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  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by Clete View Post
    Bob is not trying to get rich selling books. Call him and tell him you're interested in reading The Plot but that you can't see your way to spending so much money on it. He'll get it to you, in one form or another, for whatever you can afford.
    Thanks for the tip. I'll think about it.


    You don't throw out the baby with the bathwater! This is precisely why I stated that I was only referring to those things which are distinctive to Preterism.
    Ah, I get what you're saying. Then my premise, as stated in my OP as
    Preterism deals intrinsically with a much closer prediction-to-fulfillment time span in most cases, not based on necessity, but based on reading the scripture with a mindset toward the intended audience, and the lack of benefit such would normally receive from a prediction a couple thousand years in the future (practically no benefit at all to them).
    can now be considered on the basis you suggest, leaving aside the bathwater of preterism's spiritualization of Israel we can throw out, and keeping the baby of preterism's literal reading of some of those prophecies' timeframes. I think the "intended audience" is also a topic near and dear to some MADists.


    In the case of Preterism, you just cannot get there unless you accept as a fundamental premise that everything related to Israel's promised kingdom was and is spiritual and not related to a physical, on the ground, political kingdom. If you discard that single premise then you drop Preterism. You don't drop Christianity just the Preterist version of it. Your doctrine will come out looking much more like some other flavor of Christianity than anything that even smells like Preterism.
    Perhaps you are mistaking an early conclusion of preterists for a founding principle--an honest mistake on your part, and one that is strengthened by the things most preterists say. I could be wrong here, too--I don't really know the motivations of preterists.


    It may or may not be THE primary premise but it certainly is A primary premise. Preterism cannot survive without that premise serving as a primary means to interpret vast portions of scripture.
    Thanks for the clarification.


    It could well be that this is even a more fundamental premise for the system but the result is identical. In other words, if you defeat this premise you defeat the other. If everything related to Israel's kingdom must be spiritual BECAUSE "prophecies take place within real the time constraints as laid out in scripture, such as "within this generation" or "these things will take place soon" then if it is shown that not only is that not so, but that prophesies don't have to ever come to pass at all, then you're left with the same result. One way or another, the Preterist's foundation is shown to be built on sand.
    You've already said that prophecy is contingent. Contingent on what? the actions of people far in the future, which don't seem to have anything to do with the people hearing the prophecy? I'm not saying there's no room for such, if only to show God's power in being able to tell the future (like in the references to Cyrus before he was born), though there are no doubt other reasons He would have. But the most likely usage for contingent prophecy would be for the people who are given it. Like Jonah's message to Nineveh--"Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.". If that were delayed even once beyond the 40 days, how could anyone take it seriously, unless the delay were well explained to the people there.


    In this case, it really doesn't matter because there is no Preterist alive who doesn't think that Israel's kingdom is a spiritual one and not a physical one. Regardless of what else one might accept or reject as fulfilled prophecy, all Preterists that I've ever come across, agree on this point.
    Interesting statement. While it may be true, if it is a conclusion from the other premise, rather than a premise itself, then it should be considered. Certainly we know that Paul recognized spiritual descendants of Abraham in Rom 4, and an Israel not after the flesh in 1 Cor 10:18, as well as a coming together of those that were once alien from the commonwealth of Israel to be fellow-citizens of the saints (in Eph 2:19).


    Of course what I say is coming from within my own paradigm.

    There is no way - I say again for emphasis - there is NO way to think or speak or act outside of some paradigm.
    But if we can change paradigms, then we have the capability to think outside of our own paradigm, however briefly, before the new one becomes our paradigm.

    My comments were in response to what I believe was your suggestion that, unless the Preterist premise was accepted, then there was some aspect of biblical prophecy that could not have come to pass.
    If "the Preterist premise" is the one you have softened sufficiently on to now call "A primary [Preterist] premise", I wasn't suggesting such. It was the other primary premise I was hoping to focus on--that most prophecies are intended for a local audience from a distinct timeframe, where the prophecy would have the most impact--especially if it is a contingent prophecy, but also if the contingency were already met. Imagine telling a nation that they would be destroyed in 500 years because of their sins today. Yes, God might do such, but with people living less than 100 years, the effect would seem muted in the extreme. On the other hand, if God were to say, "You will be destroyed within 40 years!" the effect would be much more direct, causing some, hopefully, to repent in hopes of avoiding the destruction. On the other hand, if Jesus prophesied that the temple would be destroyed within the living generation's time, with an implied contingency that it could only be avoided by repenting, and the then-living people did not repent but the destruction never came, Jesus loses credibility, wouldn't you say?


    What? This is backward.
    Acts 3:17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

    The whole prophesied program for Israel was in place and on schedule as of Acts 3. The rebellion that caused Israel to be cut off occurred later and was headed up by Saul of Tarsis in Acts 6.
    I need you to explain this to me. Are you saying that the people did repent (Acts 3), and therefore the prophesied doom was averted? If so, then the prophecy has no more meaning, does it--it has had the desired effect of bringing the people to repentance--unless it is taken to be applicable to ANY future generation that might stray/rebel? Such has its own ramifications.

    I doubt it but that isn't what I said nor did I suggest it. You misunderstood my point.

    What is, is. This is the basis of all knowledge. It makes no difference where you get the truth from, one truth will not ever contradict another truth. If someone comes to you claiming that spheres have sharp corners then you can know that he is a liar. Likewise, if the gospel message contained some inherent contradiction then we could rightly reject it as false. This does not imply that we would be able to deduce the gospel without input from God via the Scripture but simply that the gospel, as well as all other aspects of our doctrine and anything else we hold as true, must be consistent with itself and with the rest of reality. As such we know the truth of scripture by the same means by which we know everything else we know. Reason!


    And, no, I don't believe that a dog would know that the sky is blue. Dog's are quite color blind for one thing but even if they weren't, the perception of a wavelength of light through the eyes is not same thing as understanding what "blueness" is.
    Understanding "blueness" isn't required, nor is it sufficient, to know that the sky is blue. Such knowledge is obtained through observation. What we do with that knowledge, like having conversations debating the "blueness" of the sky, certainly requires reason, and I don't expect a dog or other animal to have such conversations. But reason is not the source of the knowledge.

    And, by the way, dogs are now thought not to be totally color blind, and capable of detecting blueness, though not likely to be able to philosophize about it.


    How would you propose to know what the sky is, much less observe it, without reason?
    As I said, and still maintain, the observation of the sky doesn't require knowing what the sky is, nor even what blue is, to see THAT it is blue. In fact, the sky may be the definition of "blue" applied to other things for those that didn't get a 64 pack of crayola crayons when they were little. Such application would no doubt involve "reason" to compare 2 things of like color, but the knowledge of the color--whatever it may be called--in the sky--whatever it may be called. is an observable fact, not a reasoned conclusion.
    How would you propose to read the bible (or another book) without the use of reason?
    The same thing applies for reading the bible, once the ability to read is assumed--the tool for gaining the knowledge requires reason to accomplish the task, but reason is NOT the source of the information--the information is provided, not reasoned into existence. I point this out to suggest care be taken not to put the revealed word of God into the category of man-made knowledge. Man-made knowledge comfortably rests in reason, and sometimes it is wrongly reasoned. God's word does not and is not--it cannot be derived from observables, except those God uses to deliver it.


