Introduction by Ken Gentry
I have mentioned several times in various postings how much I appreciate the exegetical work on Matthew by Jeffrey A. Gibbs. Gibbs is a professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He earned his Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va. (1995). His three volume commentary on Matthew is one of the best evangelical works on this Gospel. I highly recommend this commentary and the one by R. T. France as the best you can get.
I will be citing several paragraphs from Gibbs’ analysis of Matthew 24:3, which he titles “The Disciples’ Confusion.” This material is drawn from his third volume on Matthew: Matthew 21:1–28:20 (Saint Louis: Concordia, 2018, pp. 1252–54). This will supplement my study on the Disciples’ confusion in several recent PostmillennialWorldview postings. Gibbs is the commentator who put me on this trail! Continue reading
PMW 2020-025 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader contacted me with this question:
“Why do you think 2 Thessalonians 1:7 is referring to the final return while denying the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ? That is, if 2 Thessalonians 1:7 is not the AD 70 coming but the final return, then didn’t Paul believe the final return could happen in his day since he wrote to the believers in his day, ‘and to grant relief to you.’ Just wondering how you deal with that?” Continue reading
PMW 2020-024 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the second in a two-part series explaining how postmillennialism can be true even though Jesus warns of “the days of Noah” that lay in our future. A reader asked me about postmillennialism in light of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:37–39, which reads:
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matt. 24:37–39)
This is a good question, which is frequently brought up in eschatological discussions. It needs answering. And as I am showing, it can be answered by the postmillennialist — even more easily than many expect. Continue reading
PMW 2020-022 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader recently responded to an aside comment that I made in an article on the Olivet Discourse. Though the issue is not a major one, it is an interesting one nevertheless. And it is at least potentially helpful for better understanding the matter before us.
THE INTERPRETIVE CONCERN
The reader writes:
“I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable. Sheep and goats are metaphors which is exactly what makes a parable a parable.”
Thanks for reading my posts, and taking the time to interact. Much appreciated!
However, I believe you are mistaken in assuming that because “sheep and goats are metaphors” that this is what “makes a parable a parable.” Just a quick observation regarding your statement about metaphors and parables: we speak in metaphors all the time today without anyone claiming we are speaking in parables. You are apparently working with an inadequate definition of a parable.
Your comment indicates that you have not done any extensive work in dealing with parables. Defining a “parable” is a lot more complex than you suppose. I have a dozen books on the parables of Jesus in my library. They invariably have to wrestle with the definition of a “parable.” Defining “parable” is a widely debated issue in New Testament interpretation.
But now regarding your basic concern, which is found in your statement: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25:31 32 is not a parable.”
I would admit that there are, in fact, many scholars who believe that the Sheep and Goats Discourse is a parable. However, I do not believe they are correct; and I am not alone in this. I will be presenting numerous observations on Matthew 25:31–46 by leading scholars that deny that the passage is a parable. No one should respond to these men by complaining: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable.” Continue reading
PMW 2019-086 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A most remarkable feature of prophetic interest is the Christian’s conviction that we are living “in the shadow of the second coming,” that we are in a “countdown to Armageddon.” We often find linked with a radical misunderstanding of the last days the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ, especially among dispensationalists and premillennialists — but also even with amillennialists.
I will deal with the question in two articles. In this one I will set up the matter; in the next one I will answer it. I will focus largely on the dispensational approach to the question. Interestingly, the doctrine of imminence is simultaneously one of dispensationalism’s most potent drawing cards while being also its most embarrassing error.
John F. Walvoord explains imminency for us: “The hope of the return of Christ to take the saints to heaven is presented in John 14 as an imminent hope. There is no teaching of any intervening event. The prospect of being taken to heaven at the coming of Christ is not qualified by description of any signs or prerequisite events.” Continue reading