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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Monday
Jul022007

Jihad Trumps Hippocratic Oath

Terrorist%20Doctor.jpgWhat ideology would lead a prominent neurologist (sworn to a life of healing and care of the suffering) to become the ring-leader in a plot in the UK to pack two large Mercedes with gasoline, propane and nails with the goal of killing and maiming hundreds in downtown London? 

It is not Christianity . . .

It is not even frustration in dealing with insurance companies or HMOs, or even the UK's socialist bureaucracy which regulates health care.

Surprise, surprise, it is Islam, the religion of "peace."

Click here: 'Terror ringleader' is brilliant NHS doctor | the Daily Mail

Monday
Jul022007

Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time."

You know the drill!  Leave your guesses in the comments section below.  No google searches please.  To check out past "Who Said That?" posts, Click here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post

Monday
Jul022007

More Great Stuff from G. K. Beale

beale.jpgYou may have seen this already, but I thought it worth pointing out.  Dr. Beale recently gave a series of lectures and then preached at the Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque NM.  Here's the link: Click here: Dr. G.K. Beale

Dr. Beale's lectures from our own recent conference on the Book of Revelation are still available through Christ Reformed.  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Conference: "Making Sense of Revelation"

Friday
Jun222007

New Resources on the Riddleblog

Abrahamic%20covenant.jpg

Some of you may have noticed a new entry on the side bar to the left.  "I Will Be Your God and You Will Be My People" is an on-going series of sermons I have been preaching at Christ Reformed Church. 

These sermons deal with the history of redemption from Genesis to Revelation.  The first eighty sermons have been preached (although only the first seven have been edited and posted).  I will add to the series as I am able.  Instead of the usual pdf downloads, these are being posted on the Riddleblog as separate pages (linked to one another).  You can find the first of the series here:  Click here: Riddleblog - In the Beginning God -- Genesis 1:1.

Also, we are in the process of revamping our Christ Reformed web site (Christreformed.org).  You can now find a number of my sermons (real audio) on Job, Revelation, Romans and the Belgic Confession here:  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Kim Riddlebarger Sermons

The latest in current sermon series on Joshua can be found here, under the heading "recent sermons."  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - The Latest News

Wednesday
Jun202007

The Ten Commandments for Good Motorists

angry%20driver.jpgThe Vatican has recently introduced a document called "The Ten Commandments for Good Motorists."  According to Reuters (Click here: Vatican issues 10 Commandments for good motorists | International | Reuters):

"Thou shall not drive under the influence of alcohol. Thou shall respect speed limits. Thou shall not consider a car an object of personal glorification or use it as a place of sin.

The Vatican took a break from strictly theological matters on Tuesday to issue its own rules of the road, a compendium of do's and don'ts on the moral aspects of driving and motoring.

A 36-page document called `Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road' contains 10 Commandments covering everything from road rage, respecting pedestrians, keeping a car in good shape and avoiding rude gestures while behind the wheel.

`Cars tend to bring out the 'primitive' side of human beings, thereby producing rather unpleasant results,' the document said.   

It appealed to what it called the `noble tendencies' of the human spirit, urging responsibility and self-control to prevent the `psychological regression' often associated with driving." 

Yeah, right . . . Since I believe that few noble tendencies emerge (especially in males) while driving, I thought I'd take a stab at 10 Commandments for Driving of my own (which reflect a more Reformed/Augustinian view of sinful human nature, and more importantly, all my pet peeves):

1.  You shall not raise your middle finger and point it at another driver.  The other driver might be armed.  Gun beats finger . . . (like rock beats scissors) . . . You Californians will understand.

2.  You shall not dial out on your cell while driving.  You probably can only do one thing well at any given time.  In this case, that would be dialing and not driving.

3.  You shall not pass on the right, nor go too slow in the fast lane.  If you do either, you are a menace.

4.  When a traffic light turns yellow, you shall apply your brakes.  You shall not accelerate.  If you do accelerate, you deserve that automated photo-ticket.

5.  When turning, you shall use your turn signal.  After turning, you must make sure your turn signal is off.  If you don’t do the one, you are a menace.  If you do the other, you look really stupid.

6.  You shall not put plastic Jesus fish, nor Christian bumper stickers on your car.  If you do and then speed or drive like a fool or yell at other drivers, it is a bad witness.

7.  If you pray while driving, please keep your eyes open.  H.T. to Richard Pratt.

8.  You shall not drive at night in traffic with your high beams turned on when there is on-coming traffic.  I don’t car how cool your high-tech halogens look, I can’t see when you do that.

9.  You shall not play movies I like on your in-car backseat video system, as it makes me want to pull up alongside and watch.  Play all the Veggie Tales and Sponge Bob movies for the kids you want.  Never play Tombstone or Band of Brothers.

