The Invisible Mainspring of Human Conflict

Introduction:

And now for a little intellectual history—my own, that is. This can be read by friend and foe alike with edifying pleasure. My friends can discover how I learned these wonderful things and my foes can discover what messed me up so bad.

First consider the base coat of my theological assumptions that were bequeathed to me by my parents. I was brought up by faithful evangelical parents who loved the Lord Jesus, and, more importantly, who lived with others as though they loved Him. Because of their straightforward and simple approach to gospel obedience, there were many things that are part of my unquestioned inheritance.

So the fact that the Bible was to be obeyed and followed has never been up for grabs for me. That was a given. But there is a difference between believing that Scripture has the right answers and having the right answers from Scripture. The fact that I had this wonderful inheritance did not mean that there was nothing to learn, or nothing to adjust. Within that received inheritance, from which I have never wavered, over the course of my pilgrimage, there have been four, count them four, basic adjustments. But calling them “adjustments” does not quite do it, in that some of them knocked me base over apex. All of them did, in fact.

Eschatology:

The first paradigm shift was in the latter half of 1985, when I became postmillennial. I was reading David Chilton’s Paradise Restored at the time, which I enjoyed—although I did take issue with the extravagance of his exegetical approach to things. At any rate, there I was, reading along. I read a verse that he quoted, and I think that the verse had an impact on me quite distinct from what he was doing with it in his book. The verse was this: “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:25). At any rate, when I read those words, something snapped in my head, and a host of passages began to flutter together in my brain, assembling themselves into a jubilant worldview of evangelical triumph. Jesus has ascended into Heaven and He will remain there until all His enemies are under His feet, the last enemy death being the only exception. I have to say that this eschatological paradigm shift was quite simply a lot of fun.

Soteriology:

I became Calvinistic in 1988. There was a combination of factors involved in this one. I had been struggling to answer the challenge of openness theism, and given my conservative Arminianism, I just couldn’t do it. And in the second place, I was starting to feel, given my weird adherence to postmillennialism, that something needed to be done about the rate we were going. What we clearly needed was revival with a capital R, and since years before I had walked away from the Finneyite approach to revival, I found myself turning to men like Edwards and Whitefield. The kind of fruit we needed was, historically, a fruit that grew on a particular kind of tree. To change the metaphor, I started to become convinced that the kind of engine that was needed to make postmillennialism blow down the road was the kind of preaching that existed a century before Finney. The heart of man was a stone that required the sledgehammer of John Henry, Bible open to Romans 9. And third, I had decided (for some reason) to preach through Romans. I remember telling one of our elders that I did not know what I was going to do when I got to “those chapters.” I really didn’t know what I was going to say until I got there, and determined, at the very last minute, that I would just say what the text said. I remember thinking something like, “what the hell” and letting fly. Not a very pious thing to think in the pulpit, but it was one of the more pious things that I have done there.

Covenant:

Paedobaptism had to wait until 1993. After I had become Calvinistic in my theology, it began to factor in my preaching, and word sort of got out. Various Reformed and Presbyterian types began to show up at church, which they never would have done before, as there were no other Calvinistic pulpits in our area. And of course all we got along famously, being swell to one another and all. But then—some of them were young marrieds—one of the families had a baby and they asked me to baptize it. My internal response was something along the lines of “are you crazy?” but I also realized that it was something I needed to study. I was already covenantal—having been taught by my father to believe the promises, whatever testament they were in—so that made it difficult for me to resist, if not impossible. I did manage to do a lot of twisting and yelling and so on, but a fat lot of good that did.

A Bit Different:

But the next big paradigm shift was, as I say, a bit different.

Remember what I said about the base coat of evangelicalism. The positions represented by the previous three paradigm shifts had all had a long history of consistent and happy interaction with evangelical theology. Postmillennialism, Calvinism, and paedobaptism have all had stalwart champions, over the course of centuries, who were bred-to-the-bone evangelicals. The net effect of each shift had done nothing but strengthen and reinforce my evangelical convictions.

There was one subset of the postmillennial option that a young traveler had to watch out for, and that was preterism. This is the teaching that many of the passages that are commonly applied to the end of the world are actually about the end of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. I had become a preterist as part of my postmillennialism, but the thing to watch out for is hyper-preterism—saying that absolutely everything had been fulfilled in the first century. If you apply this dandy method to every biblical prophecy, you find yourself an ideologue, and outside the boundaries of orthodox Christian faith. Over the course of two thousand years of church history, the universal voice of the church has agreed on only one eschatological truth, which is that hyper-preterism is wrong. “And He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”

In this respect, the next big paradigm shift for me was like preterism. There was a lot to learn, but there was also a snare. So as you read about this next one, be sure to pay attention to the spooky music at certain parts of the soundtrack.

It’s All in Girard, Man:

As with some of the others, I had inherited from my folks bits and pieces of what would become an integrated system, but of course, I had no name for the bits and pieces. What happened next was on this wise.

I was in a conflict with a person, and it was the kind of conflict that made no sense to me. I could not get it to make sense. I was talking to a friend about it, and he suggested that I read The Scapegoat by Rene Girard. Always up for buying another book, I readily complied and began to read it. It made a lot of sense to me.

Fast forward a bit. It is now 2006, and there was a gent in our small town who was a Girard aficionado, if that’s the word I want. His son had begun attending Christ Church, and so the father thought he should come and check out what his son had gotten himself into. What he heard as he visited us was, according to him, some of the standard fundamentalist fare. But then, in one of the sermons he heard, there was a stretch of preaching that was straight out of Girard. Our visitor thought something along the lines of wut?

He made an appointment to see me, and at our appointment, he hauled out a stack of Girard books and gave them to me. This is the kind of appointment that brightens up your day.

So I began to read through them. The next one was I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, which I thought was glorious. I soldiered through the stack, reading some additional titles along the way, and gradually the pieces of this paradigm came all together for me. I met occasionally with my friend—still do—and we talk about what prevents me from becoming an all-in Girardian.

