New Job

As of Monday 4 April 2011 I will be working for a new employer, Amatrol. The company manufactures high quality training simulators used in vocational and industrial classrooms for such subjects as electricity, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and various other industrial technologies. This will also mark the close of full time employment for the Hampton Inn. While that work was very enjoyable, it offered low pay and less opportunity for advancement.

As excited as I am to announce this change, I will no longer have time to spend reading and responding to other posts or even many comments here. I deeply regret that loss. I have cued up material for quite some time to come, though, so if you are a regular reader you will not be disappointed anytime soon. For the foreseeable future posts will appear automatically at 7:30 am (ET) with the following (typical) rotating schedule:

Sun: Misc. Topics
Mon: Minor Prophets Study (Hosea)
Tue: James Bible Study Questions (excerpts from my book, Ask James One)
Wed: Creative Science
Thu: Minor Prophets
Fri: James Study
Sat: Good News

I have enough material on each of these to keep going through the end of the year, or close to it. I will eventually respond to comments, so if you leave a comment and don’t hear back for a while, it is simply because we are on dial-up at home so I have very limited access.

While Amatrol will be my new “day job” employer, I am also involved in a new part time vocational church ministry and some volunteer activities. If and when it is appropriate I will post more on these. As I prefer to leave my personal information out of this blog I will not often write on such things. I do so now out of respect for you, my beloved readers, because these are significant changes for me and they will impact my presence online.

Thank you and God bless you all.
Lance

About these ads

About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
This entry was posted in Life and Times. Bookmark the permalink.

111 Responses to New Job

  1. Jerry Hill says:

    I will miss our back-and-forth; but I completely understand. Godspeed in all that He has in store for you, My Friend.

  2. Bernie says:

    Congrats on the new job Lance!

  3. Michael Knudsen says:

    Here’s wishing you the best in your new endeavor, Lance. May the new job bring prosperity to you and your family and new knowledge.

  4. Lance Ponder says:

    Everybody – Thanks all. I will still be on, just not every day like I was. And my timing will be random, but I’m not gone completely – just scaling back. I will miss the frequency and I will still have daily posts, so please feel free to comment even though it may be a few days at a stretch until I read. Blessings to one and all!

  5. Great news, Lance! So what are you doing at Amatrol?

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I’m going to be starting out in production doing assembly work. I think I’ll mostly be working with electronics and electrical items, but whatever they want. I hope to move into technical support and eventually writing, but we’ll see what happens. I have hope, but not pinning all my hopes there. Also starting work (hopefully) as a youth pastor at a UMC church in the next town over. Went to a training event yesterday and it was really well done. A real small group, but that’s okay. I’m looking for it that more than the production job even tho it pays a lot more. LOL.

  6. Todd Beal says:

    Lance, I can’t tell you enough how happy I am for you and for your new direction in life. That is great news. I bet your wife is very proud of your hard work. I hope it works out for you to take on the youth pastor role. That would be a good “in” for your ministerial goals.

    I want you to know that your new success inspires me personally. Go get ‘em man!

  7. Hope it works out well for you – the day job as well as the pastoral role!

  8. Lance Ponder says:

    Todd – She’s just glad I’m not on 3rd shift anymore. LOL.

    Meirav – I’m guessing that’s you. Thanks so much and you’re always welcome to drop a note.

  9. Laura Jinkins says:

    So glad to hear that some good and exciting things are happening in your life, Lance! May God continue to guide all your steps and bless you as only He can! :)

  10. 66books365 says:

    Congrats on the jobs, Lance! Queue is such a wonderful thing. Looking forward to still reading you.

    Courtney

  11. Eclipse Now says:

    Hi Lance,

    that sounds like an interesting job! Truly interesting! I’m wondering how — being technical as you are — you might rate the idea of “Open Source Hardware” that I’m all fired up about?

    Check out point 3 here sometime… the implications for poorer Eastern bloc countries and villages and, let’s face it, the entire CONTINENT of Africa… are just amazing.

    It’s all about FREE PLANS for building the top 50 industrial tools that enable modern civilization from CHEAP, durable, interchangeable, easily serviced parts sourced locally. Every one of those adjectives is a revolution with profound economic and even political overtones. Imagine if Africa no longer needed to buy farm equipment from American or Chinese multinationals? Imagine you could give someone a ‘Civilization starter kit’ on a DVD?

    I’ve already fired off a few emails to the African Union and Sudan Interior Mission and OMF.

    You’re using a WordPress blog here. Blogging and wordpress and open source software have been revolutionary. The Russian government has mandated that ALL public government computers must be open source by 2015.

    Now imagine what Open Source Hardware could mean! This is simply the second industrial revolution!

    http://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/rezone/

  12. Eclipse Now says:

    Sorry, I got so fired up writing about it the link was separated from the context. Check out point 3 here.

    http://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/reinvent-industry/

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Thanks for the info. I will check it out. I’m not sure about the idea of open source. I’m not a particular fan of most open source software, though it certainly has its place. As to hardware, as far as I know (which is limited) patent law limits how long most technologies remain protected. I don’t know that open source would really solve as many problems as you do, though perhaps some. I say that because ingenuity is the fruit of a free society, not so much the seed for it. People anywhere, if allowed to pursue their dreams – and if allowed to receive a proper education – can accomplish anything. America was once a leader in technological innovation. That is less true today because of increased bureaucracy. Our medical establishment is undergoing dramatic changes to socialize and it is destroying the very engine that makes American medicine the best in the world. Liberty drives innovation, not the other way around. If the people of Africa are going to advance, they will have to be set free or remain relegated to being economic leaches.

      At present I am on a slow dail-up internet connection, but in a few days I will take time to read the link you provided. Thank you.

  13. Lance Ponder says:

    Everybody – Just a note to let you know, if you’re interested, that the Job at Amatrol was short lived. Shortly after starting I received and accepted an offer from another company, Technidyne, located in New Albany. It is a little shorter drive, better hours, some travel, and although the benefits aren’t good the pay is substantially better.

    I remain employed p/t at Marengo UMC as youth pastor. I preached my first regular sermon today and it was awesome. The key passage was Ps 121.

  14. Eclipse Now says:

    ///Our medical establishment is undergoing dramatic changes to socialize and it is destroying the very engine that makes American medicine the best in the world. Liberty drives innovation, not the other way around. If the people of Africa are going to advance, they will have to be set free or remain relegated to being economic leaches.///
    How on earth did we get onto this right-wing ideological medical stuff? I can’t believe you actually accept this stuff, let alone promote it with a straight face? I’ve been discussing this with another right-wing American recently and I think you picked the wrong day to go off on this tangent. The facts are against you.

    Would you call Australia’s health system ‘Socialist’? Australia has a universal Medicare program where most Aussies are covered for most life-threatening conditions and injuries. Plastic surgery, dental, and other optional surgeries are pretty much in the realm of private health insurance, but any Australian is entitled to a plaster cast and pain killers the day they break their arm.

    Would you call that ‘Socialist’? If so, then what you call “Socialism” I call normal. What you see as evil I see as a societal good, a RIGHT even!

    A few years back my kid had Leukaemia. He’s in remission now. We went into hospital and practically lived there. For the most part it was free, free medicine, free food (for him, and sometimes me depending on the nurse on duty ;-) — indeed, everything but the parking was free!

    I hear you crying “That’s socialist! That stops people being generous! That prevents philanthropy and giving! That raises taxes!”

    OK, let’s not let a few facts get in the way shall we? ;-)

    1. A government medical program does not mean the whole economy is socialist.
    My political preference is “Social Liberalism: Civil rights, Social Justice and State funded welfare in a Market Economy”. I still believe in the market, but fail to see how the moral argument for market based health care works!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism

    Explain it to me again? My son and I needed help! I am *incredibly* and forever grateful that I lived in Australia when that happened. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had been poor, uninsured, and American when my son had Leukaemia. You cannot imagine the stress I was under with my son dying before my eyes, cancer and chemo wasting his body away. Why on earth would you think it is MY duty to go out and campaign and beg for hundreds of thousands of dollars when all I wanted to do was sit and hold my innocent little 5-year-old boys hand? Asking me, and the thousands or poor-people like me, to go out and campaign for funds in a time of crisis like that is just heartless! It’s immoral.

    2. The American right-wing has to justify that “Socialist” Medicine cost more! RUBBISH! THE FACTS ARE AGAINST YOU!
    * America’s overall tax rate is only about 1% smaller than ours as a fraction of GDP.

    http://tinyurl.com/3qkzbx8

    2. America SPENDS MORE on healthcare than we do as a percentage of government funds!

    http://www.visualeconomics.com/how-countries-spend-their-money/

    Where’s your ‘thieving socialist government’ now?
    I reckon if America completely socialized health care and cut all the THIEVING health insurance middlemen bureaucrats sucking money out of the system, then America would approach Australia’s level of efficient health care and social justice.

    3. America has a population of 300 million, which explains why American health care has *some* areas of super-specialisation that Australia cannot afford. I am aware of *some* areas of medicine we do not cover, but these are super-specialised areas that our smaller market of 21 million just cannot justify. It’s cheaper just to fly our patients to you. It’s not that your right-wing system is superior. The only thing ‘superior’ here is your sheer numbers, the sheer weight of your civilisation. Modern physicists can analyse cities according to their formulas and if you tell them how many people are in your city, they can tell you how many universities, hospitals, doctors, Phd students, sewerage systems are all in your city. They can even tell you what SPEED your city population will walk at!

    http://www.radiolab.org/2010/oct/08/

    So please don’t quote a few rare elements of super-specialisation at me as if that somehow proves America’s inefficient, incapacitated, unjust health system superior!

    Instead I need you to explain why a system that costs your government MORE than ours, but covers LESS people, is somehow less ‘Socialist’ and fairer?

    What the…?

    If ever I’ve seen a case of ideology ranting against the FACTS this is it!

    • Lance Ponder says:

      You are welcome to your opinion and your so-called facts. You started this by suggesting “open source hardware.” More government control. That’s fix everything, won’t it? Social justice? Do you understand what that really means? There is no such thing as collective salvation. Putting the burden of the lazy on the backs of workers is the true nature of socialism. You can frame it any way you like, but that’s what it means.

