GARBC Conference '09 - Day 2

Just a few paragraphs to wrap up day two at the GARBC Conference in Elyria.

Today was a first for me; it was my first time hearing “Rennie” Showers. Rennie is on staff with the Friends of Israel gospel ministry, and writes extensively for Israel, My Glory magazine. He has written several well-known books on dispensationalism, eschatology, and Christian advocacy for the geo-political state of Israel (commonly referred to as Christian Zionism). The notes he has presented are extensive, but as I mentioned in my twitter posts, he seems to be making broad and sweeping generalizations regarding Covenant Theology. When presenting their positions,

 

he offers no direct quotes and no bibliography. He simply states that “This is the covenant theologian’s position.” While I want to guard against lobbing unnecessary stones, it seems to me that his argument would be strengthened if he actually quoted CT’ers (Covenant Theologians) in their own words rather than presenting their positions in his own words.

 

Also see my tweets on Showers’ view regarding multiple gospels. If I understood him correctly,

 

he stated that Abraham did not believe in Christ or even a coming Messiah; rather, the object of his faith was in the promise of God to provide him a son (Isaac) in his old age (Romans 4 was offered as proof). In my opinion, this multiple gospel view (Christ also preached another gospel … the gospel of the kingdom) comes dangerously close to affirming multiple ways of salvation. Acts 4:12 seems to refute a “multiple gospel” view of history.

 

 

 

Although each of the speakers and workshop leaders appears to be a traditional dispensationalist, it is intriguing to identify the nuances of each as he presents the traditional view and contrasts that with CT. Dr. Bauder has shown a gracious spirit toward those who may not hold a traditional DT (Dispensational Theology) hermeneutic, while others have offered no praise or affection for any CT’er. Perhaps—and I want to give the benefit of the doubt here—this is a simple oversight on the part of several of the speakers. For the sake of the gospel, though, it would be reassuring to hear some praise for the CT’ers high view of Scripture, their call for a pure gospel, and their love of truth. I have heard this courtesy from the other side of the aisle, but it seems slow to come from this side.

One final concern before I offer a few brief reporting snippets: we have yet to hear any speaker address or acknowledge the weaknesses of the traditional dispensational system. Having heard a number of critiques of CT, several attendees have expressed their desire for the speakers and panelists (I’ll explain the panel in a moment) to acknowledge and address the apparent weaknesses of dispensational theology. It seems that those who are confident in their theological system express their confidence best when they are willing to self-critique that system. I’m hoping it will happen prior to our departure on Friday!

Now for a few, brief report-style snippets:

1) Attendance improved today, and we are expecting an overflowing crowd for tomorrow evening’s gathering. First Baptist will offer overflow seating to accommodate 400 via live video streaming. If you are attending the conference, arrive early on Wednesday evening.

2) New to this year’s conference was this afternoon’s panel discussion. The topic (of course) was dispensationalism. Attendees (approximately 200 attended this inaugural event) were given the opportunity to ask questions related to dispensationalism. Sitting on the panel were: Dr. John Hartog III (FBBC & TS), Dr. Kevin Bauder (CTS, Minneapolis), Dr. Rennie Showers (FOI), and Dr. Mike Stallard (BBC & S, Clarks Summit). Several attendees took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, and did not adhere to the dispensational topic. Questions regarding broader fundamentalism and Calvinism were asked, as were questions related to specific individuals in conservative evangelicalism and gospel-centered gatherings like Together For The Gospel and The Gospel Coalition. Several panelists made statements regarding the perceived danger of an over-emphasizing the gospel (in Stallard’s words, “One of my concerns is how my students are responding to this. For groups such as T4G to place such an emphasis on the first coming, they must deemphasize the second coming. I want my students to not diminish their interest in the second coming.”).

Showers responded by stating, “We are not saying that we are trying to downplay the gospel; we are saying that the gospel is the center of CT. That’s the whole thing God is doing throughout history [in their minds]. This is one of the reasons they are amillennial. CT is saying that salvation is the thing God is doing throughout history, and that is why they don’t see any need to talk about future events.”

Bauder appeared to temper the tone of the previous responses by stating: ”We, as dispensationalists, draw a distinction between the gospel as the center of our system, and the gospel as the center of God’s overall plan. When it comes to the system of faith, the gospel is the hub of that system—so much so, that we can use the gospel as the touchstone in providing an answer to many theological questions. The real question is this: how does God intend to bring glory to Himself? The CT: the history of redemption. The DT: the history of redemption, but there’s more than that. The DT insists that God intends to glorify Himself in many and various ways.”

Later, when asked if it possible to make too much an issue of dispensationalism, Bauder acknowledged that, “It’s possible to make more out of dispensationalism than ought to be made … It is not a fundamental of the faith, it is not the gospel. I do not withhold fellowship from CT’ers! My greatest hero in the faith was a Covenant Theologian, as is my best friend in the faith.”

Overall, the discussion seemed profitable. Tomorrow, several round table discussions will be held with the panelists leading the discussions.

3) The Articles of Faith amendment re-clarifying the GARBC’s stand on the pre-trib rapture passed overwhelmingly. There were only six “no” votes. Don’t even ask!

The Lord is blesing our time together as an association, and the time renewing acquaintances and friendships has been refreshing!

See you tomorrow on twitter, and tomorrow evening here on the SI Liveblog!

