or Where Kenneth Gentry Is Wrong on the Revelation
Part 1 here.
I’ve been meaning to write this post since I wrote Part 1 (over two years ago). A friend’s recent question concerning Kenneth Gentry’s lectures on the Revelation encouraged me to bite the bullet and bust a gut and get it done. The question is this: Is the Revelation to be interpreted in the light of Josephus’ Jewish War, or in the light of the Bible itself?
Jesus’ reference to Daniel 7 in Matthew 26:64 (and Mark 14:62) is a source of some confusion. To figure out what is actually going on in Daniel’s vision, we have to go back to Leviticus 16. James Jordan writes:
…when Jesus calls Himself “the Son of Man,” He is referring to Ezekiel, not to Daniel 7 (except perhaps indirectly). Jesus is the Greater Ezekiel. Christians are those who are “like the Son of Man,” like Jesus.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed… Blessed…”
Part 1 is here.
From the mouth of God, (Initiation)
Adam received a natural breath (Delegation)
that he might tend to natural things. (Presentation – priesthood)
He then received spiritual words (the Law). (Purification – kinghood)
He was to repeat these spiritual words (Transformation – prophethood)
that he might receive spiritual (ethical) breath (Vindication)
and become himself the source of spiritual words. (Representation)
There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies,
but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind,
and the glory of the earthly is of another.
(1 Corinthians 15:40)
Did Adam receive the Spirit of God? If he did receive the Spirit, was the Spirit taken away when he sinned?
Is the book of Revelation a “Covenant lawsuit”? It certainly follows the fivefold legal Covenant pattern. However, its prophetic warnings are not addressed to the Jewish leaders. It was too late for them. The book does describe the destruction of Jerusalem through “the testimony of two witnesses,” but Gary DeMar suggests it was more like a libretto for the Christian spectators. He writes:
or Bible SatNav
The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly. (Wikipedia)
It struck me this morning, as I read one of my regular theology blogs, that theologians don’t much use diagrams. The blog post in question used over a thousand words to describe something that is inherent in the architectures (both literary and spatial) found in the Bible.
What this means is that, for the most part, the way we communicate theology is foreign to the way our God does it.
In Born of the Spirit, Peter J. Leithart writes:
Alan Kerr (The Temple of Jesus’ Body: The Temple Theme in the Gospel of John (Library of New Testament Studies), 71) offers this comment on Jesus’ statement that Nicodemus had to be born of the Spirit before entering the kingdom: “It is almost universally accepted that Spirit here refers to the Spirit of God. But at this stage in the Gospel there was no Spirit (7:39), because Jesus was not yet glorified. It is not until Jesus is risen and appears to the disciples and breathes on them and says, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ that the Spirit is given (20:22). So from the point of view of Johannine timing what Jesus says to Nicodemus should only be realized in a post-resurrection setting. Properly speaking he can only be reborn from above when Jesus is glorified.”
This obviously affects the use of John 3:5 as a proof text for the doctrine of regeneration.
Is this support for the ‘giving of the Spirit’ in paedobaptism?
The Bible doesn’t just give us a bunch of facts; it shows us how God works. Many Christians read the Scriptures without any thought of the processes going on in each narrative, let alone in the big picture. So when a question such as “Is there life on other planets?” gets asked, most reply, “The Bible doesn’t tell us.” Well, yes it does. But it seems you weren’t paying attention.
“…blood and fire and vapor of smoke.”
The Bible teaches us that flesh is temporary. This is bad news for those who distrust God. Flesh is all they have.
Throughout the millennia, families and tribes have recited the genealogies of their past, and struggled to produce children enough to secure for their culture a future. The bloodline of unseen ancestors and bright-eyed offspring, past and future, was reinforced, thread by thread, in stories around the fires of now. This wasn’t the romantic picture so often painted for us. The struggle for cultural survival also involved blood and fire outside the camp.
[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
or This Is Not An Evil Age
By evil age, I do not mean the “terrible twos,” or even terrible teens. Many Christians believe they are living in the “evil age” Paul refers to in Galatians 1. They are wrong. Continue reading