by Phil JohnsonBTW, “Get Woke or get out” is no way to promote Christian unity.ohn McWhorter, professor of linguistics, comparative religion, music history, and Americana at Columbia University has been pointing out (since at least 2015) that Woke anti-racism is a religion. McWhorter says, “When someone attests to his white privilege with his hand up…
So have you ever seen the WWUTT videos? These ninty second or so videos take a variety of subjects and apply the word of God to them. Mrs. Keachfan likes them because they take deep subjects and explain them clearly. Take a look at the latest one and then go check out their youtube channel.
Speaking of culture wars.
Prager U has come out with a great new video about intersectionality.
Intersectionality is the new buzz word amongst “woke” Christians and SJWs. I didn’t know what it was and I appreciate Prager U’s contribution to my education.
What would your evolutionist friends say if you said that nine out of ten species, including humans, came into existence only 100,000 to 200,000 years ago? Well according to this article from Phys.org a new genetic test proves just that. David Thaler one of the two authors of the study said: “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.” This means that ninty percent of the current species is basically the same age. But not only that but another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.
“If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.
Speaking of Robots.
So do you want to know when you are going to die? According to this article Google’s A.I. can predict your death up to 95% accuracy. As reported by IFL Science, the new ability to use AI to predict death is outlined in a study recently published in npj Digital Medicine. The study involves new Artificial Intelligence (AI) that Google’s Medical Brain team have been working on. It has been trained to predict how likely it is that patients entering a hospital will make it out alive.
Now the obvious issue is what happens when the A. I. predictions are used to determine whether or not the patient should even be treated if there is only 5 percent chance of recovery?
Here is an example of the A. I. In action:
In one instance reported in the study, a patient with late-stage breast cancer was admitted to hospital. Her lungs were filled with fluid, she was seen by several doctors and then underwent a scan. According to the hospital’s assessment, she had a 9.3 percent chance of dying during her stay, based on her vital signs such as respiratory rate, blood pressure, and pulse. Google’s AI also ran its own assessment on the same patient, assessing 175,639 data points on her record, the researchers wrote in their study. These included data points that aren’t normally considered during patient evaluations. The AI was able to access previously out of reach data, such as PDFs of notes made by doctors and nurses that indicated evidence of malignant pleural effusions (fluid build-up around the lungs) and potential risk of pressure ulcers. Looking at this data, the AI put the patient’s risk of death during her stay at 19.9 percent. She died 10 days after admission.
Again what isn’t discussed in this is whether using this data the late-stage breast cancer patient would have been denied treatment.
I think that the ultimate question is should any decision rest in intelligence that isn’t human.
And that is it for Frenetic Friday.
Today’s Theology Thursday comes from The Cripplegate’s Clint Archer. He had the chance to interview Dr. James White and ask him how to effectively debate an opponent.
1. Seek to be consistent. (Use equal scales)
This is mandatory in a serious debate: you can’t use unequal scales. You need to apply the same level of respect and understanding of how they employ their source material as you would want them to apply to how you employ yours.
Rookie debaters attack aspects of their opponent’s system that they would dismiss with an exasperated eye roll if the favor were returned. He offered a smattering of examples. Here’s some of his riff on this point, transcribed from a recording and cleaned up a bit…
A lot of arguments used against Islam or Mormonism will involve picking on their writings…..eg the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born in Jerusalem and apologists will say “see, Joseph Smith did not know what he was talking about.” But when we defend the Old Testament we often point out that that there are places where the author has used a very specific geographic term referring to a wider region. We defend against these alleged errors using that methodology—so we must be consistent and allow the Mormon the same methodology; i.e. they would say that Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem, in the same general area.
There are a lot of arguments that I would not use when attacking the Qur’an because I realize that when defending the Old Testament I am going to have to utilize very similar responses from what I would expect from a Muslim. So we need to be very careful.
A lot of people attack Joseph Smith’s false prophesies – and there are false prophecies – but Mormons allege that there are false prophecies in the Old Testament too. So your argument saying that Joseph Smith was giving a false prophecy might boomerang and they will say that Jonah was giving a false prophecy, or Ezekiel when prophesying against Tyre (referring to Ezekiel 26:1-14).
