You are hereKenneth Gentry's Latest Desperation

Kenneth Gentry's Latest Desperation

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By dkpret - Posted on 11 June 2009

by Don Preston
I have written numerous articles interacting with Kenneth Gentry, one of the most outspoken critics of Covenant Eschatology today. He is also one of the most ardent advocates of postmillennialism. In my upcoming work on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f entitled We Shall Meet Him In the Air, The Wedding of the King of Kings, I do an in-depth analysis of Gentry’s hermeneutic. It appears to me personally that as time goes on, Gentry becomes more illogical and desperate in his attempts to respond to Covenant Eschatology. His argument addressed in this article is a prime example of that.I have written numerous articles interacting with Kenneth Gentry, one of the most outspoken critics of Covenant Eschatology today. He is also one of the most ardent advocates of postmillennialism. In my upcoming work on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f entitled We Shall Meet Him In the Air, The Wedding of the King of Kings, I do an in-depth analysis of Gentry’s hermeneutic. It appears to me personally that as time goes on, Gentry becomes more illogical and desperate in his attempts to respond to Covenant Eschatology. His argument addressed in this article is a prime example of that.Dr. Gentry takes every opportunity to condemn preterists, but he refuses to actually engage in honorable discussions with preterists. Dr. Gentry has been challenged many times by numerous people, including myself, to meet me in formal public debate. It seems Dr. Gentry is always “too busy.” Anyone wishing to forward this article, with my invitation to formal debate, to Gentry, is more than welcome to do so. I have little hope that he will respond. Every time I have personally emailed him, even though he has opened the posts, he has not even given me the courtesy of a response. We can only hope that this will change.

A brother Ray West, forwarded to me, (6-9-09), a post by Gentry in which he once again takes a shot at preterists. The comments are from his own blog and review of his revised book He Shall Have Dominion. His book is advertised at (https://www.kennethgentry.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=432). I am informed that at this time (6-10-09), there is a problem with the Cart on his site however, so one would need to check with Dr. Gentry before purchasing through the website. Additional note. I have been informed that Gentry’s book can now be purchased from Amazon without risking the issues with Gentry’s site.

Dr. Gentry clearly thinks that he has found a fatal flaw in the preterist argument on Luke 21:22. Here is Mr. Gentry’s argument as I received it:

Begin quote:

In its context Luke 21:22 reads as follows: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Lk 21:20).

Inarguably, (sic) the context here is focusing on AD 70, as even dispensationalists agree.

The hyper-preterists naively assume that Jesus is speaking globally of absolutely all prophecies when he declares that “all things which are written” will be fulfilled in AD 70. They hold, therefore, that no prophecy remains, which means that prophecies regarding the resurrection of all men, the second coming, and more came to pass in AD 70. They base their argument on deficient hermeneutics. Note just one deadly observation against their approach: The grammar of the passage limits the declaration. Jesus speaks of “all things which are written” by employing a perfect passive participle: /gegrammena /(”having been written”). This refers to prophecies already written — when he speaks in AD 30. Yet we know that more prophecies arise later in the New Testament revelation.

Once again we see a limitation on Jesus’ statement. Furthermore, technically it does not even refer to any prophecy which Christ speaks. For these are not prophecies that have already been written. That being the case, the final resurrection (for instance) is outside of this declaration (Jn 5:28-29) http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=joh&chapter=5&verse=28>–29).

Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written. (end quote, DKP)

Quite frankly, I could hardly believe what I was reading from the pen of the erudite Dr. Gentry! He has engaged in numerous debates, and surely knows that one must be careful in making polemic arguments. The absolute desperation, the total failure of logic on the part of Dr. Gentry is glaring and egregious.

Let me summarize Dr. Gentry’s argument for ease of understanding.

Major Premise: When Jesus said (Luke 21:22), that “all things written must be fulfilled,” he referred only to those prophecies (and all of those prophecies), that had been written prior to his statement in A.D. 30.

Minor Premise: All New Testament prophecies of the resurrection (e.g. John 5:28f, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians, etc.), were written after A.D. 30.

Conclusion: Therefore, all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection were not part of the “all things that are written” that were to be fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Here is what Dr. Gentry concludes: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.”

                                   

Gentry’s “logic,” if such it can be called, fails on a number of points. However, I am going to keep this article to the barest minimum.

I will only make two points in response to Dr. Gentry’s amazing argument.