 

SharperIron Forums: 
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There are 39 Comments

Scott Aniol's picture

Ken, you're being quite ironic in your statements here. In one of your tweets, you targeted dispensationalists as those who read the NT back into the OT. However, if you want to insist that Abraham, for instance, knew anything about Jesus Christ or even the coming Messiah as an object of his faith, it is you who have to really read NT back into Abraham's narrative to get that! Smile

This assertion that the object of faith changes is not multiple gospels. Salvation is and has always been on the merits of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is and always has been acquired by faith.

But if you read through the timeline of Scripture without reading NT back into the OT, you have to come out with the fact that the object of the faith is only the promises of God that have been revealed up to that point. Certainly truth about the Messiah was progressively revealed in the OT, but to insist that OT saints had any conception of Jesus Christ or what he was going to do is difficult to prove. Certainly some understood more than others, but it was not until the person of Jesus Christ himself came to earth that God's plan was fully revealed. Even his disciples didn't understand!

Scott Aniol 
Executive Director Religious Affections Ministries
Instructor of Worship, Southwestern Baptist

KenFields's picture

Scott Aniol wrote:
Ken, you're being quite ironic in your statements here. In one of your tweets, you targeted dispensationalists as those who read the NT back into the OT. However, if you want to insist that Abraham, for instance, knew anything about Jesus Christ or even the coming Messiah as an object of his faith, it is you who have to really read NT back into Abraham's narrative to get that! Smile

This assertion that the object of faith changes is not multiple gospels. Salvation is and has always been on the merits of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is and always has been acquired by faith.

But if you read through the timeline of Scripture without reading NT back into the OT, you have to come out with the fact that the object of the faith is only the promises of God that have been revealed up to that point. Certainly truth about the Messiah was progressively revealed in the OT, but to insist that OT saints had any conception of Jesus Christ or what he was going to do is difficult to prove. Certainly some understood more than others, but it was not until the person of Jesus Christ himself came to earth that God's plan was fully revealed. Even his disciples didn't understand!

Scott,

I don't have much time ... the morning session is beginning. I do want you to know that Showers himself used the terminology of "different" or multiple "gospels."

A quote from his notes: "The message of God that Abraham believed for salvation was not the same as the gospel message that Paul defined for salvation ... The gospel of the kingdom [the gospel Jesus preached ] was not the same as the gospel message that Paul defined for salvation."

So the terminology of multiple or different gospels is not mine; it's Showers'.

Acts 4:12 still applies. If not, we fall into the trap of theological liberals and moderates like Rick Warren who use Romans 4 as evidence that someone can go to heaven without believing on Christ. As long as they believe in a single God (often used in relation to people living in Africa who never hear of Christ) in a single God like Abraham ... and if they understand that He is a God who keeps His promises ... God will save them apart from faith in Christ. If it happened with Abraham, what would keep it from happening today ... that's their logic, and its foundation appears to be in this brand of dispensational teaching.

In Abe's day, the Messiah had already been prophesied (Gen. 3:15). Job had already proclaimed, "I know that my Redeemer lives." There is no salvation apart from Christ. Ever.

Again, the multiple and different gospels (Showers is asserting there are three different gospels people have believed that procured salvation for them) is Showers' own terminology. Needless to say, it has caused a bit of a raucous amid various dispys who are present here at the conference.

Finally, consider Galatians 3 ... it seems very clear Abraham's faith is a response to the "promise by faith in Jesus Christ given to those who believe" (verse 22, compare with verse 18).

Sorry for the convoluted response. More later.

Ken Fields

Charlie's picture

Ken, you probably already know this, but for anyone reading who doesn't, that language comes straight from Ryrie's Dispensationalism Today (now simply titled Dispensationalism). Ryrie was working on some of Chafer's and Scofield's statements that seemed to imply (or at least left open the possibility) that salvation might have been partly by works in some periods. Ryrie's synthesis was just as you described - same "ground" of salvation, but noticeably different objects of faith. As a college freshman I took a marker and X-ed that page of Ryrie's Dispensationalism, never to look back.

Ryrie's contention is absurd for several reasons. First, one has to ask what Adam, Abel, and especially Enoch had to believe to be saved. Obviously, as time goes on, it must be either the same or more, not less. Second, there is no rationale for the idea that believing a generic promise of God should bring salvation. Abraham was saved by believing God would give him temporal blessings? That's the gospel we're fighting against in America. Third, you've already alluded to statements that testify to the contrary. Another one is Hebrews 11:26.Obviously, the early peoples of God knew a lot more than is explicitly contained in the Biblical history, as Job alone proves.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Robert Byers's picture

[quote=Scott Aniol ]However, if you want to insist that Abraham, for instance, knew anything about Jesus Christ or even the coming Messiah as an object of his faith, it is you who have to really read NT back into Abraham's narrative to get that! :)quote ]

This is a New Testament verse, but I think Jesus explains pretty clearly that Abraham did indeed know something "about Jesus Christ or even the coming Messiah." Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. John 8:56

Todd Wood's picture

Excellent verse, Robert. I relish that statement and many others in John's Gospel. (Of course, there are huge problems in my neck of the woods. In my opinion, Joseph Smith used this verse and other certain verses in John's Gospel as a springboard, went back to Genesis and inserted Christ all over the place, producing the JST and other standard works. Not good at all. Now the LDS classic standard is that Jesus Christ alone is the YHWH of the OT.) There is certainly the progressive unfolding of both God and His Gospel in the Bible.

Ken, I read all the tweets. I wonder if anytime during the conference, a speaker will get on millennial animal sacrifices, priestly system, etc. I took our church family through Ezekiel, and then back to Isaiah, and now we are in Jeremiah, chapter by chapter. It has been a fabulous adventure over the past several years. This week, we are in Jeremiah 31, coupling this with Hebrews 8-10, which is softening even more in my heart a strict grip on a classic dispensational hermeneutic.

