"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Building Principle

Luke 14:27-30 gives a building principle that if all a builder does is lays a foundation, then he will become a mockery. I know that the context is not about building theology, but I am going to borrow the principle and apply it to theology. The exegesis Nazi's are are to judge me harshly for me my textual sins, but I am willing to accept the punishment for my crime.

My mind will not allow me to read this building principle and not apply it to theology. There seems to be a move among many to only teach foundational doctrines. However, as our text suggest, just having a foundation is a mockery and not a glory. It is true that the foundation is of primary importance, but it is not the only part of a building that is essential. Walls and roofs are also essential.

Likewise there is an hierarchy of doctrine. The shema is the "first commandment" (Matthew 22:38). Yes, there are doctrines that are foundational. But there are other essential theologies that are like walls and roofs. We must not forget those. If all your theology has is a foundation, then it should be mocked. Theology needs more than a foundation to be the full, strong theology that provides a shelter  from every wind of doctrine. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Theology is not Theoretical

In Galatians 2:3 Paul put a face and a name to the topic of Circumcision—Titus. Paul would not allow the Judaizers to compel Titus to be circumcised. He was forcing them to apply their theology. If you say that you must be circumcised according to the Law of Moses to be saved (Acts 15), then tell Titus they HE is going to hell to his face. When most people discuss their theologies they resist bringing names and faces into it. Paul had no problem making preaching personal. Theology is never theoretical. It is always practical. Part of the way that you test the truthfulness of a theology is how it works in real life. You know a tree by its fruit (Luke 6:43-45). What practical fruit does your doctrinal tree produce? The dimension to which you really believe something will be determined by your willingness to allow the consequences of your view to have faces and names.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Eschatological Essentials

There are many eschatological views within the Apostolic movement. I would think that pre-mill, pre-trib, dispensationalism is the predominant view—by far. The second most popular view would be some form of post-trib. But these views do not make up the sum total of end-time views among Apostolics. You name the eschatology and there is a self-identified Apostolic who will espouse it.

There are Apostolic who are pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib. There are Apostolics who are a-mill, post-mill and pre-mill. There are all forms of preterism that exists under the Apostolic label also.

So how much room should we allow for diversity of opinion? Some post-tribbers think that all other eschatologies are heresy. And there are some pre-tribbers who think that all other eschatologies are heresy. A certain post-tribber used his Facebook page to encourage everyone in non post-trib churches to leave those churches and find a post-trib one. I also heard a tape of a pre-trib pastor calling post-tribbers heretics. Both sides demonstrated wrong spirits and wrong thinking. There is nothing about pre-trib or post-trib that is in conflict with the gospel.

So what are eschatological essentials? To answer that question, one must ask how it affects the gospel. I think any eschatological scheme that distorts the biblical teaching of resurrections is problematic. I think hyper preterism does just that. It denies corporate, future, literal, physical resurrection of the dead and second coming of Christ.

When an eschatology messes with the resurrection, it messes with the gospel (1 Corinthians 15). When one denies bodily resurrection of believers, they deny the bodily resurrection of Christ. Christ's resurrection is the model of believer resurrection. And nothing is more essential to the Christian foundation than the resurrection (Hebrews 6:1-2). There is a lot of room for differences of opinions on eschatology. But the doctrine of bodily resurrection is non-negotiable.