Argument #1– The New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are simply the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies (things already written in A.D. 30).

Proof of this argument: I need only refer to the words of Paul. The apostle affirmed in the most unambiguous manner that his doctrine of the resurrection was nothing but that found in the Old Testament, i.e. in that which had already been written!

Acts 24:14-15: “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”

Paul said his doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, for which he was on trial, was found in Moses and the Law and the prophets. That certainly qualifies as that which was written before A.D. 30.

Acts 26:21-23– “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

Paul said he preached nothing, nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. Do you catch the power of that?

Paul taught of the resurrection of the dead.

But, Paul did not preach anything but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets.

Therefore, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was found in Moses and the prophets.

Romans 8:23– 9:1-4-- “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body... For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.”

The adoption, according to Paul, was the resurrection.

But, the promise of the adoption was given to, and belonged to, Israel after the flesh.

This means that the adoption, the promise of the resurrection, was from the Old Testament prophecies.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55-- “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Paul cites Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 as the source of his resurrection doctrine in Corinthians.

Paul said that the resurrection would be when Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13:14 would be fulfilled.

Thus, the resurrection hope and doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15 was found in, and based on the Old Testament prophecies made to Israel.

            From these texts, it is undeniable that the resurrection hope expressed by the New Testament writers was nothing other than a reiteration of what had already been written long ago in the Old Testament scriptures! This is fatal to Gentry’s argument and theology.

You simply cannot say that the New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are not grounded in and based on the Old Covenant prophecies. This is to deny Paul who said he preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. 1 Corinthians 15 is not different from Isaiah 25 or Hosea 13:14, for Paul says that when the resurrection occurred, it would be the fulfillment of those prophecies. To say that 1 Corinthians 15 is the explication of those prophecies is not the same as saying that they are different from those prophecies.

You cannot say that all Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled at the A.D. 70 parousia of Christ, therefore, without affirming the fulfillment of all New Testament eschatology. There is no “new” eschatology in the New Testament. All New Testament eschatology is the anticipation of the imminent fulfillment of Old Testament promises. Period. This totally falsifies Gentry’s specious argument.

What is astounding to consider in light of Gentry’s argument above is that Gentry believes that the Old Testament did indeed predict the resurrection of the dead at the end of the Christian age! In his book, The Greatness of the Great Commission, (Tyler, Tx., Institute for Christian Economics, 1993)142, Gentry cites Daniel 12:2 as predictive of the resurrection “at the end of history.”

So, consider what this does for Dr. Gentry:

All Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry)

 

But, the Old Testament predicted the general resurrection of the dead (Daniel 12:2, Kenneth Gentry)

 

Therefore, the general resurrection of the dead occurred in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

We have established point #1 beyond any possibility of refutation. This point alone totally destroys Gentry’s attempt at refuting Covenant Eschatology.

Argument #2– For argument sake therefore, I will most gladly accept Dr. Gentry’s own summary statement: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.” (My emphasis, DKP)

Consider then the following argument:

All things written in the Old Testament, i.e. all Old Testament prophecy, was fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry).

 

But, the Old Testament prophesied of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:14f; 26:6f; 26:21f, Romans 8:23-9:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

 

Therefore, the prophecies of the resurrection of the dead were fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

This argument is prima facie true.

It is incontrovertibly true that the Old Testament foretold the resurrection of the dead. Kenneth Gentry agrees.

It is irrefutably true that all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are drawn from and the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies.

It is undeniable that Jesus said that all things written would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Kenneth Gentry is correct in affirming that all Old Testament prophecies would be fulfilled at / in A.D. 70. And this proves, beyond refutation, that the resurrection of the dead came at the dissolution of the Old Covenant age of Israel in A.D. 70.

Incidentally, it would do no good for Mr. Gentry, or anyone else, to amend his statement and argue that all that Jesus really meant was that all Old Covenant prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem were to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. (You will note that Gentry made no attempt to limit the scope of the Old Covenant prophecies to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. He said emphatically, “Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament”).

The indisputable fact is that in the Old Testament the resurrection of the dead is repeatedly posited at the destruction of Old Covenant Israel. Note a couple of examples.

Isaiah 25:1-8– “O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 2 For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt.

3 Therefore the strong people will glorify You; The city of the terrible nations will fear You.

4 For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

5 You will reduce the noise of aliens, As heat in a dry place; As heat in the shadow of a cloud, The song of the terrible ones will be diminished. 6 And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well–refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.”