  15. Eclipse Now says:

    Sorry dude, but you don’t sound like I am welcome to these FACTS at all!
    “Open Soured Hardware”… WHAT government control? This is Open Source… sorry, but this is a permaculture hippie wanting to build it himself so he can dodge paying the Corporations and maybe even dodge paying some taxes? Government… what government? I think you’re sounding a little paranoid. That’s like suggesting Joomla is socialist and has more “government” somehow…. it’s run by a bunch of volunteers.

    Meanwhile Australia manages to medically insure and treat ALL Australians on a smaller fraction of our government budget. THAT’S a FACT you can bank!
    (Just make sure you sneer at it without looking up the actual data though, won’t you? ;-)

    ////Social justice? Do you understand what that really means? There is no such thing as collective salvation.////
    I’m talking about social policy that is compassionate, NOT the job of the church. ‘collective salvation’… what on earth are you talking about? Spiritual stuff is the job of the church, running the country is the job of the government. Let’s not get those confused shall we?

    ////Putting the burden of the lazy on the backs of workers is the true nature of socialism. You can frame it any way you like, but that’s what it means.////
    Sometimes, yes. I’ve seen it myself working in the welfare system. Sometimes sadly there are side effects to any GOOD policy! Like collateral damage when you try to protect your country. You’re not suggest we disband your armies because some innocent people might get bombed?

    But for some reason I mentioned a community-driven Open Sourced Hardware project — which you seem to have completely misunderstood! — and you started attacking Social Medicine?

    Where oh where does this uniquely American CERTAINTY that the RIGHT is RIGHT spiritually all the time, no matter what?

    You DO know that many on the right are merely greedy Multinational atheists using the ‘TEA’ party and dumber, gullible Christian groups to promote Climate Denialism to serve their greedy fossil fuel company bottom lines? (At the expense of citizens choking to death on pollution and getting lung and throat cancer, let alone the global warming impacts). It’s been documented time and again. It serves their greedy purposes in running their greedy Corporations. You’re not naive enough to think they’re all true believers are you? What on earth makes you think there is such a thing as the ‘Christian right’ and not a Christian Left?

    There simply is no automatic correlation between a “Christian right” and “Secular Left”. Check the following movements. They are growing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Wallis

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_left

    I don’t embrace everything in them as a Christian as I think some go too far trying to press the bible into their political mould — just as you do every time you jump in too eagerly about right wing stuff.

    But I do think generally speaking that a Centrist position can be demonstrated to let the marketplace generate enough wealth to pay for decent Social Justice and health. That’s all I’m after. The church can do the rest, the spiritual stuff, which believe it or not is actually OUR MISSION, not the government’s!

    I like Australia, and as I have said before, I PRAISE GOD for our health system. It saved my kid’s life a few years back and the LAST thing I would have wanted is to have to turn around and do a huge fund-raiser if I was poor. You want to take Medicare away from me and make me FEAR it as something evil. But no. Discussing this stuff with you has just clarified for me how grateful I am to live in Australia. This is the kind of society I want my kids to grow up in. In fact, we could move a few degrees more to the left.

    Australian’s have it pretty good compared to your poor. I’d hate to be poor and sick in America, and hate to have poor sick kids in America.

    Lately I’ve met American Christians who are even more rabidly right-wing than you, some of these people are positively unbalanced! Their weird ranting has only strengthened my resolve that the nuttier, sicker, rabid side of right wing Americanism should not invade our churches and infect our citizens. I genuinely feel sorry for them if they think Australian health care is some kind of Marxist secularist plot to take over the world. They must live in a very frightening, paranoid world. They must get up to work each day and wonder when the coup is about to happen!

    They must also grind their teeth every time they see poor people getting free treatment! And you know what? This miserly begrudging MEAN attitude towards the poor must infect their right-wing soul at some deep level. It must really gnaw away at them. I wince at half the stuff they say — it sounds so heartless and self-centered. They are so worried about their precious money and ‘freedom’ that I wonder if the bible’s compassion for the poor has touched them at all!

    I think the reason they rage so rabidly is because deep down they know this MISERLY and selfish side of right-wing policy actually contradicts the faith. No wonder they’re foaming at the mouth — they are at war inside!

    Lance, I genuinely hope you do not follow them into their level of glazed eyed devotion to everything right wing. The Climate Denialism seems to have you… I wonder how much further their fervor will distort your reading of the bible and affect your worldview?

    • Are Aussie’s really British? ;)

    • Lance Ponder says:

      //this is a permaculture hippie wanting to build it himself so he can dodge paying the Corporations and maybe even dodge paying some taxes//

      Okay. Great. This was honest and it explains a lot. :)

      //Australia manages to medically insure and treat ALL Australians on a smaller fraction of our government budget.//

      That sounds great. Our gov’t can’t seem to do anything efficiently. That’s one big reason Americans are so leery of our own government, if that helps you understand a bit of the emotional factor held by the right. Another issue is that this sort of thing belongs at the level of individual states rather than our fed. This is a practical as well as a constitutional issue. Your system is a bit different and probably better suited to nationalized version.

      //I’m talking about social policy that is compassionate, NOT the job of the church. ‘collective salvation’… what on earth are you talking about? Spiritual stuff is the job of the church, running the country is the job of the government. Let’s not get those confused shall we?//

      Collective salvation is not strictly a religious term and certainly not a biblical term. Sorry if that phrase caused confusion.

      Compassion isn’t the role of government. Many things, both great and evil, have been done in the name of compassion. In my experience, most “compassion” on the part of government translates into enabling. Whether that is good or bad is a moral question. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. When the gov’t takes on more responsibility, the more liberty it has – and the less liberty the individual has. This isn’t a moral question, it is a matter of simply practical reality. Whether it is good or bad is a different question. I don’t condemn compassion, but I don’t trust the gov’t with it. For example, if the gov’t offers free abortions to be compassionate toward young women, the gov’t has taken my money to pay for something I don’t approve. My liberty is enfringed upon, not to mention my religious beliefs and/or rights, in the name of social compassion. The church’s (and individuals’) proper role is to be the face of compassion. The gov’t’s proper role is to protect liberty, ensure justice, and maintain common infrastructure.

      Your support for Jim Wallace explains a lot. Yes, he speaks for some in the religious community, albeit a small minority. He’s a master of doublespeak and his beliefs are anything but biblical. He is a collective salvationist and that’s why he’s Obama’s chief spiritual adviser. That doesn’t change the fact that there is such a thing as a legitimate Christian left. Having said that, the notion of personal liberty is biblical but it is also secular and it is the essence of Americanism. Liberty, be it personal or corporate or religious or political or social, need not be framed in religious or spiritual language to be understood by the people. Is it wrong to be compassionate? No. Is it wrong to surrender your rights to an elite caste of bureaucrats? I think it is. Compassion need not be and in my opinion should not be the role of government. Government exists to govern, not to be a nanny.

      Finally, to your point about the rabid right wingers, there are those. There are nuts on both sides of the political isle as there are in any denomination or social group. As for me, I believe socialized medicine is generally a bad idea, but not in and of itself evil. I believe there are much better ways of dealing with the flaws in the private system than simply turning it all over to bureaucrats. I do also believe in personal responsibility. Free insurance is no more a fundamental right than free transportation or free hamburgers. Further, forcing citizens to purchase something they do not want, be it health insurance or a gun or an abortion, is extortion and robbery.

      No, this didn’t have a lot to do with the original point about open source hardware. Sorry for getting side tracked. I just don’t believe that what one person has worked for should be forcibly taken from them and given to others who haven’t worked for it. Sorry, but I don’t have much use for the Hippie way.

  16. Eclipse Now says:

    ////Compassion isn’t the role of government. ////
    To you it isn’t — to me it is. I vote, and with compulsory voting, so do the vast majority of Australians. We say it is. We only have 1% more tax / GDP than you guys, but manage to have a more compassionate safety net!

    ////Whether that is good or bad is a moral question. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. When the gov’t takes on more responsibility, the more liberty it has – and the less liberty the individual has. This isn’t a moral question, it is a matter of simply practical reality.////
    Maybe, in some instances. But how much more ‘liberty’ do you guys on a tax / GDP basis? Oh yeah, 1%! ;-)

    I think that indicates how much of your taxation goes up in smoke. You’re wasting it on bureaucrats running 50 states. I reckon you’d save heaps of money if you abolished a few States and merged them into more cohesive regional bodies.

    //// I don’t condemn compassion, but I don’t trust the gov’t with it.////
    I don’t condemn compassion, but I don’t trust greedy selfish Corporations with it. Nor do I trust the 5% of the rich who own more than the rest of the population put together! No, government is the ONLY way to offer a genuine safety net that helps out the majority of people who fall into genuine strife, and yes — *maybe* enables some selfish dole bludgers to live in Housing Commission apartments and not go to work. But again — do you disband your Defence Forces because of a little Collateral Damage now and then? Collateral Damage is FAR worse than a few lazy bums collecting handouts… but I don’t see you screaming to disband your military because of unintended consequences!

    /////the gov’t’s proper role is to protect liberty, ensure justice, and maintain common infrastructure.//////
    You’re talking to someone who topped “Political Economy of the Welfare State” in a Social work course. Have you ever heard of “Harm Minimisation?” It took a bit of effort for me to get my head around as a young Christian bloke, but it’s about preventing the *overall* pain to society if we let the government do XYZ.

    For instance gun control. Australia has a much tighter gun control policy, and it removes some of your American ‘liberties’ by doing that. As a result, we live in a society with 5 TIMES less homicide on a per capita basis.

    http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/ihs.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_America#Homicide

    Harm minimisation is also quoted in reference to drug using rooms and needle exchange programs. This flies in the face of ‘individual responsibility’. What on earth is the government doing supplying drug users with safe rooms in which they can shoot up? What on earth are they doing supplying needles? Are the government telling the society that it is OK to use heroin? Anything but. Our popular needle exchange programs and trial drug injecting rooms have been about trying to limit the spread of HIV and other diseases between drug users who share needles, are trying to save drug users lives, are reaching out to them in a way that might eventually lead them into more therapeutic programs. The early results suggest local residents are very uncomfortable with the location of the room, but they already live in our Red Light district. I don’t know that they should act so surprised. And hundreds of drug overdoses have already been prevented. That’s hundreds of lives saved. But more than that, it is the flow on effects that I’m thinking about. Drug users will have relationships in which they might pass on HepC or HIV, and if these relationships break down, as they are prone to doing, that partner will then move onto another partner.

