How do you Study to Show Yourself Approved?

 

Recently Theology Today began examining the subject of eschatology. There are various opinions being presented on that particular thread and I’ve been asked by a reader who knows little about this topic the following question;

 

How did they arrive at the conclusions they have reached? Here’s the link;

 

https://phillyflash.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/return-from-oz-by-dorothy-anderson

 

I thought this was a pretty fair question in light of James stern warning to all that claim to be teachers;

 

James 3:1 NASB

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

 

Fairly straight forward don’t you think?

 

I’m not just asking the eschatologists to demonstrate how they arrived at what they believe but I’m asking each of you the same question and as I thought about how to present this the following verse popped into my head;

 

2 Timothy 2:15 NASB

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

 

How did you study?

 

Did you arrive at your conclusions using Scripture alone?

 

Do you use a commentary/commentaries? Lexicon? Which ones?

 

How important is prayer to your study?

 

How important were the creeds and church history in your study?

 

Good questions eh? I’m looking forward to your responses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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47 thoughts on “How do you Study to Show Yourself Approved?

  1. Phil,
    On one of their websites, you recently asked hyperpreterists about God’s sovereignty.

    This is really the heart of the dispute. Whereas some hyperpreterists will claim that to even ask the question is like Eck asking Luther how he can be right & all the Church be wrong (see link) & then the hyperpreterists will claim to be consistent such a person should go back to “mama Church”.

    But Eck’s question was a VALID QUESTION. Luther WASN’T questioning all of the Church, he was questioning the spin that the Papists had put on that history. Luther was able to show via Scripture AND via history that it was the Papists who had deviated from what the Church had always believed.

    This is what hyperpreterists CAN’T do. They can claim to be using “Sola Scriptura” but their version of is nothing like what the Reformers proposed & instead is more like SOLO Scriptura where they privately interpret the passages AND they do NOT have history on their side as the Reformers did.

    When it comes to why God may have allowed errors to persist, I have seen the hyperpreterists compare this to the errors that God allowed to persist among the Jews, even to the point of them rejecting their Messiah. The problem with this notion/logic is that then, there is nothing new, nothing improved about the Church as God’s people. He might as well have kept the Jews in place. However, Christians should understand that Jesus came to REVEAL & fulfill. The Christians as God’s people are not to operate as the Jews, in darkness stumbling about. Christians as the BODY of Christ are supposed to be a better Body, a better covenant, a better people. (Eph 4:11-15) Hyperpreterists with their comparing Christianity with the Jews of old, make out Christianity to be no better, a still flawed covenant, not a “better covenant” (see link). This is another area where hyperpreterists do not honor God.

    Another response the hyperpreterists have given you is that as God has allowed evil to exist in the world for His own purpose, so too does He allow error in the Church for His own purpose. This may sound like a “logical” answer but the comparison is an error itself. Are we really supposed to compare the Church to the world? God does NOT treat the Church the same way as He does the world & this again dishonors God to say He is treating the Church the same way.

    Next, the hyperpreterists try to claim we are contrasting the Scriptures with the opinions/traditions of “fallible men”. They claim we are putting the “creeds & confessions” on equal or pro-par with the Scriptures.

    First off, you hardly see us referencing any specific creed but creed simply means, “I believe”. This makes me wonder how hyperpreterists can claim they DON’T have a creed…unless they are saying they don’t believe anything? But it isn’t even CREED (I believe) that I’m interested in as much as CREDIMUS (We believe). I am interested in seeing if we can ascertain what the Church as a whole has believed for 2000 years. To hear the hyperpreterists tell it, the Bible must has magically dropped from the sky or perhaps they want to make it out as being found on golden plates in a cave or “recited” to one man by an angel.

    God sent Jesus to hand-pick apostles to TEACH THE CHURCH ITS TRADITIONS (see 2 Thes 2:15) And Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth. (John 16:13). Hyperpreterism MUST disconnect itself from this Church. It MUST claim there has been a 2000 year conspiracy or error so that they can insert their “paradigm shift”.

    If there has been THAT kind of error, then we should question everything starting with the very structure of the Bible itself. Why only 66 books? Why not more? Why not less? Who has decided these things? Maybe there has been an error?

    Folks, be it Mormons, Muslims or hyperpreterists — all of these heresies MUST claim gross error & conspiracy. They MUST distort Scripture. They MUST distort history. They MUST reach their “conclusions on eschatology” by disconnecting themselves from ANYTHING that has EVER been considered Christianity. The starting point for hyperpreterism is the dividing point from historic Christianity.

    Phil: Thanks for the comment, but what did any of this have to do with the OP?

  2. In answer to your questions:

    How did you study?

    Bible Study for me has been and will continue to be a life long endeavor. I study the Scriptures by looking at as much historical information as I can about the people’s, places, times, traditions, cultures, beliefs, etc… in the Bible.

    Did you arrive at your conclusions using Scripture alone?

    NO! No one ever has, does or will. I use Scripture, Prayer and as much written/recorded information as possible.

    Do you use a commentary/commentaries? Lexicon? Which ones?

    I studied Commentaries for 6 years (All Futurist) trying to understand how so many people come to a Futurist understanding and what was wrong with me as to why I can not see it. My Conclusion after this 6 years was to give up on reading commentaries. Futurists like to think they are so together when it comes to Eschatology; is this why we have Pre-Mil, A-Mill, Post-Mil, Pre Trib Rapture, Mid Trib Rapture, Post Trib Rapure, No Rapture, Pre-Wrath, Post-Wrath, Dispensationalism & Zionism?

    How important is prayer to your study?

    Prayer is 1st!

    How important were the creeds and church history in your study?

    In my search of “The Creeds” I’d have to ask which ones you are referring to. To date, I have found over 40 Christian “Creeds”. Many of which say so further one’s are needed, warranted or allowed.