Greg Long's picture

Sorry, Ken, can't let this one slide...

"For the sake of the gospel, though, it would be reassuring to hear some praise for the CT'ers high view of Scripture, their call for a pure gospel, and their love of truth. I have heard this courtesy from the other side of the aisle, but it seems slow to come from this side."

That's strange, because I hear almost nothing from CTers but disdain for dispensationalism.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Ken, Robert, and others, please help me understand your position. Are you saying that Abraham and Adam, and Enoch, and all OT saints placed their faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His death on the cross to save them from their sins?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jay's picture

nevermind - I misread that post. Sorry.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

KenFields's picture

Todd Wood wrote:
Ken, I read all the tweets. I wonder if anytime during the conference, a speaker will get on millennial animal sacrifices, priestly system, etc. I took our church family through Ezekiel, and then back to Isaiah, and now we are in Jeremiah, chapter by chapter. It has been a fabulous adventure over the past several years. This week, we are in Jeremiah 31, coupling this with Hebrews 8-10, which is softening even more in my heart a strict grip on a classic dispensational hermeneutic.

Todd,

Nothing thus far, and I'm not sure Showers is going to get there. And I'm rather sure that Bauder isn't going there, either.

Ken Fields

KenFields's picture

Greg Long wrote:
Sorry, Ken, can't let this one slide...

"For the sake of the gospel, though, it would be reassuring to hear some praise for the CT'ers high view of Scripture, their call for a pure gospel, and their love of truth. I have heard this courtesy from the other side of the aisle, but it seems slow to come from this side."

That's strange, because I hear almost nothing from CTers but disdain for dispensationalism.

Greg,

Yes, I have correctly stated my experience. One specifically comes to mind: Sam Waldron's critique of MacArthur's Millennial Manifesto at a recent (2 or 3 years ago) Shepherd's Conference.

I have heard others (even Mike Horton of The White Horse Inn) caveat their concerns with dispensational theology by praising the dispy's high view of Scripture, love of truth, etc.

I'm sorry your experience may be different than mine, but I am am being truthful and honest.

Ken Fields

KenFields's picture

Greg Long wrote:
Ken, Robert, and others, please help me understand your position. Are you saying that Abraham and Adam, and Enoch, and all OT saints placed their faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His death on the cross to save them from their sins?

No, but I am saying that the object of their faith was more than a mere mental assent that the promises of God would come to pass. Even Job stated, "I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES ... and that one day He will stand on the earth ... and my eyes shall see HIM!" Also, note Hebrews 11:26.

Certainly the OT saints did not understand Christ and redemption as clearly as we; but their faith was not blind. Even Isaiah understood ... along with David ... that the Messiah would suffer ... and ultimately die. Job understood the same thing ... and he lived prior to Abraham (I think).

Acts 4:12 still applies here: there is no salvation apart from Christ and outside of Christ -- regardless of when a sinner lived!

Ken Fields

Greg Long's picture

KenFields wrote:
Greg Long wrote:
Ken, Robert, and others, please help me understand your position. Are you saying that Abraham and Adam, and Enoch, and all OT saints placed their faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His death on the cross to save them from their sins?

No, but I am saying that the object of their faith was more than a mere mental assent that the promises of God would come to pass. Even Job stated, "I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES ... and that one day He will stand on the earth ... and my eyes shall see HIM!" Also, note Hebrews 11:26.

Certainly the OT saints did not understand Christ and redemption as clearly as we; but their faith was not blind. Even Isaiah understood ... along with David ... that the Messiah would suffer ... and ultimately die. Job understood the same thing ... and he lived prior to Abraham (I think).

Acts 4:12 still applies here: there is no salvation apart from Christ and outside of Christ -- regardless of when a sinner lived!

Then I'm not sure where you disagree with what I understand the dispensational position to be. No one that I know is arguing there is salvation outside of Christ. But Rom. 4 coupled with Gen. 15 is quite clear: "Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness." Abraham believed God's promises concerning His covenant with Abraham. As much as God had revealed to him, Abraham believed.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

KenFields's picture

Greg,

Here is my problem: that means Abraham believed less than Job. So what was the object of faith God required for salvation in the OT? Was it different for everyone?

Job understood that God was his redeemer ... and that he himself needed redemption ... he needed to be purchased with a payment by God Himself. This presupposes suffering and the giving of a life.

So Job believed this, but Abraham believed God's promise about giving him a son?

So what did Adam believe? And Joseph? And Moses?

The object of their faith was Christ ... regardless of whether they knew His name or the particulars of His life and ministry. God had already revealed enough about Christ for them to place their faith in a coming Redeemer: Genesis 3:15.

Ken Fields

Matthew_Black's picture

"...Jesus gave two distinct gospels to His disciples to preach. The content of the first gospel was, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand' (Mt. 10:7; cf. 9:35; Mk. 1:14-15). Paul defined the second gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 when he said...'Christ died for our sins...that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day...and that he was seen".

--Renald E. Showers. There Really Is A Difference (Belmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel, 2002), 3.

"Taste and See that the Lord is Good!" Ps. 34:8

Matthew S. Black, Pastor, Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, Illinois

http://www.livinghopechurch.net

Dennis Clemons's picture

He put himself in a bad, bad position in the strongest possible terms.

