Simple Layman #1: Summary

Travis Bennett specifies the purpose for the Simple Layman series: to build a framework around prophecy in order to help people make better sense of how the Old Testament perspective flows into the New Testament perspective. Travis and his co-contributor, Reggie Kelly, believe that the study of prophecy in the history of Israel can save the student from errors that arise from prophetic speculation, which typically strays from events that actually occurred. At the outset, two snares are identified that people often fall for: 1) making arguments that God is not fair ie. elevating the human condition above the Bible’s presentation of it, and 2) sitting in judgment, not only over Scripture, but over God Himself.

Highlights:

  • Covenant discipline does not indicate covenant failure, but covenant faithfulness: the covenant is still completely operative for Israel
  • Election implies the determination of the sovereign God – the indeterministic position assumes a vast ignorance on God’s part concerning human choices – prophecy becomes impossible
  • God planned to make a distinction between Jew and Gentile ?does not delete you when you sin, as if you had introduced an unforeseen aberration into the source code of His plan.
  • In an effort to safeguard the reputation of God, some venture that God must limit His knowledge. God can predict, but He doesn’t determine the outcomes ? determinism scares people by limiting free will, thereby laying the burden on God for the outcomes,
  • Man wouldn’t have true accountability without true freedom; righteous judgment requires it
    Reconcile yourselves with antimony, which is the paradox of 2 things (in this case, sovereignty and free will) reconciled in God, but not necessarily to human satisfaction
  • Presumption is the only ground for objecting that God owes us an explanation (Rom 9:14-22)
    If there is no place for unyielding justice, there is no place for a mercy that is truly amazing only when set against the black backdrop of absolute justice.
  • God never saddled you up with anything! You aced evil all by yourself; God is not obligated to undo what you have done, yet He regards the humble appeal: “Lord, would You have mercy?”
  • Election creates mind-boggling questions ?have to rest your reason and depend on the clear Word of revelation without complaint
  • The hatred of God’s right to choose is a great issue affecting the church today. The scandal of particularity becomes a real test of the heart, slamming the door on the perversity of presumption
  • God always crosses the presumption of any claim upon Him, as an affront to His authority