Three camps of systematic theology

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Michael D. Edwards, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Hello again:

    I have been studying the rapture and it has led me to study more intensley the major systematic theology of baptist. I was brought up as a "dispensationalist" in the most common sense. However, I have also been finding of "Covenant" theology as well is what is coined now as "progressive dispensationalism," which I've actually found to be very very interesting in its approach to Biblical interpretation. Does anyone care to join in discussing this with me?

    MIchael
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    I'd be happy to oblige. Probably on any one of the three (narrow is better than broad as far as topics go).

    I am a reformed baptist (calvinistic) who is still dispensational pre-trib. Talk about a hybrid! :eek:

    What you got in mind?
     
  3. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Basically,

    I would love to first find out more about the history of Covenant theology and what it leads to conclude in eschatalogy.

    thanks
    MIchael
     
  4. javalady

    javalady
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    Actually, there are 4 branches of systematic theology.
    New Covenant theology is somewhere between Covenantal and Dispensational theology. It closely resembles the London Baptist Confession of 1644(? I think I got that date right)...very different than the Westminster copycats of later years...
    We believe God's covenant to physical Israel was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant, the law, are all fulfilled in Him. As Abraham was promised children from many nations (Gen. 17, I think...no Bible by my side right now); and as God says all who believe in Christ are children of faithful Abraham (Gal. 2-5)--the Church is the spiritual Israel.
    God doesn't have 2 wives: Israel & the Church. His covenant has always been with the believing, not the apostate. God's "core" in physical Israel (such as Joseph, David, Jeremiah, etc.) are all a part of the Church as much as Matthew, Mark, Luke & us! [​IMG]
    Mr. John Reisinger has some great books exploring these issues; we highly recommend them.
    Also, Mt. Zion Bible Church has a great little booklet out, entitled, "The ABC's of the Prophetical Scriptures" by George H. Clement. (Private Message or email me if you want their address. The book is free.)
    We find New Covenant theology the most biblical expression--and we've known the other 3 before & all the games of Twister they have to play to make Scripture fit!
    Just my 2 cents worth...but with inflation, it must be worth a buck! ;)
     
  5. Michael D. Edwards

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    New covenant theology. Ok, I'll check it out.

    Thanks

    Michael
     
  6. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    YOu mentioned the Westminster confession as a copy cat. Was it dated later than the London Baptist Confession?

    Michael
     
  7. Ransom

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    Michael D. Edwards asked:

    You mentioned the Westminster confession as a copy cat. Was it dated later than the London Baptist Confession?

    I wonder if Javalady has her creeds, or dates, reversed? Although the London Baptist Confession was published in 1644, the Westminster Confession of Faith, published in 1646, is not a "copycat" document. On the other hand, the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 is, indeed, a "copycat" of the WCF, modified in places to reflect Baptist, rather than Presbyterian, doctrines (such as paedobaptism).

    For example, where the WCF sets out the classical formulation of covenant theology:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    I. The distance between God and the creature is go great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.

    II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.

    III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.

    IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.

    V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come; which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.

    VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations. (WCF VII.1-6)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The BCF, on the other hand, says:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.

    Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.

    This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency. (BCF VII)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Note that the whole idea of a "covenant of works" in which unfallen man remained in God's favour by obedience, and a "covenant of grace" that is variously administered through the Mosaic Law as well as the New Covenant, has disappeared from the London version.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ransom:
    Note that the whole idea of a "covenant of works" in which unfallen man remained in God's favour by obedience, and a "covenant of grace" that is variously administered through the Mosaic Law as well as the New Covenant, has disappeared from the London version.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Strangely enough, the "covenant of works" and "covenant of grace" has "disappeared" from Scripture. Of course, the reality is that is was never there. They are extrabiblical expressions and ones that do not adequately convey the truths regarding man's relationship with God either before or after salvation.

    I believe the 2nd LBCF of 1689 was a modification of the WCF, though I admit I can't remember my confessional history. Chris probably knows I would think. I think Lumpkin's book on Baptist confessions is probably the best available at the current time.