Most Christian apologists are better at attacking the other side rather than defending the best arguments made against Christianity.
2. Strive for accuracy in representation of the other side (use original source material)
How much attention would you pay to a debater who learned what they know about your faith from watching a YouTube video posted by an “ex-Christian” who “suddenly realized” the Bible was full of contradictions and that his church leaders didn’t have answers? Probably zero.
You need to examine and familiarize yourself with your opponent’s original source material. When you explain their view on an issue, they should nod in agreement with everything you are saying before you explain why you disagree. If they don’t believe you understand their position or if they think you have misrepresented their beliefs, they will dismiss any argument you proffer against the faulty position you have presented.
So, when you engage a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness or a Muslim, make sure you have read Joseph Smith, C. T. Russel, or the Qur’an.
It is “Absolutely vitally important to use original sources, to know their version.”
Some people disagree with this point because they say you are exposing yourself to false teaching. But you know what: Paul quoted from Aratus the Greek philosopher and when he wrote Colossians he uses the very language of the proto-gnostics and the Docetists. The writers knew that those people believed and actively refuted them. We have nothing to fear, true Christianity has nothing spiritually to fear from Islam.
Jot down chapter and verse to show your counterpart that you have taken the time to actually read and understand what they actually believe. Interact with that. Do not erect straw men and throw fallacious darts at them. You will only make yourself feel superior while getting no closer to winning the argument or the soul for Christ.
3. Show love for your opponent. (Win souls not just arguments)
Speaking of winning, you need to decide if your goal is merely to win an argument or to win a soul.
Sometimes those two go together. By convincing them of what the Scriptures actually say, you win the person over to the truth by winning the argument. But sometimes your words might be true, while your attitude belies your lack of concern for the person you are debating and the people who hold their view.
Apologetics – especially electronic apologetics – is a very dangerous skill because it allows you to say things to other people you would never say to their face. It allows you to sit there and think that you are glorifying God when the reality is that you are just trying to get your sword bloody – you don’t care what damage you do in the process. If you don’t love the people you are dealing with, if you don’t really believe that you are going to be praying for them, if you wouldn’t reach out to them in a meaningful fashion, then don’t even do it. You’ll end up doing more damage than anything else.
The easiest way to show love to a person is to actually love them. Jesus said to do this, so if you don’t you are being a poor debater and a bad Christian at the same time.
4. Stay in the context of a local church.
Apologetics is not a balanced field. You spend your time immersed in error. If you are doing that divorced from a ministry in the local church you are missing the point of your gifts, you are stunting your own spiritual growth, and you are neglecting your responsibility to the local church in favor of the Universal Church.
I found this to be the most surprising and encouraging of Dr. White’s insights. He is an elder at his church, teaches a Bible study (from the Bible, not the Book of Mormon), and ministers alongside Christians. His apologetics and debating is his career, not his only ministry.
Apologetics must be done within the context of the church. The vast majority of apologists I know are not churchmen. They go from church to church each weekend and give their presentations but they themselves are not churchmen.
Apologetics is not a balanced Christian ministry, you’re always in defense mode. I jokingly tell my audience – I listen to the heretics so you don’t have to – and there is an element of truth in that. And that is not good in the long run if that is all you do. So if you are a churchman you will be forced to have balance.
This is just the main points of the article to read the entire article go here: The Cripplegate
Star date 11609.09 we are in orbit around an M class planet that is third from its sun. While doing a standard sensor scan we have discovered that it is Frenetic Friday!
Well if you’ve been on the Internet at all you’ve probably heard about Evan Hempel a “transgendered man” who decided that she would do what any woman would do and that is get pregnant and have a baby. And then Time Magazine decided to do an article about her breast feeding. But of course they said “he was breastfeeding” frankly this came to mind.
But see that is exactly what is wrong it isn’t a man breastfeeding it is a woman breastfeeding. And even if they are taking artificial hormones in order to give them beards, which by the way they have to stop if they are going to get pregnant, they are still female and a female breastfeeding a baby isn’t something new at all.
So at a certain point in the history of the United States Black Americans rose up to protest the segregation that was going on in the country. You would see signs saying that how some places, bathrooms, diners, water fountains were for “whites” only and there were other signs that said “colored” only. But men and women rose up and said that segregation was evil and that there can’t be a “white” or “colored” only place. Now more that fifty years after the fight to end segregation comes this from the California State University Los Angles that to combat micro-agression from whites the black students will have segregated housing. <source> Next Jim Crow laws will be repealed.
