Amillenialism or Historic Premillenialism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Michael D. Edwards, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Could someone briefly explain the differences of these two viewpoints?

    In Christ
    Michael
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Historic premillennialism is posttribulationism. It is not really "historic." It still holds to a literal earthly kingdom of Christ but sees most of the promises to the nation of Israel fulfilled in the church. This is its major flaw. However, they do see the necessity of holding to some of the promises of God as they are stated.

    Amillennialism sees no earthly kingdom and recharacterizes most of the promises of God to the nation because they contradict their system. The amillennialists approaches Scripture with a preconceived notion of what it must say: No earthly kingdom. Then any passage that seems to indicate an earthly kingdom is understood to be spiritual, historical/grammatical context notwithstanding.
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Amillennialism sees no earthly kingdom and recharacterizes most of the promises of God to the nation because they contradict their system. The amillennialists approaches Scripture with a preconceived notion of what it must say: No earthly kingdom. Then any passage that seems to indicate an earthly kingdom is understood to be spiritual, historical/grammatical context notwithstanding.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Amillennialism, unlike the dispensational nonsense, follows the proper hermeneutical principles of the NT: the apostolic, canonical principle: The inspired NT writers tell us plainly how OT prophecy is to be interpreted; spiritually and fulfilled in Christ and the church. The term "amill" is unfortunately a misnomer, as the amill does believe in a millennium (as does the postmill); it began at the First Advent when Christ bound Satan and as he reigns in heaven now and through the church. It continues until His kingdom will be consummated at the Second final coming.

    The dispensationalist recharacterizes all of the promises of God over to an ethnic nation because the plain apostolic interpretation contradicts their system. The dispy approaches Scripture with a preconceived notion of what it must say: Two plans of salvation: one for Israel and one for the Church, even though Scripture is plain that the Church is incorporated into Israel.
     
  4. Michael D. Edwards

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Amillennialism sees no earthly kingdom and recharacterizes most of the promises of God to the nation because they contradict their system. The amillennialists approaches Scripture with a preconceived notion of what it must say: No earthly kingdom. Then any passage that seems to indicate an earthly kingdom is understood to be spiritual, historical/grammatical context notwithstanding.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It would seem that the amillenialist does see an earthly kingdom at the coming of Christ, just not the literal 1000 year reign of an earthly kingdom composed of the lost and saved at the time. I believe they call this consumation. I'd be curious what texts you're speaking of about an earthly kingdom and a justification for your interpretation other than amillenialism.

    In Christ
    Michael
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    Amillennialism, unlike the dispensational nonsense, follows the proper hermeneutical principles of the NT: <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why do you persist? This has been thoroughly refuted in multiple sources and you know it.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The dispensationalist recharacterizes all of the promises of God over to an ethnic nation because the plain apostolic interpretation contradicts their system.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Bald-faced lie.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The dispy approaches Scripture with a preconceived notion of what it must say: Two plans of salvation: one for Israel and one for the Church, even though Scripture is plain that the Church is incorporated into Israel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Bald faced lie.

    Chris, you are at the point in your education where you know better than this stuff. You may not agree but you should not lie about it. This is beginning to rival the CvA thread, where the same old tired arguments are being repeated in spite of the fact that they have been answered again and again. :( :( :( :(
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael D. Edwards:
    It would seem that the amillenialist does see an earthly kingdom at the coming of Christ, just not the literal 1000 year reign of an earthly kingdom composed of the lost and saved at the time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not that I have ever seen. Chris himself decries the ludicrous notion of a material physical reign. The amillennialist who believes in an earthly reign is few and far between.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'd be curious what texts you're speaking of about an earthly kingdom and a justification for your interpretation other than amillenialism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There are more than can be listed here. I would start with Jer 31:31-40. The non-dispensationalists makes this passage stand on its head. The passage is clear; it is reinterpreted because some can't stand the thought that Israel has not been cast off "for what they have done" and that the nation will be restored.

    Chris continues, in spite of the multitudes of evidence to the contrary, to suggest that house of Israel, house of Jacob, house of David, house of Levi, etc. all refer to people who have no part in them. However, the promises of God were made to specific people and therefore must be fulfilled to the people to whom they were made. Just as God cannot take your promise of salvation and fulfill it to someone else, so he cannot do that with Israel. I think a very good case can be made that the God of Amillennialism is not the God of Scripture. I do not run Amills out of Christianity; I believe they are saved and they can be my friends. I simply think there are some serious issues that they have failed to reckon with. I have never met any amill who can explain these OT passages without recharacterization of the words of the text.