Galatians 1:6-9 wrote:
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel: 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Dennis

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. ~ Proverbs 18:17

Matthew Olmstead's picture

Dennis, et al.,

Part Three and Part Four of Bauder's Nick series on the gospel may be helpful here. The Gospel of the Kingdom is a gospel of the same kind (but different); in Galatians, Paul is talking about a gospel of a different kind.

Father of three, husband of one, servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I blog at mattolmstead.com.

Dennis Clemons's picture

... but "two distinct gospels" means that at least one of them is different. If one does not include repentance from sin and dead works and faith in Jesus Christ, it is different.

Dennis

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. ~ Proverbs 18:17

Scott Aniol's picture

Folks, OT saints could not have put their faith in Jesus Christ since they did not know who he was. I say again, traditional dispensationalism teaches that salvation is always by God's grace, it is always on the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and it is always through faith, but the content of that faith changes.

This is not different gospels, although I agree that Shower's wording is unfortunate. I do not believe that Bauder or any McCunian dispenstionalist would call this multiple gospels.

Scott Aniol 
Executive Director Religious Affections Ministries
Instructor of Worship, Southwestern Baptist

Matthew_Black's picture

Where in church history do we find anyone making a distinction between the "Gospel of the kingdom" and the Gospel of Christ's death and resurrection on our behalf? Do any of the church fathers speak of this? Any of the reformers? Any of the men of the first or second Great Awakenings? Bunyan? Spurgeon? Is this not a new doctrine? Christ is King and Head of His church now, and He will demonstrate that publically when His people come back with Him to destroy the earth and universe (Revelation 19:16; 2 Peter 3:9-13). The Gospel of the kingdom was "at hand" when Christ came. He announced it. He inaugurated it at His own resurrection (Acts 2:29-31). Showers' distinction between two gospels is seriously confusing at best. But Showers gets at a point that needs pondering. Is the centerpiece of God's plan to glorify Himself the setting up of an ethnic kingdom? Can we call Christ's church His kingdom? Is not the centerpiece of God's plan instead the death and resurrection of Christ in the establishment of the new covenant, with God demonstrating His justice and mercy in Christ on the Cross, reconciling a people (both OT and NT saints) to Himself? Or is that just a parentheses in God's main plan for a future earthly kingdom for Israel? If a Jewish kingdom is a gospel, why am I not preaching that in the apartment complexes near our church? I believe Christ's kingdom refers to Christ's people. All born again people are citizens of that kingdom. Are we not a royal priesthood right now? Are we not reigning with Christ in the heavenlies at this moment? My hope is not set on any earthly kingdom, but on the heavenly kingdom which is being added to each day.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
--John Newton, "Amazing Grace"

"Taste and See that the Lord is Good!" Ps. 34:8

Matthew S. Black, Pastor, Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, Illinois

http://www.livinghopechurch.net

Matthew_Black's picture

Scott, OT saints did put their trust in Jesus Christ, though they did not call Him by this name. We know that Isaiah saw Christ seated on a throne high and lifted up (Isaiah 6, cf. John 12:41). Isaiah 44:6 reveals the Redeemer who is the LORD of hosts as "the first and the last" (cf. Revelation 1:17). Obviously Christ is Jehovah of the Old Testament (I'm sure you have several books on this topic on your shelf). He is the Creator God. To say that they could not have put their faith in Him because they did not know who He was is not quite accurate. They did not know his name as the God-man, but they knew Him. Jacob wrestled with Him, and any one who wanted to be saved had to trust in Him. The gospel was preached to Abraham. Peter said all the prophets were "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (I Peter 1:11). If the writers of Scripture knew they were writing and communicating of Christ in the very Scriptures, how can you say they did not know of Him? As Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). This is where dispensationalism shoots itself in the foot. Certainly Christ is more clearly revealed as the God-man in the NT, but do you deny that the only Savior and Redeemer that OT saints looked to was Christ in the many ways He was revealed throughout the OT?

"Taste and See that the Lord is Good!" Ps. 34:8

Matthew S. Black, Pastor, Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, Illinois

http://www.livinghopechurch.net

Greg Long's picture

Matthew, in a quote above you cited Rev. 19:16. Keep reading a few verses and you'll find that after Christ destroys his enemies, He sets up his kingdom on earth for 1000 years. This is the kingdom that he announced in the Gospels but was rejected.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Dennis Clemons's picture

Greg Long wrote:
... after Christ destroys his enemies, He sets up his kingdom on earth for 1000 years. This is the kingdom that he announced in the Gospels but was rejected.
Rejected by whom? The Jews, right? So why does he specifically refer to the nations (Gentiles) in the binding of Satan if this is about a Jewish kingdom?

To the earlier point, it was Showers himself that used the term two distinct gospels. Are we really so at odds about other matters that we refuse to call heresy what it is? Despite any differences, we should be united to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. I'm not calling Showers a heretic, necessarily. But what he said is heresy, there's no 2 ways about it.

Dennis

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. ~ Proverbs 18:17

Matthew Olmstead's picture

Dennis Clemons wrote:
Greg Long wrote:
... after Christ destroys his enemies, He sets up his kingdom on earth for 1000 years. This is the kingdom that he announced in the Gospels but was rejected.
Rejected by whom? The Jews, right? So why does he specifically refer to the nations (Gentiles) in the binding of Satan if this is about a Jewish kingdom?

To the earlier point, it was Showers himself that used the term two distinct gospels. Are we really so at odds about other matters that we refuse to call heresy what it is? Despite any differences, we should be united to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. I'm not calling Showers a heretic, necessarily. But what he said is heresy, there's no 2 ways about it.