    I don't attribute any God like attributes the humans that the Bible itself does not attribute to humans. We were, after all, created in God's image and likeness. On what basis would you propose to support the notion that we share no common attributes? Are not both alive? Are we not both able to think and to reason? Are we not both able to know right from wrong? Are we not both personal, relational, spiritual beings?
    Yes, yes, no, and yes. And the "no" is to be caveated. We can know right from wrong, but it is a derived knowledge, derived from what we are told. God's knowledge of right from wrong is self-derived. He has no one to tell Him right from wrong, but we do. And we can reject what He tells us, as Adam and Eve did, and try to self-derive right from wrong, but it doesn't change what is REALLY right/wrong.
    And as for the use of the word, logic as a proper translation for logos, it is vastly more accurate, not to mention meaningful, than the use of "word". The Greek word "logos" means "reason" or "rational discourse". The English word "logic" can refer either to "reason" or more specifically to the rules that govern sound reason but since the word logic is derived from logos it is a near perfect translation. The suffix "ology" is directly derived from the Greek word "logos". Take the word "Theology" for example. Theology is the logos of the theos - the logic of God. Things that pertain to theology are said to be "theological". It's just two forms of the same word. Logos is logic and Jesus is the incarnation of The Logic and He is that which gives epistemological light to the world. And anyone reading John's gospel during the first century would have understood intuitively that this is the point John was making. The only reason it sounds foreign to your mind is because of the way the King James Bible was translated. All other English translations simply followed the King James' lead.
    Actually, the Geneva Bible and the Bishops Bible, both predecessors to the KJV, used "Word" (in various spellings). The Latin Vulgate used the word "Verbum", which is translated primarily as "Word" or one of the following by Google: verb, saying, language, expression, discourse, talk, phrase, or sentence. You might notice "logic" is not included.

    Even the word "logic" doesn't derive directly from the word "logos", but secondarily through "logike", which is "reasoning". However important logic might be in life, it is not a sufficient concept to describe our savior, who threw logic to the wind when He became a man to save a people He didn't need. Love doesn't always follow sound logic.


    No. Sorry, but they don't. I hate to tell you that there is a gigantic contingent of the Christian world that is very decidedly anti-intellectual and anti-reason in particular. There's a whole group of them right here on TOL!
    Every person that is decidedly anti-reason is so because they've reasoned out in their mind to be that way. Their conclusions are no doubt based on false premises and faulty logic, but they used reason and logic of some kind to get where they are. An appeal to reason and logic only gets one so far--the reasoning, the logic and premises, need to be sound for arriving at a proper/true conclusion. And all of us have the potential for a fault in our reasoning. I know you agree with this, but we seem to be talking past each other.

    But ten errors of reason are safer to trust than any single claim accepted by means of blind belief because the later divorces you from the only mechanism, the only tool we have by which to correct any error. And people who accept religious doctrine on blind belief are the most dangerous of all. Those, usually religious, people in the Bible who hated God and witnessed undeniable physical miracles did not respond with faith, which would have been to accept the testimony of their thinking mind and the undeniable evidence presented to it through their senses. Instead, they responded, in almost every case, by hating God all the more! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and what did the religious leaders who witnessed it do? Did they repent and fall on their knees worshiping Jesus as they should have? NO! They resolved to kill Jesus!
    I think I can explain some of that. They had come to that logical conclusion because of the words of the scriptures, some of which said:
    [Deu 13:1-2, 5 KJV] 1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; ... 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn [you] away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
    and
    [Deu 6:4 KJV] 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
    Jesus did signs and wonders, and He asked the people to follow Him, and received worship from the people. He was clearly calling for them to "go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and...serve them", unless He was Jehovah Himself. This IS the argument for Jesus being of/in the Trinity. So those religious leaders, who were unable to accept the Trinity (or at least the 2nd part of it they were witnessing), were using SOUND logic when they killed Jesus, thinking they were obeying Jehovah's command. If you reject their logic, you also reject our own logic for the Trinity.




    "Your mind is deceitfully wicked, can you trust your mind?" If that was the intent of your question then my response is that there isn't anything else for me to trust with. I am my mind. I do not trust with anything else other than my mind. I cannot think at all without my mind. I cannot learn, I cannot apply wisdom, I cannot discern right from wrong, I cannot accept the truth of the Bible nor accept the existence of the God who wrote it by any means other than my own mind.
    I agree! But with such trust comes a responsibility to always get everything RIGHT. If you don't always get everything right, that means that your mind is not able to perfectly think, perfectly learn, perfectly apply wisdom, perfectly discern right from wrong, or possibly even perfectly accept the truth of the bible or the existence of the God who wrote it. My point is that if we have even the faintest possibility of faulty thinking/logic/reason, then we need to be ready to converse with those other believers that are also sometimes wrong to work through where we are wrong and come to a fuller understanding of what the gospel is, what the bible is saying to us, and what we are supposed to do about it, always with the bible to guide us, but with other Christians to help.

    I see this most assuredly in the Open Theism movement. Open Theism is a shot across the bow of those that think they have everything all figured out, and it pains them to lose the pre-eminence they once had in that area. But I think they needed such a shot. At the same time, Open Theists, freed from the statements of faith and confessions of the past, are journeying much further than the word of God allows in their application. (This is a general statement based on my own observations, and doesn't apply to you or anyone else around TOL specifically.) Assuming Open Theism is true, we still need those non-Open Theists to help to restrain us from varying off the path of truth in other areas.



    There is no way to judge reason by scripture. You can judge a premise or a conclusion by scripture but judging something against a standard is itself an act of reason. You cannot call into question the veracity of that which you're using to question it. In other words, you cannot judge reason itself without using reason to do it and thereby tacitly accepting the veracity of that which are attempting to judge the veracity of. Just a bit circular, wouldn't you say?
    I understand what you are saying, but if reason is the sole thing that can't be judged by scripture, then reason is now of a higher authority than scripture. The circularity is necessary, similar to the way the three branches of the US government are all supposed to be keeping the other branches in check.

    I do not accept antinomy - period. Try me.
    Do you believe Paul told us we are not bound by the law? Do you also believe that Paul told us not to partake in a number of sins (Romans 1:26-31 1 Cor 6:9-10 Gal 5:19-21 Eph 4:25-31 Col 3:5-7 2 Tim 3:1-7)? That's antinomy.


    And you're wrong. The term antinomy is only ever applied to doctrines which do not make sense.
    From:http://www.etymonline.com antinomy (n.) Look up antinomy at Dictionary.com
    1590s, "contradiction in the laws," from Latin antinomia, from Greek antinomia "ambiguity in the law," from anti "against" (see anti-) + nomos "law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). From 1802 in the philosophical sense used by Kant, "contradiction between logical conclusions."
    I think you are using the newer definition of "antinomy". Kant absconded with the word. Even in 1828 (Webster), the original definition was the only one Webster recognized:
    AN'TINOMY, noun A contradiction between two laws, or between two parts of the same law.

    To say that X and Y are true but do not actually contradict is not to employ the concept of antinomy. Antinomy applies only to those concepts which the pious claim is "beyond human reasoning". Antinomies are not mere mysteries where we've not been presented with sufficient data to explain something. On the contrary, they refer to things that are somehow "transcendent". "What do they transcend?", one might ask. Whatever form the answer to that question takes, the meaning of it is "It transcends the mind!". Those who want you to accept antinomy are asking you to accept a claim that they cannot prove or even make a rational argument in favor of. Indeed, they'd be offended by the idea of making such an attempt. They are asking you to believe it blindly. This is what they call "faith". There are NO exceptions that anyone has ever presented to me.

    And no, the doctrine of the Trinity is NOT an antinomy. Some Christian's version of the doctrine is but what the bible teaches about the Triune nature of our God is not.
    I agree with what you are saying, here. What I have heard is a quick appeal to "mystery" when one can't explain something in his system. But the concept is the same as what you are referring to.