    Consider additionally the Abrahamic covenant particularly in Gen 15 where the seed of promise is referred as the physical seed that comes from Abraham's body, not his faith. Consider Zech 12-14, Micah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc. Virtually every OT prophet has these promises in them. Without exception it seems, the amills/postmills take these passages to refer to the church, never stopping to defend how a wholesale redefinition of "Israel" and related terms can be sustained. They simply assume it to be so and continue on their way. That is why I say, amill/postmill cannot stand the text of exegesis. It never has and it never will, at least if langauge means anything.
     
  7. TomVols

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    I'm about to be late, but I have to say this: Pastor Larry, why do you persist in claiming all has been refuted as far as that which is not dispensational when all you do is post people who agree with your opinions and not facts which support your opinions? You did this a long time back in a thread on the hermeneutic of the covanental theologian opposed to the "hermeneutic" of a dispensationalist (I think that's an oxymoron, by the way) :D
     
  8. Michael D. Edwards

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    [/qb]

    There are more than can be listed here. I would start with Jer 31:31-40. The non-dispensationalists makes this passage stand on its head. The passage is clear; it is reinterpreted because some can't stand the thought that Israel has not been cast off "for what they have done" and that the nation will be restored.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, in looking at Jeremiah 31:31-40, I'm not seeing ANYthing that would preclude an amillenial interpretatin of the scripture (or properly said, an interpretation which would support an amillenial conclusion). In fact, if amillenialism isn't the historical idea, then why do Matthew Henry, Wycliff, John Barnes, and others agree with an interpretation that lends to the amillenial apologetic?

    I'm not sure how you view this, but there is certainly strong evidence in that text to think that the church is the fulfillment of that prophecy!

    Thinking in Christ
    Michael
     
  9. Michael D. Edwards

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    Just for the sake of conversation and exegesis, one could beg that this prophecy was fulfilled in the rebuilding of the temple under Nehemiah, but that wouldnt' really fit the rest of the description.

    It could also, clearly be a consumation found in the New Jerusalem.

    In Him
    Michael
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    One excellent passage that verifies a true eschatology is prophecied by Zechariah in the fourteenth chapter. The prophet offered his message 520 years before our Lord appeared in Bethlehem in His lowly birth.

    Zechariah tells us of the unique and unprecedented Day of the Lord [14:1] will finally come when all nations will gather against Jerusalem. This was not when Titus--the Roman destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. If it were Zechariah would have said in verse 2 ‘The Roman army gathered against Jerusalem to battle . . . ' In fact he said, ‘I will gather ALL nations against Jerusalem to battle. . . ‘

    This Day of the Lord has not yet come because the Lord never went Himself, bodily to go against any nation. [vs. 3]. His purpose through the past and until ‘the times of the Gentiles' is completed is to create in the hearts of men and women a spiritual Kingdom by giving to them everlasting life. In verse 3 we read, ‘Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.'

    In verse 4 until this very day there has never been a catastrophic shift in the earth at the Mount of Olives as described in this verse. At Calvary yes, but never at this specific location. This whole chapter including this verse is yet to be fulfilled. In connection with verse 4 of Zechariah 14, please go to Revelation 11:8 which indicates that in the future in Jerusalem there will be an earthquake, vs. 13 and 7,000 men will be killed and 1/10 of the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed. At Christ's Second Coming His feet will touch down on the Mount of Olives. [Zechariah 14:4 & Revelation 19:14-21]

    Verse 5 in Zechariah indicates that Jesus will come in His Second Coming and that all His saints will be with Him. [Note Revelation 19:14] These armies of saints will be the church which will have been taken to Heaven in the ‘rapture.' [Note I Thess. 4:17]

    In Zechariah 14:9 the prophet cites the future literal Kingdom of God on earth during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. [Revelation 20:2e; 3e; 4 the last six words; 5a; 6d; 7a]. It is more than clear in Zechariah 14:9, except to the half alert knuckle draggers, that Christ has never been King over the whole earth even until our day. [Isaiah 11:12 & Micah 5:2] The prophet Micah indicates that Christ will one day in the future, become ‘Ruler in Israel.' Therefore, this passage prophecies of a future era when our Savior will sit enthroned in His Millennial Temple in Jerusalem.

