Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Those irresponsible, nutty, sensationalistic, date-setting...

...amills.

Hey. Fair's fair.

65 comments:

Fred Butler said...

Well. In all fairness to my Origenistic philosopher friends, Camping is something of an anomaly.

But, one must also recognize that preterists (I mean "partial" preterists, excuse me), are also date setters. When did Christ come in judgment according to their paradigm? I also find it funny how the preterists (I mean, "partial" preterists) chide premillers for constructing prophetic fulfillment with current events and the screaming headlines of the newspapers. Hank the BAM man mockingly calls it "newspaper exegesis." But who do preterists (I mean "partial" preterists) turn to to verify their belief about 70 AD? Why historian Josephus. Who wrote of the current events in his day, 70 AD. Instead of "newspaper exegesis" we can call it "Josephus exegesis."

Laying that aside, however, more disturbing to me, is the willingness of the amill/post millers to utilize their Augustinian hermeneutic to re-read Genesis. I spent an hour yesterday with a former Grace Church friend and retired Air Force intelligence officer who now works with ICR in Texas. Some of the biggest critics of their ministry comes from the Reformed side of the aisle. They don't think the issue with origins is "that big a deal" and there is no problem with synchronizing the evolutionary deep time with the book of Genesis.

Now, some will say the two areas of theology are non-related and irrelevant to internal debates between the various eschatological camps. But honestly, if a person's hermeneutic is prone to allegorism when interpreting prophetic texts because it is believed the "genre of prophecy" requires spiritualization or you read the Bible with absurdity, when conflicting interpretations of the history of the world smash head long with Scripture, I can see the easy descent into accepting the idea the early chapters of Genesis must be interpreted as a creation myth, or some such nonsense, because to not read it as such will lead to absurdity.

DJP said...

I think you miss my point.

NoLongerBlind said...

Me thinks Mr. Camping is in a league, or perhaps camp all his own....

Doesn't he espouse, among other heretical abnormalities, that the "Church Age" is over?

DJP said...

(Though I love what you're saying; good points.)

Fred Butler said...

Yes. I sort of realized I was wandering off into left field right after I posted it. I just had that all bottled up from my discussion yesterday.

DJP said...

Still, it was good wandering.

witness said...

Well, one thing we can be thankful to Mr. Camping for... this time he has really painted himself in a corner. I wonder if it is wrong to pray that God will allow him to live long enough to see this "prophecy" fail?

DJP said...

How so? He has set failed dates before, again and again.

witness said...

The dates he set before he always hedged with the "if we have enough information" line. This time he has repeatedly said "this time God must follow through". Just last night I heard him say it again and affirm that God was beholding to meet this date.

DJP said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Wellsir then, according to my calculations, either way — it's a win/win!

Brad Williams said...

May 21, 2011?! Yay!!

But that means we've only got one Together for the Gospel Conference left. And that also means that I will probably never get to read Dan's book. Because, let's face it, I'm not reading any commentaries after Jesus comes back. It'll be all blogs from then on out.

Al said...

Seriously Fred? Looking at History and seeing how God fulfilled his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem is the same as watching Fox News' coverage of the Earthquake in Chile and determining that his must be the latter, latter days...

So, the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires do not testify of the validity of Daniel's prophecy?

Oh, and Camping is crazy.

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Al,

To thoughts to take away:

First, the Bar-Kokhba rebellion was a significant defeat for Israel in which they were sent out of the land (what Daniel and other prophets said will happen).

Second, there are 5 kingdoms in Daniel's prophesy: Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and then a 10 nation confederacy that takes place BEFORE the son of man establishes his kingdom. The first four have arrived, the fifth awaits fulfillment.

All Jewish expectation in the 1st century B.C. was of a coming, earthly kingdom. This is undeniable with just a cursory survey of their literature during the intertestament period. What they did not for see was a two stage fulfillment of kingdom prophecy, a first coming of Christ to establish salvation for the entire world, then a second coming to vanquish the enemies of God's people once and for all.

Angie B. said...

Thanks, Fred. I enjoyed that read.

JackW said...

Is it wrong to hope that he is right, even though he is wrong, anyway? That would be when we least expect it, wouldn't it?

