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

Friday, March 09, 2007

How Many Seeds?

A friend of mine has been sending me some rather intense emails. He doesn't read my blog, but if he does, then I am sure he will be glad that I don't list his name here. He was trying to tell me about this new Theology he has found - New Covenant Theology. He was saying things like this in the email:

At this point, I’ve come to understand that Covenantalism is an abhorrence and classical Dispensationalism is an abomination. Seriously … you’d see it for yourself if you’d merely be willing to look!

I wondered where this extreme language was coming from. I couldn't help but feel like his attitude was a little condescending, to say the least. Then, another friend gave us a book - one of two books that these two guys are studying together. Now I think I understand. Does anyone else have any thoughts on the spirit, attitude and content on the back cover of this book as posted below?
_______________________________________

Abraham's Four Seeds by John G. Reisinger (from back cover)

Abraham's Four Seeds is a biblical examination of the presuppositions of Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. Pastor, evenagelist, and author John G. Reisinger demonstrates how a correct understanding of Abraham's seeds is key to harmonizing Scripture. He writes:

The following statement, if correctly inderstood, will help to clear up a lot of confusion: The nation of Israel was not the 'Body of Christ,' even though the Body of Christ is indeed the true 'Israel of God.'

Covenant Theology cannot accept the first part of that staement and Dispensationalism cannot accept the second part. The basic presuppositions of Covenant Theology make it mandatory that Israel be the church and be under the same covenant as the church, and the one thing a Dispensationalist must maintain is the church's present and future distinction from Israel whcih makes it mandatory that Israel and the church can never be under the same covenant or inherit the same blessings. What is essential to one system is anahtema to the other system.

Dispensationalism cannot get Israel and the church together in any sense whatever, and Covenant Theology cannot get them apart. Dispensationalism cannot see that the church is the true Israel of God and the fulfillment of the promises that God made to Abraham and the fathers, and Covenant Theology insists that Israel and the Body of Christ are equally the "same redeemed church under the same 'covenant of grace' and governed by the same identical 'canon of conduct.'"

Dispensationalism drives a wedge between the OT and the NT and never the twain shall meet as specific PROMISE (OT) and identical FULFILLMENT (NT); and Covenant Theology flattens the whole Bible out into one covenant where there is no real and vital distinction between either the Old and New Covenants or Israel and the church.

The Old Covenant proved one's guilt and forbade one to draw near without a prefect righteousness or an acceptable sacrifice. The New Covenant declares a believer to be both righteous and acceptable in God's sight, and it bids him come boldly without fear into the very Most Holy place that was totally closed off to all but Aaron under the Old Covenant.

The law as a legal covenant ended when the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, and the law as a pedagogue over the conscience was dismissed on the day of Pentecost when the 'promise of the Father' took up his abode in every believer as the personal Vicar of the ascended Lord. The giving of the Spirit is the proof of the accepted work of Christ in the heavenly tabernacle, and the 'given Spirit' INDWELLING the believer is the indelible assurance of our eternal acceptance by the Father.

It is the author's desire that this book would be of benefit to those who desire to understand "What does the Scripture say?" May the watchword SOLA SCRIPTURA have real meaning in the church!

________________________

The book is available here.

14 Comments:

  • Rose,

    I did a little web search on John Reisinger and found some resources you might find interesting. Rev. Reisinger is apparently a Reformed Baptist minister who does not shrink from controversy. One of the first articles of his that I was able to find, a fairly typical defense of limited atonement, is this one:

    There Are Only Two Religions in The Whole World
    by John G. Reisinger

    I am not familiar with the publication "Outside the Camp" but it appears to be reformed in orientation. He said some things which really hit a nerve with them per the following article:

    Heterodoxy Hall of Shame
    (with a response)
    (From Outside the Camp Vol. 4, No. 2)

    I also found an online version of his book Abraham's Seed. It was not password protected which seems odd if they did not want outsiders to find it. I will give you the link but I would be careful of violating copyrights:

    Abraham's Seed

    I did copy the following quote from the introduction:

    "Our clear-cut view of the Doctrines of Grace and the unity of the Scriptures aligns us with the Reformers and the Puritans. The Anabaptists will never teach anyone the Doctrines of Grace. Our view of the unity of the Scriptures make it impossible for us to accept the Dispensationalism set forth in the Scofield Reference Bible. On the other hand, our Baptistic view that the New Covenant in Jesus Christ has replaced the Old Covenant at Sinai makes it just as impossible for us to accept the Covenant Theology set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith. It was that very Covenant view of Scripture that was used by the Puritans to justify the use of the steel sword against our Baptist forefathers. The true heirs of the Puritan view of Covenant Theology are those who today espouse what is called Theonomy. Some people feel that if the Theonomists were to gain control, Baptist blood — along with other kinds — would once more be shed in the name of 'God's holy truth.'"

    With a statement like that, the Rev. Reisinger does not seem to be trying to make any friends.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 3/09/2007 10:51 AM  

  • Well, I can't wait to see the fire-storm this post will generate.

    New Covenant Theology is still a work in progress. Working on its developement are representatives from both Progressive Dispensationism and Covenant Theology. In fact, on my blog there is a link "Sola Gracia" where both Progressive Dispy's and Covy's are working together in the spread of the gospel.

    My observation is that some NCT'ers seem more hostile to Dispy's than others.

    I wish I could find my lost copy of >The Four Seeds< as it has been lost around here somewhere.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/09/2007 10:51 AM  

  • "In fact, on my blog there is a link "Sola Gracia" where both Progressive Dispy's and Covy's are working together in the spread of the gospel."

    That should read,where both Progressive Dispy's and NEW Covy's are working together in the spread of the gospel.

    To all: Rose is currently having problems logging into her blog. Please pray for her to have wisdom to find the problem. So, if she seems to be away from this post, well, she is not. Be patient, she'll find the problem and be back promptly.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/09/2007 11:37 AM  

  • Glenn,
    Thank you for those links. I clicked on the first one and I recognized it. I think the emailer in the post had sent me that link - promoting that which is contained therein.
    I will check out the other link.
    No, I don't think he is trying to "make friends." I just hope my frineds do not tak e on more of the attitude.
    Thanks for stopping by! Feeel free to add anything else you thank of.

    Mark,
    Thanks for your comment. What do you think of the hostility?
    Your friend!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/09/2007 1:59 PM  

  • I can't spell. Sorry for all the typos

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/09/2007 2:11 PM  

  • Outside the camp is a rediculous campaign to proclaim that anyone who does not believe in limited atonement is unregenerate, in fact they say you are not saved even if you do believe in limited atonement, and accept those who do not as brothers in Christ!

    --Michael Thompson

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/09/2007 9:43 PM  

  • Rose, John Reisinger is just one voice in NCT. He is very blunt.

    Another voice in NCT is Fred Zaspel, also on my blogroll. He strikes me as much, much more friendly to the Dipensational brethren.

    I do not want to come off as phoney here. I have harbored ill feelings towards Dispensationalism for years now. I have been wrong to do that. I may not agree with their approach to interpreting scripture,but being snarky as I have been does not help the situation. Please forgive my bad approach.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/10/2007 12:06 AM  

  • Also just to avoid any confusion or engaging in "guilt by association", not all (and probably very minimally) Progressive Dispensationalists follow the extremism of "Reisinger's" brand of New Covenant Theology.

    And I am one of those who would not endorse or embrace this view point.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/10/2007 5:29 AM  

  • As am I, Bobby.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/10/2007 3:49 PM  

  • In today's postmodern mentality, it is common and even politically correct to phrase everything as though you were in fact only "possibly" correct. To speak with conviction is suddenly offensive because someone might not share your conviction.