    Although God is in control of our world situation we remember that Satan is ‘the god of this world' and his fury is being made visible through the willing lives of the unsaved. We even experience some of the effects of this diabolical one, being Christians as in the case of the World Wars and the Twin Towers in New York City, for example.

    Even during the future Kingdom Age, when Christ administers His earthly Kingdom on earth, there will be those who still will not yield to His demands. But, rest assured their will be a penalty. This is verified in Zechariah 14:16. Those people and nations who will not yield to His decree to worship in Jerusalem will experience drought in their part of the world or a plague. In verse 19 we are told that the people of Egypt will not obey our Lord's decree. And what religion do we have in Egypt today? Not Christianity.

    Never in human history until this very day did our Lord demand that the people of the world would come to Jerusalem to worship Him. His mission while here on earth was do perform miracles, teach His truth, die on the Cross, resurrect and ascend into Heaven.

    I talked with an Israelite Christian who is a Messianic Jew and he most strongly affirms that there will be a future coming Kingdom established on earth. I went to this man who was visiting our area, because I thought he might have a better understanding of some of the Old Testament passages that I needed confirmed in my mind.

    Verse 20 makes reference to ‘the Lord's house.' Even today in Jerusalem they have the cornerstone reserved for building of the Tribulation Temple.

    This is what Zechariah chapter fourteen is all about.

    Respectfully,

    Dr. Berrian
     
  11. Michael D. Edwards

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    I'm definitely curious of the responses that will come on this!!! Very curious indeed! I hope they do.

    When do you hold the rapture will take place, kind Dr.?

    Thanks
    MIchael
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    Pastor Larry, why do you persist in claiming all has been refuted as far as that which is not dispensational when all you do is post people who agree with your opinions and not facts which support your opinions? You did this a long time back in a thread on the hermeneutic of the covanental theologian opposed to the "hermeneutic" of a dispensationalist (I think that's an oxymoron, by the way)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Tom,

    1. Chris and I have agreed to disagree on this.

    2. I do cite those who agree with me. The question is not why do I cite them? The question is Why do you ignore them? I have not ignored the people you cite. I have answered them. You guys act like dispensationalists can't read. Whether you agree or not, you cannot legitimately say that dispensationalism is outside the legitimate bounds of interpretation. A strong case can be made from Scripture.

    Exegesis shows again and again that the dispensational hermeneutic is the only legitimate hermeneutic for communication. It is the only one that anyone uses in communication. You cannot use your hermeneutic and communicate with it because no one will know for sure what you are saying.

    There is no oxymoron in the "hermeneutic of a dispensationalist." I must be honest ... that does not even make sense. If you want to get into exegesis let's have at it. So far no one has been willing to do that with out presuppositions about what the text must say. Please point the post that I did not answer something in. I have been consistently willing to enter this debate. In fact, someone and I had a rather long exchange about it. In fact, Tom, I do not remember seeing your name attached to any post containing exegesis of these passages. It's fine if this discussion is "not your thing." But don't accuse me of not using passages and not entertaining the argument.
     
  13. Michael D. Edwards

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    Hey gang:

    I think this post has gotten away from amillenialism v. historic premillenialism. In fact, no one has seemingly answered my original question yet.

    Michael
     
  14. Kiffin

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    Historic premillennialism seems to be the view of the earliest Church Fathers (Shepherd of Hermes, Victoriounus, Ireanous,and a few others)and was the belief of a few of the early Baptists - John Gill and C.H. Spurgeon.

    Historic premillennialism holds to a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth but denies the Pre Tribulation rapture. Historic premillennialism is Post Tribulation and it will vary depending upon the author of their view of the promises made to national Israel.

    Amillennialism was the view of many of the later fathers, most notably, Augustine. The 1000 years are not literal but 1000 is a number for an indefinite amout of time that began with the Resurrection. Amillennialism sees all the promises to Israel given to New Israel (the Church) and at the climax of this "1000 years" (indefinite time) there will be a falling away and Christ will return again and His eternal kingdom will begin.
     
  15. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:


    Bald faced lie.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is no lie, and I am no liar. This is the usual argument of the dispensationalist; "I am right, and all who oppose me are at least poorly misguided and in error, or at worst, bald-face liars."

    Christ comes back once. There is one people of God, the Israel of God, the church. There is one plan of salvation. Forget the ad hominems and red herrings.