Trinian said...

April 1st 33AD? Christ was crucified on April Fools Day? Now you know this guy is just having a laugh on us.

Al said...

Fred,

This does nothing to blunt your odd criticism of preterists' (even dispensationalists are partial preterists) practice of looking at history as a testimony of God’s faithful fulfillment of His prophecy. In fact your “All Jewish expectation in the 1st century B.C. was of a coming, earthly kingdom.” Seems to lend at least a little credibility to the usefulness of reading historical commentary.

I am no scholar in this area, but when Jesus says that destruction is going to come upon “this generation” (Matthew 23 and 24) I don’t know how we can push that 2100 years (and counting) into the future.

Oh, and the 1st century Jews were right in this respect: They did get a kingdom, with servants who do not fight they way the world fights.

al, living in the kingdom, sends

DJP said...

I for one welcome the news of the total transformation of amills and preterists into people who are "looking at history as a testimony of God’s faithful fulfillment."

Previously, they had always been people who play decorder-ring with inconvenient prophecies so as to remove them from the realm of space-time history, bringing in nonsense such as Israel = Christian church, rebuilt cities = healed hearts, etc.

It would be wonderful to see the doubletalk and the Romespeak stop, and get those terrific minds back to the drawing-board of Scripture alone once again. Lots of work to be done.

bugblaster said...

Pithily put, Fred!!

Al said...

Dan,

We just don't read history as apocryphal literature... or vice versa :-)

al sends

Pooka said...

I've heard this guy on his Family Radio broadcast "Open Forum."

Kook.

He skips around the Scriptures like a dyslexic frog on crack. Pulls up references from single words, talks about "high places" and a bunch of other bizarre stuff which just can't sensibly be found in context.

Then he whips out his calculator to figure the numbers that prove May whatever of 2012 is gonna be the end.

DJP said...

"Apocalyptic" = "I don't have to do actual exegesis"

Where is the Biblical authority for not taking it as what it says it is: prophetic literature?

DJP said...

Pooka, exactly right. But among the things that kills me about him is he's doing the right thing. He's just the wrong guy to do it (unqualified), and he's doing it the wrong way (nutcase).

But the format, sitting down with the Bible, teaching, interacting with questions? Beautiful. And what Family Radio used to be? Great hymns, great speakers, great programs?

Really sad.

CR said...

Hmmm...so I'm contemplating something...I'm around some people where dispensationalist might as well be a four letter word (I'm not a dispensationalist per se but because I lean towards dispensationalist premillinialism, I'm a dispensationalist), so I imagine some might bring this Camping thing up...you know, they'll say, yeah, Camping is absurd, he's a heretic, he's a falso prophet...so I'm thinking yeah, I think you're right, he's an amillenialist too isn't he? I can just hear the response...

WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, CARLO?

Anyway, just contemplating...for fun...oh well, if he's amillenialist, at least he's a cool guy, right?

CR said...

I'm wondering Dan how many people know that apocalypse from the greek is a synonym for revelation and that the Book of Revelation is also called the apocalypse of John.

Just wondering...

Pooka said...

DJP:

Yep. Upon first discovering the station down here in Sandy Eggo, I was attracted to the music and the lack of commercialized garbage that spewed from the other local Christian stations.

Then I heard this guy and his call for us to desert our churches (because they're defunct) and listen to Family Radio as our Spiritual Worship.

And there's no gospel coming from him on most broadcasts. Just an endless stream of calculations and proclamations about the agenda.

I found this on a quick google: http://tinyurl.com/yc826fh
Sad indeed.

DJP said...

To us with a longer history, it's sadder still. Back in the 70s and 80s I'd listen for the sacred music and the terrific speakers he'd have. He had great Reformed guys preaching the Word.

A man's got to know his limitations. Camping clearly doesn't.

Al said...

Since we are all in the spirit...

"Prophetic" = "I can ignore symbolism and context for a fresh reading of the Word."

al sends

DJP said...

Cite one example of my ignoring symbolism.

witness said...

This isn't about to get ugly is it?

DJP said...

Is "spirited" ugly?

DJP said...