And now a moment of feminist singing with the Hills Are Alive with the sound of Feminism.
And now a moment of truth.
And now good evening.
I’m sure that you’ve seen this or something similar by now. I am not going to get into how it violates the second commandment but I am going to get into how this isn’t how to get sympathy for refugees middle-eastern or otherwise.
The implied statement is that Mary and Joseph were refugees of some kind. But the facts don’t bear that out.
Fact one: Mary and Joseph were still in their native land. They went from Nazareth to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4) both towns in Israel.
Fact two: They were obeying the law. Caesar Augustus had ordered a census of the entire Roman Empire and in obedience to the law they went where they were to be registered based on their lineage. (Luke 2:1-3)
Fact three: Because of the census all available rooms were taken. This is like the entire city of Seattle Washington, population 668,342, decided to rent all the available space in Almira Washington, population 273. Needless to say for a pregnant woman to find a room in a city that full would be near impossible so if anything having a barn, was a blessing. (Luke 2:7)
Fact four: At some point in time probably after the census, and some say up to two years after his birth, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were living in a house. (Matthew 2:11).
So lets look at the facts. One they were in their own country, two they were obeying the law of the land, three the lack of room was caused by a temporary influx of a great amount of people into a small town. And four ultimately some time after the birth Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were living in a house in Bethlehem.
And lastly the story of the birth of Jesus is about Jesus. It isn’t about refugees, it isn’t about haters, and it isn’t about setting up nativity scenes it is about the God-man. How the Son of God became incarnate and lived a sinless life and took the wrath of God upon Himself instead of us.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius. Welcome to Frenetic Friday.
Dude looks like a Lady
Which says it all regarding that picture.
However that isn’t all to say about the matter. Submitted for your approval: Dr. James White was on Dr. Drew’s HLN show. He barely got to say anything but what he did say was profound. Apologia Studios was kind enough to put it together in a video.
Now take a look at this video where Dr. Drew and his co-host discuss what James said, or rather what he didn’t say.
Dr. White has posted on Facebook an offer to come on the Dividing Line and discuss what they were talking about, or at least what they were trying to talk about.
Robert A.J. Gagnon in response to Bruce Jenner writes about the face of the new anti-somatic Gnosticism:
The sick national conspiracy to pretend that Bruce Jenner is a woman because he is mentally confused, has surgically mutilated his male body, and received plastic reconstruction surgery to give him a not entirely successful appearance as a woman, to the fanfare of the twisted leftwing elite and with the financial windfall of a reality TV show. For that he gets an award for “courage”: “Shortly after the cover reveal, ESPN announced that Caitlyn, a former Olympian, will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the EPSY Awards in July.” The man needs help; instead he gets validation for his neurosis. This is not love. This is functional hate. Read more here HT: Steve Hays
And now a bit from the sport page:
Have you ever heard of an MMA (fe)male fighter called Fallon Fox? I didn’t know him from Adam’s off ox myself since i don’t really keep up with the sport much less the female competitors. Fox is a transgender fighter and this is the interview given after he broke the orbital bone of his last opponent.
Tamikka Brents said,
“I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ”
His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against…females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.”
last year, UFC announcer Joe Rogan made his opinion unambiguously and graphically clear, saying on his podcast that a transgendered man would “have all the bone structure that comes with” being a man. “You have bigger hands, you have bigger shoulder joints.”
Speaking to LifeSiteNews, military veteran Jeff Nader, who has fought for UFC competitor Bellator, said that “Fallon Fox has had the benefits of being a man for most of his life. [He has] bone density, muscle mass, and other physical benefits that one gets from being a man. You can’t have that, and then make a minor adjustment — basically, a cosmetic adjustment — and suddenly claim to be a woman.”
“Nothing can take away from the fact that you are physically a man. Mentally and emotionally, who knows — but physically, he’s a man.” <source> HT: Calvinist Batman
The Marriage Debate continues
Changing in slightly in direction here is an article by Matthew Parris of the Spectator:
As a Gay Athiest, I want to see the Church oppose Same-Sex Marriage.
