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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« The "Issues, Etc.," Interviews on Eschatology | Main | What Can I Do? Two Options for Non-Partisan Political Activism »

Discussing the End-Times on "Issues, Etc" (Updated)


I'm going to be on Issues, Etc., this entire week (Tuesday through Friday) discussing eschatology.  I'm on from 2:15 p.m-3:00 p.m PT.

You can listen live here:  (Click here: Issues, Etc. Radio Program), or wait for the daily programs to be archived.

Todd Wilken (the host) is one of the best interviewers in the radio business, and I always enjoy being a guest on Issues.

Here are links to my books, which we'll be talking about throughout the week.

Click here: Riddleblog - Man of Sin - Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist

Click here: Riddleblog - A Case for Amillennialism - Understanding the End

Reader Comments (37)

Chris and Lloyd,

Robert Godfrey, in his new book on Calvin, goes into these issues that divided the Calvinists and Lutherans very clearly. Of course, he defends the Calvinists positions against the Lutherans and blames the aggressive and immovable Lutherans for causing most of the problems that ensued as the reformation lost some of its fervor during the enlightenment and as pietism and Arminianiss began to infect the Lutheran and Reformed congregations. I think it is a good thing to discuss these issues that divided us and were never satistactorily resolved during the first reformation. Godfrey contends that it was Calvin's deep desire to unify the reformation so that the Lutherans and Calvinists would be a truly unified unit and witness to the world. He died before this became a reality and the reformation fractured and divided which in the long run probably weakened its cause. It is fascinating stuff though and one wonders how much more could have been done with a more unified and coherent witness. John 17 needs to be our constant prayer along with the daily Lord's prayer.
July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

I pulled something from the Book of Concord regarding Romans 9:17, which well help you to understand the correct context of Romans, chapter 9:

The Formula of Concord of 1577 says regarding Romans 9:17: Pharaoh was not destroyed because God did not grant him salvation or because God's beneficient will was that he should be condemned and lost. For God does 'not want any to perish' and 'has no pleasure in the death of the sinner but that sinners turn from their ways and live' (2 Peter 3:9 and Ezek. 33:11).

That God hardened Pharaoh's heart.. was a punishment for his previous sin... Because God had his Word preached to him and his will proclaimed to him and Pharaoh arrogantly rebelled against every admonition and warning, God withdrew his hand from him. In this way Pharaoh's heart became hardened and obdurate, and God made him an example of divine judgment. Paul introduced the example of Pharaoh for no other reason than to demonstrate God's righteousness, which he reveals against the impenitent and those who despise his Word. In no way should this be interpreted or understood as if God did not want to grant Pharaoh or other people salvation but instead had preordained them to eternal condemnation in his secret counsel, so that they could not or would not be saved." Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration XI.84-86.

Try to keep in mind just basic hermeneutic principles. (Testing Scripture with Scripture, the obscure passages in light of the clear ones, and the use of parallel passages.)

Yes, God chose us, we did not choose Him. Before the foundation of the world, God predestined His elect to salvation. God did, indeed, choose us for salvation according to His good pleasure and purpose and will. (He did not choose us because He knew that we would accept Christ. What a stupid argument that is!) Yes, yes, yes, yes, only His elect are saved. Luther and Calvin were in agreement on that. (It is right out of the Bible.)

God not only elected us to salvation, He gave us the ability to believe (Phil:1:29). The only thing that we add to our salvation is dung, dung, dung, dung and more dung and piss -- period! He does it all, we do zilch, nada, zero, nothing! We by nature run from God. Praise God for His grace in Christ!!

But, there are passages which teach that Christ died for all (1 Tim 2:1-6, Heb. 2:9, 1 John 2:2, 2 Peter 3:9, Matt: 23:37, 1 Tim 4:10, Ezek 33:11, and John 3:16.) Does this paradox make sense? No. But it is God's word. And we'll just have to live with it, or worship another God!

Please don't come at me with "all is not all", or "salvation is now not only for the Jews, but all nations." Oh, please, please, please let the Scriptures speak for themselves, and please don't cut those passages out of the Bible in order to fit your partucular hermeneutic!

Let the Scriptures be your guide. All of them. And please don't change the meanings to fit your particular "brand." We all need to be like the great Reformer, Dr. Martin Luther, and where the Scriptures are silent, don't speculate and get into man's logic.

Let God be God. And like Luther, let the paradox stand, and forget about it!

July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
John Y:

The issues that you brought up were resolved about 6,000 years ago, when the 40 authors of the Bible wrote the "Holy Writ", over a period of 1600 years or so.