    Goodbye.

    [ February 04, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Michael

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Well, in looking at Jeremiah 31:31-40, I'm not seeing ANYthing that would preclude an amillenial interpretatin of the scripture (or properly said, an interpretation which would support an amillenial conclusion).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well let me demonstrate briefly (I hope – I hate long posts). BTW, if you do a BaptistBoard search on this passage you will find a thread (maybe two) where I detailed the synopsis I will put here. Remember, we are considering the text apart from what people might say about the text. Proper interpretation must be derived from what the author intended the original reader to understand; it is based on the words, syntax, idioms, and grammatical structures of the text itself. So here goes. Formatting is a little difficult; hopefully you can follow the outline without indentions.

    1. A New covenant will be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (v. 31). Some have argued (incorrectly I think) that Israel in the NT is the church. While this has been shown in other places to render certain texts (such as Rom 9-11) nonsensible, let it stand for the sake of argument. House of Judah is never used for the church. Furthermore, using “Israel” and “Judah” for the church would have mislead the original readers to think something other than the church. In the OT, when God meant something other than the nation of Israel, he had no problem communicating that. Why would he not do that here if that is what he meant? Everything in the text leads us to believe that God is referring to the nation of Israel; other conclusions are brought in from outside the text and form a textbook definition of eisogesis.

    2. This New Covenant will be made with the same people with whom the Mosaic covenant was made and with the same people who broke the Mosaic covenant (v. 32). That can only be said of one group of people. The MC was never made with the church (it didn’t even exist then); the church never broke the Mosaic covenant.

    3. These promises are further clarified as to their intent by vv. 35-37. Consider the following:

    a. The Lord who made the heavens will cast off the “offspring of Israel from being a nation before [Him]” only if the fixed order of the sun, moon, and stars “departs from before [Him].” Notice that

    (1) it is the offspring of Israel; zerah is always, to my knowledge, used of genetic offspring not spiritual;
    (2) This offspring of Israel will not cease from being a nation, significant because as Chris so often reminds us, the church has no national boundaries for all are one in Christ (Gal 3:28); this text clearly refers to a nation, not a “non-nation;”
    (3) The only way that the offspring of Israel can cease to be a nation is if the sun, moon, and stars cease their fixed order.

    So here we are left with a dilemma:
    (1) Israel has not been cast off from being nation;
    (2) The sun, moon, and stars have ceased their fixed order;
    (3) God did not mean what he said and does not intend to be faithful to his promises.

    (2) and (3) are definitely out; that leaves only (1) which is why, in a nutshell, I am a dispensationalist. However, we are not done with these verses.

    b. “Only if heaven can be measured the and foundation of the earth searched out, will Israel be cast off for all that they have done.” First, What did Israel do? They broke the covenant (cf. v. 32). Ask any covenant theologian who believes the promises have been transferred to the church, they will tell you that the nation gave up the benefit of the promises because of their disobedience to the Mosaic covenant and they will all go to passages in the Torah that delineate being kicked out of the land because of it. Second, the text clearly states that Israel (the nation, cf. vv. 35-36) will not be cast off for what they have done unless the heaven and earth can be fully explored and measured.

    So we are again left with a dilemma:
    (1) The heavens and earth have been measured and therefore God can cast Israel off for what they have done;
    (2) Israel has not been cast off for what they have done.
    (3) God did not intend to be faithful to his promises.

    Obviously (3) is not true; I believe (1); the amill and postmill use 1 Peter 2:9, the single reference to the church as a nation and interpret the multitude of verses that say the church is not a nation in light of the one verse that may) say it is. Why interpret in the many in light of the one? Why not interpret the one in light of the many? (Because their whole system depends on it).

    4. The city has not been rebuilt according to the descriptions of the passage. You admit that Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the city cannot fit. (I assume your reference to Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the temple is an unintentional mistake here). You think there is strong evidence that the church is the fulfillment of this prophecy. I would simply ask “Where is that in the text?” The text gives a number of geographical landmarks that every Jew would have recognized and understood to be the city. These landmarks are not spiritual. Furthermore, the last phrase says that it will not be plucked up or overthrown again forever. That cannot be said of any “version” of Jerusalem to this day. The New Jerusalem as I see it in Revelation doesn’t seem to fit though perhaps it is a possibility. But since the rest of the text is so clear, why would we take it to be anything but literal. No dispensationalist has a problem with non-literal interpretation; we just use it where it is warranted. There appear to be no warrant for it here. Therefore, the text leads us to believe that there are days coming when the city (which is clearly Jerusalem) will be rebuilt, never again to be overthrown by the enemy. Here is another dilemma: (1) The city will be rebuilt never to be overthrown by the enemies again; (2) God clearly led his people to believe something that was never going to come to pass; (3) God does not intend to be faithful to his promises. Obviously (3) is out; the amill and postmill would not want to admit (2) but they certainly don’t like (1). I believe (1) because of what the text says.

