A Dispensational Discource with Dr. Michael Vlach

From Dispensational Publishing House; used by permission.

I have been following the teaching and writing ministry of Dr. Michael Vlach for several years—since the publication of his book, Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths (Theological Studies Press, 2008). I am continually impressed and challenged by his desire to apply biblical truth with precision and clarity. Dr. Vlach is having a great influence at The Master’s Seminary—both as a professor and as editor of the school’s theological journal. It is my privilege to introduce him to you so that you can learn more about this up-and-coming dispensational theologian.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

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Elisha & the She-Bears

Detail from Willem van den Bundel's Elisha Curses the Children (17th Century)

(2 Kings 2:23-25)

Whenever a new leader replaces a well-loved iconic legend, people have doubts. The bigger the shoes, the more difficult it is to fill them. Of course, in the case of Elisha, the question was not whether he could fill Elijah’s shoes, but his cloak!

As Elijah’s disciple and servant, God would call upon Elisha to continue and exceed the ministry Elijah had carved out. Would the people of Israel respect Elisha as they had learned to respect Elijah? Would the transition be complete and speedy?

2 Kings 2 is about this transition. God would use several events to teach the people of Israel—even those who were not faithful to the Lord—to respect this new kid on the block. The account of the 42 young men torn apart by two she-bears is an important—albeit tragic—part of God’s agenda to teach the Israelites to heed Elisha. Read more about Elisha & the She-Bears

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

This article was published in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life” magazine. It was seen by fundamentalists as a direct repudiation of the movement. One fundamentalist scholar wrote that the contributors were “crystallizing new evangelical discontent with fundamentalism.”1Still another observed that fundamentalists “viewed the leadership of new evangelicalism as a group of compromisers who were abandoning the fundamentals of the faith in order to be accepted by the larger theological world.”2

Here is the article:

During Billy Graham’s 1955 Scotland crusade a B.B.C. interviewer asked him to define the fundamentalist label he’d been plastered with. Billy objected, “I don’t call myself a fundamentalist,” he said. There was an aura of bigotry and narrowness associated with the term—which he certainly hoped was not true of himself.

“I’d prefer to call myself a ‘constructionist,’” Billy said, explaining he was seeking to rebuild the church. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

Exodus & The Mosaic Covenant, Part 1

Detail from Moses with the Ten Commandments (Rembrandt, 1659)

(Continued excerpts from the book-in-progress. Read the series so far.)

With the Book of Exodus we bid adieu to the Patriarchal period and are thrown into the misery of slavery and hopelessness. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are long dead. The covenant promise is all but a forlorn hope. Even Joseph’s eminence in Egypt has been forgotten; at least by those who matter. Genesis ends with a small tribe of “Israelites” leaving their homeland and descending in to Egypt.

Yet the first half of the Book of Exodus contains some of the most compelling narrative ever written. Exodus is a book about redemption. The redemption envisaged in the early chapters is predominantly a deliverance from servitude. Many who came through the waters were not saved spiritually, as the incident with the golden calf (Exod. 32) proved. Read more about Exodus & The Mosaic Covenant, Part 1

What is Real Success?

Google the phrase “What is success” and you will get 1.13 billion results. I’d like to examine each of those with you today (not really). Much has been said about success. Everybody seems to want it, but it is surprising how few actually can define it.

One dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, or a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” But what should be the aim or purpose? And how do we define prosperity?

Some suggest success changes with age: Read more about What is Real Success?

Jesus, the Paralytic and the Trinity

Jesus Returns to Base

After John the Baptist’s arrest, Christ has spent his time in the highways, hedges and synagogues of Galilee.1 Now, He has returned to His home base in Capernaum (cf. Mt 4:13). He will not stay anonymous for long.

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. (Mk 2:1-2)

Nobody knows where His “home” was. It may have been Peter’s house, or perhaps Jesus had His own residence.2 Wherever He was, the word went out and the people came. And it wasn’t just the rubberneckers; “there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem” (Lk 5:17). Read more about Jesus, the Paralytic and the Trinity

The Barnabas Chronicle, Winter 2016-2017

Dear Family/Friends,

Happy New Year from Joel and Toni Tetreau. The Barnabas Chronicle is our attempt to communicate the latest happenings from our family, Southeast Valley Bible Church and IBL West (Institute of Biblical Leadership). What a year 2016 was. For our family the year was monumental. Jonathan (our eldest son) not only finished his Bachelor’s degree at ASU, but he married his sweetheart Brittany. Jeremy (our middle son) is now a junior and is enjoying his studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Joshua (our youngest son) lives at home and is studying education at ASU. All three of our sons continue to be very involved in the Lord’s work for which we are thankful. Read more about The Barnabas Chronicle, Winter 2016-2017

Theology Thursday - The Story of Nicaea

Emperor Constantine and the Bishops

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,” (Jude 3).

Constantine Summons the Council of Nicaea1

That here is nothing more honorable in my sight than the fear of God is, I believe, manifest to every man. Now because it was agreed formerly that the synod of bishops should meet at Ancyra of Galatia, it hath seemed to us on many accounts that it would be well for a synod to assemble at Nicaea, a city of Bithynia, both because the bishops from Italy and the rest of the countries of Europe are coming, and because of thee excellent temperature of the air, and in order that I may be present as a spectator and participator in those things which will be done.

Wherefore I signify to you, my beloved brethren, that all of you promptly assemble at the said city, that is at Nicaea. Let every one of you therefore, regarding that which is best, as I before said, be diligent, without delay in anything, speedily to come, that he may be in his own person present as a spectator of those things which will be done by the same. Read more about Theology Thursday - The Story of Nicaea