    We at least try to use sound reason in our endeavors to understand and interpret the Bible. I submit to you that the more consistently you do so, the closer you will come to Acts 9 Dispensational Free will Theism.

    Free will because nothing else is consistent with the concepts of morality and justice.

    Dispensational because, as a general rule (i.e. while acknowledging the use of figurative language, symbolism, and idiomatic expressions), the bible means what it says.

    Acts 9 because it permits you to take virtually all of the New Testament to mean what it says.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    I haven't looked that closely at the Acts 9 or other Mid-Acts Dispy claims. It's something I will be looking into, eventually. I've mostly noticed some rather seedy claims that don't stand up to scrutiny, but I hate to stereotype too soon. That's why I appreciate your reference to some source material (Stam's booklet and "The Plot"). As I mentioned in my OP, I'm new to the Open Theism idea, and need to concentrate on that for a little while.

    Leave a comment:


  • musterion
    replied
    I think it'd be more enjoyable if they were named Clert and Deef.

    Leave a comment:


  • glorydaz
    replied
    Incredible dialogue here between Derf and Clete. TOL is truly blessed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Clete
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    (The Plot) is kind of expensive...
    Bob is not trying to get rich selling books. Call him and tell him you're interested in reading The Plot but that you can't see your way to spending so much money on it. He'll get it to you, in one form or another, for whatever you can afford.

    On the other hand, if someone gets anything wrong (and who doesn't sometimes get something wrong), that means their reasoning is wrong somewhere, either in premise or logic. That doesn't mean that everything they say must be discarded. Even Bob Enyart, bless his soul, is bound to err somewhere, sometime, and then you would have to throw out everything he has ever said, by your line of reasoning, including The Plot.
    What? No!

    You don't throw out the baby with the bathwater! This is precisely why I stated that I was only referring to those things which are distinctive to Preterism. If someone has made an error, you only throw into question those ideas related to the error, not the whole of every idea the person has ever had.

    In the case of Preterism, you just cannot get there unless you accept as a fundamental premise that everything related to Israel's promised kingdom was and is spiritual and not related to a physical, on the ground, political kingdom. If you discard that single premise then you drop Preterism. You don't drop Christianity just the Preterist version of it. Your doctrine will come out looking much more like some other flavor of Christianity than anything that even smells like Preterism.

    This is where I searched Google. I'm not sure what the actual "primary premise of preterism" is, but it seems like you think it is that "the kingdom is only spiritual".
    It may or may not be THE primary premise but it certainly is A primary premise. Preterism cannot survive without that premise serving as a primary means to interpret vast portions of scripture.

    I differ with you on this, because the primary scriptural evidence the preterists point to is the idea of prophecies taking place within real time constraints as laid out in scripture, such as "within this generation" or "these things will take place soon".
    It could well be that this is even a more fundamental premise for the system but the result is identical. In other words, if you defeat this premise you defeat the other. If everything related to Israel's kingdom must be spiritual BECAUSE "prophecies take place within real the time constraints as laid out in scripture, such as "within this generation" or "these things will take place soon" then if it is shown that not only is that not so, but that prophesies don't have to ever come to pass at all, then you're left with the same result. One way or another, the Preterist's foundation is shown to be built on sand.

    Whereas a spiritual time frame is a nebulous one, where real time constraints, such as "within this generation" have to be spread out over multiple generations to make sense of them. That's not to say that the preterist's conclusions are reliable (that still needs to be discussed), but the "primary premise" of the words of Jesus meaning exactly what they say is a solid premise--one that we should all strive to use. (Btw, I think preterists do this well in the Matt 24 passage, but not so well in other sayings of Jesus, where they twist the meanings of words to fit their interpretations.)
    Well, as I said before. Jesus meant what He said. He meant every word and He meant exactly what it seems like He meant. The intent was for Him to return soon and give Israel it's kingdom as promised. In fact, such was the specific topic of Peter's sermon in Acts 3 and had Israel repented and accepted Jesus as their Messiah, that is precisely what would have happened. Instead, they chose to stone Stephen who, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit used "irresistible wisdom" in his address to the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Acts 6).

    If you think I've misunderstood the primary premise of preterism, please tell me what you think it is.
    Things as complex as doctrinal systems rarely have only one primary premise. You shouldn't take my use of the phrase to mean that is an irreducible primary but rather that it is a premise without which the system falls apart.

    Let me reiterate here that I speak of preterism as seeing MOST biblical prophecy as being fulfilled long ago, and not ALL. This distinction is necessary, and I call the latter (the "ALL fulfilled" view) "hyper-preterism". If that's what you are arguing against, we're not in much disagreement. The "MOST fulfilled" view is called "partial preterism" by some, and "preterism" by others.
    As with any doctrinal system, there are those who take their logic to extremes and there are those who are more mild. Typically, at least in my experience, the latter are folks who just aren't always willing to go as far as their premises would otherwise logically take them. In this case, it really doesn't matter because there is no Preterist alive who doesn't think that Israel's kingdom is a spiritual one and not a physical one. Regardless of what else one might accept or reject as fulfilled prophecy, all Preterists that I've ever come across, agree on this point. And if that point can be shown as wrong, then the system would be forced to morph into something that is no longer Preterism.

    This is a bold statement, and I think it reflects your own paradigm, when you say "Jacob's trouble had yet to come to pass". The text in Jeremiah 30 is pretty explicit in its reference to the events of Jeremiah's day. The jews were mostly in Babylon already (Jer 29:1), and the ones that were left in Judea were to expect great persecutions from God (Jer 29:16-18). Chap 30 is the words of peace to the afflicted people, not words of more affliction. So when Jer 30:6 speaks of Jacob's trouble, it speaks of something that is already happening. Read it (my underlining showing the past or present tense verbs):

    [Jer 30:5-8 KJV] 5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

    The sense of the passage is most assuredly that evil has occurred, but God will fix it, when "in that day", "I will break his yoke off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds". These are words of fixing the evil condition they found themselves in--captivity in the land of Babylon.

    I'm not so dense as to think that the words might not also apply to a future time, but the immediate context of the passage is not predicting a time of future trouble, but a future relief from present trouble.

    Such thinking, for better or for worse, is where preterism can help us--to strive to apply prophecies to the immediate context whenever possible. I think it will help bring some sanity to the discussion of eschatology, even if their interpretation of certain passages is askew (that's where we can help them). If, as you say, you are not questioning their status as Christians, then you must admit they have a role to play in the body, perhaps even a role in understanding prophecy.
    Of course what I say is coming from within my own paradigm.

    There is no way - I say again for emphasis - there is NO way to think or speak or act outside of some paradigm. The paradigm from within which I speak could be called Acts 9 Dispensational Free Will Theism. Not that giving it a name means anything in the context of our discussion. The point is simply that everything I say is coming from within that paradigm just as everything you say is coming from within your own paradigm. That is not a problem in and of itself. The only problem comes when/if either one of us "begs the question".
    My comments were in response to what I believe was your suggestion that, unless the Preterist premise was accepted, then there was some aspect of biblical prophecy that could not have come to pass. This is not the case. There is nothing in the book of Matthew that conflicts in any way with my doctrine and I am not forced to accept (either tacitly or explicitly) any premise upon which Preterism is based. Or, put another way, your question seemed to suggest that there was some sort of conflict between my premise (i.e. my paradigm) and something Jesus stated in Matthew 24. Since your question had to do with my paradigm, why wouldn't I have answered it in that context?