Remember that the benchmark is evangelical theology. Absolute commitment to an infallible and inerrant Bible, personal reliance on a substitutionary atonement for the forgiveness of sins, and the absolute necessity of the new birth.

What I discovered was that Girard helped me see certain things in Scripture that were right on the surface of the text, but invisible to most Christians. This was about 80% true. But I also saw that if I went with Girard 100%, it would lead me like excessive preterism, right out of orthodoxy. Pure Girardianism winds up in a denial of a substitutionary atonement, which is the most serious flaw, but it also tends toward pacifism and some other eccentricities.

So why mess with any of it then?

Remember that commitment to Scripture is a hallmark of evangelicalism, and not just a belief in the substitutionary atonement. Girard points things out in the text, numerous things, which are God’s purloined letter. Hidden in plain sight. Once you see them there, you can never unsee them. Once you know, you cannot not know.

The Invisible Mainspring of Human Conflict

Girard points out that we are mimetic, reflective creatures. We come into conflict, not because of our differences, but because of our similarities. We collide, not over differences, but over shared desires. We are not stand alone individuals, we are “interdividuals.” We are woven together in complex relationships, and the nature of these complexities help us understand why we come into conflict with each other. It is not enough to say that “sin” makes us come into conflict, by which we mean the other person’s sin, because we have to ask why so many of our sins seem virtuous to us at the time. We have to ask if we ourselves are part of the toxic mix, in ways invisible to ourselves. It is an edifying question, and almost impossible to answer unless you grasp at least a portion of what Girard is so good at pointing out.

When we find ourselves in yet another conflict, wondering why we are in the conflict, we have to ask why we rarely turn to James 4 in search of the answer. That chapter begins with the question “what causes quarrels and fights among you?” (Jas. 4:1). We don’t want to go to James for the answer because James does not flatter us. James identifies the source of our church quarrels two thousand years before the substance or “matter” of the quarrel, viz. which accounting software to buy for the church, even existed. He could identify the origin of 21st century quarrels in the church because he knew that people were going to be involved in them. “No,” he says. “It’s not software. I don’t even know what that is. The problem is that this gentleman here covets and cannot obtain.”

We want the conflict to be about the “principle of the thing.” If two dogs were fighting over a piece of meat, we want it to be about the meat. But in our conflicts, the stated issue is rarely the real issue. The dispute on your elder board is not over doctrine x, but it is actually about turf, dominance, jealousy, father hunger, prestige, or whose wife is not prettier. Now of course, the danger of “thinking Girardian” is that it might make you want to impute motives when you ought not.

If you are maintaining that Athanasius was standing contra mundum because of a parking seniority dispute with Arius, then you have not quite grasped the concept. But what you have done is reveal that your disputings are likely an outworking of some such issue.

Or perhaps you have absolutized the concept, which is another way of not grasping it. That is one of the reasons I don’t go all in with Girard—I find him too valuable, and don’t want to lose his insights. Going full Giardian means ceasing to be Girardian. As C.S. Lewis points out somewhere, to see through everything is simply a way of saying that you cannot see anything at all. But seeing through some things, like windows, is a real blessing.

Imagine growing up in another country and knowing absolutely nothing about American football. You come over here and somebody takes you to a game. You see the plays run, you can make out that the ball advancing, but mostly what you see is senseless conflict. As someone once defined football—“committee meetings punctuated with violence.” It is not senseless conflict, but until you understand the rules and the kind of plays that are run, it will just seem like “clashes” to you.

Since I first read Girard, I have still gotten into conflicts. But I am not really mystified in the midst of them anymore. That’s not treachery out of the blue. That’s just a guard pulling.

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Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

I’m sure these revolutions have disrupted more lives than just yours. It would be interesting to hear you reflect on how that works.

David Anderson
Guest

One thing that’s “hiding in plain sight”, which I think Pastor Wilson hasn’t yet seen, is the perfection of the mediation of Christ in the New Covenant. New Covenant members cannot be lost. Christ shed his blood for them! He prays to the Father for them, with an infallible intercession! As such, they are saved, because they are, necessarily, the elect, chosen before the foundation of the world. And as such, there is no warrant for saying that you can enter and leave the New Covenant. Which is to say, that when Pastor Wilson embraced the idea that the fleshly… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

Agreed. Pedobaptism really changes the definition of the New Covenant.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

I think this hinges on one’s understanding of covenant theology. Do you believe that the New Covenant is a new dispensation of God’s revelation or a continuation and climax of the covenant with Abraham?

Unless we start with dispensational presuppositions, I can’t see how this changes the definition of the New Covenant.

Lance Roberts
Guest

I believe it’s the Old Covenant modified, but that includes an equivalency to salvation. There isn’t one covenant for all who like to hang out in a church building, and one for those who are actually regenerated. Those who aren’t regenerated might be hanging around for many different reasons, but without Christ they can’t be part of the New Covenant. Christ is the membership criteria, the Spirit is the seal.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

So it the visible church versus the true church distinction with which you take issue?

I would also be curious what you mean by modified. Jesus said he fulfills it. Is that what you mean?

Lance Roberts
Guest

Yes, that is mostly what I mean. I don’t claim to have every jot and tittle figured out. Everywhere we see the need for sacrifice, ceremony, most unclean food and the sabbath, we should now be seeing Christ instead. Those children born into the church can’t see Christ until they’re regenerated. They have no way of keeping any covenant duties. They are dead in their sins and have no power to keep anything until they’re regenerated and the Holy Spirit gives them that power. This means that saying they’re in the covenant automatically makes them covenant-breakers.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Gotcha, thanks for the clarification. So we have in the church, according to this view, little ones who go to Sunday School, pray with their parents in the name of our Lord, sign praise during VBS, but they are not part of the covenant? Let me assure you I am not trying to be troll-ish. I guess my response would be that just because a child cannot verbalize faith doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. We see this in scripture in a number places where God ordains people to things while they are in the womb. Why is it unreasonable… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

