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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Friday
Apr202007

Bad Karma!

Bad Karma.jpgFor some reason, this picture (and news story--Click here: Buddhist monks clash in Cambodia amid anti-Vietnam protest ) cracked me up--Buddhist monks duking it out with each other in Cambodia.  This monk looks like he knows a thing or two about throwing a punch! 

But the Buddhists are not alone.  Here's a recent story about two people stabbed during a fight between priests and nuns in a convent on the island of Cyprus.  Unfortunately, there were no pictures (Click here: Two stabbed and two arrested in convent fracas - Yahoo! News).

Yes, ours is a fallen race!  The vows undertaken by those in religious orders don't do much to control human sin.  In fact, I'll bet they just make things worse . . .

Wednesday
Apr182007

Now This Is Interesting . . .

Australopithicus.jpgAccording to a recent article in the Jerusalem Post (Click here: Israeli researchers: 'Lucy' is not direct ancestor of humans | Jerusalem Post), it seems like Lucy might not be my second cousin a gazillion times removed after all.

"Tel Aviv University anthropologists say they have disproven the theory that `Lucy' - the world-famous 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton found in Ethiopia 33 years ago - is the last ancestor common to humans and another branch of the great apes family known as the `Robust hominids.'  The specific structure found in Lucy also appears in a species called Australopithecus robustus. Prof. Yoel Rak and colleagues at the Sackler School of Medicine's department of anatomy and anthropology wrote, `The presence of the morphology in both the latter and Australopithecus afarensis and its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of [Lucy] as a common ancestor.'  The robust hominids were discovered in southern Africa 69 years ago and are believed to have lived between 2 million and 1.2 million years ago. Their jaws and jaw muscles were adapted to the dry environment in which they lived.  Rak and colleagues studied 146 mature primate bone specimens, including those from modern humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans and found that the `ramus element' of the mandible connecting the lower jaw to the skull is like that of the robust forms, therefore eliminating the possibility that Lucy and her kind are Man's direct ancestors. They should therefore, the Israeli researchers said, `be placed as the beginning of the branch that evolved in parallel to ours.'"

Shucks!  I'll guess I have to revise my family tree, again!  At least I had an ancestor on the Mayflower! 

Seriously, as more and more work is done in genetics, the whole evolutionary hypothesis will eventually collapse.  It probably won't change much however, because even if someone rises again from the dead, people still won't believe the gospel (cf. Luke 16:31)--that is unless and until God grants them faith and repentance.  But is sure is interesting to watch the old "consensus" collapse as evidence of a common (and fairly recent) origin of man begins to mount.

Wednesday
Apr182007

Top 25 "Live" Albums

top-25-live-albums-20070413061136993.jpgHere's an interesting list of the top 25 "Live" albums of all-time.  Live albums are great because you not only get a "best of" set, you hear the band in the raw, without too much studio trickery.  Not everyone likes them, however, for precisely those same reasons.

I really take issue with this list.  Deep Purple's "Made in Japan" didn't even score an honorable mention, nor did Grand Funk's "Live Album."  No mention of Cream's "Wheels of Fire," or Humble Pie's "Rockin the Fillmore" (which just I fired up in honor of this list).  Hendrix's "Band of Gypsies," got an honorable mention, as did the soundtrack from Woodstock--which I never really liked, except for the Ten Year's After set.  You can tell that my tastes go to sixties rock.

I've listened to a lot of music through the years, and I have never even heard of the winner,  "801" Live.  U2's "Under a Blood Red Sky" finished at # 2 (which is fine by me).  The Who's "Live at Leeds" came in at number 8--that's a great album.  I'd have also like to have seen Edgar Winter and the White Trash's "Roadwork" at least get an honorable mention.  That's one of my all-time favorites.

To see the list, Click here: IGN: Top 25 Live Albums.

Leave your comments below. 

Monday
Apr162007

Some Memories of Meredith Kline

Kline 2.jpgUpon hearing the news that Meredith Kline had died (Friday, April 13), came that all-too familiar bittersweet reaction.  On the one hand, I was saddened but not really surprised, since I knew that Dr. Kline had been ill for some time.  On the other, I recalled the words of Psalm 116:15:  "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."  I would ask you to pray for Dr. Kline's wife and children (one of whom, Meredith M., was my Hebrew teacher), especially that our gracious God will comfort this family with the promise of Jesus Christ's victory over death and the grave.

I didn't know Dr. Kline very well, if at all.  In fact, I was one of twenty or so students who had him for a course in Peneteuch and then for another class in the Old Testament section of our hermeneutics class.  This was back in the days when Westminster Seminary California had just opened its doors in San Marcos, before the current Escondido campus was ready for students. 

When I was a student at Westminster--back in 1982-84--I was a five-point Calvinist, but was still a functional dispensationalist and adamantly rejected paedobaptism.  I sat through Dr. Kline's lectures struggling to make sense of them, and trying to understand why everyone else felt that it was such a privilege to study under him.  I was just plain lost.  If you've read Kline, you know what I mean.