    As for my understanding/use of "Jacob's Trouble", it is indeed consistent with my Acts 9 Dispensational paradigm but I don't detect anything you said that would negate my use of it. As you said, the words can have an immediate application as well as refer to some future time. There are many examples of passages in scripture that are not explicit prophecies but that are almost universally accepted as being prophetic. (Psalms 118:22 just to give one single example - there are dozens).

    I question your use of the word "all". Are you truly saying that God never, ever made a statement that He won't/can't change His mind on? Recall 1 Sam 15:26.
    It was hyperbole, I suppose. It is generally true though. The exceptions being those prophesies that have only to do with God Himself. God will glorify the Body of Christ, for example. There is no contingency that could alter God's intent in the case of the Body of Christ because it all has to do with Christ and what He has already accomplished. God cannot forsake Himself. (2 Cor. 1:20-22 & 2 Tim. 2:13)

    Yes, but if the nation He speaks against continues in its evil, then there is no cause for the Lord to relent of the evil He thought to do to it, is there? In Israel's case, Jesus was telling the disciples what would happen to Israel, and perhaps they might avoid it if they repented, but they did not. So Jer 18:7 doesn't apply.
    What? This is backward.
    Acts 3:17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

    The whole prophesied program for Israel was in place and on schedule as of Acts 3. The rebellion that caused Israel to be cut off occurred later and was headed up by Saul of Tarsis in Acts 6.

    Really? You can reason yourself into an understanding of the gospel? Let's say for just a minute that the bible did not exist, and that God had not provided such information about Jesus' sacrifice that we have in the bible, and there were no preachers to share the message of the gospel with us. Would you be able to come to a knowledge of the saving grace of God through reason?
    I doubt it but that isn't what I said nor did I suggest it. You misunderstood my point.

    What is, is. This is the basis of all knowledge. It makes no difference where you get the truth from, one truth will not ever contradict another truth. If someone comes to you claiming that spheres have sharp corners then you can know that he is a liar. Likewise, if the gospel message contained some inherent contradiction then we could rightly reject it as false. This does not imply that we would be able to deduce the gospel without input from God via the Scripture but simply that the gospel, as well as all other aspects of our doctrine and anything else we hold as true, must be consistent with itself and with the rest of reality. As such we know the truth of scripture by the same means by which we know everything else we know. Reason!

    [Rom 10:14 KJV] 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    Do none of the animals know the sky is blue? You have made a rather outlandish statement--that reason separates man from animals, and we only know the sky is blue through reason. Therefore you, by your superior reasoning capability, have asserted that NO animals--NONE--can tell that the sky is blue.
    Both plants and animals and indeed all living things use a form of reason but not in the sense that we do.
    “A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values to guide his actions. ‘Value’ is that which one acts to gain and keep, ‘virtue’ is the action by which one gains and keeps it. ‘Value’ presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? ‘Value’ presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.

    “There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence—and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not; it depends on a specific course of action. Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and-self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it dies; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept of ‘Value’ possible. It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.

    “A plant must feed itself in order to live; the sunlight, the water, the chemicals it needs are the values its nature has set it to pursue; its life is the standard of value directing its actions. But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.

    “An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer.

    That is a quote from an atheist and so I don't endorse every syllable of that. The point made about an animal having "no power to extend its knowledge" is debatable, for example. The point of my quoting it is merely to say that what plants and animals do has more to do with automatic biological processes and instinct than it has to do with actual abstract reasoning. And whatever reasoning there is, is not on a level that would allow their actions to be considered morally right or wrong.

    And, no, I don't believe that a dog would know that the sky is blue. Dog's are quite color blind for one thing but even if they weren't, the perception of a wavelength of light through the eyes is not same thing as understanding what "blueness" is.

    I propose that we know the sky is blue because we observe it to be so. And we have scripture that tells us that God is good. Neither is due to reasoning.
    How would you propose to know what the sky is, much less observe it, without reason?
    How would you propose to read the bible (or another book) without the use of reason?

    It bothers me a bit that you have used a word, "Logic", that isn't used by any translators of John 1. And "logic" does not convey the same idea as "Logos" or "Word". Coupled with your use of "reason", above, it makes it seem like you are ascribing godlike properties to humans. If you didn't mean to do that, please explain.
    I don't attribute any God like attributes the humans that the Bible itself does not attribute to humans. We were, after all, created in God's image and likeness. On what basis would you propose to support the notion that we share no common attributes? Are not both alive? Are we not both able to think and to reason? Are we not both able to know right from wrong? Are we not both personal, relational, spiritual beings?

    And as for the use of the word, logic as a proper translation for logos, it is vastly more accurate, not to mention meaningful, than the use of "word". The Greek word "logos" means "reason" or "rational discourse". The English word "logic" can refer either to "reason" or more specifically to the rules that govern sound reason but since the word logic is derived from logos it is a near perfect translation. The suffix "ology" is directly derived from the Greek word "logos". Take the word "Theology" for example. Theology is the logos of the theos - the logic of God. Things that pertain to theology are said to be "theological". It's just two forms of the same word. Logos is logic and Jesus is the incarnation of The Logic and He is that which gives epistemological light to the world. And anyone reading John's gospel during the first century would have understood intuitively that this is the point John was making. The only reason it sounds foreign to your mind is because of the way the King James Bible was translated. All other English translations simply followed the King James' lead.

    Yes, but they all use some kind of logic or reasoning to defend their position. Everybody claims to have reason on their side, just not your brand of reasoning.
    No. Sorry, but they don't. I hate to tell you that there is a gigantic contingent of the Christian world that is very decidedly anti-intellectual and anti-reason in particular. There's a whole group of them right here on TOL!

    There are a great many who are not inti-intellectual who disagree with my doctrine and they do indeed, not only attempt to use sound reason but actively claim to have reason on their side. And for those people, your point is well taken and totally valid. having said that, however, the use of reason by the honest mind is not to be feared, even if two people of good intention come to different conclusions. In such cases, reality itself is the final arbiter. Either I am right or they are or perhaps we are both wrong. Regardless, so long as both parties are intellectually honest, they'll both receive the truth with gladness - eventually.

    But ten errors of reason are safer to trust than any single claim accepted by means of blind belief because the later divorces you from the only mechanism, the only tool we have by which to correct any error. And people who accept religious doctrine on blind belief are the most dangerous of all. Those, usually religious, people in the Bible who hated God and witnessed undeniable physical miracles did not respond with faith, which would have been to accept the testimony of their thinking mind and the undeniable evidence presented to it through their senses. Instead, they responded, in almost every case, by hating God all the more! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and what did the religious leaders who witnessed it do? Did they repent and fall on their knees worshiping Jesus as they should have? NO! They resolved to kill Jesus!

    That brings up the question: is your brand of reasoning the right one? Is there a right one?
    There are no "brands of reason". The only right one is the only one that actually exists.
    A premise is either true or it is false. A line of reasoning is either valid or it isn't. A conclusion either follows or it does not.

    The law of identity: Existence exists. A is A.
    The law of excluded middle: A truth claim is either true or it is false in a particular context.
    The law of contradiction: Two truth claims that contradict each other cannot both be true in the same context.

    This is the triune cornerstone of all thought, reasoning and knowledge. You cannot reject or even try to undermine any of these laws without using them in the attempt.

    If the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer 17:9), can you trust YOUR reasoning?
    You just asked the question...
    Your feelings are deceitful and wicked, can you trust your mind?