I agree that some of those kids are regenerated. Their repentance and baptism (in that order) are the signs that we accept that they are christians (in the covenant). Somebody else dunking them in water doesn’t give us the evidence that we need to see. Some may fool us, and there are certainly many adults in church doing just that, but they will answer for that sin. I’m sure you’ve seen examples as I have of those baptized in the church and then falling away forever. If you believe in the doctrine of Perseverance then it follows that they couldn’t… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Of course baptizing them is not evidence of faith in the case of children. It is applied because they are a part of the covenant community. This is the reason I asked about covenant theology. Baptism is not some personal expression to the world or an act that you perform. It is done to you by those with authority to show the church and the world that you are a member of the covenant community. Regarding repentance, it is not a one-time something we do to get saved. It is an ongoing practice that is evidence of faith, you would… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

Like a lot of theological concepts, there is a initial repentance, and an ongoing repentance. It seems ludicrous to baptize someone who has never repented, and that is the biblical order. Repent and be baptized.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Fair enough, but if we do go back to the OT, like those of us who hold to covenant theology, then there is abundant evidence of the sign being applied before repentance, and even in the case of Ishmael, God having the sign applied to one He ordained would not repent.

That seems ludicrous, doesn’t it?

So the issue is not repentance, but covenant. Can we agree that far?

Lance Roberts
Guest

The requirements changed from old to new, so I’m not sure repentance was the first-fruit, as it is with the New Covenant. I think one of the mistakes made by paedo-baptists is that they equate circumcision with baptism, when the real equation is circumcision baptism of the Holy Spirit (not meant in any pentecostal way). The key is the concept “seal”. The New Testament clearly commands, “Repent and be baptized”. Why would you baptize someone who isn’t repentant for their sins, what evidence of regeneration is there?

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Let me challenge you on equating circumcision with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, politely, of course.

The sign of the covenant is an outward mark that one is part of the covenant. It is like a uniform. You are on the team, so you need to wear the garb. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, or being filled with the Holy Spirit is what gets you on the team. In the NT, baptism is the uniform, no?

Circumcision did not change hearts. Baptism of the Holy Spirit, unless I misunderstand what you mean, most certainly does.

Lance Roberts
Guest

I agree that things ramped up there. It’s more complicated since we can only see the evidence of the Holy Spirit, i.e. repentance, baptism, good works, etc., and those can be faked. The problem comes when we call someone a christian who hasn’t shown even the first required evidence of repentance.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

I don’t think it ramped up, I think the sign changed, but the purpose is the same. Either way, you are still left with the same problem in the OT, regarding the sign. Why can we say one is a member of God’s covenant people in the OT, “who hasn’t shown even the first required evidence of repentance.” I still insist the issue is one of covenant. The issue of paedobaptism rises or falls on the continuity of the OT to the NT. Either we are members of the same covenant (a la Romans 11) as the believers in the… Read more »

David Anderson
Guest

There seems to be some equivocation between ‘seal’ and ‘sign’ in this discussion, as if they are the same thing. That’s the Reformed paedobaptist position, of course. But not the Reformed credobaptist position. Reformed credobaptists, following the New Testament I’d assert, identify the *seal* of the New Covenant with the possession of the Holy Spirit (e.g. Eph 1:12 – the seal is a guarantee of the inheritance; and thus, those with the New Covenant seal are elect, and cannot finally perish). Baptism is the sign, but not the seal. The Reformed paedobaptist practice of speaking of baptism as the “sign… Read more »

wisdumb
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wisdumb

Signs and seals are physical evidence of spiritual fact. They are not identical, but they are something to point to – to reassure us that we are are the right road, or that this food has been inspected. We are dumb, fallen creatures who need this type of comfort!

David Anderson
Guest

“Signs and seals are physical evidence” – well, they are, if and only if God makes them so. If the Bible says that the New Covenant seal is the Holy Spirit – and, it does say that – then we cannot say that the New Covenant has a physical seal. In the end, comforts that are not from God are false comforts. We must build our comfort upon what is true, not upon what temporarily produces the emotions we wish to experience. Let us trust that God knows what we need. Believers have the witness of the Spirit – the… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

David,
I agree that we need to trust God for these things. My point is that God condescends to us weak humans by giving us physical signs and seals. Maybe you have transcended this need (Hallelujah), but some of us haven’t.
When that which is perfect comes, the shadow passes away. True, but this happens ultimately when we pass to glory. Prior to that our understanding is incomplete.

David Anderson
Guest

This begs the prior question.

A Roman Catholic says he finds comfort in worshipping God through images, or through Mary. But that begs the question of whether he should, or not, i.e. whether God ordained or forbade that he should attempt to do so.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Ah, but these two sacraments are sanctioned by scripture! We are told to remember, follow, and partake – not ignore, and not to worry about it!

Larry Geiger
Guest
Larry Geiger

“Why would you baptize someone who isn’t repentant for their sins,…” Who baptizes? God does. You don’t.

Joey Wells
Guest
Joey Wells

” It seems ludicrous to baptize someone who has never repented, and that is the biblical order. Repent and be baptized.”

And yet, Europe was Christianized. Lucky for white guys like us….

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

It may seem ludicrous. I don’t think God is worried.

Why do you think there is a chronological order?
Why can’t these be mixed up with years between?
Why can’t they be reversed?

In the meantime do they take communion?

Lance Roberts
Guest

Of course not. If they take communion when they aren’t regenerated then they are only bringing a curse upon themselves. That’s why paedocommunion only means that you are assuming your kids are regenerated. Even if they may in the future be regenerated, if they take communion before then they are bringing the curse on themselves, and the father will bear that responsibility.

God set the order, and laid out the fruits of salvation.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Lance,
Then, if nobody knows if they are regenerate, then they should never take communion.
PC means you are trusting God for their salvation.
The father, or the elders?
Where do you find God’s order?
Do you trust your own judgment when it comes to someone’s fruits?

