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

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Literal Interpretation is Important Why?

Dispensationalism (Literal Hermenuetic) and the True Gospel Message
An exerpt from a great article by Shawn Abigail

... To this point, we have defended Dispensationalism by showing that it teaches a single method of salvation, and is not linked to either the Calvinistic or Arminian theological camps. But what positive effects does it have in the preaching of the Gospel? If we consider the three foundational principles upon which Dispensationalism is built, we will see that far from corrupting the Gospel, Dispensationalism defends the Gospel! These foundational principles are literal interpretation of the Bible, a distinction between the Church and Israel, and an emphasis on the Glory of God.

The first foundation of Dispensationalism is literal interpretation of the Bible. Literal interpretation is absolutely essential for the clear and correct understanding of the Gospel. Consider for moment a few verses of Scripture, and the potential effect if a person does not take them literally:

Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

Isaiah 64:6 - "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;"

Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Ephesians 2:8,9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

John 3:18 - "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Obviously the Gospel cannot be preached clearly and correctly, and cannot be understood and received effectually unless literal interpretation of the Bible is used. We should be on our guard against any systems of theology that reject literal interpretation!

The second foundation for Dispensationalism is a distinction between the Church and Israel. First Corinthians 10:32 says, "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:". There is a great distinction in Scripture between the Church and Israel. This has a powerful effect in the content of our Gospel. There are some who are presenting the "prosperity gospel" which in effect says, if you obey God, material blessings will result. Obviously this comes from confusing Israel with the Church. While Israel had spiritual blessings, their blessings were primarily physical. On the other hand, while the Church has physical blessings, our blessings are primarily spiritual. This "prosperity gospel" is taken to ridiculous heights, reducing the Almighty God to no much more than Santa Claus.

Making a clear distinction between the Church and Israel also helps when some would muddy the waters through judaizing (i.e. trying to make Old Testament Law apply to Christians in the current dispensation). Making a distinction between the Church and Israel will help preserve our Gospel message from those who would make Sabbath keeping, animal sacrifice or dietary laws part of the message of salvation.

The third foundation for Dispensationalism is an emphasis on God's Glory rather than man's salvation as being God's ultimate purpose. You may ask, how does this contribute to the Gospel message? First, it helps remind sinful man that he will someday glorify God, either in His Divine Mercy as Saviour, or in His Divine Justice as Judge. This is a fearful and powerful message! This emphasis on God's Glory also helps lift the burden in evangelism off of us. Oh yes, we are still required to preach the word, to witness, to show forth the way of salvation! But God Himself in the One who obtains the results. A Dispensationalist knows that God is Glorified every time the Gospel is preached, and we do not allow ourselves to become discouraged if we are being faithful in preaching the Good News but go through a "dry spell" when we see few souls saved.
__________________________________

I found this article on this website: Brethren Online

44 Comments:

  • Yes, that is a good article.

    Though I agree with critics of Dispensationalism that literal interpetation is not always all that easy to define. I think Jonathan Moorhead made that point a while ago.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/02/2007 11:01 AM  

  • Rose,

    I think this author over-simplifies literal interp. He doesn't seem to talk about the different TYPES of lit. we find in scripture. How does he interp. Song of Solomon for example?

    Actually this article sounds exactly like Ryrie in his book: Dispensationalism. Have you read this book, Rose? You should its an essential read for any "good" Dispensationalist :).

    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/02/2007 1:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Major Bible Themes by Chafer/Walvord is the book I have on my shelves. It's been quite a few years ago since I have opened it up, but at the time it answered quite a few of my questions. I agree with your article..alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at 5/03/2007 8:08 PM  

  • Rose,

    Thank you for a very discerning and much needed observation:

    “Obviously the Gospel cannot be preached clearly and correctly, and cannot be understood and received effectually unless literal interpretation of the Bible is used. We should be on our guard against any systems of theology that reject literal interpretation!”