Besides, next I'm going to decide Al's comments and posts are all "apocalyptic. Hilarity will ensue. You won't want to miss it!

witness said...

That last comment was meant to be... you know... funny... tongue in cheek stuff.

Spirited discourse is beneficial and not ugly.

Brad Williams said...

Well, all I am going to say is that there is no promise of God to Israel that isn't also mine in Christ, for I am also a son of Abraham.

My Word Verification:

"Dishi" which is symoblic for, "If you can dishi it out, you'd better be able to take it." Amen?

DJP said...

Did you mean to say son of Jacob?

Pooka said...

Right arm, Left arm, Right leg, Left leg, Nod yer head ad nauseum.

That's some spiritual singin right there.

Al said...

Well, it was not directed at you anymore than "Apocalyptic" = "I don't have to do actual exegesis" was pointed specifically at me...

or was it?


Now as to the folks ignoring symbolism… In The Revelation of Jesus Christ Paul is shown a vision (this is a clue to how we are to read this here book), which includes two witnesses in chapter 11. Now the chapter (and the book) are full of dispensational-admitted symbolism. Things like measuring rods, lamp stands, olive trees etc. But the two witnesses are exegeted as two actual fellas (often Elijah and one of a couple other OT saints) who kill people with their breath.

The clear symbolism and link to Sodom and Gomorra and the two witnesses who were with the Lord and Abraham is ignored or at least minimized in the interest of a literal reading.

The text (using as real an exegesis as I can) indicates that these witnesses are the same as those who testified against S&G in the Lord’s presence, where every testimony must be confirmed by the mouth of two witnesses. The testimony was heard and Jerusalem (that modern S&G) fell in AD 70.

al sends

Brad Williams said...

Oh man, now I've lied. I said "all I'm going to say is..."

Sometimes all doesn't mean all though, so I'm good maybe.

I'm not certain that it matters whether I am a son of Abraham or Jacob, does it? If tithes given to Melchizidek by Abraham demonstrate the superiority of Melchizidek to Levi, then surely Abraham's inheritance is not lesser than Jacob who came after him. I'm also considering 2 Cor. 1:20 in this as well.

Fred Butler said...

Hey Al,
My response is woven through.

This does nothing to blunt your odd criticism of preterists' (even dispensationalists are partial preterists) practice of looking at history as a testimony of God’s faithful fulfillment of His prophecy.

(fred) But that is not preterism as it is defined by preterists. Preterists insist much of the NT prophecy regarding the coming of Christ was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. Some go so far as to say Christ came back in 70 AD, and though the preterist camps insist upon a distinction between hyper preterism and partial preterism, there is too much of a fine line between the two.

At any rate, the entire corpus of prophetic revelation in the NT, like the Olivet Discourse and of course Revelation, is considered to be fulfilled. This is a far cry from the notion that we are looking at history as a testimony of God’s faithful fulfillment of his prophecy. Such an interpretative grid insists upon the complete re-reading of biblical prophecy that strains the bounds of the historic-grammatical hermeneutic. It even strains the bounds of the so-called Reformed Christological hermeneutic.

In fact your “All Jewish expectation in the 1st century B.C. was of a coming, earthly kingdom.” Seems to lend at least a little credibility to the usefulness of reading historical commentary.

(fred) Let me clarify my comment by expanding upon it. I am currently reading a large portion of Emil Schurer’s work on the history of the Jewish people regarding Messiahism and their expectation concerning the fulfillment of the Messianic kingdom. Schurer documents that the expectation was the fulfillment of the Davidic kingdom with a literal Messiah coming to rule Israel and to judge Israel’s enemies. He will establish God’s kingdom over the face of the earth in the physical land of Israel with Jerusalem as the seat of the earthly government. Pretty much everything premillennialism teaches regarding Christ’s second coming.

What is missed, because according to Ephesians and other Pauline teaching, the suffering, redeeming Messiah of the 1st coming was unanticipated by everyone, including the apostles. That is because the formation of a world-wide spiritual body of believers we call the Church was a mystery. Something previously unrevealed until Christ came. There were hints of what he would do when he came the first time, but it was cloudy, because God hadn’t fully revealed it.