Lance Roberts
Guest

Everybody knows about themselves because of faith and the witness of the Holy Spirit. The evidence (which can be faked) for others is the repentance and baptism of the believer. PC means you are presuming your kids will be regenerate, but even if that were the case, you don’t know when God is going to regenerate them, so you will still be putting them in a covenant-breaking place. We have no choice but to use the discernment God gives us to judge the fruits; we are called to “judge righteous judgement”.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Lance, I contend that you don’t know about yourself (now or in the future). Your judgment is partial and fallen. This is where the PB and PC thought begins. We baptize and commune in faith, believing God’s promises and trusting in His nature, because we understand so very little. Furthermore, neither of us has a scale to measure at what point our kids are mature enough to have these signs applied to them. Baptists think it’s best to wait, and PB’s think it’s best to start early. I think I’ll stick with Pascal’s wager here: I would rather find out… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

I know by faith. I was fallen, but have been regenerated, i.e. resurrected. Baptist thought begins with faith, not presumption. God laid out the pattern of evidence and fruit we’re supposed to look for and recognize; the Bible is there to show us how to live in all areas of life, including that sphere.

The real difference is that you’re putting people in the covenant who not only haven’t joined it, but without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they can’t keep it.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

I think we are saying the same thing about faith vs presumption.
But I don’t think you mean you have been resurrected yet. The baptism you experienced may be a foretype or downpayment of what is to come.

I don’t put anyone in the covenant! But I try to recognize those whom God has placed there.
Only God knows fully, and our trust and faith isn’t based on our complete understanding, but (we’d agree) we are to act upon what we do know.

I’m not trying to become enemies, but l think your view is much more presumptive, much more man-centered.

Lance Roberts
Guest

I mean that I was dead in my sins, dead to God, and he regenerated (resurrected) me so that I am now alive to God, and have the nature of Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean that I’m expected to discern and make judgement where I’m called to do so. If I had children, I would be responsible for training them in Christ, and letting them take the step of baptism when I believe that their confession is sincere. It doesn’t hurt to wait, they are either regenerated or not,… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Lance,
“…take the step of baptism when I believe that their confession is sincere.”

By your reasoning it would be best to wait until they are in their 60’s or 70’s! By then, they will have had many opportunities to prove their faith, and they will definitely have a deeper understanding of what the gospel is. Furthermore, if they do apostatize during that time, then you won’t have placed them in danger of eating unworthily.

Lance Roberts
Guest

No, God gives us the evidences of repentance and baptism. We don’t need to go beyond that for the first recognition. If someone is faking it, the fruit will show over time.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Lance,
I’m still hung up on how much you are relying on your powers of recognition to know when to act.
Does scripture tell you that you should wait until X happens?

Lance Roberts
Guest

It’s called discernment. It’s guided by the Holy Spirit, with specifics laid out in the Word. Yes, scripture says ‘Repent and be baptized’.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

I think what you are saying is: my powers of discernment are now good enough to determine if repentance has occurred. Is this not assumption?

Lance Roberts
Guest

No, I’m saying God is sovereign and like all decisions we have to make will guide our decisions through his Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I don’t assume anything, I act on the evidence and sometimes get it wrong in my own imperfect way.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Lance,
I’m sorry, but if you act on the evidence that you see and then get it wrong, you have assumed and interpreted the evidence or God’s word incorrectly.
We’d agree that we are all imperfect.

Ian Perry
Guest
Ian Perry

“Yes, scripture says ‘Repent and be baptized’.” ” “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Wouldn’t Peter’s Jewish audience have had reason to take “and for your children” as including children presently, and not take “repent” as excluding them till they reached a certain age? Acts cites from the prophecies… Read more »

John
Member

Been a Baptist for a long time and have never seen a 3 or 4 year old baptized. In fact, if you added ten years then you might be getting close to the youngest person I have seen baptized. What branch of the Baptist church are you referring to?

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Southern Baptists

John
Member

Thank you for the clarification.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

I suppose I should add that I have nothing but love for my Baptist brothers. Obviously I disagree with them about baptism, but if they have a biblical view of God’s divine grace, I have no problem worshiping with them.

For that very same reason, I have no problem challenging them on their view of baptism. What are brothers for if not for fighting with them?

John
Member

And I’ll never accept paedobaptism but I do enjoy reading your posts and those who do agree with you. And like you say – just a little salsa added to the mix makes things more interesting.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Would you mind sharing a blurb about why you oppose paedobaptism?

And I appreciate the compliment.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

…until you get to glory…

David Anderson
Guest

My answer to Kilgore: yes, I believe that. What I deny is that the physical offspring of spiritual offspring of Abraham are themselves ipso facto offspring of Abraham and covenant members. I also deny that it can be proved that, even if they were, there is any command to give them the sign of baptism (analogously, under the times of the Old Covenant, women were members of the covenant, but had no covenant sign given for them). Positively, I affirm the perfection of the New Covenant: that Christ’s mediation for all New Covenant members if perfectly effective, guaranteeing their salvation;… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

Lol. Run-of-the-mill Reformed Baptist, you are.

I think you are probably in the same camp as Lance Roberts, here, which is to say good company. I think you are both wrong, but hey, who am I after all.

As a side note, women were under the covenant sign via the headship of the men. While unmarried, they were under the authority of the fathers who had the sign, and after marriage under the headship of their husbands, who had the sign.

David Anderson
Guest

The explanation in the last paragraph seems somewhat ad hoc. The infant girls who are sprinkled by paedobaptists also have a father (or if not, a mother) who has the covenant sign. And when they marry, presumably they’ll be marrying a believer too, if they marry obediently.

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

You brought up the old covenant. That is all I was addressing.

But it isn’t ad hoc, it is pretty standard fare in conservative/practicing Jewish circles today.

David Anderson
Guest

Hmmm, but surely the point is that the paedobaptist case rests upon the assertion of strict continuity. It seems to me, though, that significant discontinuity is then smuggled in, in the smallprint. Greg Wel;ty makes this argument very well in here: http://confessingbaptist.com/from-circumcision-to-baptism-a-baptist-covenantal-rejoinder-to-john-calvin-by-greg-welty-pdf/

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

We would never assert strict continuity. There were certainly modifications, not least of which is cutting skin to washing it.

Thanks for the link.

Ian Perry
Guest
Ian Perry

Didn’t women have sacrifices associated with them, and thus had an Old Covenant sign?

