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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dispensational Thought for the Day #3


Thanks for joining me again today. These posts have been quite popular. My visit counter is quite active. Please remember that the idea here is to openly discuss and clear up some misunderstandings and misrepresentations about Dispensationalism. You are not required to agree with me! If you are trusting for your eternal salvation in God’s grace via Jesus Christ alone, then glory to God!

Remember, we said yesterday that Dispensationalism and Reformed perspectives are frameworks for interpreting scripture and not Theologies in and of themselves. Ok, let’s continue.

#3… Dispensationalism began with John Darby and was popularized by CI Scofield’ s reference Bible.

This is a yes & no type of thing. I am pretty sure Darby coined the term ‘dispensation’ but neither he nor Scofield actually made up the framework of a dispensational point of view for interpreting scripture. In other words, they did not influence people to believe anything the Bible did not already teach.

People will argue with this point but I am correct on this (humbly speaking of course). The Bible said what it says prior to Darby and Scofield; therefore, anyone before or after them could have come away with the same interpretational framework regardless of the name they may have called it.

Look, just because the Bible talks about future events that we cannot possibly understand to the point of exactly identifying the hows and whens, does not present a problem. We do not have to figure out a filter to run scripture through in order to make total sense of it in order to believe it is true and that it will be revealed in detail in the future. Take scripture at face value and allow time for future events to become evident. The literal things are to be taken literally and the symbolic descriptors are to be understood as such.

For example, the reality of a one-world government with AntiChrist at the helm is easier to imagine today than it was 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, the US was a sovereign entity who set her own rules for everyone else to follow. This is changing today. People 30 years ago had trouble seeing how a one-world government could become a reality. This did not stop Dispensationalists from believing it would eventually happen however. We did not require the mechanics to be in place in order for us to believe.

Most generations ended without a total understanding of eschatology. Ours may end this way as well. Do not think that anything about the Bible is diminished however due to us not having all the pieces of the puzzle. Coming away from scripture with the same framework of interpretation that Darby and Scofield used was and is possible had these men never existed.

Remember that the Bible is key. Read and believe what it says. Do not try to force it to mean only what you have the capacity to visualize. God is much bigger, greater, smarter, and etc than any of us could ever imagine.

Join me tomorrow for another point of discussion.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day #2


Ok, I admit that some of yesterday’s post was tongue-in-cheek. I was serious about the content but I am taking a light-hearted but sincere tack on this mission. Today, let’s jump into a misunderstanding that puts Reformed and Dispensational people at odds unnecessarily.

 #2 Reformed Theology or Dispensational Theology is heretical and of the devil.

Neither is true. Also, the Reformed perspective and the Dispensational perspective are not Theologies to begin with. They are both interpretational frameworks through which scripture is viewed. Another thing to keep in mind is that not all Reformed nor all Dispensational people will agree with each other much less with their counterparts from the other interpretational framework.

Both Reformed and Dispensational mainstream believers acknowledge that man is saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone to the glory of God. We differ not so much on the large, foundational issues but on the interpretational nuances of who said what to whom and what does it mean. These differences are important but do not render either side as heretics. In my opinion, the Reformed people will be surprised when they are raptured one day! But this is a discussion for another day.

Sufficient for today is to know that we are discussing the differences between two different interpretational frameworks. The two groups argue mainly in the areas of who Israel is today and what will happen with future things. We will discuss this in more detail later. Thanks for joining me again. We will continue tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Dispensational Thought for the Day


This ought to be interesting. I figure I am about to lose most of my regular readers but it is time to call it like it is. Something that I will call the “Rabid Reformed” movement dominates the blog world. They are right to hold firmly to Calvinist understanding of grace and sovereignty and so forth but they cross the line with their convictions concerning Covenant Theology and Amillinnealism. The part that makes some of the Reformed camp “rabid” in my opinion is the “unless you believe as I do YOU are a heretic” vitriol they spout.

Please note that I am not talking about all Reformed people. Some disagree agreeably and leave it at that but many on the web today do not. Anyhoo, I believe it is time to stand for good sense in Bible interpretation and let the chips fall wherever chips fall…Reformed Theology is fraught with problems and errors.

The Reformed people say the same thing about the Dispensational perspective so I feel comfortable using it in reverse. Am I seeking to pick a fight? No, I just want open discussion without a bunch of huffing and puffing.

One rule will be firmly enforced here: no one will be called a heretic unless the shoe seems to fit after careful examination. So without further ado…

Dispensational Thought for the Day #1

God, at times, changed the way He operates.