    One quick comment on the New Covenant theology, which really doesn't seem to be new; you would have to look very hard to find substantive differences between the old and the new. It was claimed that the physical promises of the Abrahamic covenant were fulfilled in Christ. The problem is that the significant physical promises of the AC include the innumerable seed that comes from the physical seed of Abraham (thereby meaning it must be more than one person -- Gal 3 has been adequately dealt with in this regard) and the physical promise of the land from the River Euphrates in the north to the River of Egypt in the south, something wholly unconnected with Christ. Herein lies the problem with the various conceptions of covenant theology. It requires a redefinition of the text to avoid what the text actually says. I do not say that to be inflammatory, and though the discussion has been held often here, perhaps for newcomers, each side laying out the issues from Scripture would be helpful again. The promise of the land has never been fulfilled. Therefore, it must be fulfilled in the future.

    It is fine to say that God's covenant was with the believing. No one denies that. What CT wants to deny is that the ABrahamic covenant was with the believing Israel, no one else. To say that the church has become the New Israel is to call into question the very distinctions that made Israel Israel to begin with. If "Israel" becomes something other than "Israel" then what did it really mean and why did God have chosen people in the OT? The issue is that we simply cannot redefine things because we don't like where they lead us (for whatever reason). We must allow the text to speak for itself.

    [ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  9. Michael D. Edwards

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    Pastor Larry:

    Where ya from in Michigan. That's my home territory!

    Could you expand further on your thoughts? Would you consider yourself a dispensationalist then? Or something unique in terms of modern theological terminology (what's in a name, that by any other a rose would smell as sweet?)

    Thanks
    Michael
     
  10. Chris Temple

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

    Strangely enough, the "covenant of works" and "covenant of grace" has "disappeared" from Scripture. Of course, the reality is that is was never there. They are extrabiblical expressions and ones that do not adequately convey the truths regarding man's relationship with God either before or after salvation. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, although Pastor Larry believes they were never there, plenty of Reformed scholars do.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Covenant — a contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word berith is always thus translated. Berith is derived from a root which means “to cut,” and hence a covenant is a “cutting,” with reference to the cutting or dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties passing between them, in making a covenant (Gen. 15; Jer. 34:18, 19).
    The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is diatheke, which is, however, rendered “testament” generally in the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the word berith of the Old Testament, “covenant.”
    This word is used (1.) of a covenant or compact between man and man (Gen. 21:32), or between tribes or nations (1 Sam. 11:1; Josh. 9:6, 15). In entering into a convenant, Jehovah was solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen. 31:50), and hence it was called a “covenant of the Lord” (1 Sam. 20:8). The marriage compact is called “the covenant of God” (Prov. 2:17), because the marriage was made in God’s name. Wicked men are spoken of as acting as if they had made a “covenant with death” not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isa. 28:15, 18).
    (2.) The word is used with reference to God’s revelation of himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God’s promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen. 9; Jer. 33:20, “my covenant”). We have an account of God’s covernant with Abraham (Gen. 17, comp. Lev. 26:42), of the covenant of the priesthood (Num. 25:12, 13; Deut. 33:9; Neh. 13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28; Lev. 26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the history of Israel (Deut. 29; Josh. 24; 2 Chr. 15; 23; 29; 34; Ezra 10; Neh. 9). In conformity with human custom, God’s covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut. 4:31; Ps. 89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen. 9; 17). Hence the covenant is called God’s “counsel,” “oath,” “promise” (Ps. 89:3, 4; 105:8–11; Heb. 6:13–20; Luke 1:68–75). God’s covenant consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:33, 34).
    The term covenant is also used to designate the regular succession of day and night (Jer. 33:20), the Sabbath (Ex. 31:16), circumcision (Gen. 17:9, 10), and in general any ordinance of God (Jer. 34:13, 14).
    A “covenant of salt” signifies an everlasting covenant, in the sealing or ratifying of which salt, as an emblem of perpetuity, is used (Num. 18:19; Lev. 2:13; 2 Chr. 13:5).
    COVENANT OF WORKS, the constitution under which Adam was placed at his creation. In this covenant, (1.) The contracting parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity (Rom. 5:12–19). (2.) The promise was “life” (Matt. 19:16, 17; Gal. 3:12). (3.) The condition was perfect obedience to the law, the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of the “tree of knowledge,” etc. (4.) The penalty was death (Gen. 2:16, 17).
    This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life, because “life” was the promise attached to obedience; and a legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the law.
    The “tree of life” was the outward sign and seal of that life which was promised in the covenant, and hence it is usually called the seal of that covenant.
    This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people, and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God, and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted his righteousness.
    CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people as their surety (John 17:4, 6, 9; Isa. 42:6; Ps. 89:3).
    The conditions of this covenant were, (1.) On the part of the Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the accomplishment of his work (Heb. 10:5; Isa. 42:1–7); (b) support in the work (Luke 22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Phil. 2:6–11), his investiture with universal dominion (John 5:22; Ps. 110:1), his having the administration of the covenant committed into his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; Acts 2:33), and in the final salvation of all his people (Isa. 35:10; 53:10, 11; Jer. 31:33; Titus 1:2). (2.) On the part of the Son the conditions were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal. 4:4, 5); and (b) as the second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Ps. 40:8; Isa. 42:21; John 9:4, 5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isa. 53; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13), in their stead.
    Christ, the mediator of, fulfils all its conditions in behalf of his people, and dispenses to them all its blessings. In Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24, this title is given to Christ. (Easton's) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    Actually, although Pastor Larry believes they were never there, plenty of Reformed scholars do.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well Chris, which of the verses listed in your discussion mentions either the covenant of grace or the covenant of works?

