ANCIENT NEAR EAST APPROACHES TO GENESIS?

PMW 2018-083 by Paul J. Barth (Aquila Report)

Gentry note:
The Genesis Creation Account is not only foundational to a biblical worldview, but to the Bible itself. Too many evangelicals waffle when it comes to Moses declaring that God created in six days. I could only wish they had the same problem as Augustine: Why did it take so long? But they don’t. They are trying to maintain academic respectability before the secular, God-denying world. And that is tragic. This is a helpful article for a (postmillennial) worldview.

Now let us hear Paul J. Barth on the matter.

False Assumptions of Ancient Near East Literary Approaches to Genesis

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” 1 Timothy 1:4

Dr. Richard Belcher Jr. summarizes Dr. C. John Collins’ theory from his book Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? about how ancient Near East literature and cosmology should influence our interpretation of Genesis: Continue reading

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TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (3)

PMW 2018-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third and final article in a brief series showing how the destruction of the temple in AD 70 pointed to and even symbolized the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment.

In the last article I noted that the Jews believed the temple was permanent, existing as long as the world would last. Thus, many scholars comment on this religious perspective in Judaism regarding the temple’s relevance to the world order.

The temple’s relation to the world

Lee I. Levine (2002: 246) notes that the temple “was where God dwelled, this was the cosmic center of the universe (axis mundi), the navel (omphalos) of the world that both nurtured it and bound together heaven and earth.” Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-081 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a three-part study of the temple’s AD 70 destruction as an historical judgment on Israel that pointed to the Final Judgment on the nations.  The last article set up this and the next article by pointing out: (1) the two-schema structure of history (Heb. 1:1–2) and (2) the nature of the Final Judgment (in Matt. 24:31–46). Having laid this groundwork, we can now start looking at the temple to begin considering how its destruction speaks of the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment

The Olivet Discourse can flow quite easily and most naturally from the destruction of the temple in AD 70 to the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment. Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The destruction of the temple in AD 70 not only points to the judgment of God on Israel, but also pictures the judgment of God on the world at the Last Day. We can see this in many ways, one of which is by understanding the temple structure itself — and how it’s meaning pictures the future end of the world.

As noted in previous articles on this site, I am currently working on a commentary on Matt. 21–25 (see conclusion of article below). This section forms a discrete literary unit in Matthew’s Gospel in which we find the Olivet Discourse as its climax. In this commentary I will be demonstrating that the Discourse opens with a prophecy of judgment against the Temple in AD 70, which ends the old covenant era, but then shifts to the Final Judgment of the world, which ends the new covenant era (and history itself). Those who limit all prophecy-fulfillment to AD 70 effectively promote a Jesus who is a Jewish sage, not realizing the fullness of his ministry and the significance of the Olivet Discourse. [1]

In this three-article series I will very briefly offer an interesting insight into the fact that the temple’s judgment not only serves as a judgment on Israel, but also pictures the final judgment upon all nations. But before I do that, I must note the biblical structure of redemptive-history. Continue reading

CHRISTIANITY DEAD IN EUROPE???

PMW 2018-079 by John D. Martin (The Federalist)

Gentry note: This is an encouraging article that notes “there have been increasing signs of a real and sustained Christian revival in Europe, hardly reported and barely noticed in press across the pond.” Of course, we know on the basis of Scripture that this will ultimately be the case, but it is good to see signs of that today.

As we can see from the article, with the growth of Christian belief, we need to promote true Christian training in biblical doctrine. The Great Commission not only promotes faith, but training in that faith.

There is an old joke about a Christian lady who was responding to a friend who believed “God is dead.” This humble believer responded: “I know God is not dead! There is no casket big enough to hold him and I am in the family and haven’t been notified.” God is not dead. Neither is belief in God dead.

“Reports of Christianity’s Death in Europe Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”
by John D. Martin

Since the 2007 publication of Philip Jenkin’s God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe’s Religious Crisis, observers of religious trends in European culture have been keeping a close eye on developments that might validate his sanguine view that Europe could see a revival in Christian belief. Richard J. Neuhaus, in his review of it in First Things at the time, thought the view was “too roseate.” Continue reading

THE NATIONS AND THE GREAT COMMISSION

PMW 2018-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Introduction

An interested reader sent me a question regarding the Great Commission. The question was two pages long, but I will edit it down to a manageable size. He wrote:

I have a question about a certain verse that I believe you use in a certain way…. The Verse is Matthew 28:19…. My question is this: In what sense do you understand Jesus telling His disciples to “make disciples of all nations?” Can you break that down for me and clarify? I know in the KJV it says to “teach” and that has been discovered by many to be wrong and it seems the better translation is “to make disciples of all nations” I always thought that you believed it meant each particular nation would be through the “preaching of the gospel” would be Christianized. Each nation in a universal but limited sense. Not all but the majority of the people of each nation would be made disciples of Christ through the “things that Jesus taught the disciples”….

[The reader cites a scholarly article he has read on the matter. He notes:] The Aorist Imperative form of this verb lends itself to the expression of a simple activity, like the calling to the commitment to follow Jesus, which each one of the disciples who was listening to this commission had previously done. “Baptizing them” would also be understood by these same disciples as being similar to the individual commitment each of them had to make before they were baptized by John the Baptist (cp. Mark 1:5)….

There is another issue in Matt 28:19-20, and that is how to take the participles – “baptizing and teaching” in relation to the main verb “make disciples”. The commentary you quoted interpreted them as participles of means… “Make disciples of all nations BY baptism and BY instruction.” But the word “by” is added for interpretation and is not in the text.

I hope I have saved the relevant portions of his extended question. And I believe I have. So now, to work! Continue reading

JESUS AND GOD’S LAW (2)

PMW 2018-077 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began a study of Jesus’ teaching on God’s Law. This is important because postmillennialism expects God’s righteousness to prevail in the affairs of men, not just a general peace among men. The postmillennial hope involves a specific righteousness defined by God. And Jesus teaches that God’s Law prevails.

In this article I will continue the previous study of Matt 5. In doing so we will notice that the kingdom is central to Jesus’ presentation. We have already seen much in Jesus’ few words in Matt 5:17–19. But there is more! Continue reading