LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, June 18, 2007

Two For The Road -- In Honor of Susan

Anyone who has read Susan will find that she has a love for Eschatology. I came across some older papers today that made me think of her. I have no idea if she has read them before or not. Regardless, I offer them here.

The first is a paper by Vern S. Poythress concerning 2 Thessalonians 1 and Amillennialism

The second is a reply offered by Mike Stallard of Baptist Bible Seminary. It may be read here.

3.We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
4.therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
5.This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
6.For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
7.and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
8.dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9.These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10.when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed.
11.To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,
12.so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.


I don't know -- What do you think?

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21 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Doug,
You're the best!
I can say it's a good thing I didn't have a soda or anything in my mouth when I brought up bluecollar because I would have sprayed it all over the monitor when I saw my name!
In my "honor"? I'm blushing...
Now, to print out those links and read them tonight so I can leave a "real" comment!
Thank you.
Btw, I do indeed have an interest in eschatology, since my father is dispensational-charismatic and I was exposed to a lot of "stuff" in my youth that I couldn't understand. Jonathan Moorhead's blogs on "who is Israel" just really got me thinking and well... there ya go. I used to think all of Revelation couldn't be understood and eschatology was for those a lot smarter than I. But... then... why would God have given us the book? All of prophecy really?
Thanks for the links.

June 18, 2007 10:16 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Also, this is timely because I'm halfway through Riddlebarger's book "A Case for Amillenialism." Meanwhile, my pastor lent me a book by Keith Mathison titled "Postmillenialism, an Eschatology of Hope."
Our pastor is undecided between amill- and postmill- and said we can talk about them when I finish his book. He said the two -isms are quite similar.
He also lent me some tapes, one called "Amill- vs. Postmill-: Continued Suffering or Future Victory," a debate between Richard Gaffin and Kenneth Gentry. (A brief viewing the other night made me yawn quite a bit, but there was at least one good point in it so far.)
Another tape he lent me is "Matthew 24: Past or Future?," a debate between Gentry and Thomas Ice.
I'm taking notes from all sources for where I agree and disagree, based on Scripture. Maybe I'll come up with a post (eventually) about the what I glean from these sources.
So I do indeed appreciate the additional reading, Doug! Very much so!

June 18, 2007 10:43 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Eschatology is so deep for me, but I just can't get my hands around this two people of God view. It seems to me that the N.T. teaches one people (the elect) in the latter days. The true Israel is the elect.

Susan has really helped in my understanding so I say Susan this catnip is for you.........

June 18, 2007 10:43 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Catnip?

I drink a quart of milk regularly. Susan, this Sealtest is for you!

June 19, 2007 9:00 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Catnip and Sealtest?
MMMmmmmm Mmmm....
Nothin' better.
Especially when shared with brothers in Christ, even if virtually.
Thanks, guys.
You made my day.

June 19, 2007 9:38 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Hey, by the way, I found the footnote on the fourth page of Dr Stallard's paper on 2 Thess 1 of interest, as would Mark perhaps.
The reference in the paper reads: "The irenic amillennialist, Vern Poythress, argues that 2 Thessalonians 1 best supports the amillennial position."
The footnote to this says:
"I refer to Poythress as irenic because he appears to be among the few covenant theologians (it seems) to take dispensationalists seriously even though he disagrees with them. See his older work Understanding Dispensationalists, which should be required reading for all dispensationalists."
Maybe I can show it to my dad when he comes to visit in three weeks, but I really should read it myself before showing it to him. If it weren't for all these other books vying for my attention.
I want to get this amill/postmill issue settled for myself first. I'm leaning amill for Scriptural reasons.
News at 11. Maybe 12.
Anyway, Mark, when I saw the Poythress reference, I thought of you.
Back to my Sealtest. Now where did I put that Hershey's syrup?

June 19, 2007 9:48 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, what books have you read from a Premillennial or Dispensational view?

June 19, 2007 12:26 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Susan, go with George Elden Ladd for a look at premill. That book got me thinking about things... let's just say I was in the pretrib rapture camp BEFORE I read it, then afterwards......

June 19, 2007 12:32 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
I grew up with a premill dispensational (not progressive)charismatic prosperity gospel father and was continually exposed to the disp premill theology in his churches - many, many, many, many, many times.
After my parents' separation and all through my college and adulthood years to present, I have read the literature he mails, the books he mails, and in conversations with him via phone, email, and in person, I think I'm quite familiar with the theology.
I have purchased Understanding Dispensationalists (Poythress) and Progressive Disp (Bock and Blaising), but my eyes just crossed in confusion reading the first chapter of the latter. I'll be interested in Mark's take on that book after he receives it and has a chance to look at it.
Mark, why do you like George Eldon Ladd, and what -mill camp, if any, is he in?

June 19, 2007 2:03 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Incidentally, Riddlebarger's "A Case for Amillenialism" gives a pretty fair description of all these systems in the intro to his book, where he lays out the differences between them.

