Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Chez Kneel: The Bugblaster

Chez Kneel: A question for my amillennial friends

An interesting question and some very interesting responses.


  • I thought this comment from DJP was especially poignant:

    Broadly speaking, the dispensationalist's conclusions are controlled by his hermeneutics, whereas the amill's hermeneutics are controlled by his conclusions.

    What do you think?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/12/2006 5:31 PM  

  • I think the DJP quote fails to recognize that both Disp. and Cov./Amil "constructs" are just that constructs. Of course I sense a little sarcasm in DJP's comment ;~). I think both traditions are a bit artificial, thus my affinity for the "true way"--Progressive Disp. ;~). Which actually is a bit of a blending of both these variant positions; e.g. it sees the NOW of the Davidic Kingdom as amillers do, but it also sees the NOT YET of the Davidic kingdom which will only be realized when Jesus sets up His Messianic Kingdom in Jerusalem as Disp. hold to (see Rom 11; Ez. 36; etc.).

    Disp. typically see the OT as providing the normative herm. for interpreting biblical prophecy; while Amil. typically see the NT as providing the normative interp. grid. I see a dialectic between the two; i.e. there are informing principles of interp. in both "testaments" relative to how we should interpret prophetic literature. Ultimately we need to be seeking the "sense" which the original author originally intended to communicate and get across to his "implied readers"--thus the need for "us" (the readers) to continue to ask "readerly questions"--which will ultimately lead us to the divine/human intended meaning; not to the sensus plenior ("full meaning) that Amils operate under (btw: eschatology, for amillers, is something that the "Reformed" never abaonded in regards to the Roman Catholic interpretive tradition; e.g they mirror each other).

    In Christ,

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 8/12/2006 9:08 PM  

  • Unfortunately, DJP seems to communicate in a way that basically says "Either you agree with me, or you don't believe the Bible". I have a hard time believing that's what Dan means, but it sure comes across that way to me a lot. Reference his follow-up comment that the dispensational view of the passage is "It means what it says."

    That sounds very noble and conservative and "true to the text", but as several others responded, what does the text say? That is often the question.

    Dan doesn't seem to realize that any system of theology (in his case dispy and calvinist) willingly moves away from what the text actually says when it is convenient for them to. The difference is whether or not we acknowledge that we do that.

    To paraphrase Dan's comments on another subject, I can make these criticisms of dispensationalism because I used to be a dispensationalist. ;)

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 8/12/2006 10:10 PM  

  • Hey, Bobby ...
    I think that was a good "middle of the road" analysis. I must read your comment over a couple of times to make sure I understand it. Thanks for it!

    Hi Steve,
    Long time, no see. Well, I noticed the "It means what it says" comment from DJP and I sorta cheered because I don't really appreciate the "deeper, hidden meaning" hermenuetical approach used by such as H. Camping. I did notice my friend Jeremy said "What does it say?" My response in my head was, "It says what it seems to say ... it says what it says!"

    I am not real familiar with DJP or his blogging style so much.

    I really liked this part of your comment:
    any system of theology ... willingly moves away from what the text actually says when it is convenient for them to. The difference is whether or not we acknowledge that we do that.

    Thanks for the visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/13/2006 2:18 PM  

  • Thanks for the shout Rose.

    I also thought that the answers were interesting. And all of those that answered really are friends. Well, except for Garry Weaver. ;)

    Steve, I think DJP was expressing frustration that the amill position throws out the plain meaning of, for example Isaiah 65:20, when there doesn't seem to be any reason to do so. Yes, he can be sarcastic, can't he? :)

    For my part, (and to be a bit hyperbolic) if I make the passage fit my eschatology by ignoring the plain meaning of the verse, when there doesn't seem to be any textual, contextual, or NT guidance reason to do so, then the entire Bible is up for figurative grabs, and I then must lose confidence that any literal passages are really meant to be taken literally.

    Did Jesus literally rise from the dead? Many liberals say no. They say the resurrection accounts are symbolic and figurative, because they don't fit their broader interpretive scheme, even though the resurrection accounts naturally read in a vividly literal way.

    Bobby, I'm sort of with you on ProgDisp perhaps. Haven't quite come to terms yet.

    By Blogger BugBlaster, at 8/14/2006 10:49 PM  

  • Oh and to avoid misunderstanding, yes I believe Jesus literally rose from the dead, and no I am not liberal!

    By Blogger BugBlaster, at 8/14/2006 10:51 PM  

  • Hi Bugblaster,
    I am glad you found this post. I so appreciate what you have said about the slippery slope of spiritualizing Scripture and moving away from the plain meaning. I have always found this hermenuetical principle to be very helpful:
    when the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense.
    I have a photo of a lion laying down with a lamb in my sons' bedroom and I love it because I believe it will literally happen - how glorious and dramatic will the change be in the kingdom.

    Thanks for you visit and for the well wishes on my "changes in profile" post.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/15/2006 9:47 PM  

  • Somehow, my comments tracker didn't pick up the responses to this, so I didn't realize anyone had commented after me. I'm very late getting back to this because of that. Sorry!

    I actually come from the perspective of "if the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense", so I'm not dissing that at all.

    I'm trying to get better at commenting more frequently on blogs I read. Yours is one I read anytime you post (I have you in my Bloglines), but don't always click over to comment.

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 8/22/2006 9:05 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/23/2006 1:48 AM  

  • ...ops, I didn't answer the blog's question, so never mind.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/23/2006 7:40 AM  

  • Rose, going back to your first quote in the first comment, the amillennialist would say:

    Broadly speaking, the amillennialist's conclusions are controlled by his hermeneutics, whereas the dispensationalist's hermeneutics are controlled by his conclusions.

    The amill groupie looks at the entirity of Scripture and sees one people of God, Christ reigning now with the saints in heaven, Satan not deceiving the nations because the gospel is going into all the nations, unlike the times prior to Christ where Israel was basically the only place where God was known. The amill then follows the dictum of the clear portions of Scripture guide the interpretation of the less clear parts, especiall those full of symbolism.

    But this practice is not limited to amillennialists. Every dedicated Christian is trying to do that. What clicks for me and some others does not click for you and others. What clicks for you and many others does not click for me and many of my friends. The quote, and my modification of it, shows our particular biases. The trick is finding the truth (which is amillennialism -- so all of you come on over to the Scriptural side :o) I grew up in a dispenational church. Hal Lindsay (the Late Great Planet Earth, etc.) preached frequently there. I found it confusing. My inlaws find it intuative and clear. When I came across amillennialism, I sighed a great relief, it made sense and fit Scripture. When I explain it to my inlaws, they are horrified (well, not really, they're great, considering they're Independent Dispensational Baptists -- just kidding! :o). When I talk about recapitualation in Revelation, their eyes glaze over. Oh well. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/23/2006 5:07 PM  

  • Steve,
    I am glad to have you!

    You are just so very reasonable! Because of this quality, I am certain that you will return to the dispensational understanding of Scripture. ;~)
    No really, you are right, and we all would do well to remember that others are just as sincere as ourselves. God bless you brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/24/2006 11:30 AM  

  • Rose, thanks for the generous response. Sincerity, while great does not gaurantee I have the truth. Perhaps one day I'll shock everyone and come back to Dispensationalism. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/24/2006 10:47 PM  

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