    In none of this have I appealed to anything but what the text says. The exegesis of this text for what it says clearly leads to a coming future for the nation of Israel.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> In fact, if amillenialism isn't the historical idea, then why do Matthew Henry, Wycliff, John Barnes, and others agree with an interpretation that lends to the amillenial apologetic? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is my question. For the life of me I don’t understand it. I have read these commentators and have yet to see any of them give an exegetical demonstration of this point. They all assume it to be true without argumentation. I think the NT clearly precludes this understanding for the OT because it says that the church (the bringing together of all in one body) was a mystery in the OT. Therefore, you have, it seems to me, two options: Either (1) Israel has a nation has a future as a nation, which is what the plain reading of the OT text would indicate (which is what the first century disciples expected and which Christ did not refute); or (2) God led his chosen people (with whom he had covenanted to be their God) to believe something that was never going to be true. Number (2) just does not sit right with me. I just cannot accept that a God who is faithful and true can intentionally lead his people to believe something that he never intended to fulfill. I know that amills and postmills have explanations for these. I have yet to see one that is convincing which is why I remain a biblicist [​IMG].
     
  17. TomVols

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    Pastor Larry,
    There you go again posting opinions as incontrovertible facts. For the record, I agree to disagree with you and respectfully do so. Your theology is orthodox (except for this area :D) and I respect you. However, I have posted arguments for CT and Amil in the past. You saying I have not is simply untrue. I'm really disappointed in your ad hominems. That's not like you. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I do cite those who agree with me. The question is not why do I cite them? The question is Why do you ignore them? I have not ignored the people you cite. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I can't remember ignoring them. I do remember you ignoring people who agree with my view. I remember interacting with yours and then you moving on to another opinion. I remember a lengthy thread we had specifically on the hermeneutics of each position. All I remember about that subject is you making claims, me asking you to back them up with proof, and you not being able to do so.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> You guys act like dispensationalists can't read. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Has anyone said that? This is not germane.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> There is no oxymoron in the "hermeneutic of a dispensationalist." I must be honest ... that does not even make sense. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That was posted as a joke. Relax, friend.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If you want to get into exegesis let's have at it. So far no one has been willing to do that with out presuppositions about what the text must say. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    And dispensationalists have no presuppositions? Come on, Larry, you're smarter than that.

    Michael wrote:
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Chris, what I said this about were things that I have demonstrated to be false in the past. I have shown from Scripture why I believe you are wrong. It is not an attack on you, my friend.

    Michael, I apologize that we have strayed from your original question. I thought I answered it briefly at first. I have posted a synopsis of the Jer 31 passage we were talking about and tried to answer some of the add on questions. My apologies if it is not what you wanted.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Tom,

    My apologies for misunderstanding some things you said. To my knowledge, I have posted no ad hominem attacks; my apologies for anything that was interpreted that way.

    I have not intentionally ignored anything. If there is something you would like me to address, I will be more than happy to. I am not one to shy away from debates, so long as they are productive in laying out the issues. I may have missed something somewhere. It is easy to get lost in these threads and forget which ones you are involved in.

    Lastly, I do not deny that DT has presuppositions. My argument would be that the presuppositions are of a different nature.

    I would characterize it this way: DT's presuppositions deal with the approach to the text; CT's presuppositions deal more with the conclusions from the text.

    I do not say that to be inflammatory and I hope you understand that. That to me seems the difference in the reading and study that I have done.
     
  20. TomVols

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    No problem Larry. I know you're not one to shy away from debate and I appreciate that. I understand your conclusion about the differences in presuppositions (Notice I didn't say I agreed with you ;) ) and fully understand the tenor and tone.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>It is easy to get lost in these threads and forget which ones you are involved in.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You, too, eh? :D Glad I'm not the only one.
     

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