10.  You shall never have an amplifier and subwoofer which goes all the way up to 11 (remember Nigel Tufnel?).  If your side panels and trunk lid rattle enough to make my windows rattle, its too loud!

I'm sure some of you can come up with a few more commandments of your own . . . 

 

Wednesday
Jun202007

Gog, Magog and an Iranian-Russian Alliance?

Rosenberg.jpgJoel Rosenberg is a very popular writer who tells a compelling story.  His books are even endorsed by Rush Limbaugh.  In his book Epicenter, which ranks high up on the Amazon best-selling chart, Rosenberg argues that the current animus between Israel and Iran is actually foretold in chapters 38-39 of the famous prophecy of Ezekiel regarding Gog and Magog. 

As Rosenberg sees things, one day soon Israel will find itself cornered by a Russian-Iranian-Arab alliance which will threaten Israel's very existence.  To prove his point he cites from a number of military, political and journalistic sources.  He is probably right about the animus and the Islamic designs upon Israel.  But my interest in this post is with Rosenberg's appeal to the prophecy of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39.

Typically, dispensationalists like Rosenberg appeal to this passage as a yet unfulfilled prediction of a Russian-backed Islamic invasion of the modern nation of Israel, at or about the time the seven-year tribulation begins.  Dispensationalists believe that the nations listed in the prophecy refer to people living in Ezekiel's time, who can then be traced to modern nations.  Following this method, Gog is the mysterious leader of Magog, a land north of the Caucasus mountains inhabited by the ancient Scythians.  This is in modern Russia.  Meshech is supposedly Moscow. Tubal is variously taken as Turkey or Tolbosk (a city in Russia).  Persia is clearly Iran.  Put is Libya.  Cush is Ethiopia.  Beth-Togarmah is Turkey.  Some have even identified Gomer as Germany.  But since the fall of the Soviet Union, Gomer is more often identified with Russia.  Since the bulk of these people live to the northern parts (Ezekiel 38:15) and since the predicted invasion of Israel will come from the north, Rosenberg's thesis is simply a new variation of an old dispensational theme.  At some point near the beginning of the tribulation, Israel will be invaded by a Russian-Iranian-Islamic confederacy, only to prevail militarily through God's amazing grace.

To be fair, the dispensationalists were not the first to tie this prophecy to contemporary events.  Ambrose identified these same figures as the Goths who were then threatening the Holy Roman Empire.  Luther applied this prophecy to the Turks, who were at the gates of Vienna at the time of the Reformation.

But there are two significant problems with this approach to Ezekiel 38-39.  First, as Edwin Yamauchi (a noted evangelical archaeologist and historian) has pointed out in his book, Foes from the Northern Frontier:  Invading Hordes from the Russian Steppes (Baker, 1983), this identification is based upon a number of unsubstantiated assumptions.  For one thing, Gog and Magog cannot be directly tied to the Scythians.  Yamauchi believes that their identity is not certain at all.  Furthermore, he contends that Meshech and Tubal cannot be tied to Moscow or Tobolsk in any sense.  He believes these are references to ancient Assyria which did invade Israel from the north.  This means that Ezekiel is speaking of Israel's immediate future (an Assyrian invasion from the north), which also prefigures an end-time event.

How do we know that to be the case?  If you follow the basic hermeneutical principle that the New Testament interprets the Old Testament (something dispensationalists are want to admit when it comes to interpreting biblical prophecy), then in Revelation 20:8-9, John speaks of Gog and Magog as symbolic of the nations of the earth, gathering together to make war on the saints (the church). 

This leads to the second problem with the dispensational understanding.  In Revelation 20:8-9, John is universalizing Ezekiel's prophecy of Israel being invaded from the north to the church being attacked from the four corners of the earth--this "spiritualizing" of the Old Testament as practiced by John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is, of course, the very thing dispensationalists claim is illegitimate.  The fact of the matter is, this is exactly what John does.

In Revelation 20:8-9, John sees a vision of Gog and Magog leading all of the nations on the earth to wage war against God's people (the church), after Satan has been released from the Abyss.  These enemies of Christ and his church are ultimately and finally destroyed at Christ's second advent (see Beale, The Book of Revelation, Eerdmans, 1022-1024).  This means that the Assyrian invasion of Israel from the north foretold by Ezekiel, is actually typological of the end-times war upon the entire people of God as witnessed by John in his vision.

Man%20of%20sin%20small.jpgIf you are interested in such things, I also deal with this topic more fully in my recent book, The Man of Sin.  You can check it out, Click here: Riddleblog - Man of Sin - Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist

Rosenberg tells a great story and has gathered much interesting evidence about Islamic and Russian intentions.  But he also misuses the prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39 to make his point.  