    Harm minimisation is about preventing harm to the rest of society. Nipping the source of infection in the bud will have exponential results.

    So we finally come to welfare, the department of housing, and free medicine. I see it in the same light. It’s about protecting MY life and MY family and MY suburb from the plight of desperate people. It’s about the government protecting my liberties by using some of my tax dollars to help prevent burglary, aggravated assault and robbery, and even homicide. It’s about giving the *genuinely* desperate a little money and adequate housing and health treatments so that we are ALL safer.
    It’s about giving even the ‘unproductive’ members of society a mere $15 000 operation that might restore their sight, so that they can do *whatever* they do more effectively. Are they a single mum who can’t afford the operation? A bum that might just pick up and read a certain Good Book that changes their life and helps them want to get back into the workforce? A poor street sweeper who is no longer sweeping because they are blind? For pity sake, and for the sake of the rest of the society, GIVE THEM THE OPERATION so they can SEE!

    ////Having said that, the notion of personal liberty is biblical /////
    Can you back up that statement please? I see the notion of personal freedom from the consequences of sin, death, and the devil: but our lifestyles are anything BUT free! Romans 12 talks about us being SLAVES to Christ, and Romans 13 about our being good, obedient, loyal citizens to the State. So much liberty there! (NOT!) ;-)

    ////Is it wrong to surrender your rights to an elite caste of bureaucrats?////
    Romans 13 would say NO! Of course it is not wrong, it is your DUTY!

    ////Government exists to govern, not to be a nanny.////
    Ah, but being a ‘nanny’ in some cases can help it ///protect liberty, ensure justice, and maintain common infrastructure.///
    If that $15k operation helps someone SEE which then helps them get back to work and not end up thieving something, you’ve saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars not incarcerating them later. You guys don’t seem to get this. Put it another way. Why does America have the highest imprisonment rate in the OECD?

    ////There are nuts on both sides of the political isle ////
    I can agree with that! Please don’t associate me with Marx or Lennin, I’m very Centrist. I believe in the free market! As I keep saying, my political preference is “Social Liberalism: Civil rights, Social Justice and State funded welfare in a Market Economy”.

    ////private system than simply turning it all over to bureaucrats////
    I think the numbers speak for themselves. If your tax dollars went straight into actual medicine and hospitals and doctors, you’d cut out all your private health insurance companies skimming a cut in the middle. They’re the bureaucrats!

    Cheers, and thanks for the thoughtful discussion.

    BTW — getting back to Open Source Hardware… do you know any missionaries or Aid Workers that might live in a village that does need a FREE plan for a tractor, bread oven, or (by the end of 2012/13) ANY of the top 50 industrial items that enable a modern lifestyle?

    I passed this on to a few mission organisations and they’ve howled in delight and forwarded it on to villages that will really use it! 1/8th the cost, D.I.Y. tractors etc on the front line of Christian missionary work.

    This is a 4 minute video showing his idea.

    BTW — I got this from TED.com. (Technology, Entertainment, and Design). It is one of the BEST podcasts to come out on iTunes! Maybe it is one of the BEST things to come out of America! You guys are not ALL bad. ;-)

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I’m not going to try to reply to all of this. I simply haven’t the time. Instead I’ll simply try to respond to one or two points…

      [////Having said that, the notion of personal liberty is biblical /////
      Can you back up that statement please? I see the notion of personal freedom from the consequences of sin, death, and the devil: but our lifestyles are anything BUT free! Romans 12 talks about us being SLAVES to Christ, and Romans 13 about our being good, obedient, loyal citizens to the State. So much liberty there! (NOT!)]

      Jesus came to give liberty. Is 61:1 and Luke 4:18. Jer 34 (thematic).
      The liberty of one should not be infringed by the conscience of another. 1 Cor 10:29.
      The perfect law is the law of liberty. Jas 1:25, 2:12.
      Creation to be liberated. Ro 8:21.
      Get free if you can. 1 Cor 7:21.
      Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor 3:17.
      False brethren seek to put us in slavery. Gal 2:4.
      Christ sets us free. Gal 5:1ff.
      Freedom comes with responsibility. 1 Pe 2:16.
      Whatever you give yourself to is what enslaves you, and that includes civil authority when you give your liberty freely away to any other than God. 2 Pe 2:19.
      Moses’ task was to confront gov’t authority to obtain liberty for the people. Ex 3.
      God delights in setting people free. Ps 44:1-3.
      God sets His people free for His purposes. Ps 102:18-22
      Freedom is just. Ps 146:7.
      God set the oppressed free. Is 58:6.
      Governments are agenda driven and tax others but make themselves fat, but believers are called to be free as sons. Mt 17:26.
      The truth will set you free. Jn 8:32,36.
      Righteousness brings about freedom. Ro 6:20.

      I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now.

  17. Eclipse Now says:

    ////Sorry, but I don’t have much use for the Hippie way.////
    Ha ha — that’s just FUNNY written by a Pastor using the free, Open Source blogging software of WORDPRESS on the FREE WORDPRESS.COM!

    Are we getting Open Sourced Hardware yet? Ha ha ha!

    4 minutes, please!

    • Lance Ponder says:

      //Ha ha — that’s just FUNNY written by a Pastor using the free, Open Source blogging software of WORDPRESS on the FREE WORDPRESS.COM!//

      I obviously am drawing distinctions and operating under definitions which differ from yours. The ideas in this video look great. What I see is an individual (and joining with him many more individuals) creating and making a gift. They do this of their personal free will and liberty to benefit mankind. This is good, and this is nothing like socialism – until the government mandates use of specific products or prohibits specific products for their own agenda purposes. Thank you for sharing this video. While we disagree on a spectrum of things, I think you’re onto something here.

  18. Eclipse Now says:

    ////. What I see is an individual (and joining with him many more individuals) creating and making a gift. They do this of their personal free will and liberty to benefit mankind. This is good, ////
    Excellent! We are agreed then…

    ////this is nothing like socialism////
    Agreed! I don’t know how we got onto that, I really don’t.

    ////while we disagree on a spectrum of things////
    Probably not as badly as the exchange above might indicate. I’m most definitely NOT a Socialist! Right-Wing America is so far to the right these days they cannot distinguish very light shades of pink from RED! Anyone to the ‘left’ of them is a RED under the BED! It’s all a bit shallow and silly. It’s as if even the language to describe Centrist positions has disappeared. As an Australian, when I see Barak Obama’s quite mild health care reforms described as “Socialist” I just shake my head and laugh. From the little I’ve read about it, he’s got a way to go yet before your health care is as socially just as ours! ;-)

    But having said that, I love a free market! Crazy hey? How on earth do I hold those 2 contradictions in my head without my skull ripping open and ‘Little Red Books’ pouring out everywhere!? ;-) That’s because I’m not a Socialist, I’m into Social Liberalism. See the difference?

    • Eclipse,

      Have you been to America any amount of time? I am a Anglo-Irish Brit (born in Dublin), but I have lived mostly in America for the last three years. We also have a home in greater London, and my oldest son is in college there. I would really disagree about many Right-Wing Americans, there are simply many shades here. And yes I am a conservative myself (over ten years in the Royal Marine Commando’s)… I was what they call a mustang – both an enlisted man to officer.

  19. Eclipse Now says:

    ///As an Australian, when I see Barak Obama’s quite mild health care reforms described as “Socialist” I just shake my head and laugh. ///
    In fact this applies to 99% of the Aussies I know. We just can’t believe the fuss! Don’t worry Lance, once his Democrat successor wins another few terms in office and some REAL health care reforms are passed, you’ll have a healthier population, it will cost less, people will be less desperate and might not even shoot each other as frequently.

    Then you’ll finally live in the kind of society that I wake up in each day — and thank God for. :-)

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I don’t pretend to know how your health care system works. I know socialized medical care/coverage works better in some countries than others. The Obama plan is poorly designed, but to us nutters on the right, what makes so many of us angry are the lies. If it is socialized coverage, and it is, then don’t pretend otherwise – he does. If you’re going to cover the population, cover the population, not just your cronies. If you’re going to tax the public, then tax all of the public and not give out waivers to all your friends. You complained earlier of crony capitalism, but crony socialism is even worse because the government has all the guns. At least with crony capitalism you can DIY or buy elsewhere. I am opposed to socializing the medical insurance industry for various practical reasons, but the part that makes me angry is being lied to over and over that is something which it is not. I don’t know about politicians in your country, but here most of the right lies and all of the left lies bigger. To think we’ve come to the point of choosing between big and little lies or big and little evil is sad, but that’s what it has come to. It started more than a century ago here with giant leaps forward by Wilson, FDR, Nixon, Carter, and Obama. Yes, Nixon was a republican and generally considered on the right, but some of his policies like price controls definitely moved us that way. Even John McCain who ran in the last election here and is considered very conservative held some very left wing positions in certain areas.

      There is a difference between soft socialism and hard communism. I get that. So do most people here. No wonder you think we’re all hard right – most Americans are very conservative if compared against most other countries. Even within our country most people hold more conservative views.

      We do agree on some things and I’m glad of that. But on other things we simply do not, but I also appreciate your willingness to engage in meaningful and peaceful dialog in spite of those differences. I am learning from you, even if I’m reluctant to admit it. :) I hope you can at least better understand where I’m coming from even if you don’t agree with my positions.

  20. Eclipse Now says:

    Lance, do you have any seminary or theological training? I’m a bit worried about how you are reading those verses on freedom mate.

    Sure 1 or 2 are actually talking about practical real world freedom, such as leaving slavery.

