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… #Resurrection #Judgment(s) #FutureKingdom

the-second-coming

Previous: Christianity: #AfterDeath #Rapture.  As next appeared the matter of tribulation and antichrist. Dufield and Cleave described these in detail offering much scriptural reference regarding the identity and the various titles of antichrist. As for the tribulation, they outlined the difference between the tribulation of the church, Israel nation and the special time of Gods final wrath for which they suggested a chronological succession (Duffield 1983: 568-577). Wright has not revealed his explanation of these passages, but only asked for the next question.

At this point, the host asked the bishop Wright about his view on resurrection. He then clarified that resurrection is different from the paradise mentioned earlier in the discussion, thus calling it “the life after life after death”. In his view, the resurrection is bodily, yet it will not take place in some distant dwelling place, but will “be brought to birth in this world” and be transformed in the old field of space, time and matter. Again, he cautioned the audience against thinking in dimensions of the Platonic dualism of body and soul, which is sometimes also inaptly reflected in several biblical translations as “a physical body” and “a spiritual body” rather than the “corruptible” and “incorruptible” one. (Wright 2008: kindle location 2403-2607). Both Duffield and Cleave supported Wrights words concerning the bodily resurrection and hereby denied a sort of immaterial, disembodied, eternal existence of a soul. Jesus as the firstfruit of those who slept (1. Cor. 15:20), they said, is a guarantee of resurrection for all the believers. As it seemed to be the custom of the evenings debate, the Pentecostals presented us anew with more unravelled details of these events. They divided resurrection into several consecutive occurences in which believers are to experience the first, good resurrection (Rev. 20:6), while the unrighteous must wait until after the Millennium to then endure the resurrection of damnation (Jn.5:29) (Duffield 1983: 578-589).

This prompted a question from the audience, which inquired whether there would therefore be also more than just one judgment. They affirmed this by listing a variety of judgments that will first include believers (1.Cor. 11:31), Nations (Mt.25.31-46) and Israel (Ez. 20:33-38), then the wicked will be judged near the white throne (Rv. 20:11-14) and at last the focus will turn at Satan and fallen angels (Rv. 20:14). In this exposition they also maintained different rewards in heaven and degrees of judgment in hell. (Duffield 1983: 599-607). When receiving the word, Wright strongly acknowledged the concept of the final judgment, yet remained rather sceptical in regard to all the above mentioned particularities. He however, turned the attention of all to, by many disputed, importance of justification by works. He said “for Paul, there was no clash between present justification by faith and future judgment according to works. The two actually need, and depend upon, one another.”

At last came the long awaited query concerning heaven, hell and the final destination. Much whisper spread among the listeners after Wrights explication of his idea of hell as a certain dehumanization of people. Based on the presupposition that people become like what they worship one can, by turning away from God and worshiping other things, enter an ex-human state. As for the eternal bliss, he repeated his earlier words and summarized his efforts of the nights debate to depict heaven according to the Lord’s Prayer “Thy kingdom come on earth as in heaven.” Duffield and Cleave were outraged and boldly claimed that no teaching is clearer than that of a final destiny beyond this present life on earth. Then they reminded us of some of the classic vivid portrayals of hell as unquenchable fire and a special abode of undying worms. Equally, heaven is in their view a distinct place of eternal happiness and joy.

All in all Wright seems to be more political and earthly oriented leaving many of the passages regarding the eschaton as a mere metaphors and illustrations while Duffield & Cleave holding on to the traditional and more literal interpretations of the Scriptures. In his approach is Wright building on the fact that God pronounced the earth good, and as a good creation, he will not simply destroy it but will regenerate it to its original design. Duffield & Cleave have no such hopes for the present world and are quick to abandon the earthly realm for the future divine scenes of heaven and hell.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Theology

 

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The week deal


“Next to faith this is the highest art — to be content with the calling in which God has placed you.”

Martin Luther


 

Psalm 23;

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2014 in The week deal

 

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Christianity: #AfterDeath #Rapture

EKG flatlineIn a hypothetic Q&A, panel discussion between the Anglican bishop N.T. Wright and the Pentecostals Duffield & Cleave, it could easily happen that an audience might be leaving such event more puzzled than upon arrival. Based on their publications on the topic of eschatology they persuasively argue for their perspectives. While overlapping in some of the rough outlining, they offer two widely different interpretations of the scriptural data. A thought-out critic now offers his fabricated record of this speculative happening.

Immediately after opening words and a presentation of the speakers, the debate was innitiated with a question “what happens to a person immediately after his physical death?

Both parties joined in a co-operative rejection of the Roman Catholic notion of purgatory. While Dufield & Cleave argued that the concept is based on extra-canonical apocryphic material of the book of Maccabees (Duffield 1983: 523), Wright pointed out its 13. and 14. century origin in the works of Aquinas and Dante. (Wright 2008: kindle location 2643). Further on Cleave warned us against additional two misconceptions of soul sleeping and spiritism. Then Duffield continued in describing the distinct paths first for the wicked, who will abide in a place called „Hades“, based on the Hebrew and Greek interpretations of the words Sheol and Gehenna, and supported by the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk.16:23; 1 Pt.3:19). And secondly the righteous who will spent the intermiediate state between the death and the final resurrection in a place called „paradise“. Among else he based this claim on Jesus‘ words on the cross “today, shalt thou be with me in paradise“ (Lk. 23:43)(Duffield 1983: 520-521). Wright appeared to be more discreet in his assertions saying that Christians will without a difference of status be in a place we can call heaven. (Wright 2008: kindle location 2680-2706). On the condition of the unrighteous he remained silent.

