But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Dr. Reluctant - Apologetic Report

This is an older post acting as a stop-gap until I can get my laptop fixed.  The computer I’m using is so slow that this post should be considered a near miracle.

Everybody knows it.  The Bible is composed of two parts: what we have come to call the Old Testament and the New...

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The First Twenty

21. Saying the NT must reinterpret the OT also devalues the OT as its own witness to God and His Plans. For example, if the promises given to ethnic Israel of land, throne, temple, etc. are somehow “fulfilled” in Jesus and the Church, what was the point of speaking about...

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imageI have been made aware that a group of New covenant theologians have discussed some my list of forty arguments for not reading the New Testament back into the Old Testament.  I intend to write a Response soon.  But I thought it worthwhile to repost the original list.  I have yet to...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 09:13

“A Possible Problem with Your reasoning”

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imageI am in the middle of several things right now, but I had the idea of rehearsing an interchange with some CT’s recently and adding a few reflections.  I think it typifies what I tend to run into when trying to communicate my reservations about CT.  I kick it off with a remark made...

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Part Eight

This is the final post in this series, the purpose of which has been to ask whether “replacement theology” and “supercessionism” correctly describe what some theologies, covenant theology especially, do with the nation of Israel and its OT promises in teaching...

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Part Seven

My stated intention in these posts is to try to settle whether or not it is proper to speak in terms of theologies of supercessionism or replacement theology.  It is not my design to argue for the opposite view (which I have done many times before).  I am coming towards the end...

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imageLeslie T. Hardin, The Spirituality of Paul, Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2016, 190 pages.

This book is written in a lively and engaging style by a professor of New Testament at Johnson University in Florida, an institution connected to the ‘Stone-Campbell’ Restoration Movement. The...

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Part Six

Gary Burge: Replacement Theologian

The name of Gary Burge  of Wheaton College is familiar to many Christians who teach eschatology which includes the restoration of the remnant of the nation of Israel, but not for positive reasons. His positions on Israel, fueled in large part by his...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 08:14

“The Kingdom of Speech” by Tom Wolfe

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imageA review of The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe.  Audiobook read by Robert Petkoff, 2016.

This little book by the novelist and contemporary commentator on modern culture Tom Wolfe is worth the attention of anyone interested in the enigma of language.  An enigma it is, more especially if one...

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Part Five

I finished the last installment by stating that in viewing the Bible from a certain redemptive-historical perspective (a common one I might add), the only conclusion that one can come to is that the church has always existed, and that therefore elect Israel in the OT was the church of the...

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Part Four

Incipient Supercessionsm

So far I have tried to show not only that replacement theology exists and that it is a coinage of at least some covenant theologians, and that it can take the shape either of direct replacementism (i.e. the church replaces Israel), or else conceptual replacementism...

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Part Three

A Little More on the Reality of ‘Replacementism’

Theologian R. Kendall Soulen opens his book about supercessionism in church history with an explanation of what supercessionism is:

According to this teaching, God chose the Jewish people after the fall of Adam in order to prepare...

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Part Two

Replacement of Concepts?

In the book The Meaning of the Millennium(ed. Robert G. Clouse), the well known postmillennial scholar Loraine Boettner said,

The land of Palestine…was given to Abraham and his seed “for an everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8).  But the same...

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Part One

It’s a Real Thing

That replacement theology actually exists should be beyond dispute.  In a well known admission, the esteemed NT scholar C.E.B. Cranfield wrote,

the assumption that the Church has simply replaced Israel as the people of God is extremely common. . . . And I confess...

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Recently I have been reminded of the Reformed community’s aversion to the label of supercessionism, or worse, replacement theology.  In the last decade or so particularly I have read repeated disavowals of this term from covenant theologians.  Not wanting to misrepresent or smear...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:06

Messiah in the Pentateuch

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I want to turn quickly to consider the picture of the Messiah in the story as we have it in the first five Books of Moses.  If one hesitates to bring to the Pentateuch what one already knows from the rest of Scripture the picture of the Promised One is diminished but still of real interest.[1]&...

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Saturday, 14 January 2017 10:32

An Independent Land Covenant? – A Note

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Bridging the portentous chapter 28 and the hopeful chapter 30, Deuteronomy 29 contains what is often referred to, especially in Dispensational literature, as ‘the Palestinian covenant.’[1]  Clearly the way the chapter begins must be taken seriously:

These are the words of...

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Friday, 06 January 2017 13:52

The Mosaic Covenant and Other Covenants

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The Mosaic Covenant as a Historical Placeholder for Other Covenants

If the commandments in the ‘Ten Words’ on Sinai (Exod. 20) and all those that followed in their train were too stringent for a fallen people to keep, at least the covenant God made with Israel, and which they voluntarily...

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imageBook Review: The Case For Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ, by Brant Pitre, New York: Image, 2016, 242 pages, hdbk.

I suppose that the first thing I ought to say is that this is not The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, nor is it related to the set of books spawned by it. This is...

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:01

Exodus and the Mosaic Covenant (pt.3)

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Part Two

The Relationship between the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants

The covenant with Abraham was, as we have seen, the source from which the people of Israel were created.  But a people without a land can never truly be a nation, and Yahweh had promised that very thing (Gen. 12:2; 17:20;...

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016 18:23

Exodus and the Mosaic covenant (pt.2)

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Part One

Relationship

The covenant Lord comes to establish a relationship.  This relationship is not yet predicated upon the finished work of Christ at Calvary, so the judicial element demands law.  Still, it also entails the fact that the God of the Law is the God also of grace.  If...

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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:10

Exodus and the Mosaic Covenant (pt. 1)

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More book excerpts

With the Book of Exodus we bid adieu to the Patriarchal period and are thrown into the misery of slavery and hopelessness.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are long dead.  The covenant promise is all but a forlorn hope.  Even Joseph’s eminence in Egypt has been...

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016 11:21

Abraham. Isaac and Jacob (Pt.3)

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Part Two

“Israel”

There has been quite a build up to the appearance of the word “Israel” in the first book of the Pentateuch.  When it appears in chapter 32 we get an immediate ethnic link between Jacob/Israel and the sons of Israel (32:32).  This is everywhere the...

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Thursday, 17 November 2016 10:58

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Pt.2)

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Part One

The sequel has Isaac making a pact with Abimelech after which the God of Providence gave him water.  Since there had been quarreling over water sources the conflict was resolved by covenant (cf. Heb. 6:16), Isaac named the new place “Beersheba,” meaning “well of the...

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Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:38

TELOS shorts: Questions Answers

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imageWhat with pastoring a church, teaching a weekly theology course at another church, dealing with the joys of a new baby girl, and working on the new house I am finding myself with too little time on me hands.  One of the things that is having to “give” is my beloved Telos...

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