I see. So now we have the result of the Irish referendum on gay marriage, and now we’ve heard the Roman Catholic Church’s chastened response, we shall have to rewrite Exodus 32, which (you may remember) reports Moses’ (and God’s) furious reaction to the nude dancing and heretical worship of Moloch in the form of a golden calf: the Sin of the Calf in the Hebrew literature. Moses had come down from Mount Sinai bringing God’s commandments written on two tablets of stone.
‘And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot…
‘And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.’
Let me have a crack at the revised version right away:
‘And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the Irish referendum’s huge majority for gay marriage, and the dancing: and Moses’ alarm was palpable…
‘And he took a copy of the Pink Paper and, flourishing it, said, “We have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities.
‘”I appreciate how these naked revellers feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.
‘”We need to find a new language to connect with a whole generation of young people,” the prophet concluded; then, casting off his garments, Moses said, “Hey, lead me to the coolest gay bar in the camp.”’ Read more here
Robot OverLord Alert
How do you feel about hospitals? I’m not too keen but then again I’ve been in and out of hospitals too many times this year. But when you have surgery do you want your anesthesia delivered via automaton? In this WA hospital you get to meet Dr. Robot
Thank you ladies and gentlemen that is all for Frenetic Friday.
The Truth About The Gift of Tongues
©1999 by Robin Arnaud
While still active in the charismatic movement, I became disillusioned with the obvious disparity between the bible descriptions and accounts of the charismatic gifts, especially the gift of tongues. If it is supposed to be a sign not to believers, but to unbelievers (1 Cor 14:22), why had I never heard an unbeliever interpret a message in tongues at church? If it is a prayer language, then why did we use it so extensively as part of our corporate worship when 1 Corinthians 14 tells us not to? I was overwhelmed with questions and suspicious of even my own experience. So I began a study of the bible and of early church history in order to determine the true biblical nature and purpose of the charismatic gifts. I was not seeking to prove or disprove anything, only to discover the true nature and purpose of the gifts. Here are the results of that study:
The PURPOSE of Tongues
God is a God of order and design (1 Cor 14:33). When He does something, He does so with a plan and purpose. The Lord did not speak in parables, for instance, just to be clever or to appear profound. Scripture teaches that He used parables with the express intent of hiding the truth from the non-elect (Mark 4:11,12) and revealing it to the lowly (1 Cor 1:26-29). Likewise, miracles and gifts are to be understood as having a particular purpose. They served as signs validating the message which they accompanied (John 20:30,31; Acts 2:43, 4:16; 2 Cor 12:12; Gal 3:5; Rom 15:17-19). The purpose of the impartation of gifts by the Apostles (both scripture and subsequent church history demonstrate that the gifts were bestowed only by the Apostles and no one else – ever) was to validate the Apostles’ teachings.
Why do some bible teachers claim that tongues is Satanic?
Paul warned Timothy that in latter times many would fall away from the faith, giving heed to “seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” Since Christ rendered Satan and all his demons powerless by His death and resurrection, the only power demons now have is the power of deceit. Demons are deceiving angels. They get people to listen to their lies by making their lies attractive and alluring. Paul called them “seducing spirits” (1 Tim 4:1). A major reason so many folks believe it is Satanic is because there are so many “gifts” which do not validate the Apostles‘ teaching. Remember the slave girl with “a spirit of divination” who followed the Apostle Paul crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation!” (Acts 16:16-18). It turned out that her “prophesyings” were the work of a demon in spite of her message! Paul cast the demon from her and she stopped prophesying. How could Paul tell that the servant girl’s “gift” was demonic? Two reasons:
1. No Apostle had imparted the gift to her, and
Her prophesyings used Paul’s ministry to validate HER message instead of the other way around! They served a purpose directly opposed to the one intended for genuine gifts of the Spirit.
Charismatic gifts today are often used to “validate” someone else’s ministry or teaching – someone whose teachings are NOT those of the apostles. They use the Apostles’ writings and borrow their words, but they use them to give credibility to their OWN ministry. A demon did exactly that in Acts 16! So it stands to reason that a seducing spirit would use that same tactic today – not to confirm the apostles’ doctrine, but the doctrines of a modern-day messenger who teaches something much different.