    Every “Christian” cult is a consequence of spiritualizing or allegorizing or misappropriating the plain and simple and often literal words of Scripture

    The Israel of God Blog is a chronology of the destructiveness of a less than literal interpretation of His Word. The following is a representative post:

    “EVERY PROMISE IN THE BOOK IS MINE, EVERY CHAPTER, EVERY VERSE, EVERY LINE … EVERY PROMISE IN THE BOOK IS MINE, MINE, MINE, MINE.” Unfortunately, the refrain of this old hymn exemplifies the error of essentially every “Christian” cult i.e., spiritualizing His Word, particularly in regard to Israel. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are Revelation’s hundred and forty and four thousand chosen from all the tribes of the children of Israel. Mormons believe they are the ten lost tribes of Israel. British Israelism reportedly teaches that Britain is Ephraim and America Manasseh. Searching the internet for the phrase New Covenant, I inadvertently accessed a church of that name that “professes” the Lord Jesus Christ; they believe they are the new white Arian Israel of God.


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

    By Blogger Christian, at 5/04/2007 2:55 AM  

  • *they believe they are the new white Arian Israel of God.*

    Arian or Aryan? The first relates to those who deny the Deity of Jesus Christ as followers of Arius. The other to white Supremacists.

    A bit like Arminians and Amenians.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 5/04/2007 9:14 AM  

  • DF,
    Yes, I remember that. I think it is safe to say we know what it is not. :~)

    Bobby,
    Interesting that you mention that book! John was reading that book when I first met him. He came into the restaurant where I was waitressing and was reading that book. I thought it was so cool. I knew what dispensationalism was because I listened to J. Vernon McGee and had read through his volumes as well as "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth" but I had not made a big study out of it. I thought it was interesting that someone would.

    To answer your question, I have not read the whole book, shame on me. I have read certain chapters, but never cover to cover. I intend to, though. I have a list of about 5 books that I need to read in the near future. My time is so limited. Then ... I spend time blogging. ha!
    I really want to read "There Really is a Difference" by Renald Showers. Have you read it, Bobby? I just ordered it from Amazon for John.

    Alvin,
    Hello and welcome to my blog! I think my husband has that book too!

    Christian,
    I learned that the hard way about not every promise in the Bible being to me as a Christian. Your point is well taken and so true, even if you used the wrong word for "Aryan."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2007 9:31 AM  

  • Colin,
    Thanks for the education on those words! ... but, I think you meant Armenians, not Amenians. Or did you mean Amerians?
    hehehe

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2007 9:32 AM  

  • No, Rose. I meant "Amenians?" - They're the people who shout "Amen" at the wrong time in the meetings. There is a whole write up here:

    http://www.corkfpc.com/amenians.html

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 5/04/2007 10:49 AM  

  • Rose, it would be helpful to know what it is though.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/04/2007 11:34 AM  

  • My sister and I used to play games about a made up country called Armania. I cannot remember anything about it.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/04/2007 11:39 AM  

  • Hey Rose--

    Yes, the issue of "literal" interpretation is quite tricky to define. Although Christian thinks that there is a "plain and simple" meaning to Scripture, the crux of the issue is "plain and simple" to who, and upon what criterion?

    Consider for example the ridiculous "debate" about origins and a literal interpretation of Genesis. The literalists often argue that a literal interpretation requires one to acknowledge a "literal" seven day creation. But what if the ancient writers did not mean this at all? The interpretation of the literalists would then be, interestingly, no longer "literal" in that they diverge from the original meaning of the writers, and are only "literal" within the schema of their interpretive matrices, which conclusion removes the original claims of literality in the first place. The problem, then, is that the literalists are too blind to the myriad ways in which their interpretations are shaped by presuppositions and assumptions about Scripture and its meaning when the same presuppositions and assumptions may or may not have been shared by the actual writers.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 5/05/2007 12:03 AM  

  • Rose,

    Let me address Exist~Dissolve’s comment:

    “Christian thinks that there is a ‘plain and simple’ meaning to Scripture”

    Please let me qualify regarding: “the plain and simple… words of Scripture.” Words are plain and simple, they’re literal (Latin litteralis) i.e., concerning letters. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary gives as its primary definition: “using or interpreting words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.”

    Have a five pound Arndt and Gingrich (Greek-English Lexicon) on my shelf. It’s a little hard looking up biblical words alphabetically in Greek to determine the cultural and literary context of the time they were written. But it is reassuring to know that each word has an explicit and pristine meaning.