            Note that in the day that YHVH would destroy death, it would also be when He made the city a desolation, and turned the temple over to foreigners! The city under consideration is the “city of confusion” in chapter 24:10f, Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem. So, Isaiah emphatically posits the resurrection at the time of Jerusalem’s demise.

In chapter 26:19-21, the Lord predicted the resurrection at the time when YHVH would come out of heaven and avenge the blood of the martyrs. Of course, Jesus was emphatically clear that all of the righteous blood of all the saints, shed on the earth, would be avenged in the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matthew 23:34f).

In Isaiah 27:1f, we find the destruction of Leviathan, the enemy of God, defeated in the day that the Lord would come, the Day of 26:19f, i.e. the day of the resurrection. And, this Day of the Lord would also be when the people that YHVH had created would no longer receive mercy, and He would turn the altar to chalkstones (Isaiah 27:9f). Thus, again, the resurrection is clearly placed in the context of the judgment of Jerusalem and Israel.

Likewise, the very passage that Gentry appeals to for the resurrection at the end of the age, Daniel 12:2, says that the resurrection would be, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (Daniel 12:2-7). See my book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined...For the Resurrection, for a full discussion of this fact. There are in fact several O.T. passages that posit the resurrection in the context of the judgment of Israel.

The point of course is that it will do Gentry no good whatsoever to now say that all that Jesus really meant to say was “these be the days of vengeance in which all things that are written about the fall of Jerusalem will be fulfilled.” On one level, we could agree with this, for as it has been demonstrated, the fall of Jerusalem was in fact to be the time of the resurrection!

So, Gentry boasts that the “hyper-preterists” make a “naive” claim about Luke 21:22. He says we are guilty of “deficient hermeneutics.” He claims to have made a “deadly observation” against the preterist argument. In fact, Gentry has exposed his own desperation and his own naive and deficient hermeneutic. We have made what is in fact “a deadly observation” in response to Gentry’s specious argument.

Kenneth Gentry has, through his own argument, destroyed his postmillennial, futurist eschatology. He has actually confirmed the truthfulness of “hyper-preterism!” Perhaps there is no need for Mr. Gentry to publically debate Covenant Eschatology after all (although my invitation remains valid), for the more he writes, the more he confirms that Christ’s “Second Coming” and the prophecies of the resurrection were fulfilled in A.D. 70. (I suspect that in a fourth revision of Dr. Gentry’s book, he will modify or delete his comments on Luke 21:22. It will be interesting to see, will it not?)

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I noticed Gentry's tragic refusal to acknowledge the Scriptural realities staring him in the face years ago. There is no question in my mind that he is maintaining his "orthodox" position out of expediency and the desire to remain in his job.

I was particularly amused by his argument introduced early in the article - something I noted from the outset in Luke 21:22. As Preston also points out - it doesn't really matter whether Christ was referring to all of the OT prophecies or all of the prophecies of the Scriptures in their final form - it amounts to the same thing. If all of Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, etc. etc. were fulfilled in the events of those days, we can safely state with full Biblical accuracy and authority that ALL Biblical prophecies in BOTH testaments were fulfilled at that time. They are too closely tied together and clearly parallel each other to refer to anything other than the identical event - the conclusion of the Old Covenant "world".

I applaud Preston's "rubbing it in" for the benefit of anyone who is acquainted with the tragic attempts futurists of every stripe and affiliation have put forth as attempted rebuttals of HP (formerly known as FP).

Apparently we are now a meat sauce! :)

JM

RiversOfEden4's picture

JM,

Are you still interested in working through the "diety of Christ" issue with me in the forum section. Go ahead and start a thread and I'll respond to it there.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Definitely, ROE. I'll start it right away.

Virgil's picture

"HPs are single-minded termites." - Kenneth Gentry

Can anyone reason or carry out a conversation with Gentry when he displays this mindset? Forget theology or biblical debate...

RiversOfEden4's picture

Well, I've seen people called worse on this forum from time to time! :)

Needless to say, stop wasting your time debating with tenured academics like Gentry who aren't going to give up their esteemed livelihood in order to convert to full preterism. Gentry makes his $$$ renouncing full preterism - not aligning himself with it.