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Good comment, but I don’t think Wilson would say that someone could leave the New Covenant. I think he would say that those apostates are still members (under? participating in? I’m unsure of the terminology) of it.

As for paedobaptists, the “objectivity of the covenant” view makes the most sense logically, but since I remain unconvinced that paedobaptism itself is biblical, I just sit here in the peanut gallery and watch them discuss such internal issues. And I throw my peanut shells when I get the hankering.

David Anderson
Guest

Yes, let’s change the phrase “leave the covenant” for something suitable, then. The argument didn’t depend on that loose construction.

e.g. “no warrant for saying that you can be a member of the New Covenant, and not eternally enjoy its benefits / be eternally lost”.

Though, having said that, you could keep the original wording, if by “leave the covenant” you understand being finally ejected from it, as unbelieving Jews under the Old Covenant.

David Anderson
Guest

There’s the rub. Something among the list of all the passages in Hebrews regarding Christ’s perfect mediation and apostacy has to be understood as phenomenological language; something has to be understood as direct description of the covenant’s workings. It can’t both be true, *in the exact same sense*, that 1) those who are in “the covenant” are regenerate, are forgiven, need nothing more to be done about their sins (Hebrews 10:16-18), and also that 2) some of the same people can then be cut out of the covenant, because of trampling the blood of the covenant underfoot by their apostacy… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

David –
What comfort could you give to a couple who just lost a baby?

David Anderson
Guest

Not the false comfort that if they baptised their baby, then they performed a work which guarantees something about their eternal salvation; because God, in the Scriptures, has never said that. False comforts will all fail in the end. What comfort is there when this dreadful event happens? That God is loving and good, and makes no mistakes. That he will always do what is right. That the God who has taken the child is also the God who sent his own Son to die for our sins. Are all who die in infancy saved? The Westminster confession allows it,… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

1) But true comforts will comfort. Baptism is recognition of covenant inclusion, not a guarantee of regeneration. Knowing this is real comfort.

2) Agreed, but I don’t see its comfort for their situation. If God is loving and good, why did this happen?

3) Only if you believe in universal salvation; I don’t. Otherwise abortions would be a very good thing!
Yes, we all need to trust Him for all of our life.

David Anderson
Guest

1) Well yes, but this begs the question.

2) That’s a very bad road to travel down. Our ultimate comfort is God himself, especially as revealed in the gospel. This does not answer specific questions about particular events. But, the point we want to reach is to get comfort in God himself and in the gospel. If that is not enough, then ultimately we have a spiritual problem that nothing else can satisfy, and our veering into sin. Job teaches us this.

3) I didn’t follow which bit this was connected to, though admittedly am rushing.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

#3 was a reply to if all infants are saved; abortion would guarantee salvation for them!

#2 If there is no comfort on the first level, then they could jump to the next level: If God couldn’t heal my baby, maybe He isn’t good, or isn’t powerful enough, or isn’t even there.
Your reply comforts me, but I’m not the grieving one.

#1 This baptism would be comfort, knowing that they did all they could, and that they were united to God by covenant. Their faith brought the child to Jesus in obedience, and Jesus assures us that they are in His kingdom.

David Anderson
Guest

“Jesus assures us that they are in His kingdom” – this begs the questions at stake. I’m not a Reformed paedobaptist, but even if you are, then, I’d suppose if your a member of Pastor Wilson’s church, you follow the Westminster confession. The Westminster confession doesn’t say that children of believers can be presumed saved, if they died in infancy, does it? Even on paedobaptist assumptions, you can’t say this. The Westminster says that elect infants who die in infancy are saved, but does not comment upon whether this class is the same class as the class of people you… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Maybe you are right, if you think all people are in His kingdom…I was trying to avoid using ‘covenant’ too many times, but that is the word. But Jesus does assure us that the kingdom belongs to them. WCF says it correctly and it is correct to avoid what we don’t know – namely just who is elect. That info is God’s alone. I think we both have a sense about this: God is generous, God is just, good, and loving. And kids have a special place in His heart, which should mean that they have a special place in… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I agree with David’s response. But what comfort would you give to:
1. A presbyterian couple who lost a baby before they could baptize him?
2. A baptist couple who lost a baby?
3. A couple who lost a baby before the couple became believers?
4. A presbyterian couple who lost a baptized baby.

Is your response substantially different as to the ultimate fate of the four deceased children?

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Good questions…
1) Good Presby’s know baptism is about recognition of covenant inclusion, not about regeneration.
2) They should become good Presby’s.
3) Harder, that one. God restores what the locust has devoured.
4) Ps 103:15-18.

Yes, #3 is most uncertain.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

But what covenant is represented by the olive tree in Romans 11?

I’m not for sure that the olive tree is identical to any particular covenant. Is there a biblical reason to demand such?

Edit: I should have said that the tree might not *represent* any particular covenant.

Katecho
Member

jigawatt wrote: I’m not for sure that the olive tree is identical to any particular covenant. Is there a biblical reason to demand such? The context demands that we understand the Olive Tree to represent God’s covenant people, who partake of the same Root (vs 17). Paul is emphasizing his ministry to the Gentiles, and how the failure of the Jews has become riches for Gentiles (vs 12-14). The Jews are being provoked to jealousy because of the “coming in” of the Gentiles. The Jews may be tempted to say that God has forsaken His covenant promises and made some… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Thanks, katecho. I was thinking there was some more conversation to be had on this.

I largely agree with you, but I still see that you’re leaving the word covenant generalized. The Olive Tree represents God’s covenant people, you say, so, … which covenant? Wasn’t that the original question?

The tree must include such pre-Israelites as Adam, Enoch, and Noah, so it can’t be the Abrahamic covenant. In fact, the tree itself seems to be something more along the lines of – “The people whom God is calling” where “calling” is in a general sense – not a regenerating sense.