    Even if that wasn't your intent, which I'm sure it wasn't, then your question still defeats itself...

    "Your mind is deceitfully wicked, can you trust your mind?" If that was the intent of your question then my response is that there isn't anything else for me to trust with. I am my mind. I do not trust with anything else other than my mind. I cannot think at all without my mind. I cannot learn, I cannot apply wisdom, I cannot discern right from wrong, I cannot accept the truth of the Bible nor accept the existence of the God who wrote it by any means other than my own mind.
    Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    Romans 14:5b Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

    Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

    Colossians 3:2
    Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

    2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

    Acts 26:25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.

    I think you've hit on the solution in your appeal to John 1--reason must be judged by scripture, though we use reason to decide which scripture to apply. A single person could easily be fooled by his own deceitful heart, so we should not immediately discount any group that claims Scripture as their authority. They, like we, might be wrong in one point or another of interpretation, but their basis, their foundation, is solid, just like ours is when we judge against God's standard. Our individual blindnesses ("biases") will hamper us reaching a full knowledge of the truth, and therefore we need the whole body of Christ.
    There is no way to judge reason by scripture. You can judge a premise or a conclusion by scripture but judging something against a standard is itself an act of reason. You cannot call into question the veracity of that which you're using to question it. In other words, you cannot judge reason itself without using reason to do it and thereby tacitly accepting the veracity of that which are attempting to judge the veracity of. Just a bit circular, wouldn't you say?

    Scripture is not our irreducible primary, Reason is (capital R - as in Logos)!

    Now, before that makes you freak out too badly, I am not diminishing the importance of Scripture, especially in the context of doctrine. All Christian doctrine must not only be self-consistent (i.e. rational) but it must also be consistent with God's word, which is really to repeat myself. There would be no Christianity at all if not for God's word (i.e. the Bible). Any Christian doctrine that conflicts with the bible conflicts with Christianity itself and is therefore not self-consistent. Martin Luther's words conveyed it rightly when he declared that "unless I am convinced by Scripture and sound reason, I will not recant!"

    Your definition of "antinomy" is incomplete. It means contradictory laws, and it is the very heart of the human condition, ever since Adam and Eve decided they didn't need to obey God, but could decide for themselves what is right and wrong, or "good and evil". It exists in everybody's doctrine, to some degree or other, including every MADist I've encountered on this forum (not trying to slight MADists, just speaking truth).
    I do not accept antinomy - period. Try me.

    And you're wrong. The term antinomy is only ever applied to doctrines which do not make sense. To say that X and Y are true but do not actually contradict is not to employ the concept of antinomy. Antinomy applies only to those concepts which the pious claim is "beyond human reasoning". Antinomies are not mere mysteries where we've not been presented with sufficient data to explain something. On the contrary, they refer to things that are somehow "transcendent". "What do they transcend?", one might ask. Whatever form the answer to that question takes, the meaning of it is "It transcends the mind!". Those who want you to accept antinomy are asking you to accept a claim that they cannot prove or even make a rational argument in favor of. Indeed, they'd be offended by the idea of making such an attempt. They are asking you to believe it blindly. This is what they call "faith". There are NO exceptions that anyone has ever presented to me.

    And no, the doctrine of the Trinity is NOT an antinomy. Some Christian's version of the doctrine is but what the bible teaches about the Triune nature of our God is not.

    This is where discussion is sorely needed--to determine what the prophesied plan was, and to determine whether it was accomplished or replaced with a different plan or put on hold.


    The dialog is much appreciated.
    Derf
    I agree completely! But the discussion must be reined in by sound reason. And this is really where impasses usually occur because most Christians don't agree with the idea that their doctrine has to make rational sense. They just simply do not agree with that at all. It nearly always comes down to someone proclaiming that "I believe because the Bible says it." and they refuse to think through the fact that virtually every person who has ever called themselves a Christian has made the exact same proclamation. Everyone from Benny Hinn to David Koresh claims to have gotten their doctrine from the bible. What the difference between what they do with the bible and what you and I do? We at least try to use sound reason in our endeavors to understand and interpret the Bible. I submit to you that the more consistently you do so, the closer you will come to Acts 9 Dispensational Free will Theism.

    Free will because nothing else is consistent with the concepts of morality and justice.

    Dispensational because, as a general rule (i.e. while acknowledging the use of figurative language, symbolism, and idiomatic expressions), the bible means what it says.

    Acts 9 because it permits you to take virtually all of the New Testament to mean what it says.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    Last edited by Clete; July 25th, 2017, 03:59 PM.

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  • Derf
    replied
    Just so you know, you put us at #9 on Google search results for "primary premise of preterism".

    Originally posted by Clete View Post
    First of all, I need to say that I somehow managed to miss this post of yours for two whole months. I have no idea how that happened but you should know that I didn't simply ignore it. I don't remember having ever seen it before today, although it seems I must have and then just forgot. I really am sorry about that, it really was not intentional.
    No problem. I'm glad you came back to it. It makes me wonder if I've forgotten to reply to numerous threads I once invested time in.

    As for what I hoped you would get from Stam's book, well, of course, I hoped it would totally convince you and that you'd now be a died in the wool dispensationalist but what one hopes and what one expects aren't always the same thing.
    Lol.

    I'm just blown away that you were willing to read it! That never happens around here.
    That's because most of us really just want to tell everybody else what our version of truth is, instead of seeking out truth. This topic interests me. I'm not a preterist, but I appreciate some of their points, especially where they are trying to take scripture for what it says. Where they don't, I have the same problem I have with others that add to scripture.

    And as for Bob Enyart's "The Plot", if you wanted to pick it up, the first four chapters are all that is dedicated to establishing dispensationalism. The rest of the book is about fleshing out the specific doctrines that dispensationalism affects most directly. Things like the rapture, law vs. grace, tithing, etc.
    It's kind of expensive...


    Yes, well if their reasoning is wrong then you can't cling to the doctrine that is based on that reasoning. Why treat theology any differently than any other pursuit of the truth? Why cling to a conclusion when the logic that leads to that conclusion is shown to be faulty? I agree that something a preterist might say could turn out to be true in spite of his faulty thought process but that's no reason to grant them more sanction than they've earned. Broken watches are right twice a day but I bet you wouldn't strap one to your wrist.
    On the other hand, if someone gets anything wrong (and who doesn't sometimes get something wrong), that means their reasoning is wrong somewhere, either in premise or logic. That doesn't mean that everything they say must be discarded. Even Bob Enyart, bless his soul, is bound to err somewhere, sometime, and then you would have to throw out everything he has ever said, by your line of reasoning, including The Plot.


    I hate to tell you but you just tossed out the primary premise of Preterism. You just chunked the whole system right in the trash bin. Anything a Preterist gets right after this is either accidental or coincidental (i.e.not based on this premise).
    This is where I searched Google. I'm not sure what the actual "primary premise of preterism" is, but it seems like you think it is that "the kingdom is only spiritual". I differ with you on this, because the primary scriptural evidence the preterists point to is the idea of prophecies taking place within real time constraints as laid out in scripture, such as "within this generation" or "these things will take place soon". Whereas a spiritual time frame is a nebulous one, where real time constraints, such as "within this generation" have to be spread out over multiple generations to make sense of them. That's not to say that the preterist's conclusions are reliable (that still needs to be discussed), but the "primary premise" of the words of Jesus meaning exactly what they say is a solid premise--one that we should all strive to use. (Btw, I think preterists do this well in the Matt 24 passage, but not so well in other sayings of Jesus, where they twist the meanings of words to fit their interpretations.)