purgatory

As second, were the debaters asked about the rapture and the second coming. Here once more Cleave took the word and defended the traditional pre-millennial and pre-tribulational view in which Jesus should come again, literally descending from heaven, taking deceased and living saints to a place He prepared for them (Acts 1:11; John 14:3,1; Thes. 4:16-17)(Duffield 1983: 535-536). To everyones surprise Wright answered with questioning the very notion of “snatching up” believers into heaven. In showing that the Greek word parousia does not mean “coming“ as much as “presence“ he began to explain the widely neglected meaning of transformation behind these allegedly misrepresented verses (Phil. 3:20;1.Cor. 15:51-54). Adding three powerful metaphors of Moses coming down from the mountain, Daniels persecution and an emperors visit he showed the meaning of the used illustrations of trumpets, clouds and meeting the royalty to escort him into the city. Namely, that it is not about us going elsewhere but about the King in the sound of trumpets appearing in His kingdom, being present in his mother city and restoring it to its true identity (1.John 2:28; 3:2). In saying that the heaven and the earth will join, he refused his colleagues’ “spaceman descending from sky” theory (Wright 2008: kindle location 2085-2184).

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Theology

 

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Apologetic evening with Dr. Frank Turek

Apologetic evening

Frank Turek is from USA and is one of the well known debaters, writers and teachers. He has masters in public administration and a doctorate in apologetics. He also wrote a book “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”. Among others he debated such several times figures as Christopher Hitchens. Frank Turek is both entertaining and sharp.

After the seminar there will be an opportunity to ask questions and talk with him. All this at Skywalk, 12th of March at 19:00 (Kongens Ege, Gammel Hadsundvej 2, 8900 Randers, Denmark)

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in News, Reasonable Faith

 

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Crucial Questions 4Free

Truly a generous offer from Ligonier Ministries that one shouldn’t miss. A list of rich resources that cover many basic crucial questions of the Christian faith is now here in a bundle edition completely for free. 620x268_CQ_eBook_Dec13

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in News, Theology

 

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Arrest.Captivate.Mesmerize.3

Use of Body

Expressions

We often hear that 80% of our communication takes place on the non-verbal level. While the words “I forgive
you” are unequivocal they are subjected to extreme test of sincerity through our facial expression, posture and tone of voice (as opposed to the content of the words) so is, to a high degree, everything else we say. Broadus again puts it well: “To say, ‘Leave the room,’ is less expressive than to point to the door. Placing a finger on the lips is more forcible than whispering, ‘Do not speak.’ A beck of the hand is better than ‘Come here.’ No phrase can convey the idea of surprise so vividly as opening the eyes and raising the eyebrows. A shrug of the shoulders would lose much by translation into words.” “He who is master of this sign-language has, indeed, an almost magic power.” When a speaker is able to match his body language with the content of his sermon it adds a marvelous dimension to his message as it is not only his mouth that is speaking anymore but now his entire being plays with the beat of an idea he has to deliver.

Several points are to be mentioned regarding the use of body.

  1. Good posture – just as it was important with the voice it has its indisputable aesthetic reasons as well. It is one of the common mistakes to lean forward either to hold a pulpit or to simply stoop. While touching a pulpit can ease speakers psyche during preaching it is a poor habit that will hardly be appreciated by any congregation. One on one conversations are customarily accompanied by these “leaning tendencies” especially when a highly sensitive subject is dealt with. Kevin A. Miller, however warns us not to bring these inclinations to a stage: “…when we pull in our hands and lean our head a little lower, we can end up looking smaller and cramped, at just the moment our bodies should be communicating, “This is big news! Listen to this!””
  2. Eye Contact – The two sphere-like sources of our visual perception are crucial to our countenance. All preachers passions and emotions, his inner thoughts and workings are represented in their utmost fullness and power in his eyes. With those can he penetrate into the soul of his audience and “enter into a living sympathy with them.” Bryan Chapell summed it up as follows “You must look at people! The eyes can spit fire, pour out compassion, and preach Christ in you. When you deny people your eyes, you really deny them yourself. No one ever talks to them without looking at them – unless to insult them.”
  3. Gestures – Facial expressions, hand motions or stage movement are some of the visible ways we can provide accompaniment to our verbal presentation. Here, moderation is always the order of the day. While it is unnatural to remain stiff, an overdone action is rarely an improvement to ones delivery. At this point, it is an uneasy task to cover all the instances as gestures present us almost with unlimited possibilities. “Quintilian says: “As to the hands, without which delivery would be mutilated and feeble, it can scarcely be said how many movements they have, when they almost equal the number of words.” However two things are in my opinion to be highlighted. As a note of variety, any monotonous repetition of any given set of motions is a shortcoming. Read the rest of this entry »
 
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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Mission

 

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Arrest.Captivate.Mesmerize.2

Feeling good

Click here for the part one

After looking at the essentials, there is much to say about the everyday practicalities in a speakers life. For instance one should avoid staying up far into the night especially on Saturdays since lack of sleep and poor physical health can spoil a good sermon as speaker may not be able to vividly experience emotions, hence much of his power and passion due to exhaustion might not come across. On the contrary it is helpful especially for the young preachers to exert effort to feel good on the stage avoiding any personal distractions. (Among others this can mean to take a bath before going to church, having the clothes in which one feels good or even brushing teeth before a meeting starts. It is simply an unnecessary distraction to have to put up with pants that keep falling or realizing the horrific possibility of having a poppy seed from breakfast between the front teeth.)

Use of Notes

While more notes tend to increase precision, conciseness and smoothness they unfortunately decrease effectiveness and are perceived in a colder manner. They also limit speakers movement on a stage as his dependency on the fine crafted sentences work as invisible chains on both his body and eyes. A great use of this method of delivery Broadus suggests Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Mission

 

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