-The Bible’s Description of Tongues-
I. The FORM of Tongues in Scripture: Whenever we see tongues mentioned in the bible, it ALWAYS takes the form of a structured foreign language – never “ecstatic gibberish.” One common and persistent peculiarity of many Charismatics is the teaching that tongues-speaking is “of men and angels” – even the language of Heaven itself! This idea is lifted from 1 Corinthians 13:1 where Paul writes, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels…” Even a casual reading of this passage demonstrates Paul’s use of hyperbole as a literary device. “Even if I could” rather than “because I can.” Looking at the verse further: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love…” Paul was not asserting that he could speak in the language of the angels any more than he was asserting that he had no love! 1 Cor 13:1 is no justification for claims that tongues can be “the language of the angels.” And even if it were so, how could an unbeliever interpret it (14:22)?
A) In Acts 2, many people from many places heard the gospel preached In their own dialects. Peter told the crowd that that event was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28ff), which makes absolutely no mention of tongues at all but speaks of prophecy, dreams, visions, and signs. Paul later wrote that tongues are “for a SIGN… to unbelievers (1 Cor 14:22).
B) In every event subsequent to the one in Acts 2 where tongues was present, “the Holy Spirit fell on them… “Just as He did on us at the beginning (Acts 11:15-17),” which must mean that tongues on those occasions were like the tongues in Acts 2 – a verifiable foreign language, a sign to unbelievers.
C) The Pentecost form of tongues is the same as for all later forms of tongues-speaking. Every reference in the bible to tongues speaking employs the same basic terminology, implying similarity of form.
D) The Corinthian episodes are defined in terms fully compatible with those in Acts. Paul writes, “no language is without meaning” (1 Cor 14:10). He compares tongues to worldly languages and asserts that all of them have coherent meaning. Tongues, biblically, is certainly not the incoherent babbling gibberish that I witnessed in my charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
II. The CONTENT of Tongues in Scripture: Tongues was a revelational gift – a vehicle of revelation from God to man. Tongues brought revelation from God as surely as the gift of prophecy brought revelation from God to the prophets and apostles of old. Thus, tongues must be understood in scripture to have brought inspired, inerrant, and authoritative communication from God to man:
A) The first occurrence of tongues is defined as prophetic by Peter (Acts 2:11-18).
B) Tongues are almost always related to other revelational gifts in scripture (Acts 2, 19, 1 Cor 13 and 14). In Acts 19 they “spoke with tongues and prophesied.” In 1 Corinthians tongues are dealt with at great length in association with prophecy. The difference was that prophecy was the ability to speak infallibly the will of God in one’s own language, while tongues was the ability to speak infallibly the will of God in a language one had never learned. In both cases it could interpreted by UNBELIVERS.
C) Tongues are specifically said to be a speaking of mysteries (1 Cor 14:2). When the word mystery is used in scripture it is always in terms of revelation. A mystery spoken becomes a revelation.
The content of tongues, then, is seen to be infallible, inerrant, inspired revelation of God’s mysteries to man. The tongues we see today among Charismatics and Pentecostals surely does not measure up to this lofty biblical standard. In fact in every service I ever attended in twenty years as a charismatic where tongues was used, it never took the form of a discernable foreign language, and its “interpretation” was never treated as an infallible revelation from God. It used to trouble me very deeply that a direct word from Heaven could be treated so lightly by the hearers – instead of writing it down and being careful to obey it and publish it, the people would nod and say, “Thanks, Lord, for that good word,” treating it more like a divine Hallmark card greeting from Heaven than a revelation from the Sovereign Master of the universe. The Almighty is not sitting on His throne blowing kisses to people on the earth – His word should be treated with the utmost care and held with extreme reverence – just as we claim to treat the bible. But tongues are not treated that way today.
III. The Purpose of Tongues in scripture: As I mentioned at the beginning, God is a God of order and design and when He acts, He does so with a purpose and plan. We see that parables had a specific purpose (Mark 4:11,12); that miracles have a particular purpose (Jn 20:30-31, Acts 2:43 and 4:16, Rom 15:17-19, 2 Cor 12:12), and likewise that the gift of tongues served a very specific purpose: They validated the Apostles’ message, and they were an anticipated sign of covenant curse upon unbelieving Israel.
