2 Samuel 7: Is It About Jesus?

Hello, good readers of Unsettled Christianity. This is Abram K-J of Words on the Word. Joel made the mistake kind move of inviting me to contribute to his fine blog… so here I am!

I begin simply with a cross-post, because I’ve already seen some incisive responses in the comments to a post at WotW: Is 2 Samuel 7 About Jesus?

I suggest that 2 Samuel 7:14b can’t apply to Jesus:

When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings.

But all the “forever” language in that passage clearly seems to be about more than just the next generation, and even messianic.

What do you think? How do you make sense of the passage? Feel free to comment at the original post, or right here in the comments section.

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Preterism is just as wrong as Futurism/Dispensationalism

Chart from Divine Plan of the Ages, Studies in...
Wrong way to read Scripture. Fun, but wrong. 

There are plenty fo subgroups in each of those camps; however, keep in mind that what I am about to write applies to all of them regardless of how they differentiate amongst themselves.

Everyone generally knows what a Futurist or Dispensationalist believes — Christ is still to return, bible prophecies remain unfulfilled, and the like. A Preterist believes, for the most part, that all of the biblical prophecies have been fulfilled. As previously discussed, prophecy is not about the future, about about revealing the ongoing move of God in the world around us. A prophet, then, did not issue foretellings about some long distant event, but told what was happening or what was about to happen. Seeing as I believe this, then I cannot be a dispensationalist.

On the other hand, I find Preterism as equally repugnant because it still misuses the idea of prophecy. Revelation is not a book written in 60 about 70. Instead, it is a book written at a particular time about a particular set of events. We find something similar in the Esdras apocalypses among others. They were coded messages of hope for a particular community against a particular threat. To say, then, that there were real prophecies is not accurate because it misuses the term and suggests that the author was not writing for his community in his time and place.

Preterism, then, is just as wrongheaded as dispensationalism.


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No, al-Assad is not the Antichrist and Joel is not a theologian

Joel Richardson has a new theory out… That the leader of Syria is the Antichrist:

Far too many prophecy teachers today have missed the fact that throughout Isaiah, the Antichrist is referred to as “the Assyrian.” Because of the Euro-centric perspective of many modern prophecy teachers, the belief that the Antichrist was known as “the Assyrian” throughout the early church has all been but forgotten.

Wonderful…. Just another way to get Americans all fired up about going into Syria

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I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours

and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” (Luk 22:64 NAU)

That is the quintessential definition of prophecy drawn from Scripture. It is not about telling the far, far distant future, but about, if you will, taking the blind fold off.

Now… what is your definition…

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Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons: Chapters 1-4

Click to OrderReading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons by Russell Pregeant

The Bibe can be hazardous to one’s health if it is read with faulty expectations. (Back cover)

These fault expectations, according to Pregeant, lead to being used as a means to abuse others who do not hold to similar beliefs.  It all begins with interpretation.

How many times have we heard, “We don’t interpret the Bible, we read it.” or “The Bible interprets the Bible.” or something along those lines?  I hear statements like this all the time.  The more I think about these statements, the more I want to say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”  As Pregeant states, “To understand any sort of communication, we have to interpret it, which means using our imagination to construe it in some particular way.” (3)

More than a Fortune Cookie: The Testimonies of Two Communities

The Bible is more than a book that provides “remedies to all personal problems.” (10)  According to Pregeant, this is a common misunderstanding to Biblical interpretation and misses the overarching story of redemption.  While not a form of Bible abuse, Pregeant includes it because of its inadequacy.

Neither Fact Book nor Catechism: Rethinking Biblical Authority

This chapter deals with the doctrine of inerrancy and how this doctrine is not biblical.  Pregeant writes, “he irony of the doctrine of inerrancy is that, despite all the emphasis it places of biblical authority, it is actually an imposition upon the Bible from a point of view that is not itself biblically grounded in any significant sense.” (29)

Neither Science nor Anti-Science: Genesis, Geology, the Big Bang, and Darwin

Here’s a chapter dealing with creation.  Here, Pregeant notes that science and theology answer different questions. and those who hold to creationism actually distort the scientific method by beginning with a hypothesis and then looks for the evidence to fit their theory.

Neither Crystal Ball nor Horror Show: Understanding Biblical Prophecy

This chapter is all about the Rapture and the role of biblical prophecy (hint: it’s not about the distant future).  Prophecy in the Bible was about the near future and/or dealing with issues of judgment and injustice.

In my next post, I’ll take a look at chapters 5-7 and the Epilogue of this book.

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John XXIII on the prophets of doom

The gloom and doom of the likes of Harold Camping is nothing new, as John XXIII advised.

