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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Wednesday
Jun072006

A Fashion Statement

fashion statement.jpgOne of my Lutheran friends sent this to me with the following caption:

"The man on the left, wearing a fabulous vintage chiffon-lined Dior gold lame gown over a silk Vera Wang empire waisted tulle cocktail dress, accessorized with a 3-foot beaded peaked House of Whoville hat, along with the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz, is worried that The Da Vinci Code might make the Roman Catholic Church look foolish."

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I thought some of you might enjoy this so I am passing it along . . .

Saturday
Jun032006

And the Survey Says . . . The Antichrist Is . . .

antichrist beast wince.jpgIn a recent survey on sermonaudio.com (h.t. to Paul and Luann), people gave the following answers to the question, "who is the Antichrist?"  Over four hundred people voted.  Here are their answers . . .

 

•    A Future Man to Be Revealed

52% · 268 votes

 •    The Office of the Pope

24% · 122 votes

 •    An Invisible Yet Known Presance

3% · 18 votes

 •    All of False Religion

10% · 54 votes

 •    The Anti-Christ Has Come and Gone

4% · 21 votes

 •   

No answer. Skip this survey, I do not care to vote on this topic.

7% · 35 votes

In my book, The Man of Sin, I attempt to make the case that the church has faced many "antichrists" from the days of the apostles (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7).  

I also contend that the beast from the land is imperial Rome (Revelation 13:1-10) and the beast from the sea is the emperor cult in Asia Minor (Revelation 13:11-18) when John was given the vision we now know as the Book of Revelation, about A. D. 95.  The dragon empowers the state and its leader (the false prophet) to turn on all those who confess "Jesus is Lord."  To confess "Jesus is Lord" is to simultaneously confess that "Caesar isn't!" 

John implies that what is represented by the beast (a satanically energized state waging war on the church) will reoccur throughout the course of this age (Revelation 17:9-18), and will finally culminate in a great apostasy and out-pouring of evil at the end of this age (Revelation 20:7-10), when Satan is released from the Abyss, only to go to his final destruction.

Paul's discussion of the "man of sin" (lawlessness) in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, fits with this as well.  Paul speaks of someone in the church (the temple of God--which I believe is not a reference to the temple in Jerusalem, either in AD 70 or in the future), who proclaims himself God, demands worship, and deceives many through Satanic power.  Paul likewise ties this to a final apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  While image of a deceiver in the church surely fits with the papacy (which is an antichrist institution), Paul ties the revelation of this particular individual to the time of the end (2:8).  The appearance of the man of sin and the final apostasy are harbingers of the end.

So, how would I vote in the poll?  Because there is a certain sense in which Antichrist is a past, present, and future phenomena, if I could, I'd say "yes" to points 1, 2, and 4, and "no" to point 5, "the Antichrist has come and gone."

Friday
May192006

The "Moses Model" of Ministry Backfires . . .

chuck smith.jpgNo doubt, Chuck Smith is one of the most influential figures in the modern American church.  He's the father of "contemporary worship," he give life and vitality to the charismatic movement when it had no credibility, and he served as an important father figure to a generation of kids from the 1960's who did not have fathers--the so-called "Jesus People" movement.

But his theology has long been suspect.  He's not only made a number of nutty end-times predictions (see my last "Who Said That?"), but he is militant in his opposition to Reformed theology in particular and Reformational theology in general.  At best, he's a classic Arminian.  At worst, he's a thorough-going Pelagian.  His theology is characterized by an ecclecticism typical of independent Bible Church fundamentalism. 

Having attended Calvary Chapel back in the 1970's, I've long thought one of his most erroneous (and dangerous) notions was his view that church government is grounded in a one-to-one relationship between the pastor and Jesus (called the "Moses Model"--see Click here: The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel). 