    Our Lord said: “… Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Coding at work today, I was careful to avoid a single misplaced word or character or jot or tittle. Sometimes the consequence is not immediate, sometimes months later a single misplaced word or character or jot or tittle in a program will have catastrophic consequence.

    Exist~Dissolve questions: “But what if the ancient writers…” Good question, Who were the Ancient Writers:

    “… man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:3).

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

    All scripture is given by inspiration (theopneustos) of God...” (2 Timothy 3:16) i.e., by the breath of God.

    By Blogger Christian, at 5/05/2007 3:38 AM  

  • Please let me qualify regarding: “the plain and simple… words of Scripture.” Words are plain and simple, they’re literal (Latin litteralis) i.e., concerning letters. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary gives as its primary definition: “using or interpreting words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.”

    Again, I will ask: Who determines the "usual or most basic sense" of a word or phrase? You are naively assuming that words have absolute, determinable meanings. Quite to the contrary, words are carrier devices that are used to package, transport and deliver larger meanings. While they are certainly important to the communication of meaning, they are not themselves meaning, just as a UPS box does not encapsulate within its own essence that which is contained therein.

    The very usefulness and meaningfulness of language is rooted explicitly in the variability of words and their meanings.

    Have a five pound Arndt and Gingrich (Greek-English Lexicon) on my shelf. It’s a little hard looking up biblical words alphabetically in Greek to determine the cultural and literary context of the time they were written. But it is reassuring to know that each word has an explicit and pristine meaning.

    Explicit and pristine? C'mon, don't kid yourself. While it is possible to ascertain with a certain measure of confidence approximations of word meanings, the kind of exactitude which you profess to be not only possible, but moreover accomplished within scholarship is ridiculous. Surely your own experiences with human language within familiar contexts--and the often attendant frustrations with difficulty of communication--illustrates how unrealistic your assertions are. After all, if we trip up daily on the phenomenological significance of word meanings, usages, etc. within our own language, culture and familial contexts, how much more difficult is the task when applied to a context 2000 years, dozens of cultures and several epistemological shifts removed?

    Again, I am not saying that approximation of meaning is impossible; after all, it is possible to get a sense of the range of meaning applied to words used within particular periods of time, cultures, etc. However, not linguist would ever claim that "explicit and pristine" word meanings can be excavated from the past, even as the same is epistemologically and philologically impossible in our own contexts.

    Our Lord said: “… Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Coding at work today, I was careful to avoid a single misplaced word or character or jot or tittle. Sometimes the consequence is not immediate, sometimes months later a single misplaced word or character or jot or tittle in a program will have catastrophic consequence.

    I am a coder too, which creates a measure of surprise in me that you would appeal to such an inapplicable example. Coding "language" and human language are not equivalent by any stretch of the imagination. In the former, the coder is practically omniscient in that she understands the means and ends of interfacing data, performing operations, etc. But the important part of this "language" is that it is not "contextual" in the sense that input from outside of the linguistic environment will not change the language.

    Human language, on the other hand, is interminably contextual. Influences from within and without will continually nuance and alter it, both in phenomenological consequence and epistemological determination. Also lacking is the omniscience of the "linguist," for the communicator is forever operating in a partial dark, only ever able to approximate word values with others who may or may not use similar words in commensurate ways.

    “… man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:3).

    Luke lived long before the canon was formally codified by the ecumenical councils of the later centuries.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

    "In the beginning was the bible, and the bible was with God, and bible was God"... Really? Perhaps you should look up how Arndt parses out Logos in this passage...

    I will not go into how your statement is intrinsically heretical.

    “All scripture is given by inspiration (theopneustos) of God...” (2 Timothy 3:16) i.e., by the breath of God.

    I'm not really sure what this has to do with what I have been saying. Even if you claim a verbal plenary view of Scripture, the Scriptures were still written by humans, in human language. Even if one can make the claim (albeit ultimately unverifiable) that no variances of meaning exist in the texts, one still must interpret the Scriptures. As the act of interpretion, however, will engage not only the inexactitude of human linguistic methodologies, but will further interact with the subjectivities and philosophical presuppositions of the individual interpreter, I cannot understand how your final assertion will lead to a conclusion that is meaningfully different from what I have been advocating.