Katecho
Member

jigawatt wrote: I largely agree with you, but I still see that you’re leaving the word covenant generalized. The Olive Tree represents God’s covenant people, you say, so, … which covenant? Wasn’t that the original question? I do understand God’s covenant with mankind in a generalized way. God’s intent, from the garden, was a people for Himself, and for His possession. A bride. They would be His people, and He would be their God (their Husband). Marriage is the broad theme. Union. It’s a sweeping agenda. Our earthly marriages are just miniature pictures of this great purpose of God’s. Now… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I do understand God’s covenant with mankind in a generalized way. … Again my brother, I largely agree with what you’re saying. Especially the first 3 paragraphs. Where you start to make an unwarranted leap is here: Now regarding the question of which individuals enter eternal glory, it is quite plain from Scripture that having been brought into covenant union with God (as Husband), at one point in time, is not sufficient to determine that end. This is true enough when refering to what Hebrews calls the old or first covenant. But I’m racking my brain trying to remember some… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jigawatt wrote: Again my brother, I largely agree with what you’re saying. By what gracious presumption does jigawatt refer to me as his brother? How are we brothers unless we are united in Christ, the Vine? What family membership do we share, and how does jigawatt know this about me? Jigawatt claims that the New Covenant is only of an invisible nature, but he nevertheless seems to hold, somewhere in his mind, a category of union and brotherhood that allows him to address me as a brother prior to the eschaton. Scripture simply calls this union with Christ, or New… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

By what gracious presumption does jigawatt refer to me as his brother? Ah, I’m glad you caught that! The short answer is, I think, key to understanding our differences on this issue. I call you brother in the same way you or I would confidently say (but without absolute 100% confidence) that a Christian friend or family member is “with Jesus” when he dies. We don’t know another person’s heart so we can’t say for sure, but we go with what we see. This is also the basic reply I have to the warning passages. The author adresses his audience… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I noticed that jigawatt had apparently started with the word “friend”, but edited his post to say “brother” instead. Of course I’m happy to regard us as brothers in New Covenant union with Christ. jigawatt wrote: I call you brother in the same way you or I would confidently say (but without absolute 100% confidence) that a Christian friend or family member is “with Jesus” when he dies. We don’t know another person’s heart so we can’t say for sure, but we go with what we see. Of course jigawatt does this. The apostles addressed the churches this way in… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

He apparently just refuses to ever call them New Covenant members, because of his theology. There’s been some miscommunication here, perhaps more on my end, so let me be straightforward. I consider katecho to be (for example): my brother in the body of Christ a Christian a New Covenant member (or participant etc) adopted justified saved regenerate decretally elect (in a show of brotherly friendship I even used his prefered term there) While these terms all mean somewhat different things, the sets of people who I would apply them to are all the same. In other words the set of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jigawatt wrote: And I would not hesitate to use all these words in reference to anyone who has made a credible confession of faith and has not, by one way or another, abandoned that confession. I agree that there must have been some miscommunication. Previously, jigawatt had said that there is no New Covenant except the invisible, decretal New Covenant, but now he is permitting himself to recognize me as “a New Covenant member”, in the here and now. This means that, just like in the Old Covenant, there must be a visible New Covenant membership, which we are to… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I agree that there must have been some miscommunication. Previously, jigawatt had said that there is no New Covenant except the invisible, decretal New Covenant, but now he is permitting himself to recognize me as “a New Covenant member”, in the here and now. This means that, just like in the Old Covenant, there must be a visible New Covenant membership, which we are to recognize so that we can be knit together in it, as one body, under one head. The NC is invisible. I call you brother and NC member based on your profession of faith in the… Read more »

My Portion Forever
Member

I think we all have the same idea that those who appear to be in the covenant may prove unfaithful and prove that they never were ‘decretally elect.’ The Baptists say that the entrance into the covenant is by ‘the good confession,’ whereas it seems to me that the Paedobaptists believe that the entrance into the covenant is by baptism.
Is the covenant made up of those who have faith, or those who have been baptized? (Hopefully these are mostly overlapping groups.) To me it seems pretty clear that the covenant consists of those who have faith. (Rom 3:30)

Katecho
Member

jrenee817 wrote: The Baptists say that the entrance into the covenant is by ‘the good confession,’ whereas it seems to me that the Paedobaptists believe that the entrance into the covenant is by baptism. The issue is slightly more complex. We remember that not everyone in the covenant is a convert to it. Many are born in covenant relationship with God (God refers to Israel’s children as those “whom you bore to Me”). In other words, God works representationally, through even one believing parent. This is why infants were circumcised. Not to make them covenant children, but because they were… Read more »

My Portion Forever
Member

katecho, I appreciate what you’re saying, and I need to think about it, especially as I am a Reformed Baptist and I am expecting my first child. But I view the New Covenant as the spiritual reality to which the previous covenants were pointing. As such, I see it as the family of those who have been born again through faith. I think that children of believers are very privileged to be a part of the church and have parental instruction about God and faith in him, and can believe from a very young age. This was my experience growing… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Congratulations to jrenee817! May God bless her labor, and bless her entire family with a happy, healthy little one! As others have observed, most baptists are instinctively aware that their children belong to God, and so, in most practical respects, will raise them in the faith, rather than try to convert them first. In other words, right out of the gate they will teach them to pray, to honor godly standards of speech and conduct, and to give thanks to God. Such parents do this without waiting for a testimony of faith, or a conversion experience. Their instincts are better… Read more »

My Portion Forever
Member

Thank you katecho. You have given me quite a bit to think about. I have the desire to treat my child(ren) as you describe, and as I was treated. I wonder how that works with the child coming to an understanding that they need their own personal faith, not just the faith of their parents.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

If we are talking about the decretally elect, and you call that the new covenant, then of course you are correct. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house… Read more »

