Well two major confrontations are now over in February of 2014, the Super Bowl and the worldview showdown between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. Everyone agrees that the former clash proved to be no contest. The only highlight that the Broncos could produce was their journey out of the tunnel to the field before the game started. But the latter event turned out to be somewhat of a rhetorical tug of war between two congenial opponents. Now at the outset, let me say that there will be many people today and in days to come who will probably offer in-depth analysis of this debate because it caused such an internet stir leading up to its live streaming last night. All I would like to do now is just provide a few post-debate observations regarding certain themes that rose to the surface as these men made their respective cases. Continue reading
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Tagged Agnosticism, Apologetics, Atheism, Bill Nye, Creation, Creationism, Darwinism, Evolution, Genesis 1-2, Ken Ham, Naturalism, Nye Ham Debate, Science, Science and Religion, Theistic Evolution, Young-Earth Creationism
A bit of a brouhaha is being stirred over an upcoming debate that is going to happen in February between the famous Bill Nye (a.k.a., the Science Guy because of his award winning program for children on PBS-TV, Bill Nye the Science Guy) and President and Founder of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham. The immediate backdrop to this debate developed when Nye had a short video recorded last year in which he expressed his concern that creationism would prevent younger generations from being optimal contributors to society when they became adults. So he made an appeal to parents not to shackle their children with unsupportable religious convictions about creation because they are scientifically untenable and eventually would be non-existent in years to come anyway. Continue reading
Previously, I have been talking about various evangelical proposals regarding the meaning of the Olivet Discourse. Now aside from the strict futurism of dispensationalism, the proleptic futurism of inaugurated eschatology, and the opposite pendulum of preterism, I want to close out this discussion by mentioning just a few items that I believe evangelicals need to consider as they continue to wrestle with this important segment of prophetic Scripture. Continue reading
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Tagged 70 A. D. Bible Prophecy, Abomination of Desolation, Already/Not Yet, Destruction of the Temple, Dispensationalism, Eschatology, Luk 21, Mark 13, Mattew 24, Olivet Discourse, Preterism, Return of Christ, Revelation, Son of Man
Aside from what dispensationalists and advocates of inaugurated eschatology propose when trying to understand the OD, in this post I want to discuss how pockets of evangelicals known as preterists read it. Deriving from the Latin words “praeter,” (i.e. beyond) and “ire” (i.e., go), the word denotes the concept of “being in the past” and historically it has been used to describe a specific way of interpreting the book of Revelation. The idea being that the majority of its visions pointed solely to the events leading up to and culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem. So while the vast majority of John’s Apocalypse provided descriptions of impending events which would transpire in the immediate future of the first century church, they are now ancient remnants of our past.
The relevance that this deduction has for the OD is that advocates of preterism, or preterists, interpret it essentially the same way. Like Revelation, it records how Judaism’s role in redemptive history would end, not human history as a whole. That being said, while there is general consensus on how the elements of the OD only referred to the temple’s destruction, there is sharp disagreement within preterist camps as to whether any New Testament prophecies beyond the OD await fulfillment in the future at all. To clarify these differences, I will summarize the basic preterist outline for interpreting the OD and then highlight the impasse between those who consider themselves to be classical/traditional/partial preterists and those who are known as full preterists. Continue reading
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Tagged 70 A. D., Apostate Jerusalem, Bible Prophecy, Destruction of the Temple, End Times, Eschatology, Full Preterism, Futurism, Israel, Keith Mathison, New Covenant, Olivet Discourse, Parousia, Partial Preterism, Preterism, R. C. Sproule, Samuel Frost, the Second Coming of Christ
In my previous post regarding the Olivet Discourse (OD), I surveyed the major facets that are part of how dispensationalists interpret its content. Now at this juncture, I want to briefly analyze how many evangelicals who embrace assorted versions of inaugurated eschatology wrestle with this segment of Jesus’ teachings. To begin, let me say that I have provided a treatment of this basic concept elsewhere in a previous discussion. So here I just want to focus on how advocates of this approach deal with the OD.
To begin, it is no secret that there are proponents of numerous versions of inaugurated eschatology because the idea is condusive to so many theological traditions. For instance, there are progressive dispensationalists, historic premillennialists, amillennialists, postmillennialists, and many other biblical scholars who are convinced that inaugurated eschatology solidifies their readings of Scripture. The problem is that these positions can be antithetical to one another, especially when it comes to certain questions about the kingdom of God, the return of Christ, or the millennium. Consequently, the diversity of opinions that exist regarding these larger theological categories creates an atmosphere for the perfect exegetical storm when it comes to interpreting the OD. Continue reading