The Lutheran Reformers, helped to clean up the mess, and got the people back into the Word of God -- all of it. The Calvinists helped us out in bringing the doctrine of justification back into the church.
July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

A couple of clarifications:

If you go back to my post, you'll see that "old and tired" referred to your caricatures of the Reformed as autonomous rationalists. I couldn't be more committed to the contrast between Law and Gospel than I am. I just don't think that Paul means abstract, ethical principles that come to each and every human being in exactly the same way, when he says "Law." I think that most often, he is referring to the covenant that God made with Israel on Mt. Sinai. Unless you believe that the Law shows you your sin of not worshiping on Saturday, that the curse it thunders against your sins against your mother and father mean that you will no longer be allowed to live in Canaan, and that the civil government ought to put you to death for your violations of God's Law, then I think you might want to consider some nuances in your own hermeneutic. Paul also talks about the "Law of Christ" on more than one occasion. On the Lutheran hermeneutic, what does that mean?

Look at Paul's argument in Galatians 3:15-29. What is the point of verse 15 with reference to the rest of the chapter? Look at the terms Paul uses in Galatians 3. Does "the Law" in verse 17 have the same significance for you that it did for David? To what does "the promise" refer in verse 18? Someday, I would really love to hear a serious Lutheran exegete tell me about the significance of parabasis in verse 19. In terms of Romans 5, what do you do with verses 13 and 14? What does a Lutheran do with 13? Why does Paul stop at Moses in 14a?

I smiled when I read "A quick comment on verse 22. This verse does not say that God has created anyone as an object of his wrath or prepared anyone for destruction." Okay. I'm convinced! (I see we can't get past looking down our noses at each other and engage in exegetical discussion. I just can't figure out why.)

July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Hi Chris:

The Old Testament ceremonial laws were to pre figure the coming of Christ, they now do not serve a purpose for us today.

Also, and you’ll agree with me on this, the old laws that pertained to national (O.T.) Israel, have been fulfilled by Christ and the Church. Now, all who have faith in Christ, (Jews and Gentiles) are the N.T. Israel of God (Gal. 6).

We also have the moral law, which are the 10 commandments.

Lutherans also have the three uses of the law: 1. Curb: Restrains evil, curbs violence in society, keeps law and order in our society. 2. Mirror: Shows us our sinfulness, and our need for a Savior. Guide: The Word of God which guides the lives of Christians. The first two uses are for the believer and the unbeliever alike, the last use of the law, is only for the Christian.

Taking a quick look at Romans 9 again. Hypothetically speaking, lets say that I went with your particular view on this subject matter. (I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it, on the basis that God can do with us whatever He so chooses -- mainly send us all to hell, just on the basis of Adam as our federal head -- original sin.)

But Christ says in Matthew 25:41, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” There are also the passages that I cited previously, 1 Tim. 2:1-6, Heb. 2:9, 1 John 2:2 , 2 Peter 3:9, Matt 23:37, 1 Tim: 4:10, Ezek 33: 11, and John 3:16.

Romans 9, would present a real problem with the Matthew 25:41 passage in particular, in your particular interpretation.

Really, the Reformed can have their cake and eat it too, by taking all of the election to salvation passages, which both Luther and Calvin cite, and keeping those -- and if they want to, hold their noses (sort of like a child being forced into eating spinach) and say, “Oh by the way, there are those world passages, which we can’t reconcile, and we can’t harmonize, and we’ll just have to leave them on the table.” And then they can just shrug their shoulders, and say “Go figure.”

There is a tension, a paradox, which Lutherans just leave alone!

Thank you pastor Kim, for putting up with me and my opinions! You are a very great man!
July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
I am not sure Pastor Kim is reading the posts- he is probably enjoying his vacation time. It certainly has been an enjoyable dialog for me to watch unfold. I'm not sure anything was settled. Now, if you refer to and start browsing the Confessional Outhouse, the heidelblog, D.G. Hart's web site (the, and then read some material from Meredith Kline and Gerhaard Vos you will really get bogged down and confused. Perhaps it is best just to stick with each others confessional statements and meditate profusely on the relevant scriptural texts. Along with all the other responsibilities we have to take care of in our lives. I think I will start trying to simplify my life instead of confusing it more than it already is.
July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
John Y:

Your post made me laugh pretty hard!

Especially the part, "I think I will start trying to simplify my life instead of confusing it more than it already is."

That is good advice for all of us!
July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
Your a good brother Lloyd- glad I could make you laugh
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

While, as a Lutheran, I understand and agree with what you have been saying in your posts, I feel compelled to bring up the point that it is much easier for Reformed to defend infant baptism by virtue of its covenant relationship (supplanting OT circumcision) than it is for Lutherans to defend baptismal regeneration - building faith in the baby - scripturally.

Just such a situation occurred this past Sunday when a baptist joined us for a worship service at a Lutheran church where the baptism of a newborn took place. Afterward she told us that witnessing that baptism only further reinforced her belief in "believer's baptism" because the questions that the pastor asked during the service were asked of the baby, by name, but were answered by the parents and sponsors. Using every Lutheran argument I could possibly think of, including later confirmation following catechesis, I could not convince her otherwise.