    Church History plays no positive role in my Studies of Scripture or even Eschatology. Church History; essentially from the first 1500 years was monopolized, mandated, controlled & manipulated by the “Only” Church allowed to exist, which was ROME. Either through the Roman Empire or the RCC.

    This Church History is riddled with bloodshed, control & complete intolerance for anything outside of what “Mother Church says”

    Beginning with the Christian persecutions that began at the time of Christ, through the multiple “Crusades”, the Inquisitions throughout Europe & the Americas (11th to 19th Century), The Reformation, Counter-Reformation atrocities committed by “Christians” to Jim Jones, David Koresh or even John Hagee who is screaming to annihilate Iran.

    I am a Christian and put all my faith & trust in God & His Christ. I put absolutely no faith in mankind or physical realities that I can see, smell, hear, feel, taste or touch. Mankind is fallible and as such, deserves no honor.

    Until mankind accepts that God has kept his promises and that Salvation is NOW available to all who wil receive it, we’re going to continue to blow each other up: Mentally, Physically, Emotionally & Spiritually.

    Good questions eh? I’m looking forward to your responses!

    Scripture tells us to look to things unseen and not things seen: Futurism demands the opposite.

    Scripture tells us to walk by faith and not by sight: Futurism demands we’ll realize all spiritual promises by witnessing physical events.

    Jesus said “My Kingdom comes NOT with observation: Why is the Church hoping to observe it?

    Christ said “It is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing: Futurism adds “But it will later”

    Every single Writer in the New Testament said all the Eschatological events would happen in their lifetime, their age & their generation. Why? Because Christ said so!

    Christ, John, Peter & Paul all said THEY were in the LAST DAYS; Futurism calls all these people liars, misinformed or misguided and Christ a partially successful Messiah.

    Futurist Eschatology echoe’s, repeats & parrots Israel’s rejection of God’s TRUE SPIRITUAL Kingdom and demands a physical Kingdom here on earth.

    1Sa 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

    Joh 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

    Exactly what Futurist Eschatology is repeating: “We’re not satisfied with a spiritual kingdom, we demand a physical one”

    Jerry Wm Bowers Jr
    GAP Evangelising

    http://www.gapevangelising.webs.com
    http://www.eschatology.ning.com

  3. Looking forward to the responses too.

    Just to add, isn’t it possible to study with the bible alone without using concordance, lexicons and all that?

  4. Phil,
    As a Reformed Presbyterian i follow the basics hermeneutics

    1.The Analogy of Faith — this means that Scripture interprets Scripture. No part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture. Along with this is the rule that The Implicit is to be Interpreted by the Explicit.

    2.”Interpret the Bible literally.” To interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature.

    3.Another principle is the Grammatico– Historical Method.

    4.Audience Relevance or Original Relevance — what did the original readers understand the text to mean?

    5.”Historical analysis” — involves seeking a knowledge of the setting and situation in which the books of the Bible were written. This includes the date of the writing, the authorship, the destination.

    6.We are to also Determine carefully the meaning of words. Whatever else the Bible is, it is a book which communicates information verbally.

    “Reformed and always reforming according to the word of God”

    “According to the word of God” is a check on change. We don’t just change for the sake of change but we change in light of the presence of ongoing divine revelation.

    Calvin would say that we must be reformed by scripture.

    In the words of the Apostle Paul, “see in glass darkly.” So we are always reforming, seeking truth, seeking the word of God.

    We must remember that the truth we speak may not be true tomorrow and that the truth we speak may not be the whole truth, but our own interpretation of the larger truth, the word of God.

    Great question Phil
    Bill

  5. Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments!

    Please bear in mind that this isn’t a theological debate nor is it a place for “attacking”…it’s simply a question so I can better understand where my readers are coming from and to give ideas to those who may not know how to study or what resources to aid in their personal study of God’s Holy Word….

    @ Naomi,

    Sure it is…I know several who do that.

  6. You asked & connected the question to Dorothy’s post on hyperpreterism. My reply explained HOW hyperpreterists MUST reach their conclusions…They MUST reach their “conclusions on eschatology” by disconnecting themselves from ANYTHING that has EVER been considered Christianity.

    Phil: How did you come to the conclusions you have about HP’s Roderick? What books did you read…..what Scripture made you start to realize while still an HP that you might possibly be in error?

  7. How did you study?

    Ever since I left the WoF movement, I’ve done my entire studies with the Bible.

    Did you arrive at your conclusions using Scriptures alone?

    Almost always, yes. Except where I’d need to reference further information online or in my local Church or a small Christian gathering.

    Did you use a commentary/commentaries? Lexicon? Which ones?

    I rarely use them. They probably constitute 0.5% of my entire Bible study.

    How important is prayer to your study?

    Honestly, apart from my regular times of prayer and those other occasions that call for it, I don’t pray before reading the Bible. I do reverence it as the word of God, and rightfully so, but rarely do I pray before opening my Bible.

    How important were the creeds and Church history in your study?

    The creeds and church history have not played any vital part in my study of scriptures. Once in a blue moon, I search for them; but for the most part I’m content with scriptures alone, knowing that no part of scripture is of any private human interpretation.
    While referencing church history, I’ve mostly limited myself again to what I see in scriptures. However, I’ve begun taking interest in the previous years, using them to better understand scriptures and my faith.
    One thing I do is to examine the beliefs of certain acclaimed post-scriptures believers and creeds, see the consistencies and inconsistencies in their beliefs, and thereafter use the scriptures as my measuring tool.

    I was going to ask the same question which Naomi asked, but I see you’ve answered it.

  8. Phil, doesn’t a person need to know how one gets into error BEFORE we discuss how to get out? Also, if we are talking about prevention of slipping into errors such as hyperpreterism, I would say that the “just-me-&-my-Bible” approach opens up a person for all kinds of error since Jesus did NOT design the Church to be a bunch of individuals interpreting however they like, but rather Jesus hand-picked apostles to be the foundation of the collective Church & to give to it “traditions” (2 Thes 2:15).
    Phil: The main theme of the post was “How do you Study”….not about heresy or how to come out of it. When you missed the point I was trying to gently bring you back to the main topic of the post….which I guess you did.