    But the vast majority of the ‘freedom’ stuff in the New Testament — including most of the verses you quoted — is actually of theological concern. It’s about our changed relationship with God in the New covenant compared to the Old Covenant.

    It is NOT a statement about our preferred Christian political system. There is a sense in which Christianity is LESS political than the Old Testament, but this is within a very specific theological framework.

    The Law in the Old Testament was not considered ‘bad’ because it impinged on personal freedoms. It was considered incomplete because it was ALWAYS God’s intention to fulfil the law — which convinces us of our sin and results in our condemnation and death — by God sending his Son, the ultimate fulfilment of the Old Testament promises.

    So we have the Jewish covenant with sacrificial systems, laws governing clean and unclean food and the special ethnic and social distinctiveness of God’s people Israel. We leave all that and our goal is to become more like Christ. But how did we leave the Old Testament?

    All the types in the Old Testament of Prophet, Priest and King are fulfilled in Jesus.

    We no longer live according to Mosaic law NOT because it was ‘wrong’ to be under the law or bound by laws, but because all those godly principles have been fulfilled in Christ. He is our ultimate, once for all Word from God. His life and teachings and death and resurrection are the final message. We don’t need any more Prophets! His word is sufficient for our needs. HE is our Priest, the one who sacrifices once for all. We don’t need any more sacrifices. HE is our King, the true David, the one who conquers our real enemies. But we are not confined to ONE nation any more, but are ‘free’ to expand outwards into all the nations, eating all foods, living sacrificially in love.

    Being more Christ-like results in us being free to LOVE, to be everyone’s slave, to lay down your life for your friends, to take up your cross and follow Jesus.

    Tell me, if the verses you quoted were ACTUALLY about personal political freedom and NOT about the changing nature of God’s covenant with us as I have describe above, then how are we the slave of all?

    Romans 12
    A Living Sacrifice
    1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    It was also interesting how you plucked Paul’s ‘eating’ passage in 1 Cor 10 out of context. The verse immediately prior to verse 29 reads…

    28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience.

    Wow, that sounds like a verse LIMITING freedom for the sake of conscience!

    In summary the ‘freedom’ stuff in the NT is not about our political system, but about the changed nature of the basis of our relationship with God which is no longer under “Law” as such but under Grace. It’s gospel stuff, not political stuff, and I am horrified how many educated Americans are so brainwashed by Libertarianism that every time they read the word FREEDOM in the bible they immediately seem to see the Stars and Stripes and American Constitution rather than Paul’s real emphasis on life and safety in grace V death and destruction under the law.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      You make a number of interesting point, many of which I agree with. But some of your conclusions I still do not. Yes, there are differences between freedom from the yoke of sin and political freedom. I quickly pulled a lot of verses using simple word searches and quickly scanning for context. I’m glad you’re willing to take the time to test what I threw out there. While I agree that not all those verse I listed have to do with social freedom, some do that you’re not crediting and the verses supporting slavery to Christ are certainly more theological than political so I really don’t see where you get those references supporting political socialism.

  21. Eclipse Now says:

    Hi,
    Irishanglican,
    I’ve only had a superficial tour through Hollywood, Disneyland, and all that jazz. But I’m responding to years of blogging and meeting a certain class of American online. I seem to have a lot of difficulty communicating my Centrist position to Conservative Christians in the USA who immediately think they are talking to a raving Commo!

    But I’m just an Aussie. Our tax / GDP rate is about the same, and our health spending is actually *less* than yours as a fraction of government spending. So how we are called “Socialist” I don’t know… I utter the words “Universal health care supplied by the government” and it is as if Australia has never seen a McDonald’s or had any free enterprise! It is as if our tax obligations must be through the roof, and there even seem to be assumptions about a centrally planned economy!

    It’s ridiculous. It’s typical. It’s sad, and it is universal amongst Conservative Christians in the States.

    (Sighs)
    I’ve had a bad few days on this topic. I had one quite unreasonable fellow on Facebook just blow his top in the most irrational way. (EG: “Socialised health care comes from the pit of hell!” What a great way to speak to a brother in Christ about a non-gospel issue!)

    But at least Lance here has been polite. Even if he is wrong politically. ;-)

    PS: I was in the Australian army in Survey Corps. Had some good Officers in charge, but one really rancid petty tyrant. In civilian management this guy would either get fired or run his company into the ground — he was a shocking manager!

    • Eclipse,

      Thanks to chat, of course the whole socialization of Great Britain was her loss of Britannia! But we will let this drop and move on. I am 61 btw, so my youth is gone, but I am a young 61 I’m told. ;) I served with the American Marines in the Nam (3rd Force Recon, Phu Bai in 1968, that was up in I Corps above Da Nang)…a very hot combat spot! And even later I was in Gulf War 1 as a RMC (in my 40’s). And my younger Irish brother was a US Marine himself (he is now an American).

      Since I have been here in the US for the better part of the last three years, I would disagree about the American so-called conservative. There are simply many that just don’t blog! Most of my American conservative friends are not bloggers. And at my age, I am not really what I would call a hard blogger myself (and I have a blog). And many bloggers are your 20-30 crowd, especially Christian one’s. And many of them are actually more liberal minded, at least the one’s I seem to run into.

      We will have to just and move on, but again nice to chat. :)

  22. Eclipse Now says:

    ///While I agree that not all those verse I listed have to do with social freedom, some do that you’re not crediting and the verses supporting slavery to Christ are certainly more theological than political so I really don’t see where you get those references supporting political socialism.///
    Please don’t see me plucking bible verses out for political ‘Centrism’** either. ;-)

    ** I’m not a Socialist, and will have to repeat this every time you insinuate so. I’m into Social Liberalism which has a big emphasis on the market. ;-) Only a relatively free market can generate the wealth we need to tax to pay for social justice.

    How about this: I don’t believe the bible supports any modern political position. How does that work for you?

    What I have asserted above is that my conscience sees Social Liberalism as the best way forwards for Australia, in this economic environment, at this time, from a purely pragmatic basis. Who knows where we will be 10 years after peak oil? Maybe we’ll need to move a LOT further to the left with big government programs to help the unemployed. Or, if Marty McFly’s “Mr Fusion” arrives in time, maybe we’ll have so much wealth the overall economic pie will be so much larger that I might be happier with us moving further to the right.

    It all depends.

    Read Romans 13 again and ask yourself, who was Paul writing to? What kind of government were they under? If Paul could write that to them then what Biblical right do we have to whine and moan because we think our government is moving a little to the left here, or a few degrees to the right there?

    Biblically, if Christians could live with authentic Christianity under Caesar then the same could be said of Napoleon or anyone. I guess the troubling part for me is defining where — given Romans 13 — I might decide to turn against my government. Maybe I need to read some Dietrich Bonehoffer? (Spelling?)

    • Todd Beal says:

      Eclipse Now,

      We must not forget; it is the Church’s job, and duty, to provide the very social programs of which you speak. Each time you insist that a government assume this role in place of the Church, you remove your heart one step further from your Biblically mandated responsibility. When we, the born-again believers, use our God-given money and talents to care for the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the down and out, the jobless, the neighbor who needs a new house because his burnt to the ground, etc, God always, always, replenishes what we give out, and then some – not so in a tax-funded government program. A government program administers out of social obligation, not compassion, and eventually depletes without renewal. A believer gives from the heart, which then God rewards with a greater means to give more – and more.

      A government can, and will, tax a nation out of existence, but we can never out give God’s generosity.

  23. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Todd,
    ///We must not forget; it is the Church’s job, and duty, to provide the very social programs of which you speak. Each time you insist that a government assume this role in place of the Church, you remove your heart one step further from your Biblically mandated responsibility////
    Rubbish. I see the bible saying we might have this responsibility to care for those *Christians* we know in this area — “but first for the household of believers” — but the whole of society? Yes we have a Christian responsibility to care for the poor — but the bible doesn’t mandate HOW. We have priorities to

    ///God always, always, replenishes what we give out, and then some///
    This is prosperity gospel and I reject it utterly. You seem to be taking Old Testament promises to Israel and applying it financially to the church. The verse where Jesus says “all these things will be added unto you” indicates NOT financial reward, but that we will gain mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters in the new family God, and ultimate security in Paradise. Even better, we gain HIM! Basically that verse says that when we seek the Kingdom of Heaven first, we get it! When we seek the LORD of Life first, we get HIM! And that is 100 fold reward on all the other meaningless trinkets money can buy.

    ///not so in a tax-funded government program.///
    Why not? If you’re into prosperity doctrine, then God will bless any nation that honours him! Read the OT! But if you’re a little like me then you’ll do your Biblical Theology (how the OT relates to the NT) and see that you can’t just rip those OT verses out of context and apply it to our government OR our church!

    ///A government program administers out of social obligation, not compassion,////
    Who are you to judge hundreds of thousands of public servants? You don’t know this. Yes the law of the land is ‘obligation’ but us Australians tend to vote for Centrist governments that keep supporting public housing and welfare programs. Anything the church does on top is an added bonus for the society. Indeed, our governments have public private partnerships. They fund CHURCH programs because they recognise the integrity with which we deliver services. ANGLICARE is our Anglican Welfare department and it is even bigger than the Salvation Army!

    So if you’re worried about the government ‘not caring’ they don’t have to! The Christian services they largely employ to run housing and youth and return to work and retirement programs are largely run by Christian organisations on dirt-cheap salaries! (I’d love to see PRIVATE CORPORATIONS deliver that quality of service that cheap!)

    ////and eventually depletes without renewal.////
    Rubbish again. A free market generates wealth, the government taxes *some* (but not all) of that, and a fraction goes to generate welfare money. According to the statistics I’ve supplied above, Australia and America’s tax / GDP are roughly the *same*! Our tax / unit of GDP is 1% higher than yours, our health budget is 2% LOWER and yet we *magically* cover all our citizens!

    Unless you can contradict these statistics with other authoritative material, I’ll treat your ‘depletes without renewal’ as wishy washy prosperity doctrine or ideology gone wrong.
    /// A believer gives from the heart, which then God rewards with a greater means to give more – and more.///
    God rewards it spiritually. I see nothing to indicate otherwise.