    And even if you deny that what I am saying is compelling, your conclusion is not much more so, for you will inevitably have to rely upon Arndt to provide you with definitions of the words to which you wish to apply absolute meaning. But the only way in which you could remain consistent with your presuppositions concerning the possible precision of human language in re: the Scriptures is if you ascribe a similar notion of inspiration and infallibility to Arndt that you would to the Scriptures.

    As I doubt you would be willing to do this, you must see that your argument will and does fall precisely where you assert that it is most consistent, for the "explicit and pristine" word meanings upon which you rely to assert your position are ultimately delivered unto you by non-inspired sources. Upon what criterion, then, can you be sure that they have sufficiently parsed out the linguistic meanings of the words that compose the texts of Scripture? Surely you must admit that this is a tremendously weak and devastating link in your presuppositional framework?

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 5/05/2007 10:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Great post!

    ED said, ...just as a UPS box does not encapsulate within its own essence that which is contained therein.

    ED, you have used the wrong company then. USPS delivers!

    To argue against the plenary inspiration of Scripture, because the company of your choice has mishandled it is sad. You can do better than that can’t you? At least call a spade a spade. One may not have faith that God would choose to communicate to man through His vehicle of choice, the Bible (and the words therein). Others may feel (by faith) that God has decided to use the Bible as His primary vehicle of communication.

    With this clearly communicated we can move to the argument of this post; interpretation. In his book Effective Bible Study, H. F. Vos has listed 17 methods all of which, as I recall, employ the idea of the golden rule of interpretation, you may be familiar with it, “WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE OF SCRIPTURE MAKES COMMON SENSE, SEEK NO OTHER SENSE; THEREFORE, TAKE EVERY WORD AT ITS PRIMARY, ORDINARY, USUAL, LITERAL MEANING UNLESS THE FACTS OF THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT, STUDIED IN THE LIGHT OF RELATED PASSAGES AND AXIOMATIC AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS INDICATE CLEARLY OTHERWISE.” This leaves the expositor a full time, life long job, which is not without its joys and struggles and rewards. To get the most from our english Bible takes work.

    This is not to say there are no unanswerable questions in the Bible (one example is on the sidebar of this blog, i.e. the TULIP thing), but in the framework of God’s desire to tell us something wonderful about Himself, I for one feel (by faith) that He has communicated well through humans, in human language, to reach humans including you and me with His messages and I do mean that literally.

    Time is short,
    John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/06/2007 7:37 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Only Look, at 5/06/2007 1:39 PM  

  • exist~desolve said:
    Consider for example the ridiculous "debate" about origins and a literal interpretation of Genesis. The literalists often argue that a literal interpretation requires one to acknowledge a "literal" seven day creation. But what if the ancient writers did not mean this at all?

    The Bible says:
    Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

    I think a child could figure that out! You have to be highly educated to get anything else out of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/06/2007 1:53 PM  

  • ED, you have used the wrong company then. USPS delivers!

    Indeed.

    To argue against the plenary inspiration of Scripture, because the company of your choice has mishandled it is sad.

    Protestantism was not my choice...

    You can do better than that can’t you? At least call a spade a spade.

    Um, that's what I am doing.

    One may not have faith that God would choose to communicate to man through His vehicle of choice, the Bible (and the words therein). Others may feel (by faith) that God has decided to use the Bible as His primary vehicle of communication.

    I do not deny that there is communication of divine importance in the Scriptures. But that was not the point of my comments. My issue is with the naive assumptions that many posit to epistemological frameworks concerning the value and utility of that which they classify as "literal" interpretations of Scripture. As any determination of "literality" will necessarily proceed from the personal subjectivities of the interpreter, I hardly see how throwing around words like "plain and common-sense meaning" is helpful to the conversation. After all, and I ask again, upon what criterion is the determination being made concerning that which is "plain and common sense" and that which is obfuscating?