    It may sound good to disconnect one’s self from the history of Christianity & only read the Bible in a vacuum but if you do that, you will end up with a private religion.

    So, to answer your question on a personal level, it was not any specific book I read that made me realize I had been duped by hyperpreterism — it was realizing that Sola Scriptura DOESN’T mean what most people today claim it means. Realizing that Christians are supposed to be a community of saints & not lone rangers. This pushed me to reading more of Bible in light of the sovereign working of God throughout the history of Christianity & seeing that there has been unity of belief on the most basic of doctrines & especially on the exact 3 things hyperpreterists deny.
    Phil: Thanks for answering on a “personal” level Roderick….that was the idea behind the posting after all

    But if you are asking also what we should do to avoid falling into errors such as hyperpreterism, then I say the first thing is NOT to give errors a voice. It is like letting your drunken uncle talk you into something stupid…no matter how nice he is, no matter how much you think about him being a relative, he is still in error & not a wise person from which to receive counsel or direction.
    Phil: Here at Theology Today we discuss errors and allow both sides to comment…then we attempt to refute it….after all none of us possesses absolute truth

    Did I answer the question?
    Phil: Sure….Thanks!

  9. Hi All,

    For me, prayer is #1….without it my study is in vain….

    I do use commentaries….namely Henry and Gill….it’s nice to know there were saints who loved the Gospel and willing to study as much as they did….oh, I like Calvin as well.

    My Koine is pretty good so I only use a lexicon when I’m stuck or forgot the meaning of a word…..Vines or Wuests are very good.

    I value church history and the creeds….although not Scripture they offer a snapshot into life in the early church….Schaeff is my source for that.

    Other resources I use are Kingdom of the Cults and the Moody Handbook of Theology as well as Strongs Systematic Theology….

    That’s about it!

  10. Phil,
    ” The truth concerning “the Historic Christian Church” is that she is essentially a conglomeration of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and takes as the standard of faith and practice the creeds and councils of the first five centuries.

    This “church,” if such she can be called, is a church which relies fully on the past. Instead of relying solely upon the Bible as the only “yardstick for truth,” she mingles the Bible with the ancient creeds, and if a choice is necessary between the two, takes her stand with the creeds, not the Word

    The same council which composed the Nicene Creed also decreed in Canon III that the clergy should not marry. This was in fulfillment of 1 Timothy 4:1-3: “In latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and teachings of demons…forbidding to marry” (Gk. ). How, then, could such a council be considered reliable in interpreting the Word of God?

    When Martin Luther was required to appear before the Diet of Worms, he was told he had “no right to call into question the most holy orthodox faith…confirmed by the sacred councils, [and] defined by the Church.” To this he replied:

    Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

    If Luther had been limited by “the Historic Christian Church,” there would have been no Reformation; the truth and experience of justification by faith would not have been recovered; the Bible would not have been liberated from its Latin prison; and we would all still be in the Dark Ages.

    Bill

    Phil: So are you saying the creeds and the early church fathers have no benefit at all?

  11. Phil,
    Of course not Phil. I believe we stand on their shoulders.

    But the Church’s use of the Fathers and councils to enforce non-Scriptural elements also fell under Luther’s scrutiny.

    Luther writes, “When anything contrary to Scripture is decreed in a council, we ought to believe Scripture rather than the council.

    I agree with Luther

    Bill

  12. Phil
    Let me share a few quotes from “Roderick” since he seems to want to sound so sure of himself and act as some type of an authority on preterism.

    1.”But now let me quote from Eck (one of the Pope’s lawyers/legate) against Luther”:

    Are you the only one who knows anything? Except for you is all the Church in error?”

    And now let us hear Luther’s response and wonder if he would have joined us:

    I answer that God once spoke through the mouth of an ass. I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian Theologian; and I am bound, not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university, or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.

    And now Roderick again.
    “Tell me brothers, what I am saying any different than what Luther has said?

    Roderick says he was once a dispensationalist for 11 years,how? He was deluded for 11 years.

    If I’m not mistaken he says he was full-preterist for 15,how..deluded again..Well I’m not sure i would trust or take very serious someone that has been deluded 26 years..More then half his life.

    Another Roderick gem..If preteristic theology is wrong, it is not
    heresy, it would merely be a misunderstanding of what seemed to be clear-cut time restrained, “about to be” events. Preterism would be far less a theological crime than what common dispensationalists foist upon the Body of Christ.

    For the preterists I know, all believe Jesus came in the flesh and was crucified, and rose from the dead in the flesh — pointing, as He always did in His ministry to a more important and impressive spiritual reality.

    I will let you and your readers be the judge.

    Bill

  13. Hyper-Preterist’s make mince-meat of God’s sovereignty because they can’t understand the balance that exists between grace and the freewill of man. One Hyper-Pret actually said that 2,000 years of Christian teaching was “God ordained error.” I suppose that 6,000 years of rape, murder, and adultery is also God-ordained. I don’t think so. When we make God the “efficient cause” of evil, we run into numerous errors and can easily hold a view that lessens man’s responsibility to a point where, no matter what he does or what errors he holds, God is “still in control.” Such persons have yet to realize that man is a rebel against God, and needs to be brought back through the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. ONce reconciled to God, though, is it safe to say that a man will NEVER understand the truths of soteriology or eschatology?? If so, then it’s also safe to say that the work Holy Spirit has no practical influence on the life of the believer.

    As always, the key to a proper understanding of the Bible is childlike faith and a willingness to follow Christ, through the personal anointing of the Holy Spirit, which the world hath not.

    Brian

    Phil: Ok. So how did you come to these conclusions? How do you study the Bible Brian?