    • Todd Beal says:

      Eclipse Now,

      | This is prosperity gospel and I reject it utterly. |

      If I supported the gospel of prosperity I would have explicitly told you so in no uncertain terms. However, I did not, nor will I ever. And how you got that out of my saying we cannot out give God is absolutely beyond me. I tell you, I have consistently noticed one thing so far in your comments to Lance, Fr. Robert, and me; you have a chip on your shoulder for most everything that smacks of core theology, individual responsibility, and anything whatsoever that does not line up with your rogue thinking habits.

      I reject your insistence on picking a fight with whoever gives you the courtesy to speak freely. I reject your disrespectful and demeaning behavior toward Lance, implying that he is theologically inept. He and Fr. Robert both are two of the most sincere and well-studied, truth-gleaning Christians and Bible students I have ever had the privilege of knowing. You would do well to ask them questions, instead of trying to drive your contentious ideology down their undeserving throats.

      Furthermore, I reject your insistence on knowledge and information at the expense of a deeply rooted foundation of truth. You have an independent mind that insists on speaking through truth instead of asking truth to speak through you. It is one thing to know a lot about truth; it is quite another to hold its power within your heart. You are seeking something you have yet to find. You are angry about something that you have yet to identify. You cannot find what lies on a path you refuse to follow, and you can not identify what you refuse to accept, as is.

      Your argumentative attitude is not only out of line but is well past expired. It is time for you to ask for Lance’s forgiveness for treating him with such disdain, and it is time for you to understand that just because you think something is true, that does not make it so.

  24. Eclipse Now says:

    Hi Irishanglican,
    I love the EU, and see it as a pathway to greater peace and stability in that area of the world that plunged us into 2 world wars last century!

    Regards

  25. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Todd,
    our government pays our churches to deliver services so this is the way God works through us.

    Also, we do it at roughly speaking the same level of taxation / GDP. So if you’re calling us Socialist’s you’d better do a double take at the size of your own government / level of GDP!

    But we seem to do *more* with our tax. I wonder where all your tax goes if you can’t just give basic health care to all your citizens? Do the “Insurers” take it all in bureaucracy!?

    If someone breaks their arm in America, what happens? Is whacking a plaster on it a ‘private’ health matter or will Medicaid pick up the tab?

    • Eclipse,

      You are so overly opinionated toward Americans, a real problem I see with some Aussies! And don’t forget I am an Anglo-Irish Brit, and I am older! Chill out some mate, were never gonna solve this difference. It goes to some different core issues I believe. Though no one can call me an American Right Winger for sure! But I am pro-American certainly, and a conservative.. and oh yeah pro-Israel also! :) I lived and taught in Israel in the late 90’s.

  26. Eclipse Now says:

    Not really… but what’s your point?

    Anyway, I’m not sure if Lance wants to open up another ‘Open political thread’ for this discussion to continue or not! I would gladly move it there.

    Sorry for this all happening on your New Job thread Lance.

    Congratulations and I really hope the ‘new job blues’ don’t get you, it can be stressful applying for and even GETTING new work… all those new decisions and systems to learn! I’m in the same boat, and would appreciate your prayers. Our family has had a rough time the last 6 years with my son being so sick (so long ago now but in a way we’re still getting over it). The kids are old enough to help out at home, so I can finally get back into the workforce. I’ve just had a head-hunter interview, and there’s a role I’m really interested in getting! I’d really appreciate some prayer for good communication so they really get to know me and I really get to know them so we can BOTH make the right decision! (Employer and employee).

  27. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Todd,
    you seem quite upset.

    Please understand that when I say “Rubbish” I’m saying it in a pompous-git-English sort of way, not screaming RUUUUBBIIIIISHSSSS! at you the way maybe American’s might interpret it. Aussies can have a very English way of debating. American’s try to be a bit more sensitive.

    American example:
    A: I like Orange.
    B: Yes, but Orange can also have a bit of Yellow in it too, and Yellow is quite nice really.

    English / Australian example:
    A: I like Orange.
    B: What? Orange is RUBBISH! Come on old pal, you’ve got to admit Yellow is the only sexy thing right now.

    It’s a stylistic thing, and if I was angry at all above it was largely over my country Australia being called “Sociliast” for starters!

    I was also a bit alarmed about the way Lance *appeared* to rip a few verses out of their context in Biblical Theology, but Lance has since explained that he was in a rush and ‘cut and paste’ the verses quickly, without time to explain. That’s cool — I’ve done the same thing and given people the wrong impression in the past too. Also, Lance has a new job! He doesn’t have time for all this.

    Lance is a big boy. If there’s any outstanding business between him and I I’d love Lance to raise it and we’ll take it from there?

    If I have misunderstood what you believe, then so be it, I will apologise. But I just can’t get my head around this quote.
    ///God always, always, replenishes what we give out, and then some///

    /// it is time for you to understand that just because you think something is true, that does not make it so.///
    Well of course this is true! I have changed my mind on many subjects — some of them quite significant. The question is do *you* have the information or biblical perspective to help me change my mind? If you disagree with me on something that’s your job — it’s not my job to look your argument up for you. I’m not dropping years of work just because you *feel* I should.

    If you could speak clearly instead of shouting in riddles I’ll try and listen.
    For example, ////You have an independent mind that insists on speaking through truth instead of asking truth to speak through you. ////
    I don’t even know what that means. I don’t even know that *you* know what that means.

    Anyway, I’m keen to figure out what you meant by the ‘prosperity’ quote above — and if I have misunderstood you I really am sorry.

  28. Lance Ponder says:

    First: No worries about keeping this thread going. Have fun.Too bad some of my other posts don’t stir up this much excitement. Hehehe.

    Second: Sorry that I haven’t had time to respond to all the great conversation going on here. It is fun when a comments section takes on a life of its own.

    Third: I’m not offended by anyone here, even my dear pinko commie Aussie friend. ;-)

  29. Eclipse,

    I am an old Anglo-Irish and always somewhat eccentric, so I am not offended really. But I do consider certain liberalism to be just plain dumb! But then again, I am an old combat RMC, and have lived in a different world than my liberal friends. But in the end, ideology does matter when it is Judeo-Christian! And here we must also focus on the Covenant/covenants of Israel, we Gentiles have simply not superseded Israel fully! :)

  30. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Lance
    ///Third: I’m not offended by anyone here, even my dear pinko commie Aussie friend. ;-)///

    Hey, I’m just glad you can *see* pink now instead of it all being RED — that’s real progress! ;-)

  31. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Fr Robert
    ///And here we must also focus on the Covenant/covenants of Israel, we Gentiles have simply not superseded Israel fully! :)///
    I *hope* by that statement that you mean that of course we haven’t superseded the Jews — Jew and Gentile are now in the one Kingdom of God, by Faith Alone, by Christ Alone, by Scripture Alone and by Grace Alone.

    • @E,

      I am something of a “Dispensationalist”, but see it more fully in the Progressive Dispensational lines, but that does not supersede or negate some of the covenantal promises to “Israel” as a Nation! I am pro-Israel and a “Biblical” Zionist. :)

  32. Eclipse Now says:

    Oh boy, from Australian Socialism to Dispensationalism, is there any ground this “New Job” thread will not cover?

    (Takes a deep breath…. here goes….)

    As a Sydney Anglican (lay person who *nearly* went into ministry) I’m a fan of the great modern Covenant Theologians like Archbishop Peter Jensen and his brother, the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral Phillip Jensen. They convinced me a few decades ago that the bible is Covenant all the way, from the first page to the last.

    It is all about Jesus, and all the OT promises to Abraham about “God’s people living God’s way in God’s land becoming a BLESSING TO THE WHOLE WORLD!” are all fulfilled in Jesus. As the church, we are the fulfilment of all these promises and are taking the gospel out to all the nations to bless the whole world.

    Covenant Theology is explained in one of my Top 5 Christian books of all time, Graeme Goldsworthy’s “Gospel and Kingdom”.

    Now I can hear you asking, “But what about the land, is there a Christian land…?” What about Israel going back into the land in 1948? What about prophecy? What about guessing when the End Times are? (Why oh why do Dispy’s always want to do that and play the embarrassing guessing game? How many cults were born in the 1800’s out of Guessing? JW’s, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists… the list just goes on and on.)

    All the promises to Abraham about the Land were changed and fulfilled in Christ. We now have that promise in eschatological tension. We have that promise in a ‘now and not yet’ way.

    So what about the particular promise about the Land? In a sense the whole planet is now ‘the land’ as the church breaks down all ethnic and national and social boundaries. This is why the Acts of the Apostles is such a radical and revolutionary book. The sacred cow of Israel — her precious national boundaries and temple and sacrificial system and law — are now irrelevant in God’s schema. They were *all* fulfilled in Christ! I really don’t see how some people separate out some promises of God (such as the promise to Israel about the land) from the other promises of God (being God’s people living God’s way under God’s blessing and being saved).

    In other words, if you’re still concerned about ‘the land’ or other promises to Israel, do we even have to be Christians? Is the sacrificial system still important? Why did Jesus even have to die? How far do we go down that line?

    So I see the specific promises to Israel about the land being fulfilled in Jesus in the following way. The whole earth is God’s as His Kingdom advances throughout the world. So while we are free of the Old Covenant, FREE of the law and the temple and all those concerns (as Lance rightly focussed on above!), there is a sense where it is all still so unfulfilled, so lacking in the real power of God’s kingdom. And that’s where we wait for heaven. We are “now and not yet”. We are now in God’s kingdom, but not yet in the fulfilled kingdom that will be revealed in Paradise, the New Heavens and New Earth that the whole world groans for.

    Look, I won’t push any Aussie stuff on you, but how about a free American podcast that I really respect, and will rock your world? I aim to listen to every one of these 2 or 3 times over the next few years!

    Dr Kim Riddlebarger has his top 20 or so *lectures* (not mere talks, but academic classroom depth lectures) on eschatology and last things and Covenant theology here. It is simply brilliant!

    http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

    IF you can listen to these over the next year or so and still remain Dispensationalist, I’ll be VERY interested in any counter-material you might have to offer. (However, I can’t sign my life away and promise to read whole tombs just yet as I’m in a *horrible, awkward* career change).