Katecho
Member

The passage that jigawatt quotes from Jeremiah 32 very clearly describes the covenant people of God as covenant breakers, though He was a Husband to them. This is marriage language (think covenant of marriage). We understand how real covenant union can exist between a couple, and how one of them can still break and violate that covenant to destroy the marriage union. The reality of the union is not the point at issue. jigawatt wrote: Yes, membership in the new covenant is limited to only the elect, and all the elect are (or eventually become) members. “Necessary and sufficient” and… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I’m not very familiar with paedo/credo debate terminology, even less so with fv. I’ll gladly admit that in the OT the word “elect” can refer to non-believers. The context of my quote, replying to Wilson’s question, and specifically mentioning election with reference to the new covenant seems to demand the understanding of “decretally elect”, which is, of course, how I meant it. most all of us are familiar with New Covenant Christians who have failed to abide, and renounced the faith. I’ll see your tautology and raise you a begging the question. it still leaves us with the problem of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jigawatt wrote: I’ll gladly admit that in the OT the word “elect” can refer to non-believers. Scripture itself imposes upon us the need to distinguish those who are covenantally circumcised, and those who are circumcised of heart; those who are covenantally elect, and those who are decretally elect; those who are covenantally baptized, and those who are Spirit baptized. Jigawatt and I recognize all of these category and membership distinctions, with one exception. Jigawatt does not acknowledge any kind of New Covenant membership other than the decretal, ordained-to-glory membership. Jigawatt supposes that there is no other way to be a… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Again, a lot of words and chaining together of implications that all rest upon a particlar understanding of how the New Covenant works. You’re assuming certain continuities and then demanding them of those who don’t make that assumption because they simply don’t see them in the Bible. The New Covenant is better than the Old – that’s pretty much the whole point of the book of Hebrews. But the New can’t be better than the Old if they’re nearly identical. One last thing, the appeals to emotion, specifically related to how I respond to and view my own children, stand… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Did King Saul really have the Holy Spirit?

David Anderson
Guest

Depends what you mean by “really have”.

jared
Member

Actually it doesn’t, since the text clearly states that “the spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.” (1 Sam 16:14) I suspect it would be ontologically impossible for the spirit of the LORD to depart from Saul if Saul did not “really have” possession of said spirit.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Did King Saul really have the Holy Spirit?

Yes.

In the same way that New Covenant believers (i.e. the elect) have the Holy Spirit?
No.

Daniel Fisher
Member

David, i assume you would agree that a person is “lost” who “has trampled the son of God under foot” and “profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him.” if so, what covenant is the author of Hebrews speaking of? If the New covenant, could we agree that referring to someone who was “sanctified by the blood of the covenant” sure sounds like this said lost person was in some sense a partaker in this new covenant? Thus even if you disagree with Wilson’s particular formulation, i think we might all agree that there is biblical warrant for saying… Read more »

David Anderson
Guest

Hi Daniel,

I’ve addressed this viewpoint in my response to Pastor Wilson’s comment, and would welcome replies to that.

David

Daniel Fisher
Member

David, read over your response as requested.. . I have no immediate objection, and concur that Scripture discusses these things on two levels: the “eternal perspective” where Christ has, incontrovertibly, forgiven and justified his eternally chosen (as Pastor Wilson refers to the “decretally elect”); and what I understand you to refer to as a “phenomenological” perspective, where we see those who appear (to us) to be saved to nonetheless fall away. I doubt many object to this basic formulation. My observation is simply this: the Bible seems unapologetic in using the language of “covenant” to refer to the “phenomenological” perspective… Read more »

Daniel Fisher
Member

David, one additional thought for you: when I first wrestled with this very question, I found it telling that Jesus (quite knowingly) included Judas in the inauguration meal of the new covenant. He could certainly have waited until after he told Judas to “do quickly…” what he was going to do, and Judas left the gathering, to take the bread and cup and inaugurate that meal. But rather, Jesus explicitly included Judas in that first “new covenant” meal: 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Great point.

Joshua Butcher
Guest

I’m surprised paedocommunion didn’t make it onto this list, since that is one sticking point between you and your Presbyterian brothers who sometimes see (or have seen) it as a gateway to more nefarious doctrinal divergence.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Doug — would the apprehension of the presence of spiritual powers be nudging its way up the list?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Does your eschatological awakening acknowledge or at least allow a hat-tip to the more widespread version of postimillenialism (one might call it the non-dispensational type)?

I’m wondering if you’ve given much thought to that unadorned, pre-J.Edwardsian take that simply says He rules now and always has and is always making forward progress — but is not necessarily expecting or hungering for a future earthly semi-utopian development?

CJ
Guest
CJ

Surprised “Federal Vision” didn’t make the list…

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

Go back a few posts, he is not ‘FV’ anymore.

Brian Brown
Guest
Brian Brown

I smell a more theologically helpful version of Friedman.

JP Stewart
Member

“Postmillennialism, Calvinism, and paedobaptism have all had stalwart champions, over the course of centuries.” Paedobaptism was pretty much been THE position of the church before the Anabaptists disrupted things. Sure, you may find a few credos here and there, but it’s much more established than disputes that arose in the 16th Century or later.

David Anderson
Guest

If this argument from history carries decisive weight with you, then presumably you are a Roman Catholic?

JP Stewart
Member

Anglican. But if arguments from history don’t carry decisive weight, why not trash it all and start in 2017? Why does the Reformation carry more weight than the current time…or early formative centuries when the church fathers were fighting real heresies?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

This document being prepared does in fact have a 2017 date.
You are reasonably asking that other brothers’ work be weighed, and knowing Doug, you bet it is.
That’s a significant part of the reason he eventually adopted paedobaptism.

adad0
Member

So,…………….mkt,

What is the invisible mainspring of this conflict? ????????????

CarolinaMike
Guest
CarolinaMike

René contre Thabiti: discuter s’il vous plaît: What’s a good Marxist to do?

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

So you were postmill, THEN became Calvinist? That’s interesting, for a few years you were probably one of 12 or so people in the US that were Arminian and postmillenial. I’m reading through Paradise Restored right now and finding it very interesting, I’m becoming almost all-in Postmil and partial-preterist.

The Canberean
Guest

Apparently David Chilton became a full preterist before his untimely death.