I am no scholar in this area, but when Jesus says that destruction is going to come upon “this generation” (Matthew 23 and 24) I don’t know how we can push that 2100 years (and counting) into the future.

(fred) Preterists have to define the phrase “this generation” in the context of Christ’s contemporaries because their presuppositions demand that interpretation. A couple of articles to consider is first Don Green’s work critiquing preterism and Barry Horner’s article he wrote up when he debated (spanked is a better word) Gary Demar in a debate a couple of years ago. Take a look at his study of the word genetai and ginomai as they relate to understanding and defining the what and when of the beginning point for “this generation.” There are some key exegetical factors that many preterists overlook when they present their case that when considered in their grammatical context, tend to wreck havoc on their presuppositions.

Al said...

fred, your links did not work for me.

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Sorry about that.

Don Green's critique of preterism

and

Barry Horner's study on Matthew 24

Al said...

Dan, Do you mind if I interact with Fred on Matthew 23/24?

al sends

Paula said...

The world will end May 21, 2011.

Glad we cleared that up! DS is designing the website for a Congressional candidate and in addition to the National Debt clock and the Countdown to Election Day clock he was hoping to incorporate a Rapture Clock. But alas, we didn't have a date. He can now proceed with making the candidate look "irresponsible, nutty, and sensationalistic."

Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.

Just the children? The adults didn't have enough respect for their Lord to meet him in their Sunday-go-to-meetin' best? More troublesome is the fact that they've never even given Dispensationalism a fair chance. Here is clear evidence they've never even seen A Thief in the Night. If they had, they'd know that the clothes get left behind in a heap.

DJP said...

Al, only if Fred promises to stick it out until you're through spinning.

Stefan said...

Let's see. This article was posted on Tuesday morning, it's still Tuesday morning, and there are...43 comments already!? Gadzooks!

The entire post was only 10 words long! (And that's including the title and counting a hyphenated word as two words.) Talk about maximizing ROI!

DJP said...

BradI'm not certain that it matters whether I am a son of Abraham or Jacob, does it?

It does if you're trying to argue, contrary to Scripture, that you are in any sense "Israel" (unless you're Jewish).

If tithes given to Melchizidek by Abraham demonstrate the superiority of Melchizidek to Levi, then surely Abraham's inheritance is not lesser than Jacob who came after him. I'm also considering 2 Cor. 1:20 in this as well.

Oh, whew! What a relief! I thought you were trying to argue for amillennialism or replacement theology! But you wouldn't want to be within ten miles of 2 Corinthians 1:20, in that case... unless you're willing to transform it into "all the promises of God are 'Not really!' and 'Fooled ya!' in Him."

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

I'm not an amil guy. But I'm not sure exactly what a "replacement" theology of Israel means. All I am saying is that Israel is not inheriting a thing that I myself will not also inherit as a son of Abraham.

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

As I'm reading your comment, I'm really wishing we could go to Starbucks. I don't know what you mean when you say:

It does if you're trying to argue, contrary to Scripture, that you are in any sense "Israel" (unless you're Jewish).

Why would it even matter if I am Jewish or not? (Please understand that I'm not trying to bait you, be sarcastic, or anything other than making honest, ignorant, inquiry). I'm a co-heir with Jesus, not only a son of Abraham, and therefor an heir to all things. The Jew has no advantage over me now. Neither does the latino, for that matter. I feel that I must be missing something in your comment that I am not aware of.

I also do not understand this:

But you wouldn't want to be within ten miles of 2 Corinthians 1:20, in that case... unless you're willing to transform it into "all the promises of God are 'Not really!' and 'Fooled ya!' in Him."

This must be an inside dig on something, but I cannot imagine what. Unless it is aimed at an amil person particularly, in which case it is no wonder that I didn't feel the punch-line.

And, look at this word verification! "progical" That must be me! Help me home, Dan!

Gov98 said...

Brad -

I'll give a brief sketch.

Covenant Theology which generally holds to an amill or postmill interpretation says that the promises made to Israel were "spiritual" promises. So that when God said in Genesis 17:8 "And I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be there God." They would say that this promise is fulfilled through the church and therefore the Children of Abraham have no particular claim to that piece of property.