    If you think I've misunderstood the primary premise of preterism, please tell me what you think it is.

    And when I say you've thrown the whole system in the bin, I only refer to those things which are distinctive to Preterist. I'm not referring to their status as Christians or to anything else that is not directly related to the idea that all of biblical prophecy was fulfilled long ago.
    Let me reiterate here that I speak of preterism as seeing MOST biblical prophecy as being fulfilled long ago, and not ALL. This distinction is necessary, and I call the latter (the "ALL fulfilled" view) "hyper-preterism". If that's what you are arguing against, we're not in much disagreement. The "MOST fulfilled" view is called "partial preterism" by some, and "preterism" by others.


    I'm afraid I don't understand the question.

    What is it that couldn't have come to pass? The time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30) had yet to come to pass and, in fact, there is good reason to believe that that period had actually begun to happen before God cut Israel off. Bob's "The Plot" goes into that exact point in some considerable detail.
    This is a bold statement, and I think it reflects your own paradigm, when you say "Jacob's trouble had yet to come to pass". The text in Jeremiah 30 is pretty explicit in its reference to the events of Jeremiah's day. The jews were mostly in Babylon already (Jer 29:1), and the ones that were left in Judea were to expect great persecutions from God (Jer 29:16-18). Chap 30 is the words of peace to the afflicted people, not words of more affliction. So when Jer 30:6 speaks of Jacob's trouble, it speaks of something that is already happening. Read it (my underlining showing the past or present tense verbs):

    [Jer 30:5-8 KJV] 5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

    The sense of the passage is most assuredly that evil has occurred, but God will fix it, when "in that day", "I will break his yoke off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds". These are words of fixing the evil condition they found themselves in--captivity in the land of Babylon.

    I'm not so dense as to think that the words might not also apply to a future time, but the immediate context of the passage is not predicting a time of future trouble, but a future relief from present trouble.

    Such thinking, for better or for worse, is where preterism can help us--to strive to apply prophecies to the immediate context whenever possible. I think it will help bring some sanity to the discussion of eschatology, even if their interpretation of certain passages is askew (that's where we can help them). If, as you say, you are not questioning their status as Christians, then you must admit they have a role to play in the body, perhaps even a role in understanding prophecy.

    All prophecy is contingent. Even when God says that He will do something "without fail", it doesn't mean that it's set in stone. There are many examples throughout the Bible. The principle is most clearly stated in Jeremiah 18, which I think is one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible.
    I question your use of the word "all". Are you truly saying that God never, ever made a statement that He won't/can't change His mind on? Recall 1 Sam 15:26.


    God means everything He says. Every single word. There was no necessity for Him to emphasize a thing, He would have still meant exactly what He said. But as God explains in Jeremiah 18...
    Jeremiah 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.
    Yes, but if the nation He speaks against continues in its evil, then there is no cause for the Lord to relent of the evil He thought to do to it, is there? In Israel's case, Jesus was telling the disciples what would happen to Israel, and perhaps they might avoid it if they repented, but they did not. So Jer 18:7 doesn't apply.


    Are you suggesting that such things cannot be known? The way you know is through sound reason. It's the same exact way we know anything at all.
    Really? You can reason yourself into an understanding of the gospel? Let's say for just a minute that the bible did not exist, and that God had not provided such information about Jesus' sacrifice that we have in the bible, and there were no preachers to share the message of the gospel with us. Would you be able to come to a knowledge of the saving grace of God through reason?

    [Rom 10:14 KJV] 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    How do you know that the sky is blue?
    How do you know that God is good?

    The answer to both questions is the same. Reason! There is no other way that your mind can work. It is what separates you from the animals and it is that part of you that is God's image.
    Do none of the animals know the sky is blue? You have made a rather outlandish statement--that reason separates man from animals, and we only know the sky is blue through reason. Therefore you, by your superior reasoning capability, have asserted that NO animals--NONE--can tell that the sky is blue.

    I propose that we know the sky is blue because we observe it to be so. And we have scripture that tells us that God is good. Neither is due to reasoning.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    14 And Logic became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
    It bothers me a bit that you have used a word, "Logic", that isn't used by any translators of John 1. And "logic" does not convey the same idea as "Logos" or "Word". Coupled with your use of "reason", above, it makes it seem like you are ascribing godlike properties to humans. If you didn't mean to do that, please explain.

    And no, not everyone claims to have reason on their side. In fact, a majority Christians openly reject reason at the drop of a hat if it conflicts with a pet doctrine of theirs. The anti-intellectualism in the Christian church is rampant and embarrassing.
    Yes, but they all use some kind of logic or reasoning to defend their position. Everybody claims to have reason on their side, just not your brand of reasoning. That brings up the question: is your brand of reasoning the right one? Is there a right one? If the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer 17:9), can you trust YOUR reasoning? I think you've hit on the solution in your appeal to John 1--reason must be judged by scripture, though we use reason to decide which scripture to apply. A single person could easily be fooled by his own deceitful heart, so we should not immediately discount any group that claims scripture as their authority. They, like we, might be wrong in one point or another of interpretation, but their basis, their foundation, is solid, just like ours is when we judge against God's standard. Our individual blindnesses ("biases") will hamper us reaching a full knowledge of the truth, and therefore we need the whole body of Christ.

    If you call yourself a Catholic, Calvinist or Arminian, chances are good that you routinely and openly allow "antinomy" (a.k.a. contradictions) to exist in your doctrine and you consider your willingness to do so to be piety.
    Your definition of "antinomy" is incomplete. It means contradictory laws, and it is the very heart of the human condition, ever since Adam and Eve decided they didn't need to obey God, but could decide for themselves what is right and wrong, or "good and evil". It exists in everybody's doctrine, to some degree or other, including every MADist I've encountered on this forum (not trying to slight MADists, just speaking truth).


    Jesus was not surprised by the rejection but He also knew what the plan was for Israel and He knew that the plan had not yet been abandoned. The time of Jacob's trouble (i.e. the Tribulation) would have purged out those who rejected God and left a remnant and God could have decided to continue the prophecied plan with those few who remained but He decided otherwise and will return to Israel to complete their prophesied plan, including giving them their Kingdom with Christ reigning here on Earth from Jerusalem. In other words, it is God's perogative to decide when a line has been crossed.
    This is where discussion is sorely needed--to determine what the prophesied plan was, and to determine whether it was accomplished or replaced with a different plan or put on hold.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    The dialog is much appreciated.
    Derf

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  • Clete
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Hi Clete,
    I finished reading Stam's "Things That Differ". I feel the need to explain that I don't really read that slow. Suffice it to say that I was on vacation last week and had a little down time, for which I'm thankful.

    In general, I don't have too much problem with Stam's ideas about the dispensations--I agree with his assertion that "faith" exhibited by Abraham unto salvation did not look like the "faith" exhibited by those Christ preached to, nor like that of those that Paul preached to. I think he went a little too far trying to dig out distinctions between the 12 and Paul (and some other distinctive lists as well). And he repeated stuff a whole lot. I enjoy theological discussions, but I must say he put me to sleep a number of times.

    Anyway, now that I've read it, I'll respond below, though I'm not sure I got out of Stam what you hoped I would.

    And I didn't read "The Plot". I may try to one of these days.
    First of all, I need to say that I somehow managed to miss this post of yours for two whole months. I have no idea how that happened but you should know that I didn't simply ignore it. I don't remember having ever seen it before today, although it seems I must have and then just forgot. I really am sorry about that, it really was not intentional.

