PMT 2014-128 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
An interview of me made recently for an introduction to a conference engagement.
1. People now days are fascinated with “the end times.” And with the reboot of the Left Behind series, discussions about the end times will continue to increase. No doubt, we will hear more talk about things like the 7-yr tribulation, the rapture, the mark of the beast, etc. These are key parts to the theology that undergirds the Left Behind books and movie. But what most people don’t realize is that this theology, known as Dispensationalism, is actually a relatively new way to read Scripture. That is, up until only about 150 years ago, no Christian on record ever believed some of things that is depicted in the Left Behind series. Could you comment more on this fact?
Dispensationalism arose in the 1830s in England, about the same time as Mormonism was arising in America, and not long before the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was a time of much prophetic speculation and expectation. John N. Darby created dispensationalism as a prophetic outlook that eventually became a whole theology. He fully expected the Lord’s return in his lifetime, which ended 130 years ago (in 1882). It has constantly been frustrated with wrong predictions of the Rapture, such as Hal Lindsey’s 1980 book “The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon” and his 1996 book: “Planet Earth 2000: Will Mankind Survive.” Continue reading
The Antichrist is a popular and dreaded eschatological figure. This has been the case for centuries. But in our day of a dispensational hegemony in evangelicalism, this is particularly significant.
The role of the Antichrist is quite misunderstood though. Princeton theologian B. B. Warfield easily dismantled the populist conception of the Antichrist from Scripture itself. Warfield provides helpful insights into John’s teaching on the Antichrist when he notes that John “makes three declarations concerning Antichrist which appear to traverse its implications. He transposes Antichrist from the future to the present. He expands him from an individual to a multitude. He reduces him from a person to a heresy.”  Continue reading
PMT 2013-031 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am continuing a critique of dispensationalism’s gap theory for Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy. In my last posting I presented four of their arguments with my rebuttals. I will continue now with the fifth and final dispensational argument.
Fifth, the order within the prophecy: “In the record of the prophecy, the destruction of the city [v. 26b] is placed before the last week [v. 27a].” 1 Since this occurs in A.D. 70, we must allow a gap to account for it.
This argument overlooks the peculiarities of Hebrew poetic style. Oriental expression often confounds the Occidental concern for chronological succession; the Western framework may not be foisted upon the passage. This “revelational pattern” 2 allows a parallel rehearsal and expansion of the topic without requiring actual succession in time. Even classic dispensationalists understand that some prophetic passages do not flow chronologically. 3 A better understanding of the relation between verses 26 and 27 is given above. Continue reading