  33. Eclipse Now says:

    Anyone else here think “Lance Ponder” makes a great Sci-Fi Steampunk name? I’m thinking military class, maybe a General.

    Check out this Steampunk Name generator and then compare!

    http://oobleck.org/steam/

  34. E,

    There are some big differences between Classic Dispensationalism, and Progressive.. you might want to check it out? Progressive Dispensationalism also includes the Historic Premillennialism. I too have been into Covenant Theology in my past, it has just like Classic Dispensationalism, some truth but not all. The aspect of Salvation History is most important, and this also includes the truth of the Covenant/covenants of Israel. The biblical fact that God has given the Jewish people and here a literal, earthly “Israel”, certain promises has not been abdicated or superseded! This really is the whole so-called “Zionist” issue! There are differences in both “Classic” and “Progressive” Dispensationalism over this, but not really as to the reality of an earthly Millennial Kingdom.

  35. Eclipse Now says:

    Hi Fr Robert,
    This is a huge distraction from the gospel. ABC’s Four Corners covered this movement a few years ago and basically freaked out about how American Christians are putting an unjust emphasis on pro-Israel politics whereas I think a compassionate political stance would be to look at BOTH sides of the argument. Gaza and the West Bank are basically huge concentration camps! Israel does *not* have some kind of blessing from God that justifies her treatment of the Palestinians.

    Neither are innocent. But neither are especially blessed by God — as far as I can tell in my bible!

    I’m convinced that the Kingdom of God in the New Testament is a concept which is larger than just ‘replacement theology’ of Israel becoming the Church. It is bigger because Israel AND Gentile Christians who trust in the Lord Jesus for their salvation have become the new, lager Kingdom of God.

    So while theological shorthand might accurately say Old Testament Israel is replaced by the New Testament Church, it is less helpful. It misses the subtleties that allow ethnic Jews to be Christians.

    We can see that Jesus and the Apostles considered the NT church to be the new Israel. See how Jesus discusses sons of Abraham.

    James 1
    1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
    To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
    Greetings.

    As for the promises of Abraham still being fulfilled, *how* does Israel bless the world? Through Jesus. So basically if Israel’s Messiah was Jesus — and I hope you believe that! — then the overall shape of Israel future involves her Messiah.

    If you hark back to pre-Messiah promises to dictate how God’s kingdom promises will look post-Messiah, you’re placing the OT above the NT. However, in Romans and Hebrews and Galations and the whole thrust of the NT we see the Apostles CLEARLY claiming all those promises for the church (both Jew and Gentile).

    Above we see how the Apostle James saw Jesus claim that God could raise up “sons of Abraham from the very stones” was actually fulfilled as the “Twelve Tribes were scattered among the nations”… the church.

    Hebrews tellingly shows us how the Priesthood and Sacrifice are fulfilled in Jesus. Romans shows us how the law is fulfilled in Jesus.

    And Hebrews 4 shows us specifically how the LAND promise is fulfilled in Jesus! The LAND = the Sabbath-Rest = Heaven.

    ******

    Hebrews 4
    1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

    “So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]

    And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

    6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”[d]

    8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

  36. Eclipse Now says:

    (PS: I have bookmarked your link for further research and thought *after* I have settled into a new job — if the Lord is willing that I’ll get one in the first place!)

  37. E,

    You need to better than a little ad hoc answer toward both Biblical and Christian Zionism! Indeed one must engage and access their arguments in fair dialogue. :)

  38. Lance Ponder says:

    E…

    Regarding *both* sides of the argument, that’s pretty simple. Israel wants to exist. Its neighbors do not want it to exist. The Hamas charter states as clearly as any that its goal is the extinction of Israel and all Jews. Not just from Israel, but from earth. They want to drive Zion into the sea and their zeal for this quest is unquenchable. Israel seeks peace and offers concession after concession to enemies who are not satisfied because Israel still exists. Who can bargain with such an enemy? Who can condemn anyone for defending their right to exist?

    You said: “Gaza and the West Bank are basically huge concentration camps! Israel does *not* have some kind of blessing from God that justifies her treatment of the Palestinians.”

    I am going to assume you are grossly ill informed because of your media choices rather than simply filled with anti-Semitic venom. If you knew the facts on the ground and the truth about the history of modern Israel as a nation and the Jewish people who have inhabited the area for more than 3000 years you could not hold such a view. It is the enemies of Israel who send men, women, and children to be homicide bombers in crowded public civilian places. Israel has never done atrocities. Israel has allowed non-Jewish people to remain and enjoy the relative peace and security offered, at risk to its own security, yet its neighbors never allow Jews to live in peace in their lands. Of course modern Israel is imperfect. So is the USA and Aussie and every other country. There’s a difference between imperfection and disagreements between parties of good faith and the situation seen in Israel where murderous thugs pitch rocket propelled bombs on civilians and pass out cookies and candy when they manage to kill a Jew. Do you deny the holocaust, too?

    Gen 12:3, Gen 27:29. He who blesses Israel is blessed. He who curses Israel is cursed. If you’re a dispensationalist, you might try to make an argument that these statements no longer apply. You would be wrong, but you could make the argument. If you are not a dispensationalist and you believe God’s words, like His divine character, are unchanging, then there is no argument for denying this. Judgment is God’s business, not yours and most certainly not the business of thugs who believe they’ll get to rape 72 virgins after they die if they do so while murdering a Jew.

    Eclipse, I’m a polite fellow generally. I will engage in conversations with those who hold different opinions, worldviews, and religions. But if you side with those who would push the Jews into the sea and celebrate murder with a nice party, then I’ll first suggest you reconsider and if that’s not an option then thank you to keep your comments to yourself on this subject.

    Now to show I’m a good sport and I do see a point where we agree (I think, if I read you correctly), I also do not hold with replacement theology. The church does not replace Israel. The fact we agree on this point makes me wonder all the more at your other position to which I spent the above effort.

    • Lance, btw,

      No dispensationalist I know of thinks we must not continue to bless and pray for Israel!

      • Lance Ponder says:

        Thank you. Neither do I. Its just that I could see the logic (dispensationists often hold to replacement theology), not that I think it would be correct.

        • Lance,

          You are confused here, “Replacement Theology” are those that want to replace the Gentile Church or the whole Church (Jew & Gentile) fully with the promises of Israel. In other words, always spiritualizing the OT. They also call this supersessional theology. Many of the Postmillennial and Amil Reformed are in this camp. I am somewhat Reformed, but not in the area of eschatology. I am in fact in the process of moving back to a much more classic Dispensational position. Though I have for many years been like, Robert Gundry, a ‘dispensational Post-trib’er’. But I am leaning back to the Pre-trib at present. But as I have written, we should hold the timing of the so-called Rapture (Catching-away) perhaps to an open question…Pre, Mid, (Pre-wrath, etc.), Post. But certainly Pre-Mill. and with the Nation of Israel central.

      • Lance Ponder says:

        Yes, I suppose I must be confused somehow. I get the replacement, but it was my understanding that dispensationists believed that God did things one way at one period and a different way at another period. For example, the view that salvation was one way for Jews before Jesus and another way in the church age. This sort of dissects biblical history and sets up different rules for different periods. Frankly I have a very hard time with that way of thinking. But, given that this is my understanding, I hope you can see how such an understanding could dovetail with replacement theology.

        As to pre/mid/post whatever, I am not sure any of those views are strictly tied to replacement or dispensation theologies, are they?

        • Lance,

          This is one of the so-called raps against Dispensationalism, but proper Dispensationalism teaches that the Law of God (mosaic) for example, has been superceded by the grace of God. Personally I think some of the hits against Dispensationalism are ‘straw man’ like. And certainly in the history of Dispensationalim it has been mostly Pre-Trib, but there have been ‘dispensational Post-trib’ people like Robert Gundry, etc. And in the last 20 years or so, the position of the Pre-wrath Rapture has come along, but that certainly is dispensationally inclined also. The biggest issue about Dispensationalism is the belief and teaching of a literal Israel, at the end of this age (the remnant), and on into a literal Millennial Kingdom! The timing of the Rapture is secondary (I think), but certainly the majority Dispensationalists are Pre-Trib. Note the work and ministry of Tommy Ice, etc.

          • That’s why I would highly recommend reading Charles Ryrie’s revised & expanded version of his book: Dispensationalism! Until one reads this book? One simply cannot really know the issues today!

          • Lance Ponder says:

            That’s the thing. I don’t think it is accurate to say that “grace supersedes the law.” I understand the idea and I’m with you in principle, but that’s because I understand what you mean when you use the term “law.” I’d like to go into this further, but we need a new thread. I’ll try to get something posted on this.

          • Lance,

            Of course there was God’s grace in the OT also, but the requirement of God in the OT was the Mosaic Law. That’s pretty simple, and dispensational! :)

  39. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Lance
    ///Who can condemn anyone for defending their right to exist?///
    Interesting over-reaction, I must say. Very revealing. It’s like you see us pinko Aussie’s being completely uninformed about the Middle East process and siding with some truly unjust media? Hey, we aren’t the ones who came up with Fox News all-right? ;-)

    Look, of course I *don’t* condemn Israel for wanting to defend herself. That’s just a cheap straw-man on your part. I would have thought you just assumed this when I said *both* sides of the argument!

    Nevertheless,

    ////If you knew the facts on the ground and the truth about the history of modern Israel as a nation and the Jewish people who have inhabited the area for more than 3000 years you could not hold such a view////
    Get some history, pal. What percentage of the population were Jewish before the 1750’s – 1800’s? Hey? Want to look that up for us?

    The *actual* history of Palestine is one of the greatest arguments I have against Dispensationlism. If God had so guaranteed Israel her land, why did He let her get banished from it for nearly 2000 years?

    ////It is the enemies of Israel who send men, women, and children to be homicide bombers in crowded public civilian places.///
    (Slaps hand to forehead!)
    *Both* sides of the argument, yet again! PLEASE!