June 19, 2007 2:04 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Btw, I'd feel negligent if I didn't add that I truly am grateful to God for giving me my earthly father. He's the only one in my family who's even remotely interested in spiritual matters and talking about them. As a retired engineer, he's very logical and gives things great consideration and thought. He really digs into Scripture; thank God for his influence in my life.
As I've talked with him via email about Reformed theology, he's actually come to find election Scriptural. And in all his 86 years, he had never heard it presented in church either.
I'm not sure where he stands on the other four points, but plan on having good discussions with him in a few weeks.
When I brought up amill with him via email, however, that didn't seem to draw the same response.
I think what one thinks with respect to Israel affects a lot. That's why Jonathan's post on "who is Israel" was pivotal, at least for me.

June 19, 2007 4:12 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
Are you premill- disp-?
And who have you read or highly regard in this area?
Thnx.

June 19, 2007 5:06 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Doug,
It's taking me some time to go through these papers. They're quite thoughtful and weighty.
Just wondering, since you shared these with us:
1. When did you read them and why?
2. Also, where do you stand on the subject of eschatology?

June 19, 2007 5:54 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Susan,

I hope that you are liking them. Like I said, I was going through some old papers, found them, and thought of you.

I read them, oh, probably about a year or so ago. I had printed them out and put them in a binder with some loose notebook paper. That is one thing I like to do if I am studying something. I put them in a binder, notebook paper for making notes, a pen and an index card with all the relevant scriptures brought to bare witten on the card. I'll make a little graph with the points of each view, and then look to see who gave the better case in that instance.

Where do I stand? I'll tell you exactly where I stand: That Jesus Christ is coming again, and could at any time. You'll probably want more than that, though, huh?

June 19, 2007 6:13 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

When I was still in Chicagoland I firmly held to the Chicago Trib.

June 19, 2007 9:39 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Dave,
LOL. It's good to see you back.

Cristina

June 19, 2007 10:00 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Doug,
Interesting that you do that with binders. When I first started reading Reformed blogs, I printed out the best posts with the most cogent arguments in them and put them in binders sorted by blog host. Some I sorted by topic (Calvinism, eschatology, etc). I rarely go through them though, except when I remember certain points and want to refer to them for one reason or another.

"Where do I stand? I'll tell you exactly where I stand: That Jesus Christ is coming again, and could at any time."
Yup. Ya can't get away that easy. I think Sproul takes a similar non-committal stand, although his book "The Last Days According to Jesus" has some very good preterist arguments in it, including dating the book of Revelation to precede 70 AD, lending credibility to the thrust of Revelation being prophetic with respect to the destruction of the temple and the end of the Jewish Age.
Still, I like Sproul's even-handedness. He admits where arguments are weak and leave more to be desired. Obviously, there's no definitive dating about the book, but he puts forth some good arguments for pre-70 AD.

June 19, 2007 10:51 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, so you have not read much that is Dispensational recently?

I am Classic Dispensational, but bizarrely I am POst-Tribulational, which kind of puts me in a camp on my own.

My opinion of George Eldon Ladd is not that high.

Unlike Mark, I think his defence of Post-Tribulationalism is actually weak in places. 'The Church and the Tribulation' by Robert Gundry is a much stronger critique of Pre-Tribulationalism.

Ladd defended Historic Premillennialism (not necessarilly an helpful term) in 'Four Views on the Millennium' ed. Robert Clouse. I do not think he made a very strong case.

I would definitely recommend 'The Millennial Kingdom' by John Walvoord and also 'From Eternity to Eternity' by Erich Sauer.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 20, 2007 4:00 AM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Where do I stand? I'll tell you exactly where I stand: That Jesus Christ is coming again, and could at any time.

I hold that position too, Doug...I know you and I will be 100% accurate on our eschatological views. :D

June 20, 2007 7:11 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
I really appreciate your reading recommendations. The two Systematic Theologies that you recommended to me are excellent. I favor Grudem's mostly for ease of reading and because I agree with him for the most part, but am glad to have Berkhof's in my collection as well. He's harder to wade through, however.

Nonetheless, it's good to raise the bar for oneself - rather, to have others raise the bar for you. And I appreciate your doing so. You give me much food for thought.

Btw, I like it when folks are in camps of their own. It suggests to me that you've given it much thought. And reading. I need to be patient and give myself time to do just that.

Perhaps I need to do some more reading on Classic Disp and Pre-Trib, but I find it all to be very confusing. The papers that Doug offered suggested that amill- tends to "oversimplify." I cringed reading that, because I hope that's not what I'm doing. I see in amill what is written in the Scriptures regarding Christ's words about His own kingdom and the nature of it. In the gospel accounts, when Christ was pressed with questions about His kingdom (mostly from an earthly perspective on the part of the questioner), His answers were always spiritual. Likewise, Paul's admonitions to set our minds on the things above, not on earth.

June 20, 2007 11:14 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

By the way, Mark, Ladd is cited in the papers Doug provided.
I'm saving both your and Matthew's recommendations for my wish list for when we can afford to spend more money on books.

June 20, 2007 11:16 AM

 

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