“In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, sometimes (much to our regret) we have to listen to people who … can see nothing but calamities and ruin in these modern times. Comparing our era with previous centuries, they say that we are becoming worse. By their actions they show that they have learned nothing from history, which is the teacher of life …. We feel that we must disagree with these prophets of gloom who are always forecasting disaster, as if the end of the world were imminent. In the present day, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations. By man’s own efforts, and beyond the gareatest expectation, we are being directed towards the fulfillment of God’s higher and inscrutable designs.”
Pope John XXIII, Opening address, Vatican II, 11 October 1962.

I’ve read that John XXIII may have been referring to the claimed apocalyptic prophecies said to have been in the third Fatima secret, which he would have read; claimed prophecies the Vatican now says do not exist.

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God’s Evacuation Plan? A Different Take on the ‘Rapture’

Tchividjian is an amillenialist and offers a rather, to me anyway, unique explanation of the ‘one taken, another left’ motive generally used to describe the mythical Rapture,

But a closer look at the context reveals that in those pictures Jesus gave of men in the field and women at the mill, those “left behind” are the righteous rather than the unrighteous. Like the people in Noah’s day who were “swept away,” leaving behind Noah and his family to rebuild the world, so the unrighteous are “taken,” while the righteous are left behind. Why? Because this world belongs to God, and he’s in the process of gaining it all back, not giving it all up.

When it comes to this world’s future, God will follow the same pattern he engineered in Noah’s day, when he washed away everything that was perverse and wicked but did not obliterate everything. God will not annihilate the cosmos; he’ll renew, redeem, and resurrect it. As Randy Alcorn writes, “We will be the same people made new and we will live on the same Earth made new.”

God’s Evacuation Plan? – Tullian Tchividjian.

It’s an interesting concept, I believe. Check out his post and see what you think…

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2 Peter 3:3-10, Amillennialism and Preterism – Thoughts?

From a valued reader and friend, I would like to submit to you the question submitted to me –

‘Tis evident that when Christ speaks of his coming; his being revealed; his coming in his Kingdom; or his Kingdom’s coming; He has respect to his appearing in those great works of his Power Justice and Grace, which should be in the Destruction of Jerusalem and other extraordinary Providences which should attend it.” (Jonathan Edwards; Miscellany #1199)

Now that I know that you are a Partial Preterist – I would like to ask you – what (if anything) is harmful or wrong with believers re-evaluating Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:3-10? Why wouldn’t the ‘ LAST DAYS ‘ (2 Peter 3:3) and the ‘ US ‘ in (3:9) refer to specifically to Israel and the 40 years that was given them to repent before Jesus’ coming in judgment against them in A.D.70 ( Matthew 24:27). I do not see how Jesus comparing his coming to the flash of lightning can be for the good of those he’s visiting.

If we are to read scripture with a degree of logic – then why not question if what Peter wrote before A.D.70 and under inspiration – applies to readers of this age? The Lord has not return YET for the sake of souls that may come to repentance and faith TODAY? I mean really – From his ascension in A.D. 30 to the present (2010) countless souls have been BORN and have DIED without him the world over. IF Peter was not referring to the coming judgment against apostate or unbelieving Israel in A.D.70 then his statement in 3:9 makes no sense at all…

Furthermore Peter uses the same apocalyptic/prophetic language in 3:10 as Amos does in 9:5. Moreover,Jesus coming with (non literal) clouds (Rev 1:7) and his famous ” I come quickly ” cannot be for the good – anymore than God coming into Egypt riding on a (non literal) swift cloud – in his judgment against them (Isaiah 19:1)

What I’m asking you is this – do you believe that Jesus in his own words ever promised a physical/bodily return? I do believe that Rev 20:7-10 is yet future and not a ‘ recounting ‘ of the battle of Rev 19:11-21. Satan is still bound (from deceiving nations) so Perhaps Rev 20:9 (Lightning coming down from Heaven) may be a picture of Jesus’ coming – only this time it cannot be for the good of those who attack the camp of the saints (The beloved city) Not Jerusalem – but his church…

You said that you are Amil – so you believe that we are living in the thousand (not 1000) year reign of Christ too then?

Furthermore Peter like John uses the same apocalyptic/prophetic language in 3:10 as Amos does in 4:13; 8:8; and 9:5 as does Micah in 1:3-4

This was my initial response,

Seroled, I believe that all doctrine and Scripture must constantly be re-evaluated. As to these questions, umm…

I believe that Peter very well may have been writing to his fellow Jews who were simply refusing to follow Christ, relying on skepticism. We know that after 70ce, the Church shifted dramatically in cultural make-up, if you will, so I think that you may be on to something…

I don’t really like using Revelation any longer as an eschatological road map, finding enough eschatology in Peter and Paul to suffice. However, if we use Revelation as a prophetic revealing of what was going on around them, it may be that when Satan was bound from deceiving the nations, the Gentile mission really took off.

Feel free to contribute, warmly.

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