Did you listen to the audio of Bauder? I think Bauder does a superb job of discussion God's plans for the nations.

Father of three, husband of one, servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I blog at mattolmstead.com.

Matthew_Black's picture

Greg,

Are you a proponent of the "kingdom postponement theory"? I haven't heard anyone propound that in years.

Also, if you believe that Christ sets up a literal, physical kingdom on earth, would you please answer a few questions?

1. If our Lord comes before a literal 1,000 year kingdom, what will be left of the earth for Him to reign on if the elements melt with fervent heat and the heavens are rolled back as a scroll (i.e. no universe and only a scorched earth)? (2 Peter 3:9-13; Revelation 6:14)? Is it a restored earth? Is there a sun and stars? How do you explain Peter's Apocalypse in 2 Peter 3:9-13?

2. Also, if Christ comes as a thief in the night and takes vengeance on those that know not God, who will be left upon the earth? [2 Thessalonians 1:8 ]. Who will He reign over that eventually rebel against Him at the end (Revelation 20:8-10)?

3. If Christ does not destroy the earth when He comes, does this not radically alter the nature of Christ's second coming? Isn't His coming also called the "consummation"?

4. If the Bride of Christ is consummated and completed at His coming, is there another resurrection for believers after the 1,000 year reign? If so where is this in Scripture? When is the Bride presented to Christ if not at the resurrection (Revelation 19:7-8; Ephesians 5:27).

Concerning dispensational premillennialism...

5. Can you trace dispensational premillennialism back before 1830? Perhaps you will name the Jesuit priest Ribera in 1591 or the Jesuit priest Manuel de Lacunza in 1811. Of course, Lacunza's book "The Coming of Messiah" was translated into English by a Scottish radical named Edward Irving in 1827 where Lacunza suggested a rapture followed by a 45 day tribulation period. Darby admitted that he had been influenced by the writings of the Lacunza. It wasn't until 1870 that Darby began to propose a rapture separated from the Second Coming by a seven year tribulation. This was the first time in human history that this was proposed. By the way, Spurgeon gave his opinion of this new doctrine at the time as it related to ecclesiology: "Distinctions have been drawn by certain exceedingly wise men (measured by their own estimate of themselves), between the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ, and those who lived afterwards. We have even heard it asserted that those who lived before the coming of Christ do not belong to the church of God! We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed at one time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement. Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord has not some children best loved, some second-rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about. . . Before the first advent, all the types and shadows all pointed one way--they pointed to Christ, and to him all the saints looked with hope. Those who lived before Christ were not saved with a different salvation to which shall come to us. They exercised faith as we must; that faith struggled as ours struggles, and that faith obtained its reward as our shall. [Charles Spurgeon. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 15, Sermon 848, “Jesus Christ Immutable” (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1869), 1. ]

6. Do you think Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Luther, Calvin, all the Puritans, Bunyan, etc. also misread their Bible concerning end times? If so, is it just because you think you are right or because you have actually worked through their understanding of Scripture? Would you put Darby, "Dr." Scofield (Scofield gave himself his own doctorate by simply calling himself "doctor"), and Edward Irving, the principle founders of dispensational thought, on the same level of theological, spiritual, and devotional depth as the Reformers, the Puritans, and the preachers of the Great Awakening?

7. Are you willing to entrust your theological system to a founder who was confused about the way of salvation for OT saints? Scofield wrote: ”As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ….The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation”. (page 1343 of the Scofield Reference Bible). Obviously no one believes this today, but the very moorings of your system were shaped by Scofield. He had many other serious errors, ethical problems, and moral deficiencies as well, but that is for another time. See Joseph Canfield's The Incredible Scofield and His Book (Ross House Books, Vallencito, CA, 1988) to substantiate these claims.

For full disclosure, I hold to an a-millennial eschatology similar to Dr. Peter Masters of Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.

"Taste and See that the Lord is Good!" Ps. 34:8

Matthew S. Black, Pastor, Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, Illinois

http://www.livinghopechurch.net

Greg Long's picture

Dennis Clemons wrote:
Greg Long wrote:
... after Christ destroys his enemies, He sets up his kingdom on earth for 1000 years. This is the kingdom that he announced in the Gospels but was rejected.
Rejected by whom? The Jews, right? So why does he specifically refer to the nations (Gentiles) in the binding of Satan if this is about a Jewish kingdom?

To the earlier point, it was Showers himself that used the term two distinct gospels. Are we really so at odds about other matters that we refuse to call heresy what it is? Despite any differences, we should be united to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. I'm not calling Showers a heretic, necessarily. But what he said is heresy, there's no 2 ways about it.

Dennis, Scott already addressed your charge of "a different gospel" and "heresy" in his quote above, and I concur with what he said.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Matthew_Black wrote:
Scott, OT saints did put their trust in Jesus Christ, though they did not call Him by this name. We know that Isaiah saw Christ seated on a throne high and lifted up (Isaiah 6, cf. John 12:41). Isaiah 44:6 reveals the Redeemer who is the LORD of hosts as "the first and the last" (cf. Revelation 1:17). Obviously Christ is Jehovah of the Old Testament (I'm sure you have several books on this topic on your shelf). He is the Creator God. To say that they could not have put their faith in Him because they did not know who He was is not quite accurate. They did not know his name as the God-man, but they knew Him. Jacob wrestled with Him, and any one who wanted to be saved had to trust in Him. The gospel was preached to Abraham. Peter said all the prophets were "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (I Peter 1:11). If the writers of Scripture knew they were writing and communicating of Christ in the very Scriptures, how can you say they did not know of Him? As Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). This is where dispensationalism shoots itself in the foot. Certainly Christ is more clearly revealed as the God-man in the NT, but do you deny that the only Savior and Redeemer that OT saints looked to was Christ in the many ways He was revealed throughout the OT?
But Matthew this is not the point. Of course salvation has always been because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God. But you admit the very thing we dispensationalists are saying--OT saints didn't believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth for the salvation because they didn't know His name! Yes, they believed God's promises to send a redeemer, etc, etc.