Just like most FP preachers still continue defending whatever "orthodox" teaching (e.g. deity of Christ, baptism, Trinity, Calvinism, etc) that keeps their monthly financial support coming in, so common sense dictates that Gentry isn't going to change his mind for the sake of "theology and biblical debate" either.

At least can give due credit to the Academics for being consistent. They don't claim to be "full preterists" (i.e. heretical) out of one side of their mouths and then purport to defend "orthodoxy" out of the other!

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I noticed you essentially declared the idea that Christ was/is divine (a co-equal member of the Godhead) as being unScriptural (or heretical) - whichever you prefer. What Scriptures prompt you to think in these terms ROE?

JM

RiversOfEden4's picture

JM,

I believe the scriptures can only be understood within the historical and linguistic context in which they were originally authored. The languages of scripture do not allow for the terminology that was developed to formulate the deity of Christ and Trinity doctrines 300 years later. The Bible doesn't deal with the "Trinity" any more than it deals with Evolution or Quantum Physics.

For example, you state right here that Christ is "a co-equal member of the Godhead" but there are no terms in the biblical context for "co-equal" or "Godhead". Those descriptions of God did not develop until the later creeds of Catholicism. Thus, you are inadvertantly expressing a faith which is not derived from scripture.

From my perspective, I see that scripture only required that the Christ be the genealogical "descendant of David" (Acts 2:30-33)and a "flesh and blood child of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:14-16) and a "fellow countryman/relative" (Leviticus 25:25) to redeem his people.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi ROE! Thanks for the response! This clarifies one or two things for me.

I agree with you completely concerning the necessity of establishing the originally intended meaning of all Scriptures within their historical linguistic context (as well as within the broader textual context of Scripture). We hold to the same hermeneutical principle apparently, as fellow Preterists. Scripture interprets Scripture.

I deliberately used the terminology that I did in my original question to you - not as any sort of defense of later doctrinal and Creedal expressions of Biblical truth and formulae for understanding it - but as a very specific, technically correct means of identifying the essential nature of Christ Jesus as He has revealed Himself in His Word. I do disagree with you completely concerning the very essence of His Person and Being. You appear to deny the fact (clearly substantiated Biblically in my view) that God's Word reveals Christ as both God and man. THIS is the core Truth in the Christian faith as far as I'm concerned. If you deny Christ's divinity you deny the entire faith and you cannot accurately (in Biblical terms) refer to yourself as a Christian. You deny Christ's own teachings and beliefs concerning Himself and declare Him to be a deceiver and a fraud and the Bible itself is no revelation of God but a collection of fanciful anecdotes and flawed teachings. As far as I'm concerned, that is the direct result of maintaining your position.

Yes, Jesus Christ was a descendant of David and Abraham but He was much, much more than that. I can readily demonstrate that to be the case with significant Scriptural evidence (some of which you may never have encountered in the context of this particular subject). I have argued my case for hours on end against JWs and their anti-Biblical, anti-Christian ideas and faith. I am fully prepared to lock horns with anyone at any time on this one. There is no question in my mind whatsoever that Jesus believed Himself to be God and revealed Himself as such. Anyone who believes and teaches otherwise is committed to - and promoting - a view contrary to the Scriptures, thereby denying their inerrancy, divine authorship/inspiration and authority.

JM

RiversOfEden4's picture

JM,

I think I can affirm everything that Jesus taught about himself and the Christian faith without believing that he was anything more than a human being. I agree that the "diety of Christ" is essential to the orthodoxy of the Catholic and Reformed creeds, but not for understanding anything in the Bible itself.

For example, Paul himself plainly stated that Jesus was "born of a woman, born under the Law" (Galatians 4:4) for the purpose of redemption and adoption of the same kind of people (Galatians 4:5). He also taught that it was Jesus' Abrahamic "flesh and blood" (Hebrews 2:14) that enabled him to defeat "the power of death and the devil" (Hebrews 2:15). This is the gospel without any mention of the Trinity or deity of Christ!

I would certainly welcome any other evidence you can bring to support your passion for the deity of Christ, so long as you are willing to consider the counter-arguments that I might be able to send your way. :)

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I'll be glad to engage you in dialogue on this subject ROE. I'm not convinced that your handling of the relevant texts is true to the context at all. And I think a few of the Scriptures I have to present may provide you with a somewhat different perspective on things. We should probably start a separate discussion thread on this subject though. I'll get one going on the forum.