  14. Reading Brian Simmons a “hyper-dispensationalist” talk on the sovereignty of God is like Madonna talking on virginity.

    Dispensationalism results in unbiblical and heretical teaching and doctrine.

    Other heresies that are common to some types of dispensationalism include such things as soul sleep and annihilationism.

    Without a doubt whatever name you want to call it, dispensationalism is a dangerous error that almost always leads to other even worse errors and often outright heretical teachings.

    It has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth.”

    But my main problem with Dispensationalism is that it says salvation comes in different ways in different dispensations.

    Dispensationalism makes a clear distinction between Israel and the Church.Some of the most common errors in theology have come about through confusing the church with Israel. Most of the CULTS also claim to be a continuation of Israel in one form or the other.

    It is very important to understand the error of this. God’s promises to Israel have not failed.If so,then God is not Sovereign.

    Will

  15. Roderick,
    You said that everyone has a creed. That’s a mouthful and SOOO right. Whether formalized or not, everyone has a set of assumptions, doctrines, etc. When a man says he doesn’t get into doctrine, THAT is his doctrine. “We have no creed” is part of their creed.

    The thing is that our creed has to change when Scripture demands it. That’s called obedience.

    Phil Perkins.

  16. Wow, This is the third or fourth time someone has called me a “Hyper-Dispensationalist.”

    FYI, Hyper-Dispensationalists teach that the church didn’t begin until A.D. 63, after the Jews rejected the offer of the kingdomn (see Acts 28). Then the “mystery” of Ephesians was revealed to Paul. They claim the Christian church has nothing to do with the “New Jerusalem” (which is purely Jewish in nature), but occupies the “third sphere of glory” which is “above the heavens.” This belief-system is also known as “Acts 28 Dispensationalism.”

    Now, I never taught or believed any such thing. I hold there are only two spheres of glory (heavenly and earthly), and that the church partakes of the promises made to the spiritual Israel of the Old Testament. This is in accord with 2,000 years of Christian teaching. The least Will and others can do is get their definitions right before throwing names at other people.

    As it stands, Dispensationalism holds to all the recognized tenets of Christian eschatology (future resurrection, judgment, second coming) and is within the pale of orthodoxy. Most of the Dispensationalists I know are godly and reverent Christians who have a passion for the Word of God. The fact that over 90% of today’s church is Dispensational in nature reveals the strength of its teachings. If Will doesn’t like it, then maybe he doesn’t like the Gospel.

    Brian

  17. P.S. ~ The content of Will’s post is not his own, he lifted it from Harry Ironside’s study of “ULtraDispensationalism.” Doesn’t that qualify as plagiarism???

    Brian

  18. Phil:

    You wrote: “The thing is that our creed has to change when Scripture demands it. That’s called obedience”

    I believe this rule and I believe it applies to all man-made Creeds, Councils & Synods: Would you agree?

    I asl because this is he very reason why HP’s don’t subscribe to the parts of these Creeds, Councils & Synods that are clearly non scriptural.

    Many make the false assumption that HP’s do not hold to any of the Creeds, Councils & Synods but this is a blatant accusation that is blatantly false. As I wrote in the previous blog, those who have a problem with anyone disputing or disbelieving any of the statements in these Creeds, Councils & Synods do so by demanding that everyone must accept every statement made in every Creed, Council & Synod. The biggest mistake in this thinking is that many times, the subsequent Creeds, Councils & Synods corrected, altered, added or detracted from the previous ones.

    How can one hold to opposing viewpoints?

    Jerry!

  19. Thanks Phil Perkins, I’ll be happy to communicate via email — I don’t think I understand the rules here.
    Phil: Roderick, the main point of this post was a question “How do you study to show yourself approved” something I had to coax you into answering…We know how Phil P comes to his conclusions as he’s been a valuable contributer on this site since its inception…

    My readers don’t know you yet and frankly neither do I so we’re all curious as to how you’ve reached the conclusions you’ve reached since you hold yourself out to be an apologist against the Hyper-Preterist eschatological belief system……and now that you’ve sorta told us how you’ve reached your conclusions people will now begin to question you….that’s how the site works Roderick….and if you don’t like it there are 20 million other blogs you can post at.

  20. Brian says”I study the Bible as a Divine revelation directly from God”.

    Is that how you became a “hyper-preterist”? Was that divine revelation Brian?? Or were you deluded also? Does your divinity come and go and get confused at times? People like you scare me Brian with your cult mentality.

    By the way Brian do a google search of “ULtraDispensationalism.”Ironside isn’t the only one to write about it and that’s not where i got the information.

    Just answer the charge and quit crying and making personal attacks.You didn’t even touch this one.”God’s promises to Israel have not failed.If so,then God is not Sovereign”.

    Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century.Not 2,000 years ago as you keep trying to insinuate.

    The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country.

    Before that time it was not know as a theological system.

    There is not scripture support for a return to the land in unbelief Brian.This is why your view is umbilical and cultist.

    Phil’s question is very important so his readers can see the danger of going outside scripture and relying on made up theology like Darbyism and Bullingerism.

    All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

    Will

  21. Phil
    So i see that when Roderick was a preterist he said “even if wrong it would not be “hersey” WOW!

    And that Preterism would be far less a theological crime than what common dispensationalists foist upon the Body of Christ<<WHAT BRIAN HOLDS TO.

    He even admits “For the preterists he knew, “all believe Jesus came in the flesh and was crucified, and rose from the dead in the flesh”
    Sounds like Roderick has created a different standard now for someone to be a Christian then has historically been.He seems to disagree with Paul.

    1 Cor 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

    Once we leave scripture for final authority Phil, it’s a slippery slop to “Cultism”.

    I look forward to you and your readers views and discussion on eschatology.As i have many questions and appreciate honest debate.

