how to determine whether these verses are assigned a physical or spiritual meaning primarily in their context. Next once you assign each scripture listed would you explain their meaning as you have determined from your methodology. I will agree to provide my understanding as soon as you provide yours. We then can compare notes. I have limited this exercise to three short sections of similar type langue so that we can be brief.

Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinks in the RAIN that often comes upon it, and BEARS HERBS useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears THORNS AND BRIERS, it is rejected and near to being CURSED, whose end is to be burned.

Gen 2:5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-- …
3:17 … "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Blessings

Norm
PS. By the way anyone else who would like to provide their understanding is welcome to reply as well.

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I have every intention of answering your request as soon as you acknowledge accurately what you describe as: "your method of interpretation." and ask your questions accordingly.

I have explained that the contrast is between that which is seen which is natural, that has actual physical existence, and that which is not seen, which is spiritual and does not have actual physical existence. Both of which are literally true.

I have also explained that the words that are used in the scriptures explaining both the natural and the spiritual may be used properly, according to their definition and improperly or metaphorically to represent something else.

If you would clarify your request and ask for my understanding according to "my method" and not yours, I will gladly acquiesce.

1 Are the subjects and predicates in these verses natural or spiritual? (This, as you well know, was the question our Lord asked Nicodemus to understand JN 3:12)
2) Are the words that are used to describe either the natural or the spiritual being used properly or improperly?

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Ok so that there is no misunderstanding I'm asking for your understanding of those three scriptures according to your method. I leave your method completly open without preconditions and entirely up to you.

Feel free to respond as you feel appropriate.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

Since you only asked for my response to your question of natural or spiritual as it applies to the three scriptures you listed. my simple response to that question is natural to all three based upon the explanation of natural as that which is seen and spiritual as that which is not seen, that I have given you.

I find no scriptural verification of the actual existence of a spiritual earth that drinks spiritual rain, or the actual existence of spiritual herbs that are actually spiritually blessed by God or the actual existence of spiritual thorns or spiritual briers that are actually spiritually cursed by God and actually spiritually burned up by an actual spiritual fire.

This same response would apply to both Genesis scriptures as you have listed them also.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

If by “natural” you mean that the language in these three sections is meant to provide “agricultural implications only” then I would have to strongly disagree with your assumption. You see agricultural is the natural implication of the language and words under question but the context of the discussion in Hebrews 6 is clearly not concerned with farming.

The recognition that the language in Heb 6:7-8 has no spiritual or Heavenly implications Tom would be rejected by most serious commentators. I’m afraid your natural method would leave you stranded theologically. Simply take a look at another section where Jesus uses the plant metaphors to illustrate the same message that we find in Heb 6:7-8. This is really an elementary biblical metaphorical principal as Christ compares the false prophets to bad fruit coming from thornbushes and thistles.

(Mat 7:15 NIV) "Watch out for false prophets….. 16 BY THEIR FRUIT you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from THORNBUSHES, or figs from THISTLES? 17 Likewise every good TREE BEARS GOOD FRUIT, BUT A BAD TREE BEARS BAD FRUIT. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 EVERY TREE THAT DOES NOT BEAR GOOD FRUIT IS CUT DOWN AND THROWN INTO THE FIRE. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

I hope Tom that you will not refuse that the language of Heb 6:7-8 are speaking of the similar concepts that Christ illustrated in Matt 7:15-20. Do you notice that both sections end with FIRE OR BURNING for these spiritually unproductive plants (people)?

Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinks in the RAIN that often comes upon it, and BEARS HERBS useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears THORNS AND BRIERS, it is rejected and near to being CURSED, whose END IS TO BE BURNED.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

It is difficult for me to keep up with your grasshopper methods. You ask one specific question, ignore my reply and then hop to a different scripture and a different question.

All of this you do while denigrating my answers and then applying your explanation exactly according to the methods I have just explained.