    The issue is not what reformed scholars believe. The issue is what does Scripture say. So again, which of the verses you listed, or perhaps one you didn't list, discuss the covenant of grace or the covenant of works?
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael D. Edwards:
    Where ya from in Michigan. That's my home territory!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Detroit metro area.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Could you expand further on your thoughts? Would you consider yourself a dispensationalist then?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I prefer the term biblicist, although you could call me a Jesusist, or a Paulinist. [​IMG] But in modern theological terms, yes I am a dispensationalist.
     
  13. Ray Berrian

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    Pastor Larry,

    I am a dispensationalist too. I celebrate our finding this truth via the Holy Spirit. I found some good things I need to share with you sometime;perhaps you know them already. I'm sure I can learn some new things from you.

    With my regards,

    "Ray"
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Well Chris, which of the verses listed in your discussion mentions either the covenant of grace or the covenant of works? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Well, I don’t know, you’d have to ask Prof. Easton as he’s the one who provided the copious references, which I assume, he meant to reference the two covenants. But two which immediately come to mind are:

    Cov. Of Works: Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)
    And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
    [17] but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

    Cov. Of Grace: (beginning in) Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
    I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
    he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel."

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> It is fine to say that God's covenant was with the believing. No one denies that. What CT wants to deny is that the ABrahamic covenant was with the believing Israel, no one else. To say that the church has become the New Israel is to call into question the very distinctions that made Israel Israel to begin with. If "Israel" becomes something other than "Israel" then what did it really mean and why did God have chosen people in the OT? The issue is that we simply cannot redefine things because we don't like where they lead us (for whatever reason). We must allow the text to speak for itself. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    But of course, despite claims of a “literal hermeneutic” the dispensationalist never allows “the text to speak for itself”, for what it literally says, but interprets it through a theological grid, projecting a false distinction between Israel and the Church which does not exist in Scripture.
    This Israel/Church distinction is the Achilles heel of dispensationalism; remove it and the entire system falls like the house of cards it is, built upon sinkign sand, and all its necessary accoutrements with it: secret rapture, 7-year tribulation, 1000 year earthly reign, “literal hermeneutic”, etc.

    As someone has said, “Whenever I read the book of Ephesians I have a sort of mantra that runs through my mind. It goes like this, ‘If Ephesians 1:1-2:10 is true, Arminianism is false; if Ephesians 2:11-3:6 is true, dispensationalism is false.’”

    The NT apostolic hermeneutic destroys any distinction between believing Israel and the church.

    Eph 2:11-22 tells us that although believing Gentiles were “at one time called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called the circumcision”, and they “were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise”, they have now in Christ “been brought near by the blood of Christ… who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, [16] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Christ has made believing Gentiles “no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”, and “Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

    Besides Eph 2-3, Gal 3-4; Rom 4; 9-11 and Hebrews all speak to there being one people of God, the church, i.e., the Israel of God (Gal 6:16). Nothing could be more plain or more “literally true”.