    In his book Effective Bible Study, H. F. Vos has listed 17 methods all of which, as I recall, employ the idea of the golden rule of interpretation, you may be familiar with it, “WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE OF SCRIPTURE MAKES COMMON SENSE, SEEK NO OTHER SENSE; THEREFORE, TAKE EVERY WORD AT ITS PRIMARY, ORDINARY, USUAL, LITERAL MEANING UNLESS THE FACTS OF THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT, STUDIED IN THE LIGHT OF RELATED PASSAGES AND AXIOMATIC AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS INDICATE CLEARLY OTHERWISE.” This leaves the expositor a full time, life long job, which is not without its joys and struggles and rewards. To get the most from our english Bible takes work.

    Again, who is making the determination of the "primary" defintions and meanings of words? Are not words variously deployed by different people and different cultures in different times and circumstances? To say that the "primary" sense of a word should be followed is to impose upon the study of language a naive, presuppositional complex of meanings and values which may or may not align meaningfully with the texts in question.

    This is not to say there are no unanswerable questions in the Bible (one example is on the sidebar of this blog, i.e. the TULIP thing), but in the framework of God’s desire to tell us something wonderful about Himself, I for one feel (by faith) that He has communicated well through humans, in human language, to reach humans including you and me with His messages and I do mean that literally.

    Yes, God has communicated the reality of Godself to humans, and this occurred in the Incarnation of Christ. But even that is a ineffable mystery--how much more the vagrancies of human language!

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 5/06/2007 2:43 PM  

  • The Bible says:
    Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

    I think a child could figure that out! You have to be highly educated to get anything else out of it.


    I'm not entirely sure what to make of this post. I would challenge you to study a broader swath of ancient Near-eastern literature. You will quickly find that not everything put to pen as "history" was intentioned to be interpreted according to the biases of Western conceptions of historicity.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 5/06/2007 2:45 PM  

  • Rose, I think the defining feature of dispensationalists is the distinction between Israel and the Church. A “consistent literal hermeneutic” is too difficult to define, and non-dispensationalists believe in the glory of God in all things. A VERY helpful book in this regard, and a must read for anyone in this debate, is Progressive Dispensationalism

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/06/2007 7:27 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    The thing is, if you don't strive toward a "consistenet literal hermenuetic" then it is easy to blur the distinction between Israel and the church, don't you think? IOW, CLH is the basis for seeing that distinction. I have seen it happen right before my eyes with my brother. As soon as the idea of literal interpretation was off the table, then suddenly the church became Israel. Frightening.

    Colin,
    So you really did mean AMENIANS. Ha! I will have to check out your link.

    Exist-Dissolve,
    Let's just do the best we can.

    Hello "Only Look"!
    It is good to see you around again. I like your new identity. I like what you said on your profile page. I appreciate your comment.

    J. Wendell,
    Thanks for chiming in!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 10:48 AM  

  • Rose,

    how do you interpret Song of Solomon literally? Given the variety of genres and forms and types of literature what does "literal" mean? I think literal is relative to those literary categories I just mentioned. You can recognize this reality, and still see a distinction between Israel and the Church, thus Progressive Dispensationalism. I would second that you read the book Jonathan linked to.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2007 2:41 PM  

  • Hi Bobby!
    It is interesting that you would ask me that. You know I always listened to J. Vernon McGee and read his comments on the Bible from the time I became a believer. His take on the song of Solomon was that it was all about Christ and the Church. Funnily enough, when I met John and we were married, the first book we ever read together was called Biblical Lovemaking by Arnold Fructenbaum. He presents the book as just what it seems to be - a love story about Solomon and the Shulamite. It is a book about married love. Interestingly, although Solomon was a ploygamist, the Song of Solomon seems to show marriage as how it should be - between one man and one woman. The book Solomon penned must have been inspired!

    Bobby, could it be that this is the right way to look at it and not as a story of Christ and His Bride? Maybe it just is what it seems to be?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 3:17 PM  

  • Fructenbaum says that it is classed as a lyric idyll.

    Here are a few quotes from Arnold:

    "In accordance with the literal view, the Song of Solomon must be viewed as a collection of erotic songs or idylls of love which were put together on the basis of a literary merit and not on the basis of allegorical or typical meanings. The purpose is to describe ideal human love and to give God's viewpoint of sexual love within marriage...