As Scott said, I would not use the wording Showers did of "two distinct gospels."

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Charlie's picture

I would really like clarification on this point. Protestant Christianity, outside Dispensationalism, has taught that men of all ages were saved by a personal faith in the person and work of Christ. In pre-Christian times, this person was not known by a name and this work was not connected with the details of a Roman cross and (perhaps) a bodily resurrection. Yet, non-Dispensational Protestants affirm that they personally trusted in a Someone who would do something to save them, because they knew they could not save themselves. Now, if all Scott meant was that these OT saints did not know him by the name "Jesus" and were unaware of the details of his life, I don't know why he even bothered to say it. Such an obvious point has never been contradicted in the history of Christianity. So, I am taking Scott's comments to mean he believes Old Testament saints were justified by a faith other than one in a Messiah who would atone for sins.

The evidence for this is, in my opinion, quite plenteous. First, the Genesis 3 promise combined with the institution of sacrifice (God himself first clothing them) taught them that atonement must be made for sin, and that only God could provide such atonement. Moving on, there is Enoch, through whom God revealed at least some doctrines related to final judgment of the ungodly. For that to make any sense, Enoch must have known the difference from the ungodly and the godly, and that it was more than just a lifestyle.

Next there is Job. Job (the person) is almost universally dated either in the pre-patriarchal or patriarchal period by conservative scholars. Yet, a theology of the book of Job will show most of the features of OT religion, even though there was no written revelation at that time. Obviously, God was communicating quite thoroughly in other ways. One common quote will suffice: "Job 19:25-27 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!" Here we have God identified as the "Redeemer," the affirmation of God's future reign on the earth, and the hope of a bodily resurrection. Kind of hard to believe he would know all that and not have an inkling about Messiah.

Next is Abraham. There is much to say about Abraham, but I will simply appeal quickly to Romans 3-4. In Romans 3, Paul concludes that the result of Christ's work is that "[God ] might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (v. 26). In chapter 4, Paul says Abraham is the "father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised" (v. 12). In other words, even in the Christian era, Jews who believe in Christ are Jews who have (essentially) the faith that Abraham had. Obviously, Abraham recognized the spiritual dimensions of the covenant more than some interpreters give him credit for.

Moses, too, had a faith in Christ. Hebrews 11:24-26 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Here we see that before Moses ever saw the burning bush or led the Exodus or received the 10 commandments, he had a personal cognizance of Christ. At least, I don't see how he could have "considered" Christ without knowing about him.

By David's time, the Messianic prophecy is simply too great to come to any conclusion other than that Israelite religion was focused on a coming Messiah who would deal with sin and reign in righteousness.

Isaiah stands, as it were, beneath the cross.

So, if someone wishes to say that Abraham was justified before God simply by believing he would have a child or find a city, I deny it. There is no reason why that sort of faith should save. Why should a person be accounted righteous for believing that God would give them temporal blessings? That's the gospel we're fighting against all over the world. Surely there is such a thing as insufficient faith. Not just any statement or promise from God carries with it eternal life.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Scott Aniol's picture

I am not interested in engaging in a prolonged debate over the merits and demerits of DT vs. CT. at this point. It seems outside the scope of this thread at any rate.

But I do want to stress that the theology in question is not advocating multiple ways of salvation.

To make this point, I'll quote from Allen P. Ross, "The Biblical Method of Salvation: A Case for Discontinuity" in Feinberg, Continuity and Discontinuity.

"... there is no discontinuity between the Testaments in the method of salvation; that is, salvation has always been by grace through faith. Any discontinuity that exists comes in various aspects of salvation --- notably the content of faith, the expression of faith, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the prospect of the saved" (161).

"... proponents of each view have not always listened carefully to or presented accurately the other side. For example, most scholars are no doubt familiar with the poorly worded statement in the Scofield Reference Bible that says: 'The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ. . . .' This statement opened up all dispensationalists to the charge of teaching two methods of salvation: salvation by works under the Old Covenant and salvation by grace under the New. It apparently did not matter that Scofield himself and other dispensationalist writers affirmed elsewhere that salvation was by grace int he OT, and that no one was ever justified by works, for the charge of teaching salvation by works has remained" (162).

"It should be acknowledged at the outset of this discussion that both covenant theologians and dispensationalists affirm that there has always been but one method of salvation; but it should also be acknowledged that neither side has always expressed the relationship between law and grace precisely enough to harmonize with the affirmation" (162).

"There is always the danger of reading NT soteriology back into passages wherever words for salvation occur. Biblical theologians must recognize that there are differences between the Testaments in the ways the words are used" (163).

He quotes Ryrie: "The basis of salvation in every age is the death of Christ; the requirements for salvation in every age is faith; the object of faith in every age is God; the content of faith changes in the various dispensations. It is this last point, of course, which distinguishes dispensationalism from covenant theology, but it is not a point to which the charge of teaching two ways of salvation can be attached. It simply recognizes the obvious fact of progressive revelation" (164).

"Many biblical scholars have stressed the uniformity of the method of salvation to such an extent that they make NT revelation the necessary content of the faith of OT believers" (169).