JM

RiversOfEden4's picture

JM,

Sure, it's no problem. I open to what you have to say on the subject. Whether we end up agreeing or not, I'm sure we could both learn something new along the way. :)

ChefTony's picture

Uh Oh REO...you have your work cut out for you! But what I've seen from you so far...you'll do well in this debate. Please write an article to be debated.

Were is your side kick theses daze, DonH?

Chef Tony

Chef Tony

RiversOfEden4's picture

Hi Chef,

I don't know what Hochner is up to these days. He claims to be a "nobody" over there at NASA (where he works) but he seems to mysteriously disappear from time to time. I think he's one of those people that they fly into Area 51 in an unmarked plane, but he can't tell us anything about that stuff.

dwhochner's picture

Hey Tony, I was into the Death is Defeated forum for some months and they decided to "kick me out" due to my views. Also they removed all of my posts which is too bad. I hope no one would do that in this forum. They seem do not want to deal with anyone who believe all were fulfilled in 70 AD and nothing left for post-parousia of Christ. Oh well...at least I'm back to this forum and I hope we'll have something interesting to discuss.

scargy's picture

Donald,
Thanks for the advertisement.When someone leaves the site or is banned which is what happen to you,all their post are automatically deleted.It's not something i did.
Here is my response to you in case you forgot.

Donald,
We created the site for Christians to discuss fulfilled eschatology and its practical applications, and as Christians, we equate fulfilled eschatology with *our* fulfilled redemption. We are the inheritors of all the promises made to the Israel of God. I'm sorry but your view denies this, which amounts to the denial of the gospel, and it was becoming extremely distracting and subversive to our goals for the site.

Respectfully
John

mazuur's picture

"we equate fulfilled eschatology with *our* fulfilled redemption. We are the inheritors of all the promises made to the Israel of God. I'm sorry but your viewdenies this, which amounts to the denial of the gospel"

WOW! I guess since 99.9% of Christendom are still "futurist" is their eschatology, they too deny the Gospel.

-Rich

-Rich

flannery0's picture

Rich, even Christians who are futurist in their eschatology believe that the gospel applies to them. Donald believes that the gospel does not apply to anyone post AD 70. That is the actual context of what you are responding to.

:)

mazuur's picture

Ah, I see. I misunderstood the context. Thanks for the clarification.

-Rich

-Rich

dwhochner's picture

John,

I believe "We are the inheritors of all the promises made to the Israel of God" if you applied this to the first century Christians. Are you one of the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16)?

I'm sorry that I am not welcomed in your forum. I was being friendly and trying to point out that all were fulfilled by 70 AD. ala a full preterist.

chrisliv's picture

Oh,

Read Galatians 3, dwhocher,

6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith [not just those of Jewish DNA], the same are the children of Abraham [can't you just hear the Pharisees cringing].
8 And the scripture [OT], foreseeing that God would justify the heathen [yes, non-Jews] through faith, preached before the Gospel [before Jews or Israelites existed] unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations [or peoples, goyhim, families, etc.] be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

And nowhere is there a semantic or implied limiter of just one generation. Not at all.

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we [Paul's "we" groups himself with Gentiles] might receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith.

16 Now to Abraham and his Seed [singular] were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds [not through genetic Israel], as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.

You see, Jews had to come to God just like the dirty-dog Goyhim. Their DNA and history counted for nothing.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

You see, the spiritual offspring of the sole Seed share in the Promise and Blessing that was made to Christ alone, which was the Holy Spirit. And nothing there implies a 1st Century termination of the Promise.

You and Rivers promoting the idea that the Gospel and God's long-awaited Intention was only good for one generation of Jews is ridiculous, in my opinion. And it shows or implies, at least to me, that you might even have a low opinion of God and His Intention, through Christ, before there were even any tribes of genetic Israelites.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

plymouthrock's picture

Chris,

Good stuff. Stated the case precisely.

plymouthrock!

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

The Gospel certainly does NOT go like this:

"God so loved the World that he sent his only unique Son to atone for and enter into an everlasting covenant with only one generation of people (an especially wicked generation) who were lucky enough to be born at that time and who have a high enough percentage of Jewish DNA running through their veins."

It's nothing personal against those two guys. We argued these points at length in the Forum area a year or two ago.

But views like theirs (reject deity of Christ, deny New Covenant intended for anyone except one generation of Jews) are certainly not tenants of Preterist eschatology or the NT.