    The allegorical approach allows for a complete bypassing of the erotic passages ...

    Since the Scriptures have much to say about God's rules of conduct in every other area of human relations, is it so difficult to believe and expect that God could have something to say of sexual bahaviour?"

    His ideas really made sense to me when I read the book with John!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 3:30 PM  

  • Thank you Rose. What I was really getting at, is how do you interpret was passages like this:

    Song of Songs 6:5, 6-- Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead. 6. your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone.

    How do you interpret this passage literally. Did the shulamite really have flocks of sheep as her teeth?

    My point, that when you say . . . The thing is, if you don't strive toward a "consistenet literal hermenuetic" then it is easy to blur the distinction between Israel and the church, don't you think? . . . What do you mean, given the various types of literature in the scriptures. Do you mean consistently literal, denying figurative language, or do you mean relatively literal, given examples like Song of Songs represents?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2007 4:45 PM  

  • Should we not look for Christ in the OT readings, including Song of Solomon? Luke 24:44/Acts 10:43?

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 5/07/2007 4:54 PM  

  • Oh, oh, oh! I understand now what you are asking, Bobby. Geesh! I went to all that trouble to answer a point that wasn't even made. woops!
    Absolutely, Bobby ... we have talked about that before. When Jesus said "Take, eat, this is my body" ... to take that literally doesn't mean that I become a Catholic and no - the Shulamite didn't have sheep in her mouth. To take the scriptures literally means that we must take into consideration when figurative language is used.

    I love this principle, though: when the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 5:19 PM  

  • Yes, Colin, but we don't want to let our imaginations run away with us, do we?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 5:20 PM  

  • True, Rose, but neither would we want to miss Him either. O fools,and slow of heart to beleive all that the prophets have written!

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 5/07/2007 5:25 PM  

  • Colin,
    You're right. We would not want to miss Him. I hope that I do not miss Him in the words of the Bible. That would be a shame indeed.

    I am sorry if my caution seems like foolishness to you.
    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2007 5:47 PM  

  • Rose,

    sorry I wasn't more precise in my first question. Your response to Jonathan puzzles me then. Are you implying that progressive disp. blurs the line between Israel and the Church? How do you define a consistent literal hermeneutic?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2007 5:57 PM  

  • Hello Rose.

    I think the Song of Solomon is a story about the Shulmaite, her lover and Solomon. Solomon is the bad guy and tries to seduce the Shulamite.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2007 4:11 AM  

  • With the idead of a "consistent literal hermeneutic" shouldn't our hermeneutic be that of the new testament authors when we consider the old testament. What exactly is the definition of "consistant literal hermeneutic". I do truly believe the bible literally, but there are so many types and shadows throughout the old testament that we must make people aware of them.

    My personal favorite thing is to actually take the new testament authors and see how they react to the old testament. We should do this an learn alot from this.

    Some thoughts trying to understand and think through this.

    By Anonymous Shawn L, at 5/08/2007 8:23 AM  

  • Hi Bobby,
    Perhaps I am using the wrong word. Maybe I should say "plain" or "normal" rather than "literal." What I am trying to say is not about any specific train of though like you mention PD, but just the idea that Scripture means what it seems to mean. When I said to Jonathan it is easy to blur the distinction between Israel and the church if one doesn't use a CLH, I meant that if I can start defining words according to my theology or my bent I could blur the distinctions. I could imagine that the whole Bible is talking about me and those in my church when it uses the word "Israel." I know people that do this. I feel that it is a slippery slope, this re-defining of words and spiritualizing the Bible. If the church is the true Israel and I reflect the NT back on the OT, seeing the church in many passages pertaining to Israel, then ... what keeps someone from convincing me that Christ did not really "rise from the dead" in the literal sense?

    I don't know if what I am saying helps, but those are my thoughts on "literal". Am I (and the writer of the article posted here) not using the right word?

    What do you think?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/08/2007 3:59 PM  

  • Shawn, notice that the OT is a good deal longer than the NT.

    Do you really think there is enough material in the NT to give us a coherent framework for interpreting the OT?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2007 4:00 PM  

  • Rose~, if you want to chat to Bobby about Progressive Dispensationalism, you might just have to take Jonathan Moorehead's advice and read 'Progressive Dispensationalism' by Craig Blaising and Darrel Bock.