    /// Israel has never done atrocities. ///
    Um, I’d want to be careful about the blanket covering of a nation at war in such language. What they’d call ‘unintended collateral damage’ others might call something else, OK?

    ///Do you deny the holocaust, too? ///
    Are you KIDDING ME? Back off Lance, I’m losing respect for you here mate. There’s no way that was called for.

    Do I have to spell out the bleeding obvious, that I thoroughly support Israel’s right to exist, live in peace and security, and not have continual terrorist attacks? I even supported the WALL for a while! (That is, until I found out Israel were using it as another land grab exercise and were maliciously dividing Palestinian territories and villages from each other. If they had carried this out with a bit more social justice, I’d probably be able to support it!)

    ////Gen 12:3, Gen 27:29. He who blesses Israel is blessed. He who curses Israel is cursed. If you’re a dispensationalist, you might try to make an argument that these statements no longer apply. You would be wrong, but you could make the argument. If you are not a dispensationalist and you believe God’s words, like His divine character, are unchanging, then there is no argument for denying this. Judgment is God’s business, not yours and most certainly not the business of thugs who believe they’ll get to rape 72 virgins after they die if they do so while murdering a Jew.////
    Doesn’t all that tie in with Jesus promising to bless those who bless us (Christians) and even give us a cup of water? We’ve shifted from discussing 2 ethnic people groups to theology. I’m a bit confused as to what you are getting at here. Are you a Dispensationalist as well?

    ////Eclipse, I’m a polite fellow generally. I will engage in conversations with those who hold different opinions, worldviews, and religions. But if you side with those who would push the Jews into the sea and celebrate murder with a nice party, then I’ll first suggest you reconsider and if that’s not an option then thank you to keep your comments to yourself on this subject.////
    And you wonder why us Aussies have trouble discussing things with Americans. I’m quite amazed at the accusations in the piece above.

    *Both* sides of the argument, please!

    ////The church does not replace Israel. The fact we agree on this point makes me wonder all the more at your other position to which I spent the above effort.///
    But the new Kingdom of God is those who trust in the Lord Jesus, isn’t it? That is, one could say *Christianity* fulfils Old Covenant Israel in the New Covenant, and takes her up into the larger community of God’s people, both Jew and Gentile, where the dividing wall has been demolished and we are all one in God’s family under Christ.

    Unless you are claiming some promises still apply to National Israel, in which case 1800 years of church history call you wrong.

    **** Church fathers and Dispensationalism****

    The following video below explains that while some of the early church fathers may have been Premil, they were NOT Dispensationalist. They really sound like Covenant theologians.

    EG: Justyn Martyr believed we are the true spiritual descendants of Abraham. The WHOLE bible is a unified purpose. From the beginning to the end it all focusses on Jesus Christ.

    Irenaeus: “But in Christ every blessing [is summed up], and therefore the latter people has snatched away the blessings of the former from the Father, just as Jacob took away the blessings of Esau. For which cause his brother suffered the plots and persecutions of a brother, just as the Church suffers this self-same thing from the Jews.”

    Ambrosiaster: “Thus whoever believes that Christ Jesus was promised to Abraham is a child of Abraham and a brother of Isaac. Abraham was told that all the nations would be blessed in his offspring. This happened not in Isaac, but in him who was promised to Abraham in Isaac, that is, Christ, in whom all the nations are blessed when they believe.

    More at:

  40. Eclipse Now says:

    Ooops, that video has gone!

  41. Eclipse Now says:

    Fox News is a skewed anti-Science, anti-climate change channel of Denialists preaching to the choir, and Dispensationalism was started by John Nelson Darby who eventually started to claim that salvation itself depended on agreeing with his whacko theories of Dispensationalism! It has distracted and entertained Christians away from their basic gospel work.

    As Os Guiness said:

    “Put simply, it is a form of the earlier false polarization and shrunken pietism reinforced by a distracting preoccupation with the end times.”

    or…
    “…dispensationalists have followed the course of “end times” events with the consuming fascination of a betting man at the race track. In so doing they have virtually turned their backs on the world in which they live.”

    Os Gusiness:
    Fit Bodies, Fat Minds
    Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
    1994, page 67

    How ironic that the book of Revelation, which is basically the gospel re-stated in bold apocalyptic imagery, has become the greatest DISTRACTION from the gospel thanks to the Dispensationalist misunderstanding that Revelation is a future-time-table of events.

    The sheer number of death-cults such as Jonestone and Waco that have spun off from this basic presupposition when approaching Revelation should be warning against doing so.

    • E,

      The Book of Revelation is surely futurist, after chapter 3, note Rev. 1:19. And too Rev. 1:7! It’s all about the last Prophetic Apocalypse of Christ!

      Btw, I have the Collected Works of JND, and too his Bible Translation with textual notes. He was no dummy at all! Note again, I was raised with my greatgram (she lived with us for awhile in Dublin) who was among the so-called ‘Kelly’ (William Kelly) Brethren. No, the early Plymouth Brethren were very biblical and astute men! Many of the ‘Brethren’ were very able men, as their personal history bears out!

      You’ll have to do better mate! Dispensationalism is here to stay! Like to not, its very defensible! Note Tommy Ice and company today!

  42. Eclipse Now says:

    Then try and define Dispensationalism. Covenant theology agrees that the bible is all about Christ, and all fulfilled in Christ.

    And do you have ANY evidence that — if this is such an obvious teaching in the bible — anyone PRIOR to Darby believed it? Basically, and there are a few good exceptions to this rule but basically if anyone disagrees with the dominant teaching of the church for the last 2000 years alarm bells should be ringing! (So as the Roman Catholics drifted further and further away from biblical truth the alarm bells should have been ringing way before the Reformation, etc).

    • E,

      Dispensationalism is more of a biblical hermeneutic…”Give no offense , either to the Jews or the Greeks (Gentiles) or to the church of God.” (1 Cor. 10:32) And it is part of the Salvation History and doctrine of God, which is a progressive revelation biblically & theologically. If you have an open mind? let me recommend reading Charles Ryrie’s revised and expanded edition of his book: Dispensationalism. Can you dialogue without spewing forth? We shall see? ;) Note, I am an Anglo-Irishman, so I can get to it myself…i.e. spew! lol But let us seek to agree biblically and with even a bit of theology! :)

  43. Eclipse Now says:

    Why do you even think Revelation is about events in our future? I’m convinced Revelation is largely about events in our past — (except for the final victorious return of the Lord Jesus on Judgement Day of course!)

    John was writing to a suffering church, and they were really in pain and desperate for answers. The Imperial might of ROME was against the church! Wasn’t the Lord coming back soon? Why did God’s people have to suffer? Had they done something wrong? Had the Lord failed?

    They needed some words of comfort. So John really meant it when he wrote;

    The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Greetings and Doxology 4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

    John was going to tell them the gospel in vivid picture language, and breathe it into the context of their suffering in vivid picture language. When John wrote about what must ‘soon take place’ he wasn’t kidding around and actually talking about something 2000 years later, but was talking about the terrible suffering the Christians of his generation were about to experience.

    So yes, some of it is prophetic in the sense that certain bits of it were still unfolding as John wrote. But the main thing is it was all about the word of God and Christ, the gospel, and in vivid picture language (‘seven’ spirits which is a number about God’s perfection and completeness, when we know there is only 1 Holy Spirit).

    Only when we understand that John was encouraging and warning the Christians of his age — and take the time to understand the historical context and message of his day — can apply then apply the message to our church as well. Because it was immediately valid to John’s generation and applicable to each and every generation since. If it IS a future timetable then it is only relevant to the last generation of Christians in history, and basically has only distracted the church for 2000 years — Harold Camping anyone? There’s nothing like Dispensationalism (and a bunch of other -isms that read Revelation as a future timetable) to completely and utterly embarrass the church with false prophecies, and create the environment for false prophecies.

    For if it is a timetable, aren’t we meant to guess it, despite all Jesus and Paul’s warnings to the contrary? I cannot reconcile why a ‘future timetable’ Revelation is even in the bible and how it could possibly help motivate us to share the gospel! Instead it invites us to speculate endlessly about which bit means what in today’s political landscape.

    So I am highly sceptical of ANY reading of Revelation as a ‘future timetable’. It is the gospel restated, and yes, that involves mentioning that one day the Lord will return in judgement to raise the dead, judge his enemies, and welcome in his friends. I pray that all of us here on this blog will indeed be found in that multitude! What a day that will be.

    In summary — cheers mate — not convinced. ;-)

    • E,

      I hav’nt much time now, but note the exegesis of Rev. 1:19 it is the key to the Book! Note the “threefold” division. And whether two-fold in division? (Note the Net Bible Translation). It is certainly futuristic! Again, note Rev. 1:7!

      Till next time..!

  44. Eclipse Now says:

    Yes, exactly as I said, all about the gospel!

    1:7 imagery supports the fact that this is a gospel statement. The Son of Man in the clouds imagery is that of Jesus as the conquering King returning in Judgement. It’s an essential end-point to the gospel! It proves nothing about this being a timetable of future events but is just restating the basic gospel message in picture language!

    1:19 ‘now’ and ‘later’. This is hardly definitive, and no where indicates thousands of years later. No, that’s stretching it. Rather, reading in context of the writings of the times, we see that “soon” encompasses both right now and a bit later.

    My favourite book on Revelation is by Dr Paul Barnett.

     

    J.I.Packer raves about it. I personally know Dr Barnett’s family, and of his character, and he seems to be a truly honest, godly, scholarly man.

    “Revelation is a complex piece of writing that has mystified many, and it
    is no small achievement to write a simple commentary on it that dispels the fog. Dr Barnett, however, has done just this. Drawing on what is now known about apocalyptic style and first-century history, he makes good sense of everything, and so opens up the book for fruitful lay study. Most useful – and highly recommended!”
    – J I Packer, Regent College, Vancouver.