"If the writers [he quotes Hodge and others ] mean by [their statements such as 'the Redeemer is the same under all dispensations' ] taht the person and work of Jesus Christ was literally revealed to OT believers as the content of saving faith, then their position is untenable. The OT shows no evidence of such revelation and the NT witnesses against it. It took the work of Jesus Christ himself to reveal fully (Heb 1:1-2) how all the OT prophecies and types would come together in God's redemptive plan (1 Pter 1:10-12). This is not to say that individuals in the world of the OT could not have discerned the fuller meaning of some of the passages, for that is certainly possible, especially if we are speaking of an Isaiah. But it is most improbably that everyone who believed unto salvation consciously believed in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (170).

"Thus, we may affirm that according to the eternal purpose of God salvation in the divine reckoning is always by grace, through faith, and rests upon the shed blood of Christ; but we must acknowledge that it was historically impossible that OT saints should have had as the conscious object of their faith the incarnate, crucified Son, the Lamb of God, and that it is evident that they did not comprehend as we do that the sacrifices depicted the person and work of Christ" (171).

"Ultimately the content of saving faith in any age must be God and his revelation concerning participation in his covenant (what we call salvation). Believers were ultimately taking God at his word when they responded to the truth in their situations. But as revelation continued, the content of faith grew" (172).

He lists from Gen. 12:1-3 what he believes the content of Abraham's faith was: (1) God is alive. (2) God is the sovereign Lord. (3) God is the righteous judge. (4) God is gracious. He then goes on to say,

"From this brief sketch it may be observed that Abraham had a good general knowledge of the person and plan of God, but it is not the NT gospel. Basically Abraham believed the promise of blessing that the living God graciously gave to him. The content of his faith, and of his descendants' faith, would grow; but his initial act of faith meant simply that he took God at his word, the word that God had given him" (172-173).

Scott Aniol 
Executive Director Religious Affections Ministries
Instructor of Worship, Southwestern Baptist

Charlie's picture

Scott, I will honor your desire not to be involved in a prolonged discussion. I will ignore the fact that you addressed none of my Scripture and proceeded to copy-paste multiple passages that did not really address the concerns expressed in this thread. I will simply ask two quick questions:

1. Is there any definite unchanging content of saving faith, other than its being directed toward Yahweh?

2. Is saving faith necessarily Messianic, that is, believing that personal sin will be/was dealt with by a Messiah?

I answer yes to both. Really, #2 is my answer to #1. If you cannot affirm #2, then to my perspective, that is "multiple ways of salvation" even if professed otherwise. One cannot establish a consistent Biblical basis for why man should be justified by any sort of faith. If there is no Christ in the faith, it makes the OT religion an essentially different religion from ours.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Greg Long's picture

Charlie, he did address the concepts. You, by the way, did not address the passages of Scripture Scott cited.

What do you make of Acts 4:12, in which Peter states, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

If I'm going to press non-dispys on this matter in the same way they are pressing dispys, I would say that Peter clearly says there is no salvation at all except through the name of Jesus Christ. So how can you say that Old Testament saints were saved without any knowledge of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Charlie's picture

Greg, I really don't understand your point. I'm sure I interpret Acts 4:12 the same way you do, meaning that in the present dispensation the Messiah has been identified by name, and he must be believed in for salvation. I don't think that tells us anything about what Old Testaments saints believed. Would you clarify your position? Earlier, you said, "Yes, they believed God's promises to send a redeemer, etc, etc." That's about all I'm saying - that Old Testament religion from Adam was always about belief in one who was coming, but that the details of that coming were progressively revealed.

I will address one Scripture passage in Scott's copy-paste.

1 Peter 1:10-12 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

It seems evident to me that the prophets did understand the kernel of the message, Christ's suffering and glory. They were unclear about the "who" and "when." Showers (quote above) seems to me to caricature the issue. Once again, no Reformed theologian has ever insisted that Moses knew Jesus' name or even that he must be the Son of God. However, substitutionary atonement is clearly prefigured by the sacrificial system, which dates back to Adam. The Messianic promise is given in Genesis 3. I insist that Old Testament faith was always Messianic in character - no one gets to heaven by believing that God will save them from a flood or give them a piece of land. That is Pelagianizing in character.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Greg Long's picture

Charlie wrote:
Greg, I really don't understand your point. I'm sure I interpret Acts 4:12 the same way you do, meaning that in the present dispensation the Messiah has been identified by name, and he must be believed in for salvation. I don't think that tells us anything about what Old Testaments saints believed. Would you clarify your position? Earlier, you said, "Yes, they believed God's promises to send a redeemer, etc, etc." That's about all I'm saying - that Old Testament religion from Adam was always about belief in one who was coming, but that the details of that coming were progressively revealed.
Then we are in more agreement than disagreement. And perhaps dispensationalists are not preaching another, heretical gospel.

Charlie wrote:
I will address one Scripture passage in Scott's copy-paste.

1 Peter 1:10-12 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

It seems evident to me that the prophets did understand the kernel of the message, Christ's suffering and glory. They were unclear about the "who" and "when."

Once again, we are in agreement in essence.