    Personally, I do not agree with a lot of what they say. But you must make your own mind up. Then again, you might not have the time to read that book before discussion on this blog moves onto another topic.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2007 4:05 PM  

  • Shawn (slaps hand),
    You have not come around for so long - I haven't seen you for months and then you don't even greet me? For shame for shame! ;~)
    How ya doin? Good to see you, Shawn! I have heard that thought that you expressed and I have a problem with that. They were apostles. I don't see any apostles around me, so I cn only figure that the interpretations they have provided are the ones that I can draw from. I can't imagine what Paul would say about this or that other OT passage, can I? Couldn't my imagination get away with me then? If I could ask Paul, that would be different!

    I do think that you are right, though, it would be great to make a study of NT reactions that we have to OT passages. What is your favorite one or what one comes to mind right now?

    I also agree with you that there are types and shadows. John led our ABF through a study on "Seeing Jesus in the OT" and we focused on type and shadows, prophecies, epiphanies, symbols, ceremonies, etc..
    It was cool, but I think there are rules for doing this, again, lest our imagination runaway with us.

    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/08/2007 4:07 PM  

  • Hey, DF, yeah, you're right. I don't know enough about PD to comment very intelligently (as if any of my comments are really very intelligent!)
    Maybe if spent more time reading theology than things like "Lord of the Flies" I would be better educated!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/08/2007 4:09 PM  

  • Rose, all of your comments are intelligent.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2007 4:14 PM  

  • Rose,

    I hear ya. Plain and normal which includes figurative language. I don't like the word literal, it's too connotative. I think you make many many intelligent points in your posts and comments. The book on PD is good, but Matthew's right you'll have to make your own decision when you have the time to read it.

    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/08/2007 4:20 PM  

  • Rose, I'm not saying that we should not aim at literal interpretation, but defining "consistent literal interpretation" is notoriously difficult. IOW, those that argue for a plain, normal, common sense interpretation of a text don't agree on what is plain, normal, and common sense. Kinda self-defeating.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/08/2007 6:34 PM  

  • rose,

    Agreed I was bad. How are you and John and your wonderful heritage!!! ;)

    By the way I was thinking about Hebrews 7 (Melchizedek) because I have been thinking about these passages alot.

    It's all over the scriptures in the new testament comments about the old testament. Maybe I should do a really really big study on that and come back with the results. That would be a cool book topic wouldn't it, my thoughts might not be anywhere near some more intellegent people, but it would still be a great topic to study. It's actually very helpful in my walking through the old testament when I read the new testament thoughts on the passage.

    Good thoughts Rose. Amen and Amen!!!

    Wow the weather lately can you believe it!!!!

    Psalm 19:1-2 "The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech,and night to night reveals knowledge."

    By Anonymous shawn l, at 5/08/2007 11:13 PM  

  • Rose,

    Do you live in Cincinnati ohio? I can't recall.

    Will you be going to the creation museum with your kids? It looks great from the artists rendering.

    We were thinking going early june, but decided against it because of the lenght of the trip so we are going somewhere in Wisconsin. If you see it let me know.

    By Anonymous shawn l, at 5/08/2007 11:18 PM  

  • Thanks, Bobby. Our conversation here has been enlightening to me. I appreciate your time. God bless in Christ.

    Jonathan,
    I think we can all agree on that. Thank you for YOUR time as well.

    DF,
    You are so kind. :~)

    Shawn,
    Now that's more like it! We live in Toledo. Cincinatti is about 3 hours away. We definitely plan on going. We will probably wait until the initial fervor does down a bit, though -the crowds! We don't prefer big crowds. John visited the place last summer, if you can believe that! Here's a photo of his trip there. He was able to get a "preview" because someone we knew is a charter member and took a group of about 25 to see it.

    I will read your book!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/09/2007 9:22 AM  

  • The Dispensation theory was founded by one of the church fathers. I am not a subscriber anymore. I do have a blog that explains what I believe if you care to have a look.
    shemaandasah.wordpress.com

    By Blogger Matt, at 5/18/2007 2:54 AM  

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