A dispensationalist screams "AHHH Danger Will Robinson" at that, because Abraham didn't believe the promise was an allegorical promise of general spiritual benefit to people who may or may not be his actual offspring. He believed that *shock* God meant what he said. Now, if the Bible says "If we confess our sins and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We should be able to have confidence in God's promise, but if his promise to Abraham was metaphorical who knows what, then in what way or sense, can I have security in God's promises to me?

That my friend is what you stepped into.

DJP said...

He's not wrong.

(c;

Stefan said...

In all fairness, I've never actually heard a dispensationalist scream, "AHHH Danger Will Robinson," but there's a first time for everything.

Brad Williams said...

I am a historical premil. for a few reasons. One, I happen to believe that's what the Bible teaches. Secondly, I like it because it is called "historical." And thirdly, it sounds better than being called a chiliast.

In reality, there is hardly any difference in what I understand the Bible to teach and what would be a post-trib premil position.

Dan, what would you dislike about that in particular, other than perhaps the timing of the "rapture"?

James Kime said...

Brad, historic premill just means you hold to the historical millennial position. You are a chiliast. Typically though, those who identify themselves as historical premills tend toward supersessionism. The tribulation may or may not even matter to your view. It could be historical or future or who cares. Your position is the lowest common denominator for those who hold to the biblical position of the millennium. It isn't personal. Everyone needs to start somewhere.

Fred Butler said...

Al, only if Fred promises to stick it out until you're through spinning.

I promise. But I probably can't interact with any substance until tomorrow sometime. Busy with the fam at the moment.

James Kime said...

Fred, Fred, tag me, ooo, ooo, tag me.

Al, when Jesus said, "...this generation...", you have about three options.

1. Jesus meant the generation he was talking to. So Jesus would come back within about 30 years.

2. Jesus meant the generation as a people, the jews. So the jews would exist as a people until he returns. That is true for the preterist and the futurist.

3. Jesus meant the generation that witnesses the events. In other words, the signs would not drag out throughout history, but would happen within a short period of time.

Your view has to take one possible meaning of "this generation" and then depend on the record keeping of Josephus to help you interpret Matthew. You have to allegorize all of the events actually to make that fit. For example, the destruction of a city in a tiny country is supposed to be the worse thing that has ever happened. Yeah, Jerusalem was never sacked before, the Jews have not been persecuted since, there have never been a war that involved the entire world, much less 2 wars. Your position contains so much credibility, it runs over.

You have to then make the 1000 years in Revelation into a general concept of a long time. Because nothing says 2100 years is a long time like saying 1000 years.

Back to relying on Josephus, he was hired by Rome to do the history. It would be like Obama having Keith Olbermann do a history of his presidency. What, he is objective. Keith is a stable individual. Sorry, my eyes hurt from rolling.

DJP said...

Brad, (A) thanks for making me laugh until I had a coughing fit. Best laugh of the day.

(B) I'd have to know more about your position to know what I am and am not comfortable with. It all depends. The simplest way I know how to say it (and Gov98 got pretty darned close here) is: if you deal with OT prophecy in a way that none of the writers or hearers could possibly have understood, you lose me in a huge way.

Cherish any thought that the church replaces Israel, that the OT prophecies will have no ethnic fulfillment — that we inherit spiritualized blessings, leaving Israel with literal curses... and you make nonsense of Jesus reproaching the leaders for not understanding prophecy. What He should have said was, "No one can blame you," not "Moses will condemn you."

P.D. Nelson said...

What nothing about us post-millenialists? I sort of feel left out. Although I would compare Harold Camping to John Hagee both hold to extreme non-biblical views and shouldn't be used as the yardstick to measure the different positions by.

Brad Williams said...

James,

I'll have to check out what supersessionism means. I don't think I'm that though, or I would probably know. And actually, I'm cool with being the lowest common denominator. I'm a Baptist, after all. Besides, you'd be suprised how hard I have to work to be sub-par at stuff.

Dan,

You are welcome. :) Like I said, I don't know how much different I would be than a "post-trib" premil rapture guy. I'll tell you what I believe right now for sure.