    Will

  22. Hi Everyone,

    This is a great question. I was introduced to it modified version of HP while in the Church of Christ and I learned to compare scripture with scripture under their umbrella. I left them when the pastor told me to stop studying. I spent around 7-8 years in the HP camp, but not all that time in an active role. I’ve always worked outside that camp…even while in it. I wasn’t so interested in promoting HP as I was examining doctrines. It’s that course that has led me out of HP.

    I make no bones about it. I’m an advocate of study and I currently have a library of 300+ volumes and about 350 online books that I work with and I add to all that monthly. I’m an avid reader – always have been. Prayer is also an essential for me – along with just the Bible and scripture alone. I love scripture and I love reading what great minds had to say about it also.

    I also am drawn when I see something “new”, I want to examine it. I did that with New Covenant Theology not long ago. I’ve talked with some of their major promoters and we’re still talking. When I see work coming out of a seminary, I talk to them too.

  23. Phil, again with the hostility? Why are you so defensive? Your thread here was directly connected to the thread on hyperpreterism & thus I was answering how hyperpreterists come to their conclusions. ALL THROUGH my posts on this thread, on Dorothy’s thread, & even the Calvinism thread I have explained how I approach doctrine — namely that it is Scripture AND Christian history (not merely creeds). To disconnect one from the other either leaves a person coming to “private interpretations” or leaves a person open to following mere opinions. Furthermore, I have consistently provided Scripture references & links to back up the things I have posted So you have “coaxed” nothing from me but I answer your question before you even asked it.

    When I say I don’t understand the rules around here, I don’t understand why hyperpreterism is being treated like it is just another valid theological view. Is this how you treat the WoF movement? Coddling & placating error will only embolden it.
    Phil: Where did you come up with that idea Roderick? I allow people to comment here INCLUDING WoF and anyone else that holds a different theological opinion then my own…then we discuss, debate and refute. Been like that for nearly two years now….

    I thank you for allowing me to post on your blog & thank you for giving Dorothy the opportunity to tell her story but if you are not ready to really “expose the unfruitful works of darkness”, then I don’t want to disturb you any longer.

    Phil: Really? Read the site…over 135 articles naming names and doing nothing but exposing heresy…and you are welcome to post here anytime you like…

    Godspeed!

    Phil: Godspeed to you as well…

  24. Calvin wrote, “What, then, you will say, is there no authority in the definitions of
    councils? Yes, indeed; for I do not contend that all councils are to be
    condemned, and all their acts rescinded, or, as it is said, made one complete
    erasure. But you are bringing them all (it will be said) under subordination,
    and so leaving everyone at liberty to receive or reject the decrees of
    councils as he pleases. By no means; but whenever the decree of council is
    produced, the first thing I would wish to be done is, to examine at what
    time it was held, on what occasion, with what intention, and who were
    present at it; next I would bring the subject discussed to the standard of
    Scripture. And this I would do in such a way that the decision of the
    council should have its weight, and be regarded in the light of a prior
    judgment, yet not so as to prevent the application of the test which I have
    mentioned. I wish all had observed the method which Augustine prescribes
    in his Third Book against Maximinus, when he wished to silence the cavils
    of this heretic against the decrees of councils, “I ought not to oppose the
    Council office to you, nor ought you to oppose that of Ariminum to me,
    as prejudging the question. I am not bound by the authority of the latter,
    nor you by that of the former. Let thing contend with thing, cause with
    cause, reason with reason, on the authority of Scripture, an authority not
    peculiar to either, but common to all.” In this way councils would be duly
    respected, and yet the highest place would be given to Scripture,
    everything being brought to it as a test.”

    Wow. Sounds like a hyper preterist. EVERYTHING is to be brought to the test of Scripture. Even the Council of Nice. Notice, too, the opponents of Calvin: “you set every at liberty”. Not so, said Calvin. He outlines how a man, a single man, is study to show himself approved. Study the history, the times, the place. Read the theology. And, then, take it to the test of Scripture. Do all the lines match? What if, in the light of studying the history of eschatology, a person says, “you know what, that isn’t right.”? What if? Do you have a remedy for that person? Do you say, “you are in error”? How so? On what STANDARD would you point out his error. If one followed Calvin here, then one could not say, “because Nice says, “he shall come again!”” Nope. You would have to go to Scripture, for this person is all too familiar with Nice.

    What about, too, that Nice contradicts your own futurism, which, as Ken Gentry and K. Mathison have shown, the Greek verb “mello” means something “about to” take place? And, what if I showed you that in Nice it says, “and we look forward to the Age ABOUT TO come”? So much for Postmillennialism! So much for partial preterism! You have contradicted one word in the holy Creed!

    what about those who believe the last days were fulfilled in A.D. 70, but look forward to a future coming? Well, Chalcedon has you there, for it speaks of THESE LAST DAYS in our time…Follow Calvin on this matter. He had it right. Study to show YOURSELF approved.

  25. Will,

    There’s about twice as much historical evidence for the doctrines of Dispensationalism as there is for the Preterism of Gary DEMar. Fancy that, eh?

    Basically what you’re saying is, we’re supposed to accept someone like DeMar, who teaches that 95% of the Bible was fulfilled in A.D. 70, as “fully within the pale of orthodoxy” because he teaches (theoretically, at least) a future second coming, resurrection, and judgment. But when it comes to Dispensationalists who hold all of the above– AND whose theology preserves the authority of the New Testament canon and the teachings of Christ and the inspired apostles– no longer are we dealing with orthodoxy?? Allow me to thank God that your likes and dislikes don’t matter much!

    As for the promises made to Israel: If they were made to Israel then you have no right to appropriate them to the church. The promises will be fulfilled in the exact manner specified, whether you like it or not. The church does not need to enrich herself by robbing the Jews of their future blessings. The theology you espouse would bring Christianity back into the Dark Ages, of inquisitions, pogroms, and clerical intolerance. Good luck impressing your views on the rest of Christendom, which (thankfully) has gotten past such things.