You admit that there is both the natural and the spiritual which is exactly what I have explained. Since you take exception to my explanation I can only conclude that you deny that either the natural or the spiritual is not literally true. Both of which I maintain are literally true.

I then explained that words are used both properly and improperly or metaphorically, which you again denigrate and then turn right around and apply that same explanation yourself. It is difficult for me to believe that you deny this explanation since you apply this method yourself.

I then explained that the context of the particular scripture being examined determines whether the subject and predicate of that scripture are spiritual or natural and whether the words being used in that particular scripture in the text are being used properly or improperly. You continue to denigrate that explanation and then turn right around and repeat that same explanation as your own method.

You speak of words implying something. I say to you that words do not imply anything. A word is just that, a word. The word thorn in its proper or natural usage implies nothing other than a thorn. Only when the word thorn is used improperly or metaphorically does it have any meaning or implication other than its proper meaning. Thorns are not cursed by God because they are thorns. God certainly did not curse thorns or burn them up or consider them as something evil when he deliberately gave them to Paul. Nor were Paul's thorns actual thorns in their proper or natural meaning, they were thorns metaphorically using an improper meaning.

It is the application of the essential properties of a natural thorn to that which is not a thorn that we are able to comprehend the improper or metaphorical use of the word thorn.

Such would be my understanding of Hebrews 6:6-7.

I hope this helps
Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Yes I may be confused.

So we agree then that Heb 6:7-8 is speaking metaphorically.
And since the Genesis verses in question were similar then we can draw similar conclusions for them as well.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

Absolutely not. Positively not. And any other way to say NO, NO, NO. This is the major NO, NO, of interpretation.

The determination of natural or spiritual and proper or improper is positively and definitely determined solely by the immediate context of the words as they are used in the text under examination, not as they are used in any other text.

Several comments ago I used the example of the word "Lion". From the the scriptures that speak of: "The lion of the tribe of Judah' and "The devil as a roaring lion" and "Snatching out of the laws of the lion", we can understand that the word Lion is being used improperly as a metaphor, but we can not conclude any similar conclusion than that. The immediate context of the text of the scripture will determine whether the subject and predicate are natural or spiritual and which of the essential properties of a lion is being applied metaphorically.

As we can see the subject of these scriptures is different, (one applies to our Lord and the other to Satan) as are the essential lion properties being metaphorically expressed.

I hope this helps
Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

So how do you know 100% positive that the words in Genesis are being applied literally contrasted with your own metaphorical recognition of their usage in Hebrews?

Is it just your hunch or is there some clairvoyant methodology that should provide us insight so that we can discard the same words and similar usage in Genesis as per your application in Hebrews.

It seems to me there is overwhelming biblical evidence that Genesis language has a similar purpose to Hebrews 6:7-8 and since you seem to be making up your own rules of application we are back to you inserting a non biblical application in Genesis because of some unknown and unexplainable explanation from you.

Tom until you can come around to a common sense consistent biblical application I think we have explored this subject about as far as we can.

Thanks for the discussion.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I would have to agree with you about having explored this subject as far as we can. As long as you completely disregard my answers and examples of a consistent common sense hermeneutic interpretation. I will continue to use simple exegesis with the necessary conclusion that follows and I guess you will continue with your eisegesis of pulling any verse you choose and inserting it into a particular passage to make it conform to your predetermined theology.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Yes Tom, we are two peas in a pod: just two wild and crazy guys ;-)

Norm

Islamaphobe's picture

Norm,

I think you are a bit too pessimistic. The times really are a changing, and I suspect that many people sense that we have entered into a great crisis in human history that is going to produce profound changes affecting the entire world. They look to the Bible for answers, and many who do so fall for the messages of sensationalist "evangelists" much like many TV watchers get wrapped up in the latest stories highlighted by the drive-by media. That is much easier than thinking for yourself and exercising your own gray cells.