It's not surprising that one of them got the broom at the other site, if they were peddling points like that. Those points will undoubtedly seem offensive or ridiculous to most all people who have a high view of Christ and the Bible.

So, I think there's a good chance that views like that are promoted by adults who still unconsciously fill a rebel/scapegoat role, and use certain views mostly to provoke, in a seemingly adult-acceptable manner.

It must be kind of fun for under-educated people to use the Bible to tell rigid, uptight churchgoers that they've got it all wrong. I mean, that's what the Watchtower organization is built on.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

StephenGreer's picture

How do you know what the historical and linguistic contexts are? Where do you get that information? You cannot get it from the NT text alone, any more than I could glean understanding about the entirety of Elizabethan culture from reading Shakespeare. If I tried to do that, my understanding of Shakespeare would be seriously flawed or at the very least would be woefully incomplete. So where does the information about the NT historical and linguistic context come from?

Stephen

RiversOfEden4's picture

Stephen,

In reality, the language and history of the Bible have no external confirmation from any contemporary sources. Thus, it must be interpreted on its own. Even Jesus himself isn't mentioned a single time in any of the other Jewish or Roman history of his own generation.

From the linguistic standpoint, we can anticipate the meaning of words from similar dialects, but the final interpretation rests solely upon how it was used within the Hebrew context of the early church. Even the Greek manuscript fragments of the NT we have may only be second or third generation translations from original sources in the Hebrew or Aramaic dialects that are referenced occasionally by the authors.

I think that the religion of the Bible can only be expressed in its own language and terms. Since we have no deliniation of the Trinity doctrine in scripture itself, or any unequivocal statement that "Jesus was God" or that he was "God the Son" or "the 2nd person of the Godhead or Trinity" there is no reason to think that those people ever believed it.

StephenGreer's picture

ROE,

This is patently false. The Bible originated in a region of the world that housed a collection of similar cultures with similar modes of expression. Therefore we can know something about the cultural and historical setting of the Bible by comparing it to the surrounding cultural practices and beliefs. In fact, modes of expression and cultural characteristics have not changed much in Middle Eastern countries or any collective culture for several thousand years. The West has changed due to Christianity and Greek culture, but that change has not spread so quickly to the rest of the world.

Is it surprising that Jesus was not mentioned by any contemporary sources? He was not important outside Christianity. The Jews would not have wanted to acknowledge Jesus; the Romans would have looked at him as another Jewish hick, so long as he wasn't disruptive; and the Greeks would have looked at Jesus as savage, not to be regarded as important. It's to be somewhat expected.

As for the Trinity, Paul was writing letters to church groups that had already been taught by the apostles, so he did not need to spell out every detail. It's high context. How do I know it exists? Here's a joke as an example:
Man A: "Here, have a snapple."
Man B: (takes a bite) *clink* "OW! What is this?"
Man A: "It's an apple infused with tin."
The joke (which is lame to begin with) isn't funny unless you understand that Sn is the atomic symbol for tin. But I can't set the joke up by painfully outlining all the relevant information, cause it would ruin the comedy, if there is any in it to begin with. :) The point is, high context played a major role in that culture, so Paul didn't need to blatantly say, "Jesus is the 2nd person in the Trinity, i.e. God the Son." If a person didn't get that, he missed the point, and frankly, Paul wouldn't have felt compelled to explain himself.

Finally, appealing to the Bible as an authority while ignoring other pertinent information (Josephus, Philo, The LXX Apocrypha, rabbinical writings, etc) because it's "outside the Bible" is hypocritical; the books you call the Bible were compiled by a source outside the Bible itself, and you cannot assure that it even accurately expresses the views of the early church by appealing to the things themselves. That's circular reasoning: "I know the Bible's true because it says so." As I've mentioned before on the forum, you deny your critics the very source you utilize. Whether or not you acknowledge this, the fact remains.

Stephen

Ed's picture

LOL. Wow, he found us out. We want to plant one HP in every congregation to stir things up.

That's hilarious. Most FPs I know are either bailing out of the "churches" or starting small groups of their own.

I am one of the few who actually attend a church, and I go to a moderate (right of center) evangelical church. Not sure how much longer I'll do it, but I sure as hell don't want to stir things up at some Fire-breathing Presbyterian church, unless it's to convince them that "God is Love."

Radical message, I know. All that love talk. Too much love talk and not enough talk of hell makes Ken a dull boy. And I do mean dull.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

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