    As for how I came to embrace Hyper-Preterism, it was through the false method of allegorizing/spiritualizing the Scriptures. Instead of letting the Word of God speak for itself, I imported my own subjective concepts into the texts. This is a big no-no, but it is the common practice of a large majority of historic Christian interpreters. Dispensationalism cleared away this cobwebbed method of interpretation, re-instating the authority of God’s word. The method the Dispensationalists use is the PROTESTANT METHOD OF INTERPRETION. You are using an outmoded Roman Catholic method which has done quite a bit of mischief throughout the centuries. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Reformation did not stop in Geneva. The Reformers were poor students of prophecy, and it was reserved for later generations to tackle that department. Far from being a false teacher, Darby was the great Reformer of prophetic studies.

    Brian

  26. To all,
    First of all I want to say how impressed I am with some of you. Some of you have spent years and years studying and it shows. God WILL reward you. You are a treasure to the body when you do this. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you.

    The proper role of what I call “the old guys”–voices from the past like Henry, Spurgeon, the catechisms, the creeds–is basically the same as we are to each other. These folks were part of the assembly along time ago. Most were gifted to teach.

    You may have noticed when I correspond here I’ll state things VERY strongly if I am sure I’ve done my homework. On the other hand sometimes I’ll state something and ask if it’s true or if someone could confirm it.

    Just as I may look to my current brothers and sisters for biblical knowledge I don’t possess, I use the old guys as a check. I’m prejudiced and the sad thing is I don’t know that I’m prejudiced or I’d correct it. That’s one of the reasons for interaction in the assembly.

    The old guys are particularly precious for this very purpose. They come from a different time. WE are prejudiced by our culture. Often I have come to conclusions based on Scripture, but those conclusions sound crazy in this time and culture. SOOOO0000 I go to the old guys to see if the reason it sounds crazy is because of our cultural religion or if it really is crazy.

    So, that’s how I use the old guys. And if you read them you will often find that, even if you disagree with them from time to time, they REALLY were at a level of biblical knowledge and precision of thought that we today can strive to match.

    I particularly like, too, Jerry’s reminder that Bible study is for life. (You can take that two ways.)

    One last pointer on HOW one might do Bible study–and I’ve never found this in any hermeneutics text–look for the logical chain in any passage. It may have two links or it may have a dozen.

    There are some passages without much of a chain–like some places in Proverbs, where we have lists of pithy sayings of wisdom. And there are narrative passages which may simply be a presentation of events in chronological order. However, in the doctrinal passages, the logical chain can be of several varieties:

    1. Simple logic. Because we know A is true, B must also be true.

    2. Causal. Because A happened, B happened.

    3. Purpose. So-and-so does A to achieve B.

    Those are two big ones. A great example of a logical chain and how powerful a tool it is for interpretation is Phil. 3. Verses 8-11 has a large chain. It is a purpose chain and it has parts that actually branch off before the main line gets to his main goal of the resurrection of the dead.

    Powerful, powerful, powerful stuff. Revolutionary to my life!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins. PS–TO Yomi–I read your post at your site on tithing. I’d been rolling stuff around in my head for years and you answered some important questions. You cemented some things in my mind that needed it. GREAT article!

  27. And other thought–one that’s been rolling around in my bald head awhile–Our international sisters and brothers, like Yomi and Naomi and others are precious, too. They should feel free to criticize those of us who have never been outside of the American church. Help to keep us biblical, not American.

    And for those of you who aren’t in the US–Do NOT copy the American church, especially as it is today. Only the Scripture!

    Phil Perkins.

  28. In my case I rely on prayer and the scripture almost entirely. James 1:5

    “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

    This discussion about estchatology has been very enjoyable and regardless of my simple thoughts I hope and look forward to it continuing. I would suppose that many of the councils of the past have been filled with the vigorous debates that are occurring here. Thank you Phil N.

    I have never personally been overly concerned about such things since this is the generation I live in and the life I will have to account for. I think there is a propensity for every generation to hope that they will be that special one, however to me, I am just a blade of grass in the praire of life. Here today and gone tommorrow.

    I am sorry that I have nothing of importance to add to this discussion but will stand with the apostle Paul. 1Cor.2:2

    “For I determine not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

  29. Phil,

    Here’s more preterism for ya – fulfillment of prophecy. hahaha

    Rod: “I thank you for allowing me to post on your blog & thank you for giving Dorothy the opportunity to tell her story but if you are not ready to really “expose the unfruitful works of darkness”, then I don’t want to disturb you any longer.”

    Me to you days ago: “Phil, bottom line is that you have a person here who is an extreme control freak. And when we didn’t let him have his way, he bailed.”

    Can i say “i told you so”? ROFL.

    ———-

    On topic – I think Bill provided a good list:

    1.The Analogy of Faith — this means that Scripture interprets Scripture. No part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture. Along with this is the rule that The Implicit is to be Interpreted by the Explicit.

    2.”Interpret the Bible literally.” To interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature.

    3.Another principle is the Grammatico– Historical Method.

    4.Audience Relevance or Original Relevance — what did the original readers understand the text to mean?

    I would add to that the WCF position on creeds and councils:

    III. All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.

    Helpful? Absolutely. Inerrant? By no means. Only Scripture has that claim.

  30. Jason writes: “2.”Interpret the Bible literally.” To interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature.”

    Yeah, right. Maybe like this verse?

    “And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt: and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever.” (Ezek. 37: 25).

    Brian

  31. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for this one:

    4.Audience Relevance or Original Relevance — what did the original readers understand the text to mean?

    Ya see, history isn’t on your side. For a hyperpreterist, this should read – how “YOU” define what the audience should have understood it because what came out of the first century was a futuristic belief, so maybe you need to reconsider “how” you view audience relevance….because history shows it isn’t what you claim.