Charlie wrote:
Showers (quote above) seems to me to caricature the issue. Once again, no Reformed theologian has ever insisted that Moses knew Jesus' name or even that he must be the Son of God. However, substitutionary atonement is clearly prefigured by the sacrificial system, which dates back to Adam. The Messianic promise is given in Genesis 3. I insist that Old Testament faith was always Messianic in character - no one gets to heaven by believing that God will save them from a flood or give them a piece of land. That is Pelagianizing in character.
Now I think you're caricaturing the dispensational position and minimizing the nature of the Abrahamic Covenant. It wasn't just God saying, "Hey, Abraham, I'm going to give you a piece of land" and Abraham saying, "Cool! I believe you!" and God saying, "All right then, you're also justified!" But I really don't see how Romans 4 and Genesis 15 could be any clearer. Perhaps God had revealed to Abraham more than what we read in Genesis, but I don't see how we can be dogmatic about that. And it seems to ignore the NT passages that stress the new way in which God was revealing Himself through Jesus Christ (e.g., Heb. 1:1-2).

Scott's post (copy and paste or not) had some extremely salient points, IMO, and I'd like to see you address them.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Joseph's picture

Scott Aniol wrote:
1. No.
2. No.

I would suggest, my brother, that you are naively ignoring the nature of progressive revelation and reading NT revelation back into the OT.


I would suggest, my brother, that you are naively ignoring the fact that seeing Christ in the OT has been absolutely essential for Christianity since its inception, and was an essential element of patristic exegesis and understanding of Scirpture. Literalists like Marcion were the heretics in the early church, precisely because they would not see Christ in the Old Testament. No typology, no Christ fore-shadowed, in short, no Christ in the Old Testament means no Christianity. Your position is only supportable through an ignorance of the early church and its understanding of Scripture.

Biblical interpretation has fallen apart since the Reformation, and positions like Dispensationalism are only possible because of the hermeneutic transformations that tooks place in the Enlightenment and thereafter, as they are brillianty described by Hans Frei in The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative.

Dispensationalism does not entail ignorance and a devaluation of historical theology, church history, and pre-modern exegesis, but it could only have occured where these factors were present, prevalent, and plausible, and it is largely only accepted within contexts in which the norm is to suspect or not see the essential need for historical theology, attention to historical exegesis, etc. Where that need is recognized, Dispensationalism becomes incredibly implausible.

I would always bet that if I know the trajectory of someones attitude towards and knowledge of the history of the church and its thought, I can tell you the trajectory of their belief in dispensationalism. That also allows backwards inferefence from the kind of attitude and belief a person has with respect to dispensationalism, and the kind of attitude and beliefs they have with respect to church history, theology, etc.

I think it's those issue that conditions people's positions, and they are not issues about which one can simply argue.

Greg Long's picture

The condescension towards dispensationalism reaches a new low. But of course, I can't argue with it.

Please explain to me, Joseph, who said anything about not seeing Christ in the Old Testament?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Charlie's picture

Greg, whatever you wish me to discuss, you're going to have to tell me. I really don't want to try to randomly address points in Scott's copy-paste. I think I've accomplished my objective on this thread, though. I have proposed that saving faith was/is/will be Messianic in character. You seem to at least generally agree with me. Scott clearly does not. My concern is that making just any kind of faith in YHWH saving is Pelagianizing in character, in the sense that it seems to leave the door open for someone to be saved from their sin without even realizing they need to be. As for Abraham, I believe the Abrahamic covenant to be Messianic in nature, in referencing "the seed" and the universal blessing. Heb. 11:8-19 indicates to me that Abraham did indeed perceive some of the spirituality symbolized by the privileges of the covenant. Also, we see Abraham sacrificing. Assuming he understood what sacrifice meant (and I don't know why he wouldn't), he had a Messianic type.

In short, I believe John 14:6 to be applicable to all ages.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Joseph's picture

Greg Long wrote:
The condescension towards dispensationalism reaches a new low. But of course, I can't argue with it.

Please explain to me, Joseph, who said anything about not seeing Christ in the Old Testament?


I think that the only statement that could reasonably be construed as condescending is the opening statement, which I borrowed from Scott, so you'll have to take up the issue of condenscion with him.
I used it to parallel his opening statement.

Jay's picture

Joseph wrote:
I would suggest, my brother, that you are naively ignoring the fact that seeing Christ in the OT has been absolutely essential for Christianity since its inception, and was an essential element of patristic exegesis and understanding of Scirpture. Literalists like Marcion were the heretics in the early church, precisely because they would not see Christ in the Old Testament. No typology, no Christ fore-shadowed, in short, no Christ in the Old Testament means no Christianity. Your position is only supportable through an ignorance of the early church and its understanding of Scripture.

Biblical interpretation has fallen apart since the Reformation, and positions like Dispensationalism are only possible because of the hermeneutic transformations that tooks place in the Enlightenment and thereafter, as they are brillianty described by Hans Frei in The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative.


Joseph, not one person on this thread has said anything to the effect of the OT does not point forward to Christ. To accuse Scott of that is crazy. Did I misread your post?

Furthermore, a literal hermeneutic should be an essential characteristic of Fundamentalists. Are you saying that people who hold to a literal hermeneutic are in error?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Dennis Clemons's picture

Greg Long wrote:
As Scott said, I would not use the wording Showers did of "two distinct gospels."
If Showers was correctly quoted, he called it "two distinct gospels", not one to contemporaries of Abraham juxtaposed against His own contemporaries but 2 for differing groups who were contemporaries of each other. That is astounding. So what were the 2 gospels that Christ was giving? One to the Gentiles based on His future death, burial and resurrection and one to the Jews based on something else? Why not one gospel to all?

Greg, I can respect a dispensationalist like MacArthur who will call out heresy when he hears it but you are coming across as defending Showers' heresy because he is dispensational.

Dennis

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. ~ Proverbs 18:17