Archive for February, 2011

The American Revolution and the Depravity of Man

I have often contrasted the French Revolution and the American Revolution and their outcomes.  The French Revolution did not emphasize the depravity of man while the American Founding Fathers had a healthy respect for the biblical teaching of depravity.  Even though all men are made in the image of God, the depravity of the human race is a reality that must be taken into account if government organization is to mimimize the possiblity of corruption.  Hence our Founding Fathers designed a system of checks and balances to make sure that power is not consolidated in one man or one group of men.   This in turn helps to protect the God-given liberties that men possess.  In this regard I ran across a statement by George Washington quoted in Peter’s Lillback’s George Washington’s Sacred Fire:  “the blessed religion revealed in the Word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity” (see p. 58).  Not only does this show a concern with the biblical doctrine of depravity, it is fairly prescient about what was to come in American life.

Dispensationalism and the Charge of Anti-Semitism

1920s Article on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Covenant theologians have long been sensitive to being charged with anti-Semitism.  Recall the discussions about the Knox Seminary Open Letter and my response to it which can be found here in the eschatology section of the drop-down menus (click on systematic theology to get to eschatology).  However, it seems that dispensationalists are also occasionally charged with being anti-Semitic.  Apparently, no one in the evangelical world is immune to the charge.

Often I see the name Arno C. Gaebelein come up in such disucssions.  I am well-versed in Gaebelein’s life and work since I did my Ph.D. dissertation on him.  But I continue to be amazed at the misinformation that is broadcast about him on many fronts, including his attitudes about Jews.  To be sure, in my dissertation I analytically criticize him on many fronts as any dissertation writer would do.  In my case, it was a focus on Gaebelein’s theological method although I also get into the life influences upon Gaebelein and his attitudes about the Jews.

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Egypt, Prophecy, and Caution

Yannis Behrakis -- Reuters

The unrest in the country of Egypt is a concern for all of us.  It has the potential of altering our lives if gas prices are somehow affected.  It could also veer off in an anti-Israeli direction which will not help the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.  This humanly speaking can have disastrous impact on the world at large.

Egypt also has a role in Bible prophecy at several points.  The king of the south in Daniel 11 for example may well be the leader of Egypt as some interpreters hold.   Usually, however, when current events like this occur, there are those who will overstate the implications for prophecy.  We won’t know the ultimate implications for prophecy until the end-time events (rapture, tribulation, Second Coming, kingdom) begin to occur.  So, please refrain from overstatement in this area and stick to biblical teaching about Egypt in the latter times.

USAirways and Genesis

I am a Dividend Miles member of USAirways’ frequent flyer program.  I currently have around 50,000 miles.  So I travel often, usually on USAirways.  Last week I was flying to West Virginia to do a lectureship at Appalachian Bible College.  The USAirways magazine in the seat pocket in front of me (for January 2011) had a published excerpt from John Coates’ book Original Sinners.  That particular book trashes the literal approach to Genesis and the excerpt which was published was fairly clear.  The view itself is not surprising in light of the unbelieving culture in which we live.  The author has a right to express his views.  But what is surprising is that USAirways decided to step into the arena of religious views to trash the literal understanding of creation and the story of Adam and Eve.  Beyond that, how should I (a Bible-believing Christian) respond to the article presented in USAirways Magazine?  I am considering changing my airline allegiance.