    Thanks

  32. Control Freak? Jason runs a site where they ban their fellow hyperpreterists from joining AND they don’t allow non-members to comment at all and yet he calls ME a “control freak”? Um….

  33. Thanks Roderick. See, on the one hand you want to lump us all together, saying we tolerate this and we tolerate that. blah, blah, blah. Yet now, you just pointed out how i don’t tolerate any and everything coming from the preterist crowd.

    Which is it? See, this is the type of mess one makes with irrational obsessions and hate campaigns.

    As for not allowing non-members to post, that’s just plain good ole sense. I certainly don’t want your irrational, slanderous, bamblings on there. ( :

    Folks like Phil are welcomed, though Phil is not a preterist. I have also encouraged Phil to post a critique of Preterism there. Why? Simple. He doesn’t act like a child. Get a clue Rod.

    ——-

    Brian, i’m not interested in going round in round with a chiliast. Sorry. Plus, i’m not sure why you would even appeal to any standards seeing that your whole argument is that we submit to what was passed down from one generation to another.

    Who cares what you think, or i think. What we should be doing is studying and embracing Ireneaus and whatever it was he passed down to this children.

    ——–

    Dorothy, of course the NT writings were written from a “futurist” perspective. No body says they’re not. I don’t even understand what you’re complaining about.

    But they were also written with an expectation of consummation within their generation.

    Let me know when you provide the exegetical work that gets around that one.

  34. Jason,

    Your bluster about audience relevance is a lie that you have to perpetuate to make your position show signs of any legitimacy. The relevant audience, those who lived in the first century, did not come past AD70 with a hyperpreterist position. They still looked forward to future events. If anything should show you that your view is wrong, it certainly would be those witnesses, but your position on audience relevance actually makes them NON relevant which is exactly the opposite of what you propose. lol

    I think the readers here would like to know why you propose that they were deceived into believing a lie, why for 2000 years great Christian scholars have missed the boat, why Christians who did eventually get texts in their hands still did not come forth with a hyperpreterist position.

    While all hyperpreterists are demanding a scriptural account “yesterday”, I think it is very vital that we get our presuppositions on the table before that discussion even begins. Start from the wrong presupposition and it leads you to an incorrect position.

    So tell me, how do you explain the fact that all these saints after AD70 did not come to a hyperpreterist position? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    PS – for those here, I know this answer, but I would rather you hear it from their mouths.

  35. Jerry,
    I failed to answer your question–sorry. Of course all the creeds aren’t Scripture. They should be treated like anyother opinion, with Scripture-guided scrutiny.

    Phil P.

  36. Dorothy,
    Still waiting on the verse or verses that you have done an exegesis on that changed your view of eschatology.
    Thanks
    Bill

  37. Dorothy, i’m not going to entertain loaded questions like me explaining how Christians were “deceived”.

    Secondly, you’re not omniscient. To take a handful of examples and make that indicative of all of Christianity at that time is an inductive fallacy and thus absurd.

    Thirdly, i see in the other thread that you’re fairly “new” to the creed thing. Ok, but I’m not. And neither was Sam when he wrote Misplaced Hope that addresses the historical issue and then some.

    You’re playing a game. You’re insisting that i have to bow down to your hyper-creedalism before you’ll open a bible with me explain Mt 24 and 25 to me.

    I’m not playing that game.

    The Westminster Confession states it quite plainly. Apparently, that’s one confessional statement you don’t like.

    Not my problem:

    III. All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.

  38. Also, original audience relevance does NOT mean that we accept whatever conclusions the original audience might have embraced. Many of Jesus’ original audience concluded he was a false messiah. So should we? No. That would be absurd.

    Dorothy, you’re trying to twist my words into something i never said.

    Try again.

  39. Hi Jason,

    No, I’m not saying you have to bow to the creeds. I’m saying you have to have a response for the ones you remove from the deck.

    You want a creed revision – tell us all about it – starting with the resurrection.

    Also, false agrument when you say the original audience concluded Jesus was a false messiah. I wouldn’t qualify them as Christians. Have you so quickly forgotten that we are to test the spirits? So, are you saying you want to use the testimony of Non Christians to build your platform?

    You don’t need to answer that question – I already know it. It’s been used for years as the foundation of HP.

  40. Dorothy, it doesn’t matter if you use non-christians or christians. The argument you tried to make was to say that the principle of original audience relevance is the practice of taking the conclusions the original audience embraced, and using that as a standard of right/wrong.

    You said: “The relevant audience, those who lived in the first century, did not come past AD70 with a hyperpreterist position. They still looked forward to future events. If anything should show you that your view is wrong, it certainly would be those witnesses,

    That is not at all what “original audience relevance” means. Even Christians got things wrong – do you deny that?

    One of the very reasons for Paul’s letters was to correct incorrect thinking among CHRISTIANS.

    If “original audience relevance” means that we are to embrace whatever conclusions the original audience embraced, we would be all over the place.

    You’re not making any sense and worse, trying to pin that idea on me.

    Perhaps Bill meant something else and i misunderstood. If so, i apologize for quoting him. If he means what you’re suggesting, then no, i would say that is wrong.

  41. Jason,

    dorothy wrote, “The relevant audience, those who lived in the first century, did not come past AD70 with a hyperpreterist position. They still looked forward to future events.” Dorothy is right. Brian Simmons is right, too – they were Chiliasts – claimed from the lips of Jesus himself, handed down to the Apostles and the Elders of John to Papias to Irenaeus….

