INCREDIBLE INDIAN CHRISTIANITY

indiaPMT 2016-090 by Jeremy Weber in Christianity Today

Gentry note: Christianity is experiencing growth in many unexpected parts of the world. Let’s pray for its continued growth and its growth into Reformed maturity.

The world’s most unexpected megachurch pastor might be an illiterate, barefoot father of five.

Bhagwana Lal grows maize and raises goats on a hilltop in Rajasthan, India’s largest state, famous for its supply of marble that graces the Taj Mahal. He belongs to the tribals: the cultural group below the Dalits, whose members are literally outcasts from India’s caste system (and often called “thumb signers” because of how they vote).

Yet every Sunday, his one-room church, with cheerful blue windows and ceiling fans barely six feet off the ground, pulls in 2,000 people. His indigenous congregation draws from local farmers, whose families’ members take turns attending so that someone is tending the family’s animals. The cracks in the church’s white outer walls are a source of pride: They mark the three times the building has been expanded. Continue reading

ACTS 24:15 AND THE RESURRECTION (2)

PMT 2016-089 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous article, I began a brief consideration of Acts 24:14–15. This passage is often used by Hyper-preterists in an attempt to demonstrate that the corporate, public, universal, systematic Christian faith has not been mistaken on one of its foundational doctrines for 2000 years. They mistakenly hold that this passage points to the expectation of a first-century resurrection of the dead.

In my opening article I focused on the lexical issues involved in the key term mellein in this passage. They believe it means “about to,” which it does not. Please read that article to orient yourself to the argument. In this article I will conclude by noting their syntactical and contextual error. Continue reading

ACTS 24:15 AND THE RESURRECTION (1)

binocularsPMT 2016-088 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Hyper-preterism may be a small movement, but it is a vociferous one. Hyper-preterists believe that the eschatological expectations in Scripture were all fulfilled in the destruction of the temple in AD 70 which closed the old covenant era. Though they are correct in noting the overlooked significance of AD 70, they are incorrect in applying all eschatology to that event.

One of their favorite passages is Acts 24:14–15. In this passage we come upon passage that is significant to the debate. Continue reading

POLITICAL POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

god-politicsPMT 2016-087 by J. Vaden Cavett

(This is Part 2 of a study began in the last blog posting)

In Deuteronomy 28 the Lord declares the curses that will fall upon Israel if they break covenant. One feature of this malediction is to be found in verse 30. It reads, “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit.” This curse is pronounced as a covenant sanction for those with whom God was making covenant. As we know, like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with the Lord (Hosea 6:7). So, God promises to make a New Covenant based upon better promises. Isaiah refers to this New Covenant as The New Heavens and Earth. Continue reading

POLITICAL POSTMILLENNIALISM (1)

religion-politicsPMT 2016-086 by J. Vaden Cavett

How do we keep our heads up in a shifting political climate? We must rely on a stout, optimistic, and biblical worldview. Pessimistic eschatology works against us as we seek to glorify God in our toil. But biblical optimism is jet fuel in our tanks. Postmillennialism is high octane orthodoxy and it’s about to squeal your tires.

Postmillennialism teaches that the one thousand years of peace described in Revelation 20 will be enjoyed before Jesus returns to judge the quick and the dead. This view is called “postmillennialism” because Christ returns after (post) his millennial reign. The Gospel will prosper, the masses will be converted, and nations and their rulers will submit to King Jesus. This belief is far removed from the prevailing notion that the world is going to Hell in a hand basket. Continue reading

THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN (2)

sign-of-son-of-man-2PMT 2016-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my preceding article I began answering a reader regarding my interpretation of Matt. 24:30. I believe that the events of AD 70 are the sign of Jesus’s enthronement in heaven. That article should be read before entering into this one. Now I continue my defense of my interpretation (which is not mine, but one that is held by a number of scholars).

Hagner (“Matthew” in Word Biblical Commentary 2:714) points out the LXX backdrop to Matt. 24:30 which is found in Zech. 12:10–14. He notes that in Zech. 12:10–14 “the phrase pansai hai phulai, “all the tribes,” as well as he ge, here meant as ‘the land [of Israel].’” But then he argues that “in keeping with Matthew’s universal perspective, the tribes of the earth, which in the OT originally meant the tribes of Israel, are to be understood all the nations of the earth.” Nolland (“Matthew,” New Intl. Greek Comm., 984) agrees. How can this be said in light of the context? Continue reading

THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN (1)

sign-of-son-of-man-1PMT 2016-084 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Reader’s question

I have been challenged on my view of Matt. 24:29-30 by someone who knows the Greek well. He stated that the passage does not mean what the preterist claims. He went as far as to say that the people I read and trust on this subject are wrong. Can you offer a Greek study/explanation as to why verse 30 can be read with the meaning being that “then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven?” Continue reading