    Galatians 3:7-9 tells us: Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. [8] And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." [9] So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

    Galatians 3:13-18 says: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"— [14] so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
    (Note that the blessing of Abraham = the promised Spirit through faith; i.e. a spiritual promise of salvation).
    [15] To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. [16] Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. [17] This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. [18] For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

    Galatians 3:26-29 (ESV) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. [27] For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

    Romans 4:9-25 (ESV) Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. [10] How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. [11] He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, [12] and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
    [13] For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. [15] For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
    [16] That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, [17] as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. [18] In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." [19] He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. [20] No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, [21] fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. [22] That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." [23] But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, [24] but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, [25] who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

    Romans 9:6-8 (ESV) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, [7] and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." [8] This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

    Romans 10:11-12 (ESV) For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." [12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

    Romans 11:13-32 (ESV) Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry [14] in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. [15] For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? [16] If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
    [17] But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, [18] do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. [19] Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." [20] That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. [21] For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. [22] Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. [23] And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
    [25] Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [26] And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
    "The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
    [27] "and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins."
    [28] As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. [29] For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. [30] Just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, [31] so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. [32] For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

    In the face of this massive scriptural evidence that there is no distinction between believing Israel and the church, that all are made one in Christ, and according to Rom 11, the church is part of believing Israel, the dispensationalist amazingly ignores these plain exegetical truths.

    The only way that this evidence can be shrugged of is by adherence to a theological presupposition rather than adherence to plain exegesis and the NT apostolic hermeneutic of OT promises.
     
  15. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Well, yep..makes sense to me

    MIchael
     
  16. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Chris:

    I don't think that just saying that there shouldn't be such a distinction between Israel and the Church, that it automatically throws out a millenial reign of Christ.

    Thanks
    michael
     
  17. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael D. Edwards:
    Chris:

    I don't think that just saying that there shouldn't be such a distinction between Israel and the Church, that it automatically throws out a millenial reign of Christ.
    Thanks
    michael
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, you're right. Historic premills believe like G.E. Ladd believe in the earthly millennial reign.I was referring to the dispensational version of it.

    [ January 24, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Michael, Don't be too quick to assume that the copious amounts of Scripture Chris has quoted are actually quoted in their context. I do not believe they are and I think it can be shown. I will do so only briefly.

    On to the post from Chris:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Cov. Of Works: Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV) And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, [17] but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So again I ask, where in this verse is a covenant referenced? I see no covenant; I see a command from God.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Cov. Of Grace: (beginning in) Genesis 3:15 (ESV) I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And again, where is the covenant here?

    I think what has happened is that we see the term covenant used in several places (Abraham, Mosaic, New, Davidic) and then interpolate it into other ideas without regard for whether the text identifies it as such.

    My problem is not with the idea that God saves by grace. You know that. I simply do not see that referenced in Scripture as an issue of the covenant. The covenant of works/grace is something not found in Scripture.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But of course, despite claims of a “literal hermeneutic” the dispensationalist never allows “the text to speak for itself”, for what it literally says, but interprets it through a theological grid, projecting a false distinction between Israel and the Church which does not exist in Scripture.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You have it exactly backwards here. I have showed you time and time again, the distinction in both testaments. Yet we never get to the text. It is the normal hermeneutic that the distinction comes from.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This Israel/Church distinction is the Achilles heel of dispensationalism; remove it and the entire system falls like the house of cards it is, built upon sinkign sand, and all its necessary accoutrements with it: secret rapture, 7-year tribulation, 1000 year earthly reign, “literal hermeneutic”, etc. As someone has said, “Whenever I read the book of Ephesians I have a sort of mantra that runs through my mind. It goes like this, ‘If Ephesians 1:1-2:10 is true, Arminianism is false; if Ephesians 2:11-3:6 is true, dispensationalism is false.’”
    The NT apostolic hermeneutic destroys any distinction between believing Israel and the church. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Pure bunk. You are right that this distinction is central to DT. Yet you are wrong concerning its existence. And your last statement is incidentally something I agree with (see below).

    You cite passage after passage without regard for what they say. I assert to you that those passages make no sense if Israel and the church are the same. Again, for the sake of review and those who are new, let’s look at a few of them.