It is much easier, on the other hand, for people like that to accept the covenant promise that God has with infants in Reformed baptisms.

John Y:

I thought some of the same things that you did about Calvin's attempts to unite with the Lutherans after reading Godfrey's book, but remember this:
One of the "Lutherans" with whom Calvin was most closely associated was Philip Melanchthon, who not only vacillated wildly while Luther was still alive, but went completely in another direction after Luther's death. It was not a large step from where Melanchthon left off to Philipp Spener, and subsequently August Francke, whose legacy is alive and well in the modern day ELCA, who in all of their pietistic wisdom are very like to pass resolution to ordain gay clergy during their national convention next month in MN.

While we Lutherans may be at odds with the Reformed over some of the issues you've highlighted, I'd rather have it that way and take advantage of the many valuable insights Reformed theologians have than to have had the reformers and their followers morphed into something like the PCUSA or the ELCA. I love my "cousins in the faith" and seek their orthodox input.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Yes, Matthew Svoboda, Calvinistic Baptists are the real Reformers.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMicael R. Wilson

Thanks for the kind words!

I have demonstrated infant baptism from a Lutheran perspective, and have had much more success with it, than when I was Reformed and used their arguments.

Interesting though, Lutherans will also use the analogy of baptism replacing circumcision and the Lords Supper replacing the passover feast (Col. 2:11 & 12).

We need to remember that not baptizing infants is a new teaching (about the 1500's or so), and we need to be reminding people of that fact.

American Christians, Baptists and non-denominationalists -- many times the same thing, have been programed (or shall we say brain washed) into thinking that baptism is only for adults.

Why? Most of them believe that a person has to be age accountable (not taught in the Scriptures). They have this view because of their weak view of original sin.

It is great to see my Reformed cousins also baptizing infants. Although when they get to heaven, they will find out that many of their infants were saved in Baptism -- because of the grace of God!

The ELCA is a disgrace, and their false doctrine is inexcusable.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
Chris was right, you do have a way of demeaning those who you disagree with. There is a smugness to some of your comments that is not at all flattering, to wit:: "American Christians, Baptists and non-denominationalists -- many times the same thing, have been programed (or shall we say brain washed) into thinking that baptism is only for adults. Why? Most of them believe that a person has to be age accountable (not taught in the Scriptures). They have this view because of their weak view of original sin."

I for one find terms like "brainwashed" or "have a weak view of sin" not fostering frank and open discourse. Somehow, when I read some of your comments I am reminded of the Pharisee who thanked God he was not like these other sinners.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterreg

I am not going after people, just certain doctrines. I am just trying to get people to look at the Bible, and to test the teachings that are out there in light of the Scriptures.

Confessional Lutherans don't just believe in the five essentials of Christianity (1. Inerrancy of Scripture, 2. The Trinity, 3. The Diety of Christ, 4. The virgin birth 5. The bodily resurrection of Christ), but in all matters of doctrine. It's not like after those five, anything goes. But, that is what theology has turned into nowadays. (Although not so much on this great website, or shows like the WHI and Issues, Etc.)

All of the things that I have been posting are right out of our confessions and the Scriptures.

Please note the fact, that when someone says that they are for the "age of accountability", they are flat out denying the doctrine of original sin. Both the Reformed and the Lutherans are in agreement on that.

Why is it that whenever someone is dogmatic on doctrine, they are labelled as a pharisee?

Yet, when a pastor preaches such false doctrines as the "age of accountability", or confuses the law and Gospel, thus keeping people out of the kingdom of heaven, it is tolerated?

That is a real pharisee -- keeping people out of the kingdom of God, by teaching the law as "good news" and teaching the "age of accountability" thus teaching people that they are not conceived in sin, and that they can make it based on their decision for Christ, because they are now old enough to do so. Why would Christ need to die for that?

The issue here, is not what particular passages mean to you or to me, but what did they mean to the author's who wrote the Bible, and how they fit into the enitre Bible.

I am not coming after you because you are Reg (because you are probably a great guy), but when I hear a false teaching, I will point it out.

If I am labelled as a Pharissee on that basis, so be it.

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
You miss my point completely. My point is one about your tone, not the fact that you and I might disagree substantively on a number of issues. Your tone is smug and your language haughty. It is not a question fo dogma tics, it is a question of attitude. The Pharisee reference i made was about the self-image, not the theology or doctrine.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterreg

I'm not pleased with myself. However, I am most pleased about my doctrine. It is confessional and Biblical, and I wouldn't change it for anything!

You are a beautiful guy -- absolutely wonderful (except for your doctrine), and behalf of all of the Riddlebloggers, we hope that you never, ever change!

Please sit down, have a tall cool beer and relax.

July 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
Lloyd is just being a consistent Lutheran.
July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
Shockproof persons may enjoy reading "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site. Bob
August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob

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