BAHNSEN AND REVELATION STUDIES

PMW 2020-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am writing this article as a brief tribute to Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen (Sept. 17 1948–Dec. 11, 1995) regarding his influence on Revelation studies, especially as the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death is approaching. He certainly is gone, but not forgotten.

Dr. Bahnsen’s formal training and primary ministry focus were in the field of philosophy, including Christian apologetics and biblical ethics. Nevertheless, deep interest, wide learning, careful analysis, and perceptive insights touched on many and varied fields of study. Among his leading interests was eschatology and the Book of Revelation. And though he never released a commentary on this majestic prophecy, he did produce sixty-three hours of taped expositional lectures, which have been very popular and quite influential in reformed circles. Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 4

PMW 2020-101 by Kenneth L Gentry, Jr.

This is my fourth and final installment regarding my confusion about Don Preston’s confusion about the disciples’ confusion in Matthew 24:3. To add to the confusion: I am interacting with his book, Were the Disciples Confused? Now you are probably confused!

While reading this article, you should keep in mind Matthew’s opening three verses that introduce the Olivet Discourse and which are at the center of my disagreement with Preston’s argument: Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 3

PMW 2020-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this article I am continuing a brief, four-part analysis of Hyper-preterist Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? In my last two articles I noted some general frustrations with Preston’s attitude in presenting his material. In this one I will focus on a key problem with his argument. I will be (mostly) considering his book’s third chapter, titled “Jesus’ Earlier Predictions of The Destruction of Jerusalem.” And especially his interaction with my thoughts. (All parenthetical page references are to this book unless otherwise noted.)

In this chapter Preston is arguing against the view that the disciples were confused in their questions (Matt. 24:3) about Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s destruction (v. 2). Yet I and many scholars [1] believe they were in fact confused when they asked: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (v. 3). We believe that in this question they erroneously associate the destruction of the temple historically with both the Second Coming and the “end of the age” (i.e., the second coming which brings about the end of history). Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 2

PMW 2020-099 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last blog article I began a four-part response to Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? In this (and my first article) I am pointing out his attitudinal problem that turns off so many of his potential readers. You will need to read the preceding article (PMW 2020-098) before engaging this one. For in this one, I am concluding my concerns regarding Preston’s attitude.

My two major points in the preceding article were that Preston has “A new theology complete with arrogance.” Then my second one dealt with his “False charges based on erroneous understanding.” I am now ready to finish this line of thought with my concern that Preston has engaged in:

A careless misreading of my argument

On p. 40 (¶2) Preston writes: “Gentry claims that Jesus had not mentioned his coming or the end of the age prior to Matthew 24:2.” This is a serious (though not at all surprising) misreading of my argument for two reasons:

Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 1

PMW 2020-098 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of my readers who thought I was not busy enough sent me a copy of Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? (At least I think that is the title. The front cover of the book is itself very confusing in this regard. The largest typefont on the cover reads: “Watching for the Parousia.” The spine even has: “Watching for the Parousia: Were Jesus’ Apostles Confused?” It is not until you get to the title page that you find what perhaps is the official title: Were the Disciples Confused?)

As I read through the book I thought that Preston must have left the Church of Christ and joined the Disciples of Christ denomination. For while claiming to be a disciple, he himself is confused. Now having read the book, I too am confused!

Perhaps some day — if I ever finish my several current contractual obligations! — I may find time to engage Preston’s arguments presented in this book. Despite Preston’s insistence that I spend more of my time dealing with him, for now I want simply to show how that in especially one particular chapter (ch. 3) Preston thinks he has accomplished something that he has not. In fact, as he challenges me, he misses my point. Entirely. His third chapter is titled “Jesus’ Earlier Predictions of The Destruction of Jerusalem.” (Besides my many time-dominating obligations, this is another reason I do not set aside my life and deal with him: it is too frustrating to clean up after a bull in a china shop.) Continue reading

I AM NOT A PRETERIST (REVISITED)!

PMW 2020-097 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Much of this article repeats an earlier article which I think might be helpful once again. I am bringing it up-to-date due to some recent observations I have gathered in the eschatological debate.

As previously noted, I often have people ask me if I am a “preterist.” This is generally asked by someone who does not know what “preterism” means. They are usually fearful of the term because they do not understand what all is involved in the preterist idea. In fact, at a theological exam when entering a new presbytery, I was challenged as being an agent of the Hyper-preterist movement because of my orthodox preterist views. Fortunately, I was able to demonstrate that I am fully orthodox. But this experience showed me the danger of accidental false associations.

This will surprise some of my readers, but I would like to state categorically and unequivocally: I am NOT a preterist. To believe that I am a preterist is quite mistaken. Continue reading

HAVE WE MISCONSTRUED MATTHEW 24:34?

PMW 2020-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader recently wrote me with the following observations, for which he wondered how I would reply:

My reader:

I recently read your book, The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. I thought it was very good.

What is your view of the following?

1. “Take place” in Mt. 24:34 does not require completion but only inception. Compare with Luke 1:20. “ginomai” in the aorist subjective indicates coming into existence without speaking at all regarding completion.

2. The reason Jesus gave to flee Jerusalem when surrounded by armies was that the end is not yet. The end would be the Jews defeating Rome and ending the age of the Jews being without a king.

3. The tribulation of which Jesus spoke began prior to 70 A.D., but continues until the bodily return of Jesus to earth.

Thank you.

R.W. Continue reading