The Anti-Semitism of the Social Justice Movement

Here is the third presentation from the Pinter Lectures at Appalachian Bible College given in Janaury 2021.

The Believer and Biblical Justice

Here is the second presentation from the Pinter Lectures at Appalachian Bible College in January 2021. It is entitled “The Believer and Biblical Justice.”

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Myths About Dispensationalism and Why Dispensationalism Matters

Here is a video of the message I gave at the Pinter Lectures at Appalachian Bible College back in late January 2021. I will provide three of them. The first presentation is entitled “Myths About Dispensationalism.”

September 11 Remembered

Nineteen years ago today, the USA was attacked by those who hate both the United States and Israel. The Islamists who killed around 3000 souls hoped to do much more damage.  They are still enemies today and they do not stand alone as recent events within the United States demonstrate. The craziness of American politics right now scares the entire world. Many in the world are worried about those of us in the States. On September 16-17 (Wednesday and Thursday next week), the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics will deliberate on the topic of “Dispensationalism, Politics, and Culture.” Join us as we attempt to think biblically about a polarized nation in these alarming days.  To join the meeting, use the following Zoom link:

https://zoom.us/j/95228303197

https://zoom.us/j/95228303197

August 18, 1974 — A Day to Remember

Today is my 46th spiritual birthday. It was on this day (it was a Sunday), my twin brother Jimmy and I came to Christ at the West Huntsville Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama.I did two things this morning to honor the memory. First, I listened to the recording of the worship service from that day (had it on cassette tape). The choir sang John W. Peterson’s song “Lost in the Night.” Then Pastor Sam Wolfe preached a message from Exodus 25 on the Tabernacle in the wilderness. However, he spent a lot of time on the doctrine of salvation and who Jesus was. During a gospel Billy Graham kind of invitation, Jimmy and I went forward trusting Christ for forgiveness.

Second, I reread my sermon notes from the funeral sermon for my brother Jimmy (March 16, 2018). It reviews this experience where we trusted God together.I will never get over August 18, 1974. It was the single most life-changing event — more than my marriage and birth of my children. The entire course of my life’s journey was altered as well as my eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for dying for me on the cross and being raised from the dead so I could go free from the penalty of my sin. I am reminded of the Stuart Hamblen song “It is No Secret What God Can Do.” The line continues — what He has done for others He’ll do for you. God will save anyone who calls upon him, even a young man from Alabama.

One other thing I did today that Jimmy would have approved. I printed out the just announced schedule for the 2020 Alabama football season.

MY TRIBUTE TO AL KALINE

My hero as I was growing up was Al Kaline, the Hall of Fame right-fielder for the Detroit Tigers. He passed away yesterday at 85. I want to present a tribute to him today.

I stood in line for one hour at a baseball card show in Arlington, Texas around thirty years ago to get Al Kaline’s autograph on the picture I have here. The autograph is somewhat faded now but you can see a bit of it. While I was in the long line waiting to get my turn, I was mulling over what to say to my boyhood hero. When I got up there and handed him my picture to sign, I said, “I don’t care what they say about Mickey Mantle; from 1955 to 1966 you were the best!” He seemed surprised. Then Kaline said, “Oh no. Mickey was pretty good.” Kaline was known for his humility and he demonstrated it in that moment quite naturally.

From the time I was around 6 months old until around 3 or so, I lived in Detroit. I was born in 1953, the year that Kaline came up to play for the Tigers as an 18-year old. My Dad adopted Kaline as his favorite player and passed him on down to his two boys.

We grew up in Alabama. My twin brother Jimmy and I may have been the only two boys in the state listening to WJR Detroit at night in the summer time. We were trying to get the Tigers’ game on the radio. On a cloudy day, it would come in fairly strong. One night as I was dozing off to sleep, my brother Jimmy (we shared a bedroom) was listening to the game on a transistor radio with an earpiece. He suddenly got excited and blurted out to me: “Kaline just hit a two-run homerun to win the game!” We would always run out to get the local newspaper when it came in the afternoon so we could see the boxscore so we knew how Kaline did the day or night before (we didn’t have round the clock news like we do now).