A) Tongues were a sign to validate the message of the apostles (Mark 16:17), and Paul’s in particular (Acts 10:44-46, 19:6). ONLY the Apostles had the authority and ability to impart the gifts to others through the laying on of hands or prayer. None of the people they laid hands on could pass he Holy Spirit or the gifts on to others. There is not a single instance in scripture nor in subsequent church history to support the contention that anyone other than the Apostles could “impart” the Holy Spirit and His gifts. Those who received these sign-gifts at the hands of the Apostles were not able to pass them along to others. If they were, then it would not have been necessary to send Apostles to Samaria in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit (and other examples). The example of Ananias (Acts 9:10-19) is often used to attempt to refute that argument, but the text does not say that Saul spoke in tongues or prophesied. It says only that his eyesight was restored and he was baptized in water. We don’t hear any more about Saul until way up there in chapter 13, where the Apostles laid hands on him and Barnabus. The fact that Paul passed the charismata to others was one of the proofs that he was to be counted among the Apostles (Acts 19, 2 Cor 12:12, Eph 3:7ff). It was extremely important to establish Paul’s apostleship with “the signs of an Apostle (2 Cor 12:12),” because God’s inclusion of the Gentiles was such a radical departure from the old covenant. It was also important that Paul be counted as an Apostle because Paul wrote most of the New Testament. That is why many of his letters to the churches open with the phrase, “Paul, an apostle by the will of God…”
B) Tongues were a sign of covenant curse upon unbelieving Israel.Since this is probably the most neglected and most misunderstood purpose of tongues, it bears a lot more explaining, so be sure to examine these scriptures closely and in context: Paul explains this use of the sign in 1 Cor 14:21-22:
“In the Law it is written, ‘by men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,’ says the Lord. So then, tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign not to unbelievers, but to those who believe” (NASB).
Bear with a lengthy explanation now:
1) The Old Testament teaches that Israel was a special people to God. He was bound in a special covenantal love to Israel alone among the nations of the earth (Deut 7:6-8, Amos 3:2), thus only they received His law (Deut 4:10-13, Psalm 147:19-20), His oracles (Rom 3:2), the covenantal sign of circumcision (Rom 3:1) – indeed, all the promises and means of covenant life (Rom 9:4-5, Eph 2:12).
2) This covenant with Israel was a two-edged sword. Covenant life was one of both privilege and responsibility. Obedience brought both spiritual and material blessings, and disobedience brought spiritual and material curses (see Deut 28:1-68 which describes alternate covenant blessings and covenant curses).
3) Israel was a nation of people accustomed to signs (Matt 12:38, 1 Cor 1:20-22). Within the covenant contract they were given warning signs which would serve to indicate that the calamities which would befall them were indeed the judgments of God on them. One of the most often-seen signs was the loss of national freedom and self-rule (Deut 28:49). It is also referred to in similar context in Jer 5:15 and Isa 28:11. In scripture after scripture, foreign tongues was a sign of covenant curse on Israel.
Most often it was the language of the foreign occupiers of Israel, but at the dawn of the New Covenant it becomes especially poignant. All of this becomes relevant to the gift of tongues in the New Testament by the fact that Paul applies the sign of covenantal curse (Isa 28:11) to his explanation of the gift of tongues in 1 Cor 14:21-22. The fact that Paul lifted this scripture out of a passage dealing with covenantal curse is extremely significant! To grasp it’s impact you need to look at the reference Paul is quoting in his 1 Cor 14 discourse – Isa 28. In the very heart of God’s rebuke against Israel is the verse Paul quotes… the one that gives the sign of the curse (verse 11). Of course the Isaiah passage referred to the impending Assyrian invasion of Israel, but the Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, applies it further to the future and climactic judgment upon Israel subsequent to their rejection of Christ.
