"Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 2)

Read the series so far.

It’s a Real Thing

That replacement theology actually exists should be beyond dispute. In a well known admission, the esteemed NT scholar C.E.B. Cranfield wrote,

the assumption that the Church has simply replaced Israel as the people of God is extremely common… . And I confess with shame to having also myself used in print on more than one occasion this language of the replacement of Israel by the Church. (C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Epistle to the Romans, vol. 2, 448.)

If such a prominent voice as Cranfield’s says that replacement theology is no fiction then clearly we have something to talk about. Read more about "Replacement Theology" - Is It Wrong to Use the Term? (Part 2)

Jesus and the Strong Man (Mk 3:22-30)

The Accusation

The Pharisees charge Jesus with being demon-possessed, a tool of Satan (Mk 3:22). Mark doesn’t tell us what prompted this confrontation. The Lord left that up to Matthew, who tells us Jesus had just conducted an exorcism on a demoniac, who was blind and could not speak.

And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” (Mt 12:22)

Why did Mark not give us this background? Each writer has his own reasons for omitting or including certain excerpts. Mark isn’t interested in providing full context. His emphasis is on Jesus’ increasing isolation as the opposition against Him grows at a rapid-fire pace. Read more about Jesus and the Strong Man (Mk 3:22-30)

The Interconnectedness of Philosophy, Theology, & Worldview

A worldview is the perspective through which one views the world. By definition, a biblical worldview is derived exegetically from the pages of the Bible. Philosophy and theology have long been perceived as rivals in worldview, but if we define those terms lexically and through a Scriptural lens, then we find no friction between the two disciplines. In fact, the two are complementary.

Philosophy as a discipline is recognized as “the systematic and critical study of fundamental questions that arise both in everyday life and through the practice of other disciplines.”* Philosophy the discipline is often confused with philosophy as a worldview. The discipline is informed by the worldview (or the perspective by which the philosopher is viewing philosophy), but the discipline is distinct from worldview.

For example, many of the early Greek philosophers set out to find answers to life’s great questions using only naturalistic evidences. To their credit, they were in part motivated by a desire to move away from superstition and unwarranted belief in a pantheon that was hardly explanatory. The naturalistic worldview of these thinkers shaped much of what we understand as philosophical inquiry, but it is important to note that it was their worldview that was naturalistic, not the discipline of philosophy itself. Read more about The Interconnectedness of Philosophy, Theology, & Worldview

Theology Thursday - Tetzel the Salesman

Would you trust this man?

Albert of Brandenburg was deeply in debt, after purchasing two church offices. Pope Leo X, desperate to raise funds for the construction of St. Peter’s, agreed to allow Albert to sell indulgences to both repay his own debt and help finance St. Peter’s. Thus, Tetzel came upon the scene.

A Bit About Tetzel from an Observer1

“At that time a Dominican monk named Johann Tetzel was the great mouthpiece, commissioner, and preacher of indulgence in Germany. His preaching sent enormous amounts of money which were sent to Rome. This was particularly the case in the new mining town St. Annaberg, where I, Friedrich Myconius, listened to him for over two years.

“The claims of this uneducated and shameful monk were unbelievable. Thus he said that even if someone had slept with Christ’s dear Mother, the Pope had power in heaven and on earth to forgive as long as money was put into the indulgence coffer. And if the Pope would forgive, God also had power to forgive. He furthermore said if they would put money quickly into the coffer to obtain grace and indulgence, all the mountains near St Annaberg would turn into pure silver. He claimed that in the very moment the coin rang in the coffer, the soul rose up to heaven. Such a marvelous thing was his indulgence! Read more about Theology Thursday - Tetzel the Salesman

Dispensationalism 101: Part 1 - The Difference Between Dispensational & Covenantal Theology

From Dispensational Publishing House; used with permission.

What is the difference between dispensational and covenantal theology? Furthermore, is the difference really that important? After all, there are believers on both sides of the discussion. Before entering into the conversation, there are a couple of understandings that need to be embraced.

Tension & Mystery

First and foremost, there is the need to recognize the tension—and mystery—which has characterized this and other theological discussions for centuries. There will probably never be a satisfactory answer or clarifying article that will settle the debate once and for all for both parties. There will be no end to the discussion until Jesus Christ returns (either in the rapture of His church or earthly millennial reign, in my estimation). Read more about Dispensationalism 101: Part 1 - The Difference Between Dispensational & Covenantal Theology

Preparing to Launch: The Importance of Communication

For the last couple of years I’ve done a workshop for our homeschool support group on preparing your child to launch. The parents who attend have kids in high school, and the most common topic has not been how to get kids into college. It’s been about issues of parental authority with young adults at home.

If you constantly recite the “My house, my rules!” lecture to your 18 year old, that horse has probably left the corral and is roaming the plains of Montana.

This is a sensitive topic, and parents in my Preparing to Launch Workshop expect me to give them long, complex answers to their questions, with a “How To” checklist. However, in one form or another, my answer is almost always “Communication.”

Here’s why. Read more about Preparing to Launch: The Importance of Communication

Do the Work of an Evangelist

From Faith Pulpitused with permission.

Every Christian understands the importance of evangelism, but sadly it is on the decline in many churches. And the scarcity of evangelism has led to the decline and closure of many churches. In this issue of the Faith Pulpit Dr. Daniel Brown, faculty member of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, challenges pastors to follow the Biblical command to “do the work of an evangelist.” If pastors will carry out their responsibility, more people will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and our churches will thrive again.

Many churches do not have an active evangelism program. This lack of evangelism has led to two negative consequences: 1) fewer people have the opportunity to hear the gospel message and receive the Lord, and 2) the lack of new believers leads to the decline of our churches.

Churches in America die at an alarming rate. Some 4,000 churches close every year, and the United States has one-third fewer churches than in 1950. Further, 80% of American churches are either stagnant or in decline.1 Anyone driving through New England can testify to the myriad of old, stately churches that are now small stores of one sort or another. Read more about Do the Work of an Evangelist

How the Church Relates to God’s Kingdom Program

Image of He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God
by Michael J Vlach
Lampion Press
Kindle Edition

Below is a short excerpt concerning how the church relates to the kingdom of God from my book, He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God. Published by Lampion Press (LampionPress.com). This comes from a chapter called “How the Kingdom Relates to the Bible’s Main Characters,” pages 540-42.

The church is an important stage in the kingdom program. The kingdom itself is a broader category than the church and relates to God’s plan to exercise His sovereignty over every aspect of creation—material and immaterial; humans and angels; animals, trees, inanimate objects, etc. The kingdom encompasses other major themes of Scripture including covenants, law, salvation, people of God, etc. The church is a category within the people of God concept. The church is the New Covenant community of believing Jews and Gentiles as it exists in this age between the two comings of Jesus. The church has a worldwide mandate to spread the message of King Jesus in this age while Israel is experiencing a partial and temporary hardening because of unbelief.

The church is not the kingdom, but it relates to the kingdom program in several important ways. First, the church consists of those who have consciously trusted in Jesus the Messiah. The church experiences messianic salvation since its members are joined to the Messiah. By means of the Holy Spirit Jesus baptizes believers into His body, the church. Christ’s church, therefore, comes under the authority of Jesus. Read more about How the Church Relates to God’s Kingdom Program