But there are people who think for themselves and they do change the world. They are changing it right now, and if the absolute numerical growth in the number of people who look to the first century for the "end-time" events prophesied in both the OT and the NT seems disappointing, what really matters is that the rate of such growth substantially exceed the growth rate of the adult population for a long enough period of time. A ten percent growth rate per annum that starts from a small base that maintains itself long enough will ultimately overwhelm a total population that is growing at a far lower rate.

It seems to me that the attraction of premillennialism and the assorted dispensational hokum was largely a response to the pessimism generated by the Higher Criticism in theology, the growth of methodological naturalism featuring Darwinism and all the rest, and the incredibly destructive wars of the 20th century. It is my belief that the tide is turning. Christianity in one form or another is growing rapidly over the world as a whole, and I personally am confident that an implosion of Islam in going to occur--very violently, no doubt!--which is going to produce social change and the reformation of religious beliefs on an incredible scale. It is going to be a rough ride, but a positive outcome is assured.

John S. Evans

Starlight's picture

John,

I’m not sure that my pessimism is any more problematic than yours ;-)
Sounds like some pretty tough times ahead under your viewpoint but I could see how that (yours) could happen but am not inclined to get too specific in predicting the future myself.

I’m just not too enamored with many in America moving quickly to becoming mass adherents to solid bible study so that is why I’m thinking it will take a long time for Preterism to permeate the American scene although it is indeed growing. As I stated in my post I’m thinking we are waging a two prong war on both ends of the bible. Many Preterist are convinced it’s only about Matt 24, 2 Pet 3 and Revelation but I strongly believe that misunderstanding Genesis causes just as much cultural and emotional stagnation as futurism does. I just hate to see that our science community is predominated by non Christians when if we could get rid of the misunderstandings about Genesis more would be more encouraged to approach a belief in God.

For some good news though, I went to hear a man share about his work in China this morning and found it very interesting and encouraging. He has some amazing stories and good news and the interesting thing is that he is now a Preterist and is having a major impact with many Chinese Christians as he has been there since the early 90’s.

The Lord is indeed sovereign over this world and I trust it in His hands.

Blessings

Norm

Duncan's picture

Hey Norm,

I, for one, would be interested in hearing one or two of those amazing stories, if you care to share.

Duncan

Starlight's picture

Duncan,

I can't do justice to the presentation this guy made. But part of the amazing things were the numbers of people that are being reached and the receptivity of those. You know there is a state sponsored Christian program that has the blessings of the state. Similar to European and Catholic state versions to an extent but also somewhat different. Then there is the house church movement that continues to grow and it is not legal but is not persecuted as much as in the past. Things have lightened up recently but they still have to tiptoe around. By the way some house Churches have 1000 members so when we say house churches its more akin to an independent movement.

These house churches though are just like the American models in that they are influenced by head guys who kind of dictate the theology. As an example they like to do baptisms once a year and when some of the converts from our friend wanted to be baptized soon they had to very delicately get approval from these house church leaders. Even then the leaders did not want to be associated with this new baptism upon confession immediately approach. You can see that there is already quite a hierarchy developed in China.

I'm hoping that the Preterist ideas will help reduce this tendency toward governing authorities.

Norm

Virgil's picture

I will have to check out that book, do you know where I can find a copy?

Starlight's picture

Virgil, here are some excerpts from the book on his chapter “Thinking about Science” under the subsection “Why Did Creation Science Take Off?”