At the time, my primary theological interest was apologetics.  So, I was especially interested in Dr. Kline's lecture on the documentary hypothesis (JEDP).  I was dismayed when Kline called our attention to JEDP by drawing the letters on the board.  He then drew a red circle around these letters, and dramatically added a slash across them.  And that was it!  I thought he'd go through the evidence point by point which showed this critical reading of the Old Testament to be fallacious.  Instead, Dr. Kline went on to lecture about the fact that the Book of Deuteronomy was structured along the lines of an ancient near-eastern Suzerainty treaty, and made the case that if Deuteronomy was such a treaty document, it must have been written in the middle of the second millennium B.C.  If true, this absolutely destroyed JEDP, by demonstrating that the "D" source was written at one time, nearly a thousand years before the time of Josiah, when critical scholars claim that Deuteronomy was written.  That places one of the books of the Pentateuch back in the days of Moses.  I have used that argument ever since. 

Therefore, it troubles me greatly when some who disagree with Kline's "framework" hypothesis about the creation days (which is a debatable issue), unjustly imply he was some kind of closet liberal.  Kline defended inerrancy loudly and often in class, and his lecture on JEDP was among the most profound and decimating arguments against critical methodology I have ever seen!

And then there was the day when Dr. Kline was late to class.  From the room in which we met, we could look out the window and see off in the distance the freeway off-ramp which people took to exit the freeway and enter the industrial park where the seminary held classes.  Someone noticed a CHP officer giving a ticket to a very unhappy motorist who was gesturing emphatically. You guessed it, it was Dr. Kline.  By the way, his lecture that afternoon was on "cult and culture" and the "two kingdoms."  Dr. Kline didn't think it very funny, but we giggled through the whole lecture.

On another occasion, John Gernster came to lecture on his version of classical apologetics.  Dr. Gerstner said something about Cornelius Van Til, with which Dr. Kline took great umbrage.   Although it was a friendly debate, Dr. Kline was so upset that someone had misrepresented Dr. Van Til (he believed), that his hand was shaking visibly as he raised it to challenge Gerstner's assertion.  Right then and there I understood the influence that Van Til had upon the Westminster faculty.

Upon my graduation from Westminster, I went back and read and then re-read (and then read again) Kline's Structure of Biblical Authority, Kingdom Prologue, and a host of journal articles Dr. Kline had written on eschatology and various biblical passages.  And if you've read my stuff and heard my sermons, you know how Kline has influenced me in so many areas.  Although I didn't really know him personally, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to sit at his feet, even though it took a while for me to realize the value of what I had heard. 

How many times I have wished that I could go back and take those same courses over again . . .  But at least I have his books and journal articles.  So, even in death, Dr. Kline still speaks.
 

Monday
Apr162007

Who Said That?

question mark.jpg

OK . . .  Who Said that?

"We are not into partcular love or limited atonement.  As a matter of fact we consider it heresy."

Please, no google searches or cheating.  Leave your guess in the comments section below.

Thursday
Apr122007

Alms for the Poor? Or Funding for the Jihad?

zakat.jpgOne of the Five Pillars of Islam is Zakat, which is the giving of 2.5% of one's wealth to support various Islamic causes, such as helping the poor, releasing people from debt, or for the propagation of Islam.

A recent report from Judicial Watch, indicates that a great deal of the money given to Islamic charities in the United States, actually makes its way to various groups funding and supporting terrorism (Click here: Judicial Watch).

"According to the report’s introduction:  `While the U.S. government finally has taken action against some of the groups identified by Judicial Watch, others are still functioning.  The federal government is aware of their presence and the danger they pose to our national security.  The question is:  Why are they still in operation?'  (Following the attacks of 9/11, Judicial Watch filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against non-profit organizations, `reportedly being used as money laundering front organizations for radical Islamic terrorists.')  Among the highlights from the Muslim front organization report:

• The Islamic Society of North America enforces Wahhabi [extreme Islamism] theology in the country’s 1,200 official recognized mosques and has allegedly helped turn the federal prison system into a fertile recruiting ground for al Qaeda.  In 2005, the organization received a White House invitation to send a representative to participate in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Representatives’ White House Leadership Conference.

• According to Hamza Yusuf, a board member of the Council for American Islamic Relations, `[America] is facing a terrible fate, and the reason for that is because the country stands condemned.'  Yet, the Department of Homeland Security recently published an online press release from the organization expressing its approval of the Transportation and Safety Administration’s `sensitivity training' program about Islamic traditions.

• The North American Islamic Trust, which operates out of Illinois, owns between 50 and 80 percent of North American mosques.  Authorities say the organization is used as a funnel for Saudi and other gulf money to spread an anti-American brand of Islamic fundamentalism in American mosques from southern California to South Carolina.

• In 2005, the Islamic Council for North America, based in New York, was under investigation for its connection to a violent Pakistani terrorist group with al Qaeda links.