One of the highlights of my teenage years was when our family drove to Detroit in the summer of 1970 for Al Kaline Day at Tiger Stadium. It was a Sunday game but we also went to the Saturday night game as well. Late in the game, Kaline hit a homerun into the upper deck in left field to tie the game against the Minnesota Twins. Even my Dad got up out of his seat! It was a special moment for a teenage boy’s soul.

My twin brother and I always shared our love for Kaline. At Al Kaline Day they had someone sing a song: “Thanks for the Memories.” Today I say to his family, my prayers are with you. And I say “Thanks for the Memories.” Al Kaline will be missed.

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Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics 2020 in Philadelphia Area

We are keeping our eye on the developments of the cornavirus, but at the present time, we are still planning on meeting for our CDH meeting on Sept. 16-17, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Philadelphia area. Below is the “Call for Papers” that was distributed through the Council website. Plan on joining us. If you are a traditional dispensationalist who would like to give a paper, we would love to consider your proposal.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Thirteenth Annual Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics

Crowne Plaza Hotel Conference Center, Claymont, Delaware (Philadelphia Area)

September 16-17, 2020

“Dispensationalism, Politics, and Culture”

This is a call for papers for the 2020 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics.  The Council is an academic study group for traditional dispensationalists although observers from other theological traditions are welcome to attend. This year’s focus is on the dispensational understanding of politics and culture. This is a follow-up to last year’s discussions on social justice and race. If my read on last year’s work is correct, many of us preferred the term biblical justice to social justice. This year we expand our talks at a time when politics and culture appear to be at a boiling point in the United States. Our hope is to bring the Bible to bear on the polarization that confronts all of us. As usual, we desire not simply a theological debate but an attempt to evaluate the hermeneutical and methodological positions involved as we engage in interaction about politics and culture. We want to answer “why” we hold the views we affirm.

We may be asking specific individuals to do various topics as well as receiving your proposals.  Off-topic proposals will be considered but those concerning politics and culture will be reviewed first.  All proposals with full title and descriptions (not more than 200 words) should be emailed to the Executive Director, Dr. Mike Stallard, at mstallard@foi.org. The deadline for topic proposals to be turned in is June 1, 2020.  The entire Steering Committee of the Council will decide collectively which papers are accepted.  This process usually does not take long.  The deadline for presentation papers to be turned in is September 1, 2020 in order to be posted at the Council website.

This year there is a modest registration fee of $25 for the Council to help cover the costs of the meeting.  Registration will be online at the Council website:  www.dispensationalcouncil.org.  Please make sure to register online as information becomes available if possible.  You may also register in person at the conference.

Topics that we are requesting members to consider are the following:

  • The contribution of a particular section or book of the Bible to issues of politics and culture — examples
    • Should all Ten Commandments (vertical) be enforced in society today?
    • Should only the last six (horizontal) of the Ten Commandments be enforced today?
    • Application of the book of Proverbs to issues today
    • The contributions of Jesus’ teaching on issues of politics and culture during his earthly ministry
    • The contributions of Paul’s teaching on issues of politics and culture in his epistles
    • Empire criticism and the book of Revelation
  • Is there a form of government that is more biblical than other forms of government? (monarchy, democracy, democratic republicanism, etc.)
  • Is there an economic system that is more biblical than other approaches to the economy of a nation or the world (e.g., capitalism, socialism, communism)?
  • As a corollary to the previous question, what does the Bible teach about private property?
  • What is the biblical role of government?  Does this change through the panorama of the ages? Is it different in dispensationalism than in other theological systems?
  • What is a biblical approach to understanding and interacting with culture in general?
  • Do Niebuhr’s classical categories (Christ and Culture) have validity for our theological thinking today?  (Note D. A. Carson’s Christ & Culture Revisited)
  • An evaluation of various forms of liberation theology and how culture is impacted by such teachings (e.g., Latin American liberation theology, feminist or womanist theology, black theology, Christian Palestinianism, Jürgen Moltmann, etc.)
  • A defense or refutation of just war theory — does dispensationalism differ from other theological systems on this issue? To what extent can dispensationalists embrace pacifism?
  • To what extent can a Christian get involved in politics – running for office or working for politicians?
  • How should Christians respond to recent advancements of immoral and unethical behavior in society at large (i.e., homosexuality, transgenderism, etc.)?
  • What is the relationship of nations today (including the United States) to the kingdom of God?
  • Analysis of various views in church history of politics, government, and culture.  Some examples would be (1) is postmillennialism given over to the advancement of political means to advance the kingdom?; (2) Christian attempts to bring in the kingdom during the time of the English Civil War (Cromwell, 17th century); (3) Augustine’s City of God; (4) changes brought in by Constantine in the early 4th century, (5) views on social engagement in progressive dispensationalism.
  • Does the distinction between Israel and the Church, a doctrine championed by traditional dispensationalism, affect one’s view of how believers interact with politics and culture?
  • How does dispensationalism affect one’s view of political engagement on the issue of Zionism and Israel as a nation today?
  • An analysis of a specific Christian’s approach to political engagement (John Nelson Darby, Wilbur Wilberforce, Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, etc.)
  • Is there a necessary correlation between liberal theology and liberal politics? Between conservative theology and conservative politics?

Other topics related to the theme are welcome as well.  These are suggestions to help us think about the issues.

As always, we will attempt to have an appropriate pastor’s panel to make sure our discussions stay grounded in concern for the local church.

Again, final papers are to be submitted to Dr. Stallard by September 1, 2020 at the email listed earlier.  There will be no remuneration for presentation of papers.  Council attendees need to provide their own transportation to the Council site. Those who are speaking at the Council must also register for the conference similar to what takes place at the Evangelical Theological Society and the Pre-Trib Study Group.

Information on area hotels will be provided on the Council website.  The Crowne Plaza hotel that is hosting the Council this year has some relatively good prices.  If you stay there, make sure to tell them you are with our group. The Crowne Plaza is at the corner of Interstate-95 and Highway 92 (address is 630 Naamans Road, Claymont, Delaware).  It is about 13 miles southwest of the Philadelphia International Airport, a straight shot down I-95.

Remembering the Summer of 1974

As summer was beginning in 1974, my twin brother Jimmy and I at the age of 20 began a quest, a search to find God. We had listened for many years to Billy Graham on television and were attracted to the message but did not fully understand it. We began to visit different kinds of churches in 1974. I remember one church where the people were nice but the invitation was not like Billy Graham’s invitations to receive Christ. They asked everyone in the church to go forward and put your hand on the back of the person in front of you and then they had a prayer. Nothing was clear. I remember asking God if this was enough. Had I done enough? I found out that was the wrong question. It is not what I have done. It is what Christ has done that counts. We simply receive what he has done by faith.

Jimmy and I quickly started to attend the West Huntsville Baptist Church where there was great music and good biblical preaching. On the way home we had many interesting talks. Often we would discuss what faith was all about. What did it mean to have faith? What did it mean to believe? Our understanding was growing. But we were beginning to understand that belief was not just intellectually understanding or accepting that God existed or that Jesus was a real historical person who lived in Israel in the first century. We were beginning to see that faith was trusting in God, trusting in Christ and what He has done to take away our sin. The final light dawned on August 18, 1974 when together we trusted Christ in this way to be our Savior. As a result, our lives have counted in a major way since then because of God’s ongoing work in us.

It is two years ago today that we lost Jimmy to cancer. Jimmy’s life and message continue and his impact is still great. I will always treasure those talks we had about eternal things, faith, and salvation. i will treasure even more the memory of coming to Christ together as twins in the Lord.

Christian Palestianism, Part 2

I am posting here a link to the second of three videos I did recently for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry on the topic of Christian Palestinianism.

Christian Palestinianism, Part 1

I am posting here a link to the first of three videos I did recently for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry on the topic of Christian Palestinianism.