PMW 2018-072 by Brian Mattson (The Calvinist International)
Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart has written an essay on the Pauline terms “spirit,” (pneuma) “soul,” (psuche), and “flesh” (sarx), maintaining that modern readers are greatly (or perhaps completely) hindered in their understanding of them. He lays blame on a kind of “Protestant biblical scholarship” that is allegedly weighed down with all sorts of wrong-headed theological predispositions—presuppositions that preclude any genuine understanding of the “intellectual and spiritual environment of the apostolic church.” He is indicting an entire tradition of biblical interpretation, so his lone example (N.T. Wright) is but an incidental detail, a mere straw placeholder for what turns out to be a much more sweeping agenda. Continue reading
PMW 2018-071 D. Ragan Ewing (Lucas Christian Academy)
Gentry note: This article was posted on Bible.org. The full article (of which the material below is but the Introduction) is four chapters long. Ewing is non-covenantal and somewhat dispensational. Yet he argues that the Babylonian harlot in Rev. 17 is an image of first-century Jerusalem. This is an excellent series in itself, but I am posting it to show that the preterist analysis of Revelation is having an influence in dispensational Baptist circles.
The Book of Revelation is perhaps the most notoriously cryptic work of literature ever composed. The history of the interpretation of this book leaves most students with more questions than answers. Commentators have come to little, if any, consensus on the interpretation of many key passages, and many of the best scholars of Christian history have simply thrown up their hands in bewilderment at the challenge of scaling its enigmatic heights.
Thus, approaching the Apocalypse for analysis necessarily requires the possession of a couple of key items: one, an interpretive grid integrating one’s hermeneutics and general theological viewpoint, and two, a healthy dose of respectful reservation. Interpretation of Revelation and dogmatism do not go well together, despite the impression one might draw from the popular literature.
That said, it is the intent of this study to examine what is hopefully a sufficiently narrow issue in the interpretation of the Apocalypse: the identification of “Babylon,” the harlot of chapters seventeen and eighteen. Continue reading
PMW 2018-066 by PostmillennialWordlview readers
On Facebook I recently asked postmillennial friends to give a brief statement regarding how they came to postmillennialism. Here are several of their testimonies. God uses different means for reaching different people!
I read the Great Commission and considered its extent with regard to the mission of the church. We have our mission statement given by Jesus prior to him returning to the father’s side. We work to complete that mission and extending God’s kingdom on earth until we die in this life.
By Keith Mathison
The promises of the gospel offer hope of a brighter future for the families and nations of the earth. Mathison’s an optimistic eschatology supported by biblical, historical, and theological considerations.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
I have been evangelical for more than twenty years and youth pastor for five years, during that time I was dispensationalist. As evangelical I worked with different denominations including Pentecostal and Baptist churches. All of these groups espoused a pre-millennial dispensationalist view of eschatology. However, things started changing after came to my hands reformed literature. Continue reading
PMW 2018-053 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This year is the twentieth anniversary of my last edition of Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation. In that work I listed eight full pages of notable advocates for the early dating of Revelation, i.e., a date prior to AD 70. Before too long I hope to update the book altogether. But for now I would like to list some additional early date advocates beyond those found in the book.
More often than not, when a preterist mentions the early date of Revelation he is dismissed with the wave of a hand and the utterance: “the early date of Revelation is held only by a minority of scholars.” That may be true today, but the tide is slowly shifting. Thus, I thought it might be good to put some more scholars’ names in the mix. Of course, counting noses is not the answer to the problem. But it will be helpful in countering a common objection that attempts to cut discussion short. Continue reading
PMW 2018-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
One of the recurring images of the postmillennial advance of the kingdom in Scripture is of the joy exhibited by use of wine. We see this in Isaiah 25:6; 55:1; Joel 2:19; 2:24; 3:18; Amos 9:13; and Zechariah 10:7.
Unfortunately, there are Christians who oppose any consumption of alcohol (even in moderation) and who therefore miss the beauty of this image. And they have several Scriptures they bring to the debate. One frequently cited passage in Leviticus 10:8–11:
The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you may not die — it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations — and so as to make a distinction between the holy and profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.”
PMW 2018-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last article, I presented part 1 of a study on the “sons of God” in Genesis 6. This is an intriguing and much debated portion of Scripture. In the previous article I briefly presented and critiqued the angel view regarding the “sons of God” there. In this article I will present the view that I believe to be the proper one.
The backdrop for Genesis 6
The proper interpretation sees in this episode the inter-marrying of the godly line of Seth with unbelievers, particularly represented by the depraved line of Cain. This fits perfectly with the contextual flow of Genesis to this point. Continue reading
PMW 2018-035 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The episode occurring in Gen. 6:1–4 is quite difficult to interpret and has been the subject of much debate. Though there are several interpretations of this passage, historically two views have dominated the debate: (1) the angelic offspring view and (2) the human seed-line view.
Though the seed-line view is the traditional Christian understanding, perhaps the oldest view in extra-biblical antiquity is the angel-human interpretation. It is found as far back as 200 B.C. in the non-biblical book of 1 Enoch (6:11–7:6) as well as in the first-century book by Josephus called Antiquities (1:3:1). This view holds that fallen angels came down to earth and engaged in sexual relations with women who then bore giants as their offspring. Continue reading