    I think this is one of those "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" things, except here it reads like "offense is in the ear of the hearer."

    I am not aligned with any theological system, having not grown up in a church, nor been mentored into some system of theology - rather my theology rises out of a simple hermeneutic - I read the bible, and because I believe God wrote it to be understood by men, I believe it to be entirely comprehensible, and that being an inspired work it is consistent with itself, that is, what it says in the small picture never contradicts what it says in the big picture. It is the manual by which we learn about God, for the purpose of knowing God.

    I think therefore that I do not mind other peoples opinions in the matter, I just assume that we have a different approach to scripture. I am only offended when someone's religion doesn't draw them to God, but rather into a counterfeit faith that may indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

    Either way, I only mention my hermeneutic to put my comment into context.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 3/11/2007 9:28 AM  

  • Hey Rose,

    I think Daniel has some good thoughts. We are all a work in progress and perhaps it is helpful that we not develop the mindset of checking on who is tithing and who isn't in applying it to how one thinks. It does look like Reisinger has some good thoughts and I find myself agreeing with a lot of it, but he has feet o clay jus like you and I do.

    Jesus did call Herod a fox once and I have always tried to meditate on the context as he was a person that needed his love as well but may have been offended and considered that an insult.

    Hey Daniel,
    It did always amaze me that when ABC years ago had that show "Politically Incorrect" they had Bill Maher hosting it of all things. Ha! Good thoughts brother.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 3/11/2007 1:46 PM  

  • Michael,
    I did think Outside the Camp sounded pretty ridiculous.

    Mark,
    You don't come off as phoney. You are very passionate about things and do you have a lil temper sometimes? ;~)
    We can all understand that.
    Sometimes it is hard not to be snarky.
    Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Bobby,
    Wait, wait. Why do you say "not all"... do a lot of PD follow NCT? Is there a lot of overlap?
    Bobby, here is something I have noticed about you - it seems most often that the second word in the label you wear is not lost. ;~)

    Hi Gordon!

    Daniel,
    ...except here it reads like "offense is in the ear of the hearer."

    Do you mean the emailer's offense - that he was offended by dispensationalsim as evidenced by him calling it an "abomination"? or ... do you mean that you think I am offended by a friend telling me that the hermenuetic I have been studying the Bible with is not just disagreeable to him, but "an abomination"?
    Who is offended that you refer to in your statement?

    I try to only speak with conviction about things that I am positively convinced about. It is a good idea. But ... if one is convinced, then one whould not equivocate. I agree with that. We can be polite, though.
    You sound like a very patient person.

    Hi Bhedr!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/12/2007 12:41 PM  

  • I think I used to think along these lines.

    But now I rejoice in the cosmic dualism of Darby and Chafer.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/14/2007 8:43 AM  

  • Rose,

    Please don’t think I am extreme in my following comment; I have many brothers and sisters in Christ who I love who believe they are the true “Israel of God.” But in my blogspot The Israel of God I try to give a historical perspective of the terrible consequences of that misunderstanding.

    Reisinger, in the following quotes, exemplifies the common thread of essentially every Christian cult; identifying themselves as the true “Israel of God.”

    “Dispensationalism cannot see that the church is the true Israel of God and the fulfillment of the promises that God made to Abraham and the fathers…” (John G. Reisinger, Abraham's Four Seeds).

    “… the Body of Christ is indeed the true 'Israel of God' (John G. Reisinger, Abraham's Four Seeds).

    http://theisraelofgod.blogspot.com/2007/02/arian-israel-of-god.html

    http://theisraelofgod.blogspot.com/2007/02/arian-israel-of-god.html

    Reisinger also neglects the most basic principle for understanding His Word: “To whom is it written and what does it say?”

    http://to-my-children.blogspot.com/2007/03/dont-interpret-scripture.html

    http://to-my-children.blogspot.com/2007/03/dont-interpret-scripture.html

    By Blogger Christian, at 3/17/2007 3:16 AM  

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