`This report carefully documents connections between so-called Muslim charities in the U.S. and the terrorists who murder innocents,' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  `The federal government should no longer coddle terrorist front groups in the name of political correctness.  Any organization that funds terror should be shut down immediately.'”

To read the Judical Watch report,Click here:  http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/SR_muslimorg.pdf

I'm glad someone keeps watch on this kind of stuff! 

Monday
Apr092007

Who Said That?

question mark.jpgWho Said That?

"Matthew says, that the angel that was sitting upon the stone on the outside of the sepulchre told the two Marys that Christ was risen, and that the women went away quickly. Mark says, that the women, upon seeing the stone rolled away, and wondering at it, went into the sepulchre, and that it was the angel that was sitting within on the right side, that told them so. Luke says, it was the two angels that were standing up; and John says, it was Jesus Christ himself that told it to Mary Magdalene; and that she did not go into the sepulchre, but only stooped down and looked in.

Now, if the writers of these four books had gone into a court of justice to prove an alibi, (for it is of the nature of an alibi that is here attempted to be proved, namely, the absence of a dead body by supernatural means,) and had they given their evidence in the same contradictory manner as it is here given, they would have been in danger of having their ears cropt for perjury, and would have justly deserved it. Yet this is the evidence, and these are the books, that have been imposed upon the world as being given by divine inspiration, and as the unchangeable word of God. "

You know the drill!  Leave your guess in the comments section below! No google searches, please! 

Tuesday
Apr032007

Conference Photos

 

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                                                                                              Photo # 1 -- Ken Jones (from the White Horse Inn), chatting with Dr. Dennis Johnson of Westminster Seminary California.

Photo # 2 -- Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

Photo # 3 -- Dr. Kim Riddlebarger again (hey, it's my blog)

Photo # 4 -- Wideshot of packed-out sanctuary.  Who says amillers don't go to prophecy conferences?

Photo # 5 -- Dr. Steve Baugh from Westminster Seminary California.

Photo # 6 -- Dr. Greg Beale, author of a stellar commentary on The Book of Revelation (Eerdmans)

Photo # 7 -- Drs. Beale and Johnson spar over the mic during the Q & A.

(BTW--thanks to Mike Dees for the photos!)   

Sunday
Apr012007

Wow! What a Conference!

Making Sense of Revelation.jpgOur "Making Sense of The Book of Revelation" conference was completely sold out and a smashing success!  We spent the whole day feasting upon the great themes found in the Book of Revelation with one stellar lecture after another!

It was great to finally meet so many of you (fellow bloggers) and regular commenters!  If you were there, please leave your feedback in the comments section! 

To listen to the conference Q & A, Click here: Christ Reformed Info - MP3's and Real Audio (of Academy Lectures)

CD's of the conference lectures can be ordered here: Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Conference: "Making Sense of Revelation"

Tuesday
Mar272007

Is It Finally Here?

real ID.jpgChristians are having a fit over the "Real ID Card."   To no one's surprise, some are claiming this is the dreaded "mark of the beast."  According to an article on  STLtoday.com (Click here: STLtoday - News - St. Louis City / County) . . .

"Several evangelical Christian groups say the federal Real ID Act, which will standardize state drivers licenses and link them to corresponding national ID numbers by 2009, represents the `mark of the beast,' the devilish number 666 that is attached to the godless.  The nearly 2,000-year-old passage is referenced along with the prophetic locusts, plagues, oceans of blood and rivers of fire found in the Bible. Soon after, according to scripture, the antichrist takes control of the world and Jesus Christ returns.  In short, new national ID numbers could spell the beginning of the end, some Christians believe `This is getting treacherously close to prophecy in the scripture,' said Irvin Baxter Jr., founder and president of Endtime Ministries in Dallas.  And some Missouri legislators are listening. Some Christians interpret verses from the book of Revelation that say humans will be `marked … so that no one can buy or sell who does not have that mark' as a prophecy of a global numerical control system to be used by the beast, or antichrist. The number would be used during the Great Tribulation, which some Christians believe will precede the second coming of Jesus. State Rep. Jim Guest, a frequent participant on Baxter's radio show, is sponsoring a bill that would exempt the state from complying with the federal law.  The Missouri House overwhelmingly approved Guest's bill last Thursday, 146-4. It has moved to the Senate for consideration. Guest, a Republican from King City in northeastern Missouri, said his main reservation with the program was its potential for `Big Brother-like' abuses.  `We could be tracked by machines everywhere we go,' said Guest, referring to provisions that require `machine-readable' technology in the ID cards. `This could signal the death of individual freedoms and rights.'"

Christians have worried about social security, credit cards, product ID#'s and bar codes when they were first introduced--rarely ever thinking to ask "just what is the theological significance of the mark?"  Meanwhile, the implications of such cards upon civil liberties should be given careful consideration even apart from end-times nuttiness.  You gotta love the prophecy pundits--sometimes they warn us about the right stuff (the loss of personal liberties) for all the wrong reasons (misunderstanding the Book of Revelation).

Come to think of it, given the crappy rate of return the government gives me back on all that money I paid into social security, that can only be the work of Satan!