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One or Two Peoples of God: Reflections on the Mystery of Israel and the Church

Friday, March 20th, 2009

… It is correct to distinguish between the ‘Israel after the flesh’ and the church. But dispensationalism incorrectly divides between the seed of Abraham after the Spirit, saying that saved Jews before Pentecost and saved Jews living in the millennium do not belong to the church. In this way, there are two distinct ‘regenerate’ peoples of God belonging to two eternally distinct entities with different destinies. This constitutes a false view of the nature of the church. Hence, they fail to see that those of the natural seed of Abraham that are predestined for national salvation at Christ’s return will be as much a part of the body of Christ on earth as any living now before the Lord’s return. It is a question of what defines the church. …

Sin. Who created it?

Friday, October 31st, 2008

[…] So how is God not directly responsible for the fall that was indispensable in His preordained plan of redemption? Well, I’ve already mentioned the implications of Ro 8:20, and a considerable collection of other passages combine to show that redemption was never a divine afterthought. So I theorize that God cannot be justly charged with injustice if He did not elect to extend special grace that might have upheld Adam in the day of powerful temptation. God does not have to impose sin in order to ordain that it serve a role in His perfect and unalterable eternal purpose in grace.

Nothing can be more glorious to God or precious to man as the grace of Christ, the Father’s greatest eternal delight. Grace will be the theme and song of all eternity. This is the glory that the persons of the Godhead rejoiced in before time, in perfect contemplation and enjoyment of what would be accomplished in the foreordained goal of creation. […]

The Dangerous Presumption of ‘Exemption from Tribulation’

Monday, October 13th, 2008

[…] The great tribulation is not called ‘unequaled’ simply because of some unprecedented degree of human suffering. Though the ‘scale’ of human suffering will indeed be without precedent during the last tribulation, what individuals might face personally cannot be worse than what others of our brethren have faced throughout history without a rapture. The the final tribulation is said to be without equal because it extends to all the natural order. So, of course, human suffering will be co-extensive with the upheaval of a creation that has come to its greatest time of travail.

Therefore, it is not the ‘degree’ of personal suffering that makes this tribulation exceptional from all others, but its ‘scale’ of impact on the world of nature. So I ask: Do we detect a certain selfishness, or subtle presumption of moral superiority in the modern church’s expectation of exemption from a last repeat of the same kind of persecution that their ‘fellow servants and their brethren’ have faced in every age (see Rev 6:11)? I must say that such a doctrine sounds suspiciously accommodating of a soft and untested church that has embraced the cross only in theory as a historical fact in Jesus’ experience, and not as the invariable pattern of the very ‘way’ of God in the experience of every believer before and after Christ (but see Act 14:22). […]