    As for what I hoped you would get from Stam's book, well, of course, I hoped it would totally convince you and that you'd now be a died in the wool dispensationalist but what one hopes and what one expects aren't always the same thing.

    I'm just blown away that you were willing to read it! That never happens around here.

    And as for Bob Enyart's "The Plot", if you wanted to pick it up, the first four chapters are all that is dedicated to establishing dispensationalism. The rest of the book is about fleshing out the specific doctrines that dispensationalism affects most directly. Things like the rapture, law vs. grace, tithing, etc.


    I don't deny your assertions here. But just because they let some (a lot?) of what they want to believe cloud their judgment doesn't make their positions on prophecy wrong--it just makes some or all of their reasons for holding those positions wrong. The distinction is subtle, but noteworthy, I think. And if it's possible that some of their reasons are good, then we should afford them the same kindness we would want--that they take the things of value from what we say and cast away the dross. Far be it from me to suggest that I have no dross to cast away.
    Yes, well if their reasoning is wrong then you can't cling to the doctrine that is based on that reasoning. Why treat theology any differently than any other pursuit of the truth? Why cling to a conclusion when the logic that leads to that conclusion is shown to be faulty? I agree that something a preterist might say could turn out to be true in spite of his faulty thought process but that's no reason to grant them more sanction than they've earned. Broken watches are right twice a day but I bet you wouldn't strap one to your wrist.

    Now, I agree that we should cast away the idea the the kingdom is only spiritual. God made us physical, and gave us laws during the various dispensations that are physically enacted (like capital punishment for heinous crimes). And when He says He's going to bless Israel or curse Israel, for the most part He's talking about blessings/cursings in the physical realm.
    I hate to tell you but you just tossed out the primary premise of Preterism. You just chunked the whole system right in the trash bin. Anything a Preterist gets right after this is either accidental or coincidental (i.e.not based on this premise).

    And when I say you've thrown the whole system in the bin, I only refer to those things which are distinctive to Preterist. I'm not referring to their status as Christians or to anything else that is not directly related to the idea that all of biblical prophecy was fulfilled long ago.

    The strength of preterism, as with any of our paradigms, is when they actually take the bible for what it says, despite where it might lead. And one place they do that is in the "this generation" passages.

    If Jesus said "this generation" will experience these things, then it seems logical to think that they will/did experience them, rather than some other generation. That was my point. You've brought in the idea that while Jesus said those things would happen in "this generation" it is possible for those things NOT to happen, if the contingent condition is not met--which is also a valid point. But you've also given opposing reasons

    So, help me think through this. If Jesus was saying those things (mainly concentrating on Matt 24), as I think I'm understanding you to say, to the Jews as an expected result of their faithfulness in accepting the Messiah, then I'm confused as to why He said stuff like: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you..." and "then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another"
    I guess you're saying that it is part of the purging, but there's still an expectation of Israel as a nation still accepting Him? But it would seem that the leaders would be afraid of the people, like they were already with regard to Jesus, if that were the case, and they then wouldn't be able to kill the apostles.
    I'm afraid I don't understand the question.

    What is it that couldn't have come to pass? The time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30) had yet to come to pass and, in fact, there is good reason to believe that that period had actually begun to happen before God cut Israel off. Bob's "The Plot" goes into that exact point in some considerable detail.

    His predictions don't contain any wishy-washy-ness.
    All prophecy is contingent. Even when God says that He will do something "without fail", it doesn't mean that it's set in stone. There are many examples throughout the Bible. The principle is most clearly stated in Jeremiah 18, which I think is one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible.

    He follows them with: [Mat 24:34 KJV] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    Then He backs up that statement with an overwhelming oath, calling upon God's physical creation to testify that He really means it (after he just told the Pharisees that if you swear by heaven, you'd better really mean it, as you're swearing by God if you do--Matt 23:22): [Mat 24:35 KJV] Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
    God means everything He says. Every single word. There was no necessity for Him to emphasize a thing, He would have still meant exactly what He said. But as God explains in Jeremiah 18...
    Jeremiah 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

    No offense, but isn't that what everyone says about their theology with respect to the others--that "I've got logic on my side, and they don't"? I'm glad you feel that way about yours, but it's an empty boast until we figure out who's right, and even then how do we know we've figured out who's right, theologically, except after no-one can come up with a better on for, say hundreds or even thousands of years? That's the argument the traditionalists are using against open theists right now. I don't find it persuasive.
    Are you suggesting that such things cannot be known? The way you know is through sound reason. It's the same exact way we know anything at all.

    How do you know that the sky is blue?
    How do you know that God is good?

    The answer to both questions is the same. Reason! There is no other way that your mind can work. It is what separates you from the animals and it is that part of you that is God's image.
    John 1:1 In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    14 And Logic became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


    And no, not everyone claims to have reason on their side. In fact, a majority Christians openly reject reason at the drop of a hat if it conflicts with a pet doctrine of theirs. The anti-intellectualism in the Christian church is rampant and embarrassing. If you call yourself a Catholic, Calvinist or Arminian, chances are good that you routinely and openly allow "antinomy" (a.k.a. contradictions) to exist in your doctrine and you consider your willingness to do so to be piety.

    Again, Matt 24 followed Matt 23, where Jesus did the 7-fold "woe" against the Scribes and Pharisees. Does it make sense that Jesus was seeing the likelihood of Israel rejecting him (after the leaders had already done so), but then He would predict with such force the things in Matt 24 as a path to Israel's accepting Him?

    If Jesus saw the likelihood (not just a possibility, but a greater than 50% chance, or "likelihood") of His rejection, and His prophecies are for the contingency where He isn't rejected, wouldn't He want to temper the prediction just a little bit?? Throw in some contingency words or something??

    But if He's instead predicting their rejection of Him, why didn't all those things come to pass, since they really did reject Him?

    Preterists are saying, I think, that they believe Christ understood He was being rejected, and that He was predicting things that should happen if He was rejected, and they further believe that those things DID happen (to a large degree). I don't see faulty logic in that, do you?
    Jesus was not surprised by the rejection but He also knew what the plan was for Israel and He knew that the plan had not yet been abandoned. The time of Jacob's trouble (i.e. the Tribulation) would have purged out those who rejected God and left a remnant and God could have decided to continue the prophecied plan with those few who remained but He decided otherwise and will return to Israel to complete their prophesied plan, including giving them their Kingdom with Christ reigning here on Earth from Jerusalem. In other words, it is God's perogative to decide when a line has been crossed.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    Last edited by Clete; July 24th, 2017, 05:10 AM.

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  • Derf
    replied
    Hi Clete,
    I finished reading Stam's "Things That Differ". I feel the need to explain that I don't really read that slow. Suffice it to say that I was on vacation last week and had a little down time, for which I'm thankful.

    In general I don't have too much problem with Stam's ideas about the dispensations--I agree with his assertion that "faith" exhibited by Abraham unto salvation did not look like the "faith" exhibited by those Christ preached to, nor like that of those that Paul preached to. I think he went a little too far trying to dig out distinctions between the 12 and Paul (and some other distinctive lists as well). And he repeated stuff a whole lot. I enjoy theological discussions, but I must say he put me to sleep a number of times.

    Anyway, now that I've read it, I'll respond below, though I'm not sure I got out of Stam what you hoped I would.

    And I didn't read "The Plot". I may try to one of these days.