4) Christ, the “Messenger of the Covenant,” (Mal 3:1) and “Ratifier of the New Covenant” (Luke 22:20), came to, lovingly courted, and taught Israel. Yet Israel refused His overtures (Matt 23:37, Acts 28:17-31, Rom 9:31-32 and 10:3). The generation to which Christ ministered was rapidly filling up the measure of the guilt of their forefathers (Matt 23:32). Jesus even went to far as to tell them that that single generation would bear the guilt of all righteous blood shed on earth – from Abel to Zecharaiah (verses 35 and 36). It is a judgment they themselves repeated at His trial: “His blood be upon us and our children! (Matthew 27:25)” Therefore, that generation (Matt 23:36 and 24:43) was to receive the fullness of God’s covenantal curse: God would send Roman armies (Luke 21:20) to raze the temple (Matt 24:2) which the Lord left desolate (Matt 23:38). Thus the sign of judgment (foreign tongues) was given to Israel for a period of 40 years between Christ’s ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans in 70 AD. God was turning from Israel to the Gentiles (Matt 23:37-38; Rom 9:24-29 and 10:19-21)!
5) Tongues had a particular application with regard to Jewish unbelief in light of the New Covenant. In Acts 2 the Jews in particular were called to attention (verse 12), after which they were charged with having slain the Lord of Glory (v 22-24). The double-edged sword of covenant curse fell hard upon then, with the result that many were cut to the heart and repented (Acts 2:37) to follow Christ.
6) The Corinthian church itself is further glaring evidence that tongues was a sign of covenantal curse on Israel! Acts 18 records that Paul’s 18-month-lomg ministry at Corinth (verse 11) was characterized by extremely heated opposition from the Jews. While teaching at the Corinthian synagogue, Jewish opponents resisted the gospel to the point of blasphemy, causing Paul to call down a curse upon them (verse 6). Resistance to the gospel was so violent in Corinth that the Lord appeared to Paul in a vision, promising special protection from harm (verses 12 and 13). In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul makes reference in the opening verses to the Jews and their desire for signs (1 Cor 1:22). Paul’s citation of Isaiah 28 should be decisive proof. In chapter 10 Paul dealt at length with “our fathers” and their disobedience and judgment, and warned the Corinthians of the same predicament if they weren’t careful (10:1-12).
Tongues then, were “for a sign” – a sign to unbelieving, Christ-rejecting Israel – and in particular, the generation that had murdered Christ. Tongues was God’s prophesied and anticipated sign of covenantal curse.
IV. The transience of Tongues in Scripture: Because scripture demonstrates what the PURPOSE of tongues was – to validate the APOSTLES’ ministry and to serve as the covenantal sign to Israel, it necessarily follows that once those purposes were achieved, the sign would cease. Even those who believe in modern-day tongues speaking agree that the canon is complete – thus they cannot possibly use the gift today in the same sense that it was used throughout the New Testament – inerrant, infallible oracles of God to man.
Modern-day manifestations of charismatic gifts defy the biblical and historical form, content, and purpose described in scripture, and thus it is clear that today’s form of tongues is an unbiblical counterfeit.
One of the reasons that I call myself an “orthodox preterist” is my belief that John’s Revelation was written prior to the events of 70 A.D.
This position is at odds with the majority of today’s bible scholars who place the date closer to 90 A.D. This difference, of course, completely changes the way that the book of Revelation is interpreted, whether by preterists or by futurists. In today’s post I hope to offer evidence of why I believe Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D.
We simply won’t know in this life which position is accurate, but I hope to describe how John’s book dates itself, and thus my position has a basis in Scripture itself rather than in speculative interpretations of archaeological findings, tradition, and theory.
Practically all sources for a post-70 AD dating of Revelation derive their opinions from Irenaeus (130-202 AD). Irenaeus, perhaps in defense of his own eschatological position (historic premillennialism) in his book Against Heresies, states:
We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.
It’s rather difficult to even figure out exactly what Irenaeus is saying in this rather obscure passage. Is he talking about John or the Antichrist, that was seen in his day? Also, who saw him? The statement suggests third hand information on the part of Irenaeus. Second, we also know Irenaeus is not accurate in dating other events. In the same book he writes that Jesus’ ministry lasted 15 years and that He lived to be almost 50 years old! (Against Heresies, 2.22.5).