If you went to church on Sunday instead of Saturday, guess what? You are at least partially of a dispensational mindset! Read it and weep.

Follow me. There is a popular youtube and blog preacher who is firmly in the Reformed camp. I heard him do a message where he “refuted” dispensationalism. The funny thing is however, he began his discussion by saying, “Now I will admit that dispensations do exist in the Bible”!  Game Over! He defeated himself before he began.

Look guys, it cannot be denied that God worked at different times in different ways. Hebrews 1:1-4 says, 

“God, who in various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”

which, my friends, proves that the Bible recognizes my afore-mentioned point. God once spoke only to the nation of Israel through his prophet and now speaks to the world through Jesus. These are “last days” as compared to the earlier dispensation. One thing that surely changed after the resurrection is that the Body of Christ met on the first day of the week.

OK, enough for today. Come down off the ceiling and join me tomorrow for more good-spirited righting of wrongs done in the internet blogosphere.

 

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Praise & Worship… Old West Style (Humor)


eldorado

Robert: “Wow, that man is playing the guitar with his teeth and then behind his back.”

John: “That’s our new P & W pastor. Wait ’til he breathes fire! He darned near burned my toupee off my head last week.”

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Nip It… Nip It In The Bud! (Humor)


It’s like Paul said in Galatians 2, Andy. When there’s hypocrisy in the fellowship, you have to nip it … nip it in the bud!

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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God & Golf (Encouragement from the Truthinator part deux)


If your Christian life could be spoken of in terms of golf analogies, what do you do most often when faced with an excellent opportunity to represent God and His word? Do you hit it long and straight? Do you sink the 20 footer? Do you shank it into the woods or yip the 3 foot putt?

When your friends talk about you behind your back (and you know they do) do they refer to you as the Palmer or Nicklaus of the faith? Or could you better be compared to Scott Hoch or John Daly who were both on the verge of greatness but could not get there.

I see myself as the Roy McAvoy of Christianity. Who is Roy? He is the minimum-wage golf range pro in the movie Tin Cup who lives in a Winnebago at the range. Roy can never seem to finish anything and he shanks life whenever he can. Roy was known as one of the best ball strikers ever in college yet in life he could never amount to anything because his mind was chocked full of inner emotional turmoil.

I am afraid if we knew the heroes of the faith a little better than we do we would find more McAvoys than Palmers. None of us are perfect nor do any of us approach perfection. God has a tendency to qualify the called instead of call the qualified into service. Why?

I believe it is because the self-impressed are beyond the point of having any real value. Their tank is full of myopic mist. Any apparent accomplishment is of their doing. Any failure is someone else’s fault.

God uses people who know and proclaim that only God could have accomplished anything in their lives. God is due all glory and praise. Romans 1:18-32 talks about what happens to people who live in vanity refusing to honor God and give Him His due praise and worth.

Are you saved? If so, then God began a good work in you and will see it through until its completion (Philippians 1:6). The load of responsibility for making that 3 footer under immense pressure has shifted from your back to His. We certainly give effort to our sanctification but not to earn it for ourselves. We go through the God-directed motions as we journey to become like Christ. His plan not ours. His power not ours. His guarantee not ours.

Now tee it up and hit it down the middle. The pressure of performance belongs to God. Ours is to obey; His is to accomplish.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Remember who is in control… (read on)


A note of encouragement from the Truthinator…

 I don’t know about you but I get discouraged sometimes. People desperately need the message we carry yet they are often less than concerned about the severity of their eternal state.   Then I remember the prophet Jeremiah who was told by God that the very people to whom he was to take God’s message would fight against him rather than listen.

 We must take the message of God’s grace found only via Jesus to the world. God will determine and deliver the results. We were never told to deliver results to God. He charged us with being faithful to Him in carrying His message and caring for the truly needy. 

 I exchanged emails with a Cambridge University Theology professor a while back. This man was doubtlessly very much learned in many subjects but unfortunately theology was not one of them. He was a proponent of the Emergent Church concept where anything goes and all roads lead to heaven (or to nowhere if one preferred it that way). We had several cordial discussions about what he believes vs. what the Bible teaches. To my surprise, he ended up admitting that his belief system had many holes in it and that the Emergent Church was a “work in progress”. I challenged him not to go into eternity hanging onto the hopes and hubris of the human ego but to trust in what the Bible plainly states. Afterall, the Bible has been attacked for thousands of years only to continue to stand. Hundreds of prophecies written long before the birth of Christ were fulfilled by that very birth… man’s hopes and dreams have no such record of success. 

 Do what God says to do. The responsibility for the results rests squarely upon Him.    

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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