    Originally posted by Clete View Post
    Of course no Preterist would accept the notion that they treat the scripture in the manner I've been suggesting. They'd deny it passionately but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. The reason they'd reject what I've accused them of doing is because I've put it terms that even they can see would make it an terrible practice. The problem for them is that they have no rebuttal. No rationally sound one anyway. I've not debated a lot of Pretersist, they are a rather rare breed, but every time I have it has always, almost immediately, come down to shadow vs substance. What's spiritual and what is real. They want to believe that Israel's Kingdom was never intended to be a real, on the ground, political kingdom, with a government and laws, etc. They want to believe that the Kingdom is in your heart and that everything has worked out precisely the way God intended from the beginning. They believe that prophecy is prewritten history and so interpret everything from the spiritual kingdom paradigm. And I'm not suggesting a conspiracy here, its a paradigm. It happens to them just like it happens to everyone else. The power of paradigm is, by far, the highest and hardest hill to climb when attempting to convince anyone of anything theological or political.
    I don't deny your assertions here. But just because they let some (a lot?) of what they want to believe cloud their judgment doesn't make their positions on prophecy wrong--it just makes some or all of their reasons for holding those positions wrong. The distinction is subtle, but noteworthy, I think. And if it's possible that some of their reasons are good, then we should afford them the same kindness we would want--that they take the things of value from what we say and cast away the dross. Far be it from me to suggest that I have no dross to cast away.

    Now, I agree that we should cast away the idea the the kingdom is only spiritual. God made us physical, and gave us laws during the various dispensations that are physically enacted (like capital punishment for heinous crimes). And when He says He's going to bless Israel or curse Israel, for the most part He's talking about blessings/cursings in the physical realm.

    The question is whether your definition is born out of an a-priori assumption as is the case with Preterism or is it born out of an objective set of rules which govern your interpretation and understanding the scripture that leads toward conclusions rather than proceeding from them.
    The strength of preterism, as with any of our paradigms, is when they actually take the bible for what it says, despite where it might lead. And one place they do that is in the "this generation" passages.

    If Jesus said "this generation" will experience these things, then it seems logical to think that they will/did experience them, rather than some other generation. That was my point. You've brought in the idea that while Jesus said those things would happen in "this generation" it is possible for those things NOT to happen, if the contingent condition is not met--which is also a valid point. But you've also given opposing reasons

    So, help me think through this. If Jesus was saying those things (mainly concentrating on Matt 24), as I think I'm understanding you to say, to the Jews as an expected result of their faithfulness in accepting the Messiah, then I'm confused as to why He said stuff like: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you..." and "then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another"
    I guess you're saying that it is part of the purging, but there's still an expectation of Israel as a nation still accepting Him? But it would seem that the leaders would be afraid of the people, like they were already with regard to Jesus, if that were the case, and they then wouldn't be able to kill the apostles.

    His predictions don't contain any wishy-washy-ness.

    He follows them with: [Mat 24:34 KJV] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    Then He backs up that statement with an overwhelming oath, calling upon God's physical creation to testify that He really means it (after he just told the Pharisees that if you swear by heaven, you'd better really mean it, as you're swearing by God if you do--Matt 23:22): [Mat 24:35 KJV] Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    This is the key difference between the Open View/Mid-Acts Dispensationalism which I have held now for going on two decades and every other doctrinal system I have ever been exposed to. It is superior by every objective standard that I've ever heard anyone propose. No one that I know of, whether here or in the several books I've read on the topic, has ever bother to make an argument against its basic premises, except by accident. Every attack is aimed at details and not the foundation upon which those details emerge. In fact, the more logically consistent a theological system is, the closer it approaches either the Open View or Mid-Acts Dispensationalism or both. And conversely, the more ready a theological system is to reject logic as being "human" (i.e. bad) the further they go away from the Open View or any form of dispensationalism and usually both. On the one end of the spectrum you have the Open View an Mid-Acts Dispensationalism and on the other you have Augustinianism/Covenant Theology. The fulcrum between the two is sound reason.
    No offense, but isn't that what everyone says about their theology with respect to the others--that "I've got logic on my side, and they don't"? I'm glad you feel that way about yours, but it's an empty boast until we figure out who's right, and even then how do we know we've figured out who's right, theologically, except after no-one can come up with a better on for, say hundreds or even thousands of years? That's the argument the traditionalists are using against open theists right now. I don't find it persuasive.


    Jesus could see what was happening and understood that Israel was likely to reject their King. Also, there was always going to be a time of hardship prior to Israel taking procession of their promised Kingdom. What we refer to today as the Tribulation was intended to happen in the first century before Christ's return as King but that entire prophetic program was halted (put on hold) because of Israel's official rejection of Christ as the Messiah and the stoning of Stephen.
    Again, Matt 24 followed Matt 23, where Jesus did the 7-fold "woe" against the Scribes and Pharisees. Does it make sense that Jesus was seeing the likelihood of Israel rejecting him (after the leaders had already done so), but then He would predict with such force the things in Matt 24 as a path to Israel's accepting Him?

    If Jesus saw the likelihood (not just a possibility, but a greater than 50% chance, or "likelihood") of His rejection, and His prophecies are for the contingency where He isn't rejected, wouldn't He want to temper the prediction just a little bit?? Throw in some contingency words or something??

    But if He's instead predicting their rejection of Him, why didn't all those things come to pass, since they really did reject Him?

    Preterists are saying, I think, that they believe Christ understood He was being rejected, and that He was predicting things that should happen if He was rejected, and they further believe that those things DID happen (to a large degree). I don't see faulty logic in that, do you?

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  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by themuzicman View Post
    And thus, Paul tells us how God has chosen to deal with Israel as clay in Romans 9.
    Granted.

    To judge? No. But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases. If he wishes to judge, he judges.
    I'm having a hard time figuring out where you are on this. First you say:
    Originally posted by themuzicman View Post
    See Jeremiah 18. God may do as He wishes with Israel.
    Then you say:
    Originally posted by themuzicman View Post
    But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases.
    Can God do what He wishes with Israel (the one He's in covenant with) or not?

    In truth, I don't think God ever acts different than He pleases. If He is in covenant, He is pleased to act according to His covenant, as it is not in His nature to break covenant. If He is not in covenant, He is pleased to act according to His nature. For instance, He doesn't lie. So if He predicted that a certain thing come to pass on a nation, whether one He's in covenant with or not, He will bring it to pass, unless that nation changes course.

    I'm probably over-belaboring a very minor point, which I'm wont to do.
    I think you're trying to insert things into my argument that aren't there.
    That's not my intent, but I'm not saying it couldn't happen. Based on your above quotes, I don't have to insert anything extra--you've argued both sides without my help.

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  • themuzicman
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    And how does one determine which way God is required to act? In the Jer 18 passage, God is saying He could do either (judge or withold judgment) to the people of the covenant, based on whether they turned back to Him or away from Him after formerly turning away from Him or to Him, respectively. So in both circumstances, the people of the covenant have broken covenant, and God could judge in either case. Once a covenant is broken, it can't be unbroken by the breakers of it--it can only be unbroken at the mercy of the covenant keeper.
    And thus, Paul tells us how God has chosen to deal with Israel as clay in Romans 9.

    And does one need a covenant for God to judge? Or to show mercy? The Nineveh case says He doesn't. The Israel case says He isn't required by that covenant toward either end. But He still is merciful, and He still is just.
    To judge? No. But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases. If he wishes to judge, he judges.

    I think your covenant stipulation is unfounded, at least in the Jer 18 scenario.
    I think you're trying to insert things into my argument that aren't there.

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  • Clete
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I haven't forgotten about you, Clete. I'm taking some time to look at your C.R. Stam booklet, but haven't had as much time with it as I'd like.
    Amazing!

    Take all the time you need!

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