 

Monday
Jun182007

Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith--and I don't care what it is."

Leave your guesses in the comments section below.  No google searches!  The fun is in the guessing!

Monday
Jun182007

Worse Than the Caricature?

Muslim%20Priest.jpgWe all know that things in the mainline Protestant churches can get a bit wacky.  In the last few weeks alone, the following items about the Episcopal/Anglican church have appeared in the news.  The Episcopal/Anglican Church has fallen so far that you can't even caricature it any more.

The Seattle Times ran an article on an episcopal priest (Rev. Ann Holmes Redding--the woman on the right in the picture) who has become a Muslim.  In this day, that's not a shock.  The shock is that she is still an episcopal priest who still leads a congregation while worshipping at the local mosque!  Click here: Local News | "I am both Muslim and Christian" | Seattle Times Newspaper.  As the National Review Online put it, "with the benefit of hindsight, it should have been obvious that the first female imam would be an Episcopalian..."

And then there is this interesting news flash.  What do you do when your unmarried priest gets pregnant?  Click here: Unmarried priest quits top job after becoming pregnant | the Daily Mail.  At least she stepped down.

Finally, imagine finding your Bishop drunk, and passed out in the backseat of someone else's Mercedes with a huge bump on his noggin?  Click here: Clergy urge 'drunk' bishop to atone for his sins | the Daily Mail.

But does anyone see a pattern here?  As one wag recently quipped:  "don't try and caricature the Episcopal church!  They'll just do you one better . . ."  

Wednesday
Jun132007

PCA General Assembly Vote on NPP/FV

RC%20at%20PCA%20GA.jpgThis just in from White Horse Inn producer and guest blogger Shane Rosenthal--Shane is also a member of the PCA.

On Wednesday, June 13th, the 35th General Assembly of the PCA voted overwhelmingly to approve the recent report on the theology of the Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul.  The full report is available here:


See also R. Scott Clark's blow by blow report of the GA discussion and vote here:


Below are the nine summary declarations of the PCA report which was just adopted.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.  Will Federal Vision proponents be brought up on charges, given that their theology has been found to be out of step with the Westminster Standards?  Or will they voluntarily leave the PCA?  "Dark Days lie ahead Harry.  You must choose between that which is right, and that which is easy."  

IV. Declarations  
 
In light of the controversy surrounding the NPP and FV, and after many months of carefulstudy, the committee unanimously makes the following declarations: 

 

1. The view that rejects the bi-covenantal structure of Scripture as represented in the Westminster Standards (i.e., views which do not merely take issue with the terminology, but the essence of the first/second covenant framework) is contrary to those Standards. 

  

2. The view that an individual is “elect” by virtue of his membership in the visible church; and that this “election” includes justification, adoption and sanctification; but that this individual could lose his “election” if he forsakes the visible church, is contrary to the Westminster Standards. 

 

3. The view that Christ does not stand as a representative head whose perfect obedience and satisfaction is imputed to individuals who believe in him is contrary to the Westminster Standards. 

 

4. The view that strikes the language of “merit” from our theological vocabulary so that the claim is made that Christ’s merits are not imputed to his people is contrary to the Westminster Standards. 

 

5. The view that “union with Christ” renders imputation redundant because it subsumes all of Christ’s benefits (including justification) under this doctrinal heading is contrary to the Westminster Standards.  

 

6. The view that water baptism effects a “covenantal union” with Christ through which each baptized person receives the saving benefits of Christ’s mediation, including regeneration, justification, and sanctification, thus creating a parallel soteriological system to the decretal system of the Westminster Standards, is contrary to the 
Westminster Standards. 

 

7. The view that one can be “united to Christ” and not receive all the benefits of Christ’s mediation, including perseverance, in that effectual union is contrary to the Westminster Standards. 

 

8. The view that some can receive saving benefits of Christ’s mediation, such as regeneration and justification, and yet not persevere in those benefits is contrary to the Westminster Standards. 

 

9. The view that justification is in any way based on our works, or that the so-called “final verdict of justification” is based on anything other than the perfect obedience and satisfaction of Christ received through faith alone, is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
 
Yes, that's R. C. Sproul at the mic, giving his plea to pass the resolution . . . 

 

Wednesday
Jun132007

For Those of You Who Love History . . . This Is Very Cool!

Coliseum.jpgWe've all seen pictures of the ruins of the Roman Coliseum--if we haven't been to Rome and seen the ruins first-hand.

Now you can see the Coliseum in 3-D!  Indeed you can see much of Rome in 3-D, just as it looked in 320 AD when Constantine was emperor.

To see "Rome Reborn," Click here: RomeReborn1.0