“Beyond personal belief and the dynamics of recent social history the spread of creationism also reflects dynamics arising from fundamentalist theology, particularly the eschatological mentality and the fascination for dispensations. A biblical literalism, gaining strength since the 1870s, has fueled both the intense concern for human origins and the end times. Literal readings of Genesis 1-3 find their counterpart in literal readings of Revelation 20 (with its description of the thousand-year reign of Christ). The observation by Ronald Numbers-that, “for Christians expecting the end of the age, Whitcomb and Morris offered a compelling view of earth history framed by symmetrical catastrophic events and connected by a common hermeneutic”-only confirms a connection that both creationists and premillennial dispensationalists had identified long ago. In 1923 George McCready Price made the link explicit:”

“There may be even more to connect the earlier spread of dispensationalism with the later popularity of creation science. Creationism could, in fact, be called scientific dispensationalism, for creation scientist carry the same attitude toward catastrophe and the sharp break between eras into their science that dispensationalists see in the scriptures. For creationists, there are major structural disjunctions between the original created order and the postfall (or postflood) world as we live in it. In the same way that divine quidelines for human life have been altered in each dispensation, so too the original structures of nature have been dislocated by the Fall and the Flood. As in the history of redemption, so too the natural world has its own series of “dispensations” through which it must pass.

Whatever the exact relation of internal and external factors, creation science and attitudes cultivated by creation science have become a major presence in modern evangelicalism. However one accounts for the rise and popularity of creation science, and however much it is possible to see a valuable social purpose in much creationist activity, for the sake of evangelical thought, creationism has been anything but favorable. “

End selected Quotes from page 193-195.

Remember Noll wrote this book 1n 1995 12 years before Tim and Jeff’s book.

Mark A. Noll (born 1946), Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, is a progressive evangelical Christian scholar. In 2005, Noll was named by Time Magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America.[1] Noll is a prolific author and many of his books have earned considerable acclaim within the academic community. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, a book about the anti-intellectual tendencies within the American evangelical movement, was featured in a cover story in the popular American literary and cultural magazine, Atlantic Monthly.[2] He was awarded a National Humanities Medal in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush in 2006.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Noll

You can get the book at amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Scandal-Evangelical-Mind-Mark-Noll/dp/0802841805

Used ones starting at $5.50

Here is a typical sample review from amazon.

“Mark Noll has written a most scathing review of the evangelical mind. His opening sentence says it all: "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is no evangelical mind". True, harsh words, but Noll was able to put into words so much of what bothers me about evangelical Christianity. From creationism to dispensationalism I have been frustrated by the lack of deep thinking within Christian circles and often I find myself branded as a cynic for asking too many questions.
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind does not quite drift into the territory of criticizing BEING an evangelical, only that somewhere along the way, we have let ourselves be co-opted by thinking patterns that stifle good thought processes. Noll deftly traces some of the history and development of the evangelical mind thorough the past few hundred years.”

Norm

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Yes,

That is a very interesting book!

Here is a couple of excerpts from one of my favorite chapters, "The Intellectual Disaster of Fundamentalism."

----------------

In these terms, dispensationalism is is an understanding of the Bible that divides the relationship of God to humanity into sharply separated epochs. The Bible is taken to provide explicit divine interpretation for these epochs, or dispensations, that extend from Adam to the end of the New Testament, as well as for the dispensation foretold in Scripture for the end of time...

The key to dispensationalism's popularity has been an ability to render the prophetic parts of the Bible understandable to ordinary people and applicable to current circumstances... p. 119

Fundamentalism -- especially as articulated in dispensationalism, the most self-conscious theological system supporting the movement -- was important for encouraging several kinds of simple anti-intellectualism... The result was a tendency toward docetism in outlook and a gnosticism in method that together constitute the central intellectual indictment against the fundamentalist past... pp. 122-123

------------------

Lots more in the book.

Tim Martin
www.beyondcreationscience.com

Duncan's picture

As somebody who has spent 8 years and written over 900 pages on this subject, I can say that Obama is definitely not the Antichrist.

As for Hillary being the Antichrist and Bill being the false prophet, I have no comment ;-)

Duncan

Islamaphobe's picture

Duncan,

Well, I don't know. After watching the histrionics of the "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright, I think we have to distinguish between THE false prophet and A false prophet. I have no hesitation in lumping the "Reverend" Wright into the latter group along with Hal Lindsey and numerous others who belong to the Apocalypse Now school of theology. As for THE false prophet, my favorite candidate is the Jewish ecclesitical establishment of the first century that went after those Jews who were open to Christianity.