    Dr Paul Barnett combines practical ministry with Biblical scholarship. He is an international lecturer in New Testament studies, and has authored numerous books. He has pastored two parishes, and served as chaplain at both the University of Sydney and Macquarie University. Paul Barnett was, until 2001, Anglican Bishop of North Sydney, Australia.

    http://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/apocalypse-now-then-reading-revelation-today

    • E,

      Yeah, I have Paul Barnett on 2 Cor., and btw just from my personal life, I have both a D.Phil., and a Th.D., the latter is on Pauline Studies in Romans. I lived and taught in Israel in the late 90’s.

      I can see that you have not commented on the Text of Rev. 1:19? And Rev. 1:7, is the grand and literal Second Coming of Christ (note Zech. 14: 4 / compare this with Acts 1:11-12). And also btw, I know James Packer, a grand and good man!

      It appears you are a Reformed Anglican? I am too, though I am not a full five point Calvinist. But I am certainly something of a Dispensationalist!

  45. Eclipse Now says:

    Meanwhile, isn’t it time we heard *both* sides of the issue when Israel just shoots 23 protesters dead?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/05/3236026.htm

    Oh, right, they were defending themselves! That’s why there were so many Israeli casualties! ;-) So how does your precious Fox News cast this one? Let me guess, “Brave Israeli soldiers barely survived an angry mob of rock-throwing Syrian protesters a kilometre away. No Israeli casualties!” Nice, balanced reporting I can imagine.

  46. Lance Ponder says:

    E – I’m relieved to see I overreacted, at least partially. We’re not on the same page about Israel and that’s that. I’m a FOX News fan, so bashing them just makes me laugh. They are the #1 cable news network in the US for a reason. By the way, I did not mean to say Israel never committed any atrocities, only that they had never committed atrocities on the order of what its enemy neighbors have. My bad for writing slower than I was thinking. And fyi, the Jewish population in the area of modern Jerusalem was over 50% Jewish in 1800. Sorry, I don’t have the data in front of me at the moment, but I recall seeing historical data from old British records showing the local population was heavily Jewish 200 years ago even though it was not a Jewish state. Jews have populated that area for as long as there have been Jews, although much of the time they weren’t actually in charge of the area.

  47. Eclipse Now says:

    ////By the way, I did not mean to say Israel never committed any atrocities, only that they had never committed atrocities on the order of what its enemy neighbors have.////
    Yes, I’m glad a little dose of Australian ABC News clarified the otherwise untarnished and glowing reports you were writing about Israel’s behaviour before. I wonder how much more data there is ‘on the ground’ that might conflict with your rosy picture of them? Also, how’s Fox covering it? Did it even rate a mention between the Denialists, the Cop stories, and the Celebrity gossip?

    My Uncle in Law was a missionary with close missionary friends in the Middle East. He informed me quite strenuously that Christians in Palestine have a much, much easier life than Christians in Israel. It seems some things never change. The hard-line Jews didn’t like Jesus, and today’s hard-line Jews don’t like Christians telling them they killed their Messiah. That’s gotta hurt! But it’s our core message!

    Now, onto Palestine’s population. The increase was of course recent.

    A Pastor I respect travelled Australia trying to put both sides of the history to us. He said that the Jewish population prior to the 20th Century was gradually increasing from about 20% of the population to dominating it by 1948. The wiki says they were already at 25% during the Ottoman empire, so if I wasn’t busy tracking down a job I might spend a few hours tracking down those sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Palestine#Early_Ottoman_period

    However, the intricacies of who did what in the Middle East conflict actually bore me. Neither side is 100% right. After the Genocide, I like the idea that Jews have somewhere to call home. After decades and decades of being treated as subhuman in concentration camps, I like the idea of a Palestinian State. I also like the WALL if only it was in the right place and not being used as another means to really punish Palestinians.

    What REALLY concerns me here is the fact that a whole generation of Christians are being massively blinded to the fact that there ARE 2 sides to this conflict. Or do you just turn a blind eye to the 23 protesters that are now dead in Syria? Well, DO YOU!??? You were the guy just shouting at me and accusing me of being a GENOCIDE DENIER! Yet you’re the one who TODAY failed to express appropriate horror at the actions of Israel. 23 protesters are dead Lance. Which state of yours had the police shoot up those Uni students? How many decades later does that State still hold anniversary commemorations? How many documentaries have screened on it down here in Australia?

    23 protesters are dead Lance. And all you can say is ////I did not mean to say Israel never committed any atrocities, only that they had never committed atrocities on the order of what its enemy neighbors have.////
    OKAY, can you run along and get me the list of recent Syrian atrocities against Israel then? How many Israelis did the Syrian protesters kill this year? Last year? It must have been in the hundreds, no, thousands if “they had never committed atrocities on the order of what its enemy neighbors have.”

    Are we getting it yet?

  48. AS I wrote on another blog, this was a provocation on the sovereign border of Israel, by a people that have often committed terrorist acts within Israel itself! No mercy here! In other words, stay away.. simple! What’s not to understand here? And this is not the way to make dialogue at all.

  49. Eclipse Now says:

    @ Fr Robert,
    /// And this is not the way to make dialogue at all.///
    Neither was Lance screaming “HOLOCAUST DENIER” at me from the scant information he had about me.

    ///What’s not to understand here///
    23 dead — and you’re saying there was no other way to do it? I fully support Israel’s right to self defence, but this is rubbish.

    ///Of course there was God’s grace in the OT also, but the requirement of God in the OT was the Mosaic Law. That’s pretty simple, and dispensational! :)///
    Except, as Dr Riddlebarger points out, you’re letting the OT dictate to the NT, not letting the NT interpret the OT. What does Romans say about Abraham’s faith and how he was justified? What’s the big picture in Exodus — did God require perfect obedience before he rescued Israel in Exodus, or after He had already saved them?

    With your education you *should* be way ahead of me in this stuff. You should also have done a little church history and understand how thoroughly MODERN this dispensational stuff is, and how thoroughly Covenantal the early church fathers were. I can’t understand someone with your background being Dispy.

    ////I’m a Brit, and I love FOX News…’clear, balanced and unafraid!’ Semper Fi! ;)////
    Like all that balanced science reporting they do when they get the actual climatologists on and … let them … actually finish a sentence? Ever seen the doco ‘Outfoxed’?

    What do you make of CNN?

    • E,

      First, I have “been” a Covenant theolog in the past, and have found it wanting! And the Dispensational folk have some very good men, like Dwight Pentecost, Alva McClain, Erich Sauer, and also John Walvoord, and of course Charles Ryrie. Just to name a handfull, and of course both J.N.D. and William Kelly..the latter is perhaps their (‘the Brethren’s’) very best, at least in biblical exegetical work. I will admit that there is much “pop” dispensational so-called, work today. And some of it is simply bad!

      Btw, calling me names, and trying to insult my intelligence, will simply not work! That is poorly ad hom. When you cannot attack the issue, attack the man! (Ad hom) If you want to see an example of an early dispensational (light anyway) and pre-millennial Anglican, check out the man and writings of Henry Alford. See his Greek New Testament. Note he is quoted often in G.K. Beale’s book: the NIGTC, The Book of Revelation. And of course Beale is Amil. And then there was also an Anglican minister, named W.H. Griffith Thomas (English or a Brit), who helped start the American Dallas Seminary!

      You just got to do your homework here mate, and quit throwing ad hom’s! :) Again, I am close biblically & theologically to someone like the American John MacArthur! I am sure you have heard of him? (Note close, but really I am still a Reformed type Anglican, but who is Dispensational also.)

      I rarely watch CNN.

  50. Eclipse Now says:

    ///Of course there was God’s grace in the OT also, but the requirement of God in the OT was the Mosaic Law. That’s pretty simple, and dispensational! :) ///

    I thought further about this and wondered what you make of the book of Hebrews which basically points out all the OT types which then become *realities* in the NT. So many verses in the NT seem to say it was the one Covenant plan all along: the sacrificial system in the OT pointing to the perfect sacrifice in Jesus, the remarkable but very imperfect Kings pointing to the PERFECT King Jesus, the prophecies regarding the suffering servant fulfilled in Jesus on the cross, Israel becoming a child all being fulfilled when THE Israel-child is born representing the entire people of God on the cross, the temple being but an echo of what is happening in heaven, etc etc etc. It’s all the one plan fulfilled in Christ, not 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 plans. God intended this plan to be fulfilled from the beginning of the ages! I honestly can’t see how Dispy’s see it any other way, but apparently they just cut out all verses which indicate a consistent Covenant plan from the beginning.

    • E,

      Btw, if your gonna take shots at Dispensationalism, at least do so within some of their works…that means reading some of them! Perhaps start with some of Alva McClain’s works? But then I just bet you have never even heard of him? Come on mate, your looking rather ignorant here! ;)

  51. Eclipse Now says:

    This documentary shows how Dispensational eschatology has influenced American policy and spilled blood and tears and brought unimaginable shame on the church. I’m going to buy it and see if my minister will screen it at a special church event!

    This is the White Horse Inn from 2002 replying to Christian Zionism.

    http://www.pcabakersfield.com/articles/open_letter_to_evangelicals.pdf

  52. Eclipse Now says:

    ////First, I have “been” a Covenant theolog in the past, and have found it wanting! And the Dispensational folk have some very good men, like Dwight Pentecost, Alva McClain, Erich Sauer, and also John Walvoord, and of course Charles Ryrie. Just to name a handfull, and of course both J.N.D. and William Kelly..the latter is perhaps their (‘the Brethren’s’) very best, at least in biblical exegetical work. I will admit that there is much “pop” dispensational so-called, work today. And some of it is simply bad!////
    What’s your *earliest* Dispy author then, and what part of Dispensationalism did they defend? I don’t have to have read every Dispy author to pass some Dispy test about Dispy knowledge, just as I don’t have to have read every JW booklet to know JW’s to be a recent aberration.

    I’m asking you, do you have any early reference to church father writings that are Dispy? Not Premil, I know some of them were Premil, but Dispy.

    Once again… (Copies and pastes old reference in….)

    *****

    While some of the early church fathers may have been Premil, they were NOT Dispensationalist. They really sound like Covenant theologians.

    EG: Justyn Martyr believed we are the true spiritual descendants of Abraham. The WHOLE bible is a unified purpose. From the beginning to the