    Chris: the Israel of God (Gal 6:16). Nothing could be more plain or more “literally true”. – Larry: I cited a number of commentators who disagree with you here. The distinction is plain: Those who walk by this rule AND the Israel of God. The “and” is right there in the text. I am not making this up. It is so painfully obvious that two groups are involved that it is simply unbelievable that anyone believes otherwise.

    Gal 3:16 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

    Covenant theology depends on the fact that the promise to Abraham was nullified by Israel’s breaking of the Law, the Mosaic covenant. The very passage that Chris uses to defend his position is the very passage that says it can’t be true. God made a promise and the breaking of the Law cannot nullify that promise. Those who are of faith are the spiritual seed of Abraham. So what? The AC was made with the physical seed of Abraham (Gen 15:4). Again, this is so painfully obvious from the text, it is inconceivable that one believes otherwise. The blessing of Abraham did come to the Gentiles. No one denies that. But as Paul says in Gal 3:16, that did not nullify the promise. Chris returns to Gal 3:26-29 about the body of Christ and somehow applies it to Israel who is never called the body of Christ. All in the body of Christ are one; there is no distinction. That is not true in the nation of Israel.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> [25] Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [26] And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
    "The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
    [27] "and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins."
    [28] As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. [29] For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. [30] Just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, [31] so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. [32] For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I love this passage but Chris won’t deal with it; He just likes to quote it.

    v. 25: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. and so all Israel will be saved. Chris would have us believe that Israel is the church. Here the church is the fullness of the Gentiles. Consider the meaning of then of this verse: A partial hardening has happened to Isreal/church until the fullness of the Gentiles/Church/Israel has come in. Now ask yourself: If Israel and the church are the same, and if Israel/Church is hardened, how are the Gentiles coming in and what are they coming into? An identification of Israel as the church renders this passage meaningless.

    v. 28. They (Israel) are enemies for your sake (Church). Yet Israel and the church are the same we are told. Therefore The church is the enemy for the sake of the church. How ludicrous.

    v. 29 – The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Yet Chris would have us believe that God revoked his gift and calling to Israel.

    vv. 30-31 – Just as you (the church) were disobedient, so they (Israel) have been disobedient so that mercy shown to you might be shown to them. So here again, You (church/Israel) were disobedient and they (church/Israel) were disobedient so that the mercy shown to you (Church/Israel) might also be shown to them (Church/Israel). And with me, say WHAT???? This makes no sense unless there is a distinction between the Church and Israel.

    The presuppositions that Chris has brought to the text plainly cannot withstand the rigors of exegesis.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In the face of this massive scriptural evidence that there is no distinction between believing Israel and the church, that all are made one in Christ, and according to Rom 11, the church is part of believing Israel, the dispensationalist amazingly ignores these plain exegetical truths. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Here you change the argument ever so sneakily. I do not disagree that there is no distinction between “believing Israel and the church” right now. It is clear that they are one. However, as I have so often said, that is not the point. You must remember that the verses you cite above are talking about right now. We are not talking about right now. The millennial debate is about then. This discussion deals with the future of God’s promises to the nation of Israel as an ethnic entity. It is so easy to overlook that (as you have shown). You are most certainly right about the church.

    The point is, Can or will God renege on his promises to the nation of Israel? I say he cannot and he will not.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The only way that this evidence can be shrugged of is by adherence to a theological presupposition rather than adherence to plain exegesis and the NT apostolic hermeneutic of OT promises.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Never were truer words spoken – never in more of a opposite way to their intention.

    [ January 24, 2002: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  19. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards
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    Larry:

    I shouldn't have been so broad in my acceptance. However, it does make a lot of sense. As I read your statement, I see that you're talking about the partial hardening of Israel (not a full one apparently), and the fullness of the Gentiles coming in. I don't think that this text demonstrates a dispensational separation BETWEEN the two. It would seem, that since the believing Gentiles are grafted in and are truly the seed of Abraham, that just by virtue of saying that Israel is partially hardened until the fullness of hte Gentiles is COME IN, wouldn't be enough to support a dispensational theology, especially as it pertains to eschatalogy. Maybe I'm just naive though and being toooo literal with that text. I am a student of the Word, by no means an expert.

    Michael
     

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