    2. Creed Revision: “I believe in the resurrection of the flesh…” (Early Apostles creed). The phrase was never found in the bible, so it was revised to “I believe in the resurrection of the body.” Again, not entirely a biblical phrase and it was argued that “flesh” and “body” was too crass of literalism – a balance was sought: “I believe in the resurrection of the dead” by the sixteenth century, which we all quote in churches today. “Resurrection of the dead” is a biblical phrase. Now, as with all true theology (if one studies the HISTORY of theology and its DEVELOPMENTS through the centuries), one must define “dead” and the “nature” of the resurrection….see N.T. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” (his new book), which wavers on the “nature” of the resurrection from a crass literalists point of view (that is, the shin bone connects to the leg bone view). See, Dorothy, Preterists, at least like the ones at SGP, FOLLOW Evangelical ideas today…and there has been a noticiable shift…I didn’t make that up…read the Evangelical scholars….It’s like they want their Preterist cake and eat thier creedalist icing, too. We point out that it cannot be done. Either Brian is right and its all future (quote me one second century father that interpreted “most” of NT fulfilled in A.D. 70 – to use your words). The did not see A.D. 70 as anything more than a specific destruction of the Jews for rejecting Messiah…it was not until much later that Josephus starts being quoted….see..DEVELOPMENT. They certainly were not postmillennialists!

    Brian Simmons is the only consistent person I have seen in here when it comes to the “history” question. He takes Irenaeus, Justin, Tertullian, Papias and others SERIOUSLY….they were the closest…Did you mean they got important matters of Eschatology wrong from the get go? How? why did God let that happen? Once you start answering that question, you are studying to show yourself approved…

  42. Sam,

    Studying to show thyself approved is in the aspect of dividing scripture. Now you make the challenge that once I start questioning how God allowed eschatology wrong, then I’m studying to show myself approved. lol

    Surely you jest.

    So what about the “rule of faith” that preceeded the apostles creed? Got some comments on it?

  43. Typical response: respond with another question instead of answering the one asked so asked to divert attention away from the real issue.

    Sam

  44. 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB

    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    Phil, the key to your question, is the last part of the verse, “accurately handling the word of truth.” How accurately can we handle the word of truth. What does the original language mean, and how do we understand it.

    This verse, is very central in the dispensational dispute. The very word translated “handling” is the word we get the word economy from, regarding the economic functioning of a household, and the dispensing of goods within that household according to the needs of the individuals.

    The futurist, have used the KJV, of rightly dividing the word, to mean that they are to divide the word according to what is for us, and what is not for us today especially, but also in regards to the Old Testament saints, and to the New Testament saints of the first century. Some even divide these two large groups into many smaller groups, and then those down into smaller groups as well! This forms a major presupposition in their understanding as they look to study the scriptures, understand and apply the scriptures. Futurist are primairily represented by the Dispensationalist who get their name from this very scripture.

    Preterist on the other hand also find this scripture very important in understanding the needs and function of the household of faith, and then attempt to minister to those needs accordingly, however we do not have the luxury of just grossly dividing the Body up into smaller and smaller units, we actually have to understand what the specific needs are, and which are subject to change from time to time! This does not lend itself to establishing “wooden” creeds and traditions which cannot be flexed and modified from time to time as the needs of the Body change. Hence you hear much about “audience relevance” in preterist circles, and taking the whole verse in context! This means we must understand the audience, and the context, which is not always apparent and requires specific study!

    I as a preterist, study the word, in the following way, which I will use your questions as an outline!

    How did you study?

    Familiarization with the scriptures, originally KJV, eventually read NASV, and NIV, along with other versions such as TEV, and other paraphrased. I read the Bible through, from cover to cover, twice a year for the first 5 years, and then settled into a more targeted reading.

    Did you arrive at your conclusions using Scripture alone?

    No, went to church where I heard it expounded, seminars and conferences, teachers, many other books, and study aids such as Strong’s concordance, and commentaries. In the early years much of this was from a Dispensational perspective, and also Ultra-Dispensational. Eventually studied more from a Calvinistic perspective, and also Charismatic. This led to amil, and realized eschatology, where I found it more productive to fellowship with Reformed Presbyterians and their teachings.

    Do you use a commentary/commentaries? Lexicon? Which ones?

    Mostly now online research!

    How important is prayer to your study?

    I try to pray, as I am reading thru online info. For example even this thread, I read through the whole thread, pondering whether I should respond and how. I hope that what I say is edifying to someone.

    How important were the creeds and church history in your study?

    Probably more than I am aware, for I am sure that many of the teachers were influenced by the various positions, even as we are today in a group such as this!

    I would also point out in the verse which you first quoted, the paragraph did not start with vs 15, but with vs 14, and continued through vs 19, which I would like to quote now in full:

    14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God [1] not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, [2] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

    It seems that often the ones who claim to study the most, do so in order to quarrel about words! How can this be, if they would actually study the verse in dispute.

    Then it also seems strange that so much of the dispute is still the same, regarding whether the Lord has come back or not. That some would even twist this very scripture, in order to claim that Preterist are guilty of the Hymenaeus Error, shows their lack of trully studying to understand the original error.

    Worse though, there are those who would use this dispute to destroy their brother. And the old question arises, am I my brothers keeper? And to this I believe the scriptures say that we should study to do all to edify our brother, and lift them as a brand from the burning. Instead so often it seems we are more intent on building up the fire! May God forgive us as we use our excuse for Bible study as an excuse to draw blood!

    So I would say that one of the most important ways of Bible study, for me, is to consider the end of the study. Have I gotten to know the Lord more intimately, and am I a more effective instrument of His Love in the Body of Christ! Am I dispensing the truth, in a way that is edifying, and meeting the needs of the Household of Faith! If not, I usually get to take another trip around Mt. Sinai!

    Along this line, I would also point out that we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us who will lead us into all truth! At the same time He has the same concerns and interest for the Flock that the Good Shepherd has for us. So we can understand that He feeds us, and opens our eyes to the needs of the flock around us! Then He allows undershepherd to participate in the feeding of the little lambs. He will protect us from those who would destroy us or lead us astray. He has placed Bishops, elders, and teachers over us in the Lord, gifted by the Holy Spirit, and then He comes and indwells us as well, promising to lead us into all truth!

    The Eastgate is open, the King is in Residence!
    Whosoever will, may come in!

    Gatekeeper

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