1. Jesus is coming back!
2. I will meet Him in the air.
3. He will establish a literal thousand year reign.
4. Physical descendants of Israel will experience a revival. However, I'm sort of convinced that this will still be somewhat mysterious as we don't know who they are.
5. I have 7 years left in Daniel hanging out there. So, I understand the Tribulation with a capital "T".
6. Though this may seem odd to you considering number four, I believe that Israel and the Church are intimately intwined and will share the same blessing. That is, Christ and His glory and all things. That is, I do not see a distinction other than ethnicity, and a promise for revival. But then, I believe that some from every tribe will be saved as well.
7. I am very much looking forward to this millenial reign, as I believe it will be far more awesome than we think.

Believe it or not, my word verification is "elecht".

DJP said...

Wow.

From "progical" to "elecht" in one day.

Only on BibChr.

Al said...

James (and eventually Fred),

Dan told Brad that he cannot have an OT prophet speaking in a way that his immediate hearers could not understand, so I say the same to you…

When Jesus calls his present day Pharisees and scribes to task for killing present and future prophets he declares that all of the blood of the righteous will fall on their heads (Matthew 23:31ff) He cuts the monologue off with “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” Vs 36. Should “this generation” be taken as something other than the generation of Jesus’ day?

It is in this context that Jesus speaks the next time he uses this phrase in Matthew 24. So the people who heard this would have had to make some kinda leap to get from eight woes on the Pharisees who were in the Temple that afternoon to some distant generation that would not see the end of the Temple. Even though this was question Jesus was asked (24:1-3)

For Fred… I really don’t get Don Greens “real” exegesis of this particular passage in Matthew 23. Here is what he said, “The individuals addressed by “this generation” in Matthew 23:34-36 did not kill Abel nor Zechariah, yet Jesus attributes the murder to them. Nelson writes: “The contemporaries of Christ did not murder Zechariah son of Berechiah (23:35-36), and thus “this generation” in 23:36 extends beyond Jesus’ contemporaries to include murderers back to the time of Abel and forward to those who would kill and crucify and persecute disciples until Jesus returns.” Do you agree with Green and Nelson here? That “this generation… extends beyond Jesus contemporaries?”(page 30)

Clearly, when Jesus was crucified at the lawless hands of this generation of Jews they killed the last Prophet who would come to Israel. They killed the Son of God and every prophet’s death up to that point had been a shadow of what was to come. In response to this Prophet’s death “this generation” would be full of their Father’s sins. How anyone could read that another way is beyond me…

al sends

Sir Aaron said...

People often make the mistake of studying only Matthew 24 and not comparing them to the corresponding passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

I remembering going to a debate between Ice and I believe, Demar. Demar's point was that Revelation was filled with generic "judgement coming" hyperbole frequently found in the Old Testament. I'm always left with the impression that preterists see God as some gross over-exxagerator since the destruction of Jerusalem hardly seems so bad compared to the language in Revelation. Then I think, what do these people think about hell? Also hyperbole?

But then again I wasn't there in AD70.

The Squirrel said...

"In all fairness, I've never actually heard a dispensationalist scream, "AHHH Danger Will Robinson," but there's a first time for everything."

I've actually been known to use that phrase a time or two...

~Squirrel

Rachael Starke said...

I've been both genuinely educated and thoroughly entertained by a thread on eschatology. Jesus must really be coming back soon. :)

Brad, I'd never even heard of that chili-whatsis term before today. I'm with you brother. Sounds like nothing I'd like, especially this time of year.

And Fred, I have it on good authority that Barry Horner isn't much of a blog guy, but he's delighted when his work is a help, so I'll be sure to let him know about the shout out (him being my Dad and all :) ).

Al said...

Aaron...

The destruction of Jerusalem was the end of the Old Covenant. It was as devastating as Revelation portends.

The kingdom moving from glory to glory is painful if you are hanging on to a past glory.

al sends

DJP said...

I'm closing this discussion here, so I can move it to a new meta. I hope to have the new post up within about 2 hours, max. "Hope to," I said. Not "pledge on my honor that I will."