BTW, you asked in a recent post how my book is doing. There have been only a few sales, but hope springs eternal. I am still working on the promotion. Maybe I need to send a copy to Hal Lindsey!

John S. Evans

Duncan's picture

Hey John,

I am just starting to get volume I (Daniel and 2 Thessalonians) of my book ready for Xulon. Volume 2 will come later and just look at the Antichrist in Revelation. The editor I will be using will be about 2,300 bucks (for just vol. 1; ouch!).

One problem I am having is that Xulon wants the document to have endnotes but not using the endnote function in Word. My manuscript has footnotes and so I need to convert it to endnotes (but not using the endnote funciton). I am thinking of two possible ways to do this:

Basically would I go to every footnote separately and 1. copy it (control c), 2. then erase the footnote, 3. put a corresponding superscript in and then 4. paste the footnote (control v) into a separate footnote document with a corresponding superscript number? That sounds like a royal pain (I have a number of footnotes). Also I do not know where the superscript function is.

Would it be possible to do it this way?

1. Turn the footnotes into endnotes for the whole document (is this possible?). 2. Copy the endnotes and put them in a separate document. 3. Go into my book and erase the endnote number for a given footnote and put in a superscript number (I am still not sure how to put in a superscript number). 4. Go into the new footnote document and erase the number for a given footnote and put in a new superscript number.

The second option sounds easier, is there a third option? Need a little help here, Anybody?

Duncan

ThomasS's picture

Dear Duncan M.,

You may want to consider using a more serious publishing company. BTW, endnotes suck!

It is possible to turn all the footnotes into endnotes. MS Word has this possibility.

Best wishes

Th. S.

Duncan's picture

Thomas,

Yes, ideally I would go with a more serous publishing company. I have made a somewhat half hearted try at it and did not have luck. At that time I hired a consultant. He said 900 pages was too long (unless you are Wright or France, of course). So I am making it into two volumes. He also said that a more traditional publishing company would probably not want to take a chance on it because preterism is a minority view as well as the fact that my Ph.D. is in psychology not theology (they are understandably leery of an amateur writing such a book. But hey, I wouldn't bother if some hot shot Th.D. had written anything remotely similar to what I have written).

Bottom line: Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the best. I go with Xulon for now. Xulon does have some upsides. I get to keep everything in I want :-) and I retain the rights to the book. Plus Xulon can get the book out in three months as opposed to a year or more that the standard publishers usually take.

And yes, I hate, loath and detest end notes! They are a convenience for the publisher at the expense of the author and the reader.

Duncan

Duncan

tom-g's picture

Dear Duncan,

If I might offer my observation. As an independent newspaper publisher I have been faced to some degree with the problems you outline.

I don't know whether you have ever viewed it in this manner but it might help if you clearly recognize that you are dealing with two different and distinct industries in your questions about publishing your book. The first is the editing (I am including preparation and layout in this) and the second is the printing. both of which you are expecting to be performed by the same single publishing company.

You should ask yourself if you are prepared to perform either of these two processes yourself. I can tell you, as a former printer, this process has no concern for anything other than the copy supplied be camera ready, with no alterations. The actual printing is simply a matter of reproducing something and is the least costly of the whole project.

Foot notes or end notes are immaterial to the printing process. And there ought to be any number of printing companies that would accept a finished manuscript, with delivery in days or a few weeks at most with no problems, if you are prepared to furnish them with a camera ready copy. Recognizing of course that the finished printed copy will look exactly the same as what you supply to the printer.

Tom

Tom

tom-g's picture

PS. Including your name printed twice.

Tom

Duncan2's picture

Thanks, Tom Tom ;-)

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