Qodesmith
Guest
Qodesmith

I’d love to see Pastor Wilson give a response to William Lane Craig’s “Five Difficulties With The Reformed View“. I see causal determinism as a pre-requisite to Calvinism. That’s my main issue with it.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Realize you didn’t ask for my $.02, and so many things I could say after reading Craig’s article (but don’t want to hijack Pastor Wilson’s page). But if interesting to you, I make the following observation: Craig essentially begs the question of “causal determinism”, which then leads him to an unfortunate and rather disingenuous straw man caricature of the Calvinist position. He assumes (and no doubt sincerely believes) that “deterministic” providence is incompatible with genuine, real human agency and responsibility. But this assumption serves as the basis, not the result, of his arguments and critiques of Calvinism, both on the… Read more »

Qodesmith
Guest
Qodesmith

The onus is on the determinist to give evidence of determinism, not the other way around. To ask the question “what determined that choice?” or something similar is question begging in favor of determinism. So you’ve evaluated the landscape (and Craig) incorrectly. Its the determinist that assumes determinism is true and therefore needs to provide evidence. Craig’s 5 points make a case against determinism from a non-asserting standpoint. Determinists are asserting something. Indeterminists are not.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Well, at minimum, Craig is asserting that “deterministic providence” and “human responsibility” are logically incompatible. Could we agree that far?

Qodesmith
Guest
Qodesmith

Craig is responding to the positive claim of determinism. Therefor, he lays out a case against it since he disagrees. The proper response to his 5 points would be to refute what he says, not claim he’s making assumptions. So the point that you’ve vocalized issue with is #3: Universal, divine, determinism makes God the author of sin and precludes human responsibility. In that point he says this: …all human responsibility for sin has been removed. For our choices are not really up to us: God causes us to make them. We cannot be responsible for our actions, for nothing… Read more »

Daniel Fisher
Member

I fear we are at an impasse if you don’t see this – As you quote above, Craig is affirming that “[if] God causes us to make [our choices], [then] we cannot be responsible for our actions.” And you are absolutely correct that this is the premise in his argument. But it is simultaneously the conclusion he is arguing for: That Calvinism errs because its embrace of “divine determinism” logically precludes human responsibility. This is the textbook definition of “begging the question.” His conclusion is also his premise. You’d like me to actually refute what he says… Well, two possible… Read more »

The Canberean
Guest

Er… and the bible most definitely teaches both and holds them in tension, I think that’s the strongest argument the Calvinist can use.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Well, sure, there’s Scripture too…. ;) Seriously, though; I agree completely – the Bible’s teaching of both truths is certainly the core reason I embrace both. If it clearly teaches both then both are true, regardless if they fit inside my mind or not. But in interacting with Bill Craig’s position: I assume he’s read these same Scriptures, and has been presented with the very argument you mention. But he rejects the two truths as contradictory and mutually exclusive due to his (a priori?) belief that they are inherently logically contradictory. Hence why, if I was discussing with him, I… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Very thoughtful.

I don’t think there’s much danger of being accused of hijacking the blog by responding to an off-topic comment. But if there is, my reply below is far more wordy than Daniel Fisher’s. :-)

Katecho
Member

Craig seems to be misrepresenting the Calvinist/Reformed position in order to maintain his Molinism. His analysis is quite strawy compared to his usual efforts. Calvinists affirm secondary causes, and the agency of mankind. Calvinists have no need to categorically reject God’s knowledge of counterfactuals (middle knowledge) either. In point 4 of his response Craig acknowledges that the Reformed view strongly affirms secondary causes, but he asserts that these secondary causes must still “have no power to initiate action”. He doesn’t support this claim at all, and shows that he is not accepting the Reformed view on its own terms. That’s… Read more »

The Canberean
Guest

Personally I can’t see how anyone can be a ‘partial’ preterist. I just don’t get that. I’ve read DeMar & Gentry & Mathison and their arguments are inconsistent. They just don’t make biblical sense.

Full preterism however, while it may be considered heretical by the established church, is at least much more biblically defensible and definitely more consistent.

What would be great would be to hear Pastor Wilson argue the case from sola scriptura and without appealing to church history on why full preterism is biblically wrong.

Katecho
Member

Wilson already alluded to the answer. Hyper-preterism derails on the issue of the final judgment, let alone the bodily return of Christ. If Christ is still in Heaven (seated until all His enemies footstool themselves), then hyper-preterism is wrong. If Christ has not yet brought me to give an account for all of my idle deeds (which He has not yet done), then hyper-preterism is wrong.

The Canberean
Guest

“It is destined for man to die once, then after that comes judgement” – Hebrews 9:27

Katecho
Member

So this prophecy concerning my future judgment and resurrection has not yet been fulfilled. That would mean that hyper-preterism is wrong.

The Canberean
Guest

Are you a partial preterist or a futurist?

Katecho
Member

I believe that much of Revelation was fulfilled in 70A.D., but I believe we are in the millennial Gospel expansion of Christ’s Kingdom. I look to the victorious and bodily return of Christ to earth when the fullness of the gentiles has come in, and the nations have been discipled, including the grafting back in of Israel, through faith in Jesus, once their hardness has been lifted.

The Canberean
Guest

Which bit of Revelation is yet to be fulfilled?

Katecho
Member

The Canberean wrote: Which bit of Revelation is yet to be fulfilled? I believe I’ve substantially anticipated and answered this question by saying that I believe we are in the millennial Gospel expansion of Christ’s Kingdom, with nations being discipled, and gentiles coming into the Kingdom. Those events that are described at, or near, the end of the millennium are yet to be fulfilled, and I gave some examples, including the victorious bodily return of Christ. At this point I’m still open to answer further specific questions, but I think it’s important to note that The Canberean has not yet… Read more »

The Canberean
Guest

I’m not of the opinion that so called ‘hyper’ preterism has zero problems or no significant issues to deal with, it most certainly does. I am of the opinion, however, that partial preterism has significantly more problems to overcome and is less biblically defensible. For instance, has Matt 24 been completely fulfilled? If not then which part is still future? I just can’t see a split anywhere from a plain reading of the text. If part of Revelation is still to be fulfilled then why did John write ‘the things that must soon take place’ and ‘ for the time… Read more »

Dabney Redivivus
Guest
Dabney Redivivus

Katecho seems to confuse assertions with arguments.

Katecho
Member

That’s quite an assertion.