The Moses Model positions the pastor as the one who communicates the will of God to the church--not only in terms of theological teaching, but also in terms of overall ministry management and direction.  The pastor is elevated above other church officers (pastors) and "board members."  What the pastor says, God says . . .  Calvary Chapels have always been secretive about money and their finances--a fruit of this approach to church government.

Chuck Smith does not see a proper role for deacons and elders as is so clearly taught in the New Testament.  Many people consider "ecclesiology" the least important loci of Christian doctrine and don't give things like this much thought.  But this is what happens when you don't.

And so, not surprisingly, the chickens have come home to roost with the sad scandal going in Albuquerque and Southern California as reported recently in Christianity Today (H. T. my friend and colleague Danny Hyde--http://dannyhyde.squarespace.com/).

If you've ever attended a Calvary Chapel (or still do) you need to read this article carefully (see the link below).  This is what happens when ministers place themselves above Scripture ("just me and Jesus") and above other church officers (i.e., a group of elders who watch the pastor's life and doctrine).  This is what happens when church business is conducted in secret and when budgets are hidden from the congregation.  If this is not a good argument for Reformed/Presbyterian church government--which protects both ministers and church members from each other--I don't know what is!

It is all very sad.  But it is not at all surprising . . .

 

Monday
May152006

Who Said That?

question mark.jpgCan you guess who uttered these rather embarrassing words?

"From my understanding of biblical prophecies, I'm convinced that the Lord is coming for his Church before the end of 1981.  I could be wrong, but its a deep conviction in my heart and all my plans are predicated on that belief.  In 1986, Halley's Comet is coming again.  Jesus said that prior to His return in glory there'd be signs in the heavens.  Halley's Comet could be one of those signs . . ."

As usual, no cheating--google searches or otherwise!  Answer to follow in a few days.

Thursday
May112006

Could It Be . . .

nero.jpgCould it be Nero?  He put Peter and Paul to death and delighted in the torture of Christians . . .

 

 

 

 

pope leo x.jpg

Could it be Pope Leo X?  He excommunicated Luther . . .

 

 

 

kissenger.jpg

How about Henry Kissinger?  A Jew and a big supporter of a one-world government . . .

 

 

 

king juan carlos.jpg

What about King Juan Carlos of Spain?  He has the royal pedigree to preside over a revived Roman Empire . . .

 

 

 

reagan.jpg

And then there's Ronald Wilson Reagan.  His name has the right number of letters . . . Six, six, six . . .

 

 

 

damien.jpg

Could it be Damien?  He's that Satanic little brat . . .

 

 

 

pope benedict xvi.jpg

How about Benedict XVI?  Many Protestants have thought it could be the pope . . .

 

 

 

nicolae carpathia.jpg

How about Nicolae Carpathia?  Not in Tim LaHaye's wildest dreams . . .

 

 

 

 

george steinbrenner.jpg

George Steinbrenner?  Only if you are a Red Sox Fan . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who could it be?

 

You'll have to buy the book to find out . . .

 

Man of sin.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just got my copy from Baker.  It should be available soon!

How's that for a bit of shameless self-promotion!

By the way . . .  Its a book about the Antichrist, not an autobiography!

 

Thursday
May112006

Incredibly Tacky Biblical Action Figures

Looking for some distinctly Christian entertainment to keep the kids away from "secular" pursuits?  How about a line of "Christian" action figures to keep the kiddos busy?

You can take your choice between a very white Adam, and a dark-skinned Adam!

adam-b.gif           adam.gif

 

mary-b.gif jesus-b.gif

Then you can pick between a black or white Jesus (with a black or white Mary, of course).  Jesus comes complete with action grip hand! 

But my Favorite is Job -- he comes complete with sores!  job.gif

Unfortunately, the sores don't show up as well on the optional black Job.

To see the entire tacky line, Click here: train up a child biblical action figures,Jesus Action Figure, biblical action figures, bible action figures, jesus

(H. T. Rich Gilbert)

Tuesday
May092006

The Romans Revolution Continues

whirushmore-smaller.jpgWhat do Westminster Seminary California students do when they have way too much time on their hands?  They get to work in Photoshop and make pictures like this one!

