“...we still have a lot to learn from the early and medieval church”

"Some church history and tradition have been forgotten or neglected by many modern Christians…in part, for lack of knowledge of their importance." Gavin Ortlund, pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai, California, talks about recovering lost doctrine and practice and his new book Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals. - Ref21

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A Dispensational Discourse with Dr. Charles Dyer

From Dispensational Publishing House; used by permission.

Dr. Charles Dyer has a unique combination of experience in Christian ministry, having served at the highest levels of Christian education as both an administrator and an educator; having been involved in Christian publishing as both an author and an editor; and having additional experience as a pastor, radio host and tour guide. Above all, he is a scholar and a fine Christian gentleman. He is also the author of the forthcoming volume from Dispensational Publishing House, Future Babylon: The Biblical Arguments for the Rebuilding of Babylon. We are glad to draw on Dr. Dyer’s expertise in this article, and we look forward to providing special opportunities for you to interact with him when we launch the release of that book.

“I went to a small Bible college, but I had several professors who really pointed me in the right direction,” stated Charles Dyer as he looked back on his preparation for a lifetime of significant ministry opportunities. “They had a Biblical approach. They taught me that God intended the Bible to communicate. You take it at face value. If you do that you are going to end up a classic dispensationalist.”

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Book Review and Interview - The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max

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One of our very own Sharper Iron contributors, Andrew Comings, has recently published his first work of fiction. Following this review we will include a brief author interview which highlights the motives behind this new and exciting project.

Book Review

David Livingstone meet Indiana Jones. The famed missionary explorer and the world-renowned, cinematic adventurer come to mind as one reads Andrew Comings’ new book The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max (Engage Faith Press, 2012).

In a fast-paced, engaging manner, Comings masterfully weaves his tale set on the fictional island of Cabrito. Political intrigue, a mysterious past, shady villains and maniacal kingpins — the story doesn’t follow the script one imagines for a typical missionary adventure tale. And Max is no missionary-want-to-be, he comes across as a man’s man who is forced into staying on Cabrito to make a difference.

The twists and turns of the plot, characters with depth and reality, and a locale where almost anything can go, keep one guessing throughout the book. Surprises abound as we come to terms with Max’s true identity, and learn more about his newfound friends. There is a romantic angle, too, but like the rest of the book – its a little complicated. The book stays suitable for teenagers, and perhaps older elementary children, although some of the themes will be over their heads.

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Interview with C. Marvin Pate, Author of "Reading Revelation"

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Last week I posted my review of Reading Revelation: A Comparison of Four Interpretive Translations of the Apocalypse, by C. Marvin Pate. This week Dr. Pate has agreed to answer some questions about his new book.

Dr. Pate teaches at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas where he is the Department Chair for Christian Theology and the Elma Cobb Professor of Christian Theology. Previous to teaching, Dr. Pate was a pastor at which time he earned his MA from Wheaton and his PhD from Marquette University.

Dr. Pate has spent a lifetime of writing books on eschatology some of which include: The End of the Age has Come: The Theology of Paul; Four Views on the Book of Revelation (contributor); Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy; End Times (contributor); and Doomsday Delusions: What’s Wrong with Predictions About the End of the World.

Share with us what started your interest in eschatology.

Two events drew me to eschatology, both of which occurred when I was 14 years old. First, on a hot July Monday evening in Hampton, Virginia (where I was raised) two U.S. fighter jets collided over the Atlantic Ocean in a practice maneuver and one crashed into the ocean but the other crashed one block from where I lived, in a crowded neighborhood. When it happened, the sky became red, the ground shook, and the noise was deafening. Not knowing what had happened, I thought Jesus was returning! That night made an indelible impression on me about the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. Second, I preached my first sermon at the age of 14, the same summer the jet crashed and my topic was—you guessed it—the second coming of Christ, based on Matthew 24. And so my interest began that summer and intensified in the years to come. I attended Moody Bible Institute as a student and embraced there dispensational pre-millennialism. But later at Wheaton Graduate School I embraced historical pre-millennialism and have pretty much held that position ever since; though technically I call my approach now “eclectic”.

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Koinonia in Arizona: The Standpoint Conference

A somewhat new conference occurs in Gilbert, Arizona later this month. I asked two of the organizers to share their thoughts on what the conference is all about.

What would you say to help folks understand the uniqueness of this conference?

Joel: I’m not sure that this conference is that unique. Just like the first time we met a few years ago, this is just a group of friends that are wanting to get together to think through some issues connected with the biblical concept of koinonia. Really, I have a primary goal and a secondary goal with our time together. The primary goal is focused on our own congregation here at SVBC. I’m wanting to bring in men from other ministries to talk about the issues related to “church to church” koinonia. These leaders that are speaking are leading ministries that are already on our “sister church list” as a congregation.

One of the things I’m concerned about is that we at SVBC do not become an island unto ourselves. Clearly the NT teaches that congregations are to have relationships with other congregations. But what are those relationships built on? In the past we’ve often said, “It is based on a shared movement.” That answer is increasingly deficient for a variety of reasons. I believe the answer must be we have co-ministry with those that we share koinonia with.

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