One of the best ways of dating a book of the scriptures is to let the book date itself. All orthodox Christians believe in the infallibility of the scriptures, so “let scripture interpret scripture:”
Rev 17:9-10 seems to put us within 14 years of John’s vision, and it definitely puts it at a pre-70 AD date. The passage states there are 7 kings, five have fallen, and one is. In other words, the 6th king is currently ruling. Verse 9 attaches these kings to seven mountains, which most everyone agrees is a reference to the city of Rome. The ten Roman emperors from Julius Caesar are:
1. Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)
2. Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD)
3. Tiberius (14-37 AD)
4. Gaius (37-41 AD)
5. Claudius (41-54 AD)
6. Nero (54-68 AD)
7. Galba (68-69 AD)
8. Otho (69 AD)
9. Vitellius (69 AD)
10. Vespasian (69-79 AD)
Interestingly, the passage also tells us the 7th king will continue “for a short time” (unlike the previous 6). As the judgement of God and vindication of Christ drew near, Roman emperors didn’t last very long. Some ruled for less than a year before they were murdered. But there is no possible way to equate the “6th king” of Revelation with Domitian, as Irenaeus does.
The next passage is Rev 11:1-2. According to this passage, the temple was still standing at the time of the writing, yet it predicts a trodding of the holy city by the Gentiles for 42 months. Note that the time from Rome’s declaration of war on Jerusalem until to the fall of Jerusalem was almost exactly 42 months. This passage is strong evidence that Revelation was written at least 3 and a half years before 70 AD (still in the time of Nero).
The next passage to look at is Rev 13:18. The number of “the beast” is 666. The Hebrew spelling of Nero (Neron Kesar) has the numerical value of 666. But even more interestingly, many ancient Latin manuscripts of Revelation have this number changed to 616, not 666. Why? Well, when you spell Nero Caesar in Latin, it has a numerical value of 616. So apparently the early church knew who the beast was. But in a futurist eschatology of course, this wouldn’t fit.
Third, all the Jewish symbolism in Revelation is strong evidence that Judaism was still vibrant in the church when this book was written, and we know Judaism was extremely prevalent in the Christian community before 70 A.D. After 70 A.D., Judaism and Jewish influence dwindled very rapidly. Additionally, note that the entire theme of Revelation is one of imminent judgement and destruction. 70 A.D. most nearly fits with the “imminence language” of Revelation. It is a stretch to make this language fit something thousands of years in the future. Specific passages of Revelation almost exactly match wordings used in the historical writings of Josephus and other eye-witness accounts of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem.
Preterist eschatology is largely the basis for my own cessationist arguments against modern Charismatic manifestation gifts as well (to be published here in future editions of Theology Thursday), and in my opinion, a strictly futurist eschatology must allow for the continuation of the charismata until the Second Advent.
This is of course not to argue for a “full” preterist eschtology! Full preterism is heresy! Christ’s Second Coming is yet future, as is the resurrection and judgment of the righteous and unrighteous alike. But hopefully it offers a view of one basis upon which those of us who are orthodox preterist (Amillennial and Post-Millennial)make the case for our position.
9 The Documentary Hypothesis
In the 19th century, scholars began to discover more inconsistencies and anomalies in the Bible, and its compositional history appeared more complex than anyone had previously thought. In 1886, the German historian Julius Wellhausen proposed that the Hexateuch (the Pentateuch plus Joshua) was a composite of four distinct documents by different authors. These documents were labeled J (Jahwist), E (Elohist), D (Deuteronomist), and P (Priestly), and each has its own theology and agenda.
This theory explains overlapping or repetitive stories (“doublets”) such as the two accounts of Creation and the two accounts of the Flood—Genesis 7:17 describes a 40-day flood, while Genesis 8:3 describes one lasting 150 days. It is believed that later editors stitched together the multiple sources into one narrative, sometimes intertwining two versions of a single story and neglecting to iron out the seams, as can be seen in the Flood narrative.
The J source calls God “Yahveh,” or “Jahveh” in German, hence the designation “J.” It pictures God in anthropomorphic terms, appearing to people like Abraham face-to-face. E calls the deity “Elohim,” who shows Himself indirectly, as in dreams. D is the source for Deuteronomy as well as the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. It defines God as having no form that anyone can see at all. P is cultic in its character and is obsessed with genealogies and lists.
More recently, the idea of four separate, complete, and coherent documents has come under question, but the composite character of the Pentateuch remains the commonly accepted view.
Come back next week to see the next defense.