Actually, this was done by one of the White Horse Inn staff members just to let us know that listening to so many hours of the White Horse Inn has driven him to this.

In all seriousness, we do have a great staff and a number of volunteers who do a great job with both the White Horse Inn (http://whitehorseinn.org) and ModernReformation magazine (http://www.modernreformation.org).  Thanks to all of you! 

I guess if the rock band Deep Purple (Deep Purple "In Rock") could put their faces on Mount Rushmore, so can the White Horse Inn hosts!

Remember, the Romans Revolution continues at the White Horse Inn!

Monday
May012006

Who Said That?

question mark.jpgOK, who said this?  No cheating or google searches!  Answer to follow in a few days . . .

"As we have learned from Almighty God in the words of Holy Scripture, that the end of the present world is already near and that the unending kingdom of the saints is approaching.  As this same end of the world is drawing nigh, many unusual things will happen--climate changes, terrors from heaven, unseasonable tempests, wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes.  All of these things are not to come in our own days, but they will follow upon our times."

Monday
Apr242006

Watch Out for Those Christian Drivers!

car accident wince.bmp

Do Christian drivers pose a danger to others?  Some think so!  According to a half-hearted challenge issued on Stay Free! Daily . . .

Saved Premillenialist Christians Shouldn't Drive

I'm sure everyone here has been driving and seen the bumper sticker that reads "In case of Rapture, car will be unmanned." While this never fails to inspire some very action-movie style daydreams and exciting video game premises, it also brings up a far more practical issue: should saved Christians be allowed to drive?

One would think that, if we don't grant driver's licences to narcoleptics, epileptics, or other people who may, at random, lose all control of their careening vehicle, we sure as hell won't grant a license to someone who may just up and disappear without warning. But, this never seems to come up.

That fundamentalist, evangelical, end-times-anticipating Christians seek to create or alter legislation to support their beliefs is not exactly news. And, of course, it's well within their rights to petition and badger and seek to achieve their goals of teaching religious pseudoscience in schools, or keeping gay people from marrying, and so on-- but it seems to me that if they are really going to be forthright in their goals of altering the laws of the United States to fit their theology, they can't just pick and choose the laws they want. To really be taken seriously, they need to go all the way, to do the right thing and press for legislation stipulating that anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts cannot safely pilot a motorized vehicle or similar heavy machinery.

I'm willing also to consider legislation that would provide for them the right to pilot small, possibly electric city-cars that are speed-limited to 25 MPH, contain adequate warning lights and signage, and, upon detection of loss of driver (via a simple switch in the seat that disengages when the driver is raptured away) sounds a warning klaxon as it slowly comes to a safe, controlled stop under automatic control.

So, saved Premillenialist Christians, here's my challenge to you: go all the way. Fight for what you want in our schools, our hospitals, our public places, but stick to your beliefs on our highways as well. I mean, that's what being a fundamentalist is all about, right?

To read the article, Click here: Stay Free! Daily: Saved Premillenialist Christians Shouldn't Drive

 

Monday
Apr242006

Who Said That?

question mark.jpgWho said this?

Q. What is the direct antidote to . . . the doctrine of heart-holiness?

A.  Calvinism:  All the devices of Satan . . . have done far less toward stopping this work of God, than that single doctrine.  It strikes at the root of salvation from sin, previous to glory (death), putting the matter on quite another issue.

Q.  But wherein lie the charms of this doctrine?  What makes men swallow it so greedily?

A.  (1)  It seems to magnify Christ; although in reality it supposes him to have died in vain.  For the absolutely elect must have been saved without him; and the non-elect cannot be saved by him.

(2)  It is highly pleasing to the flesh and blood, final perseverance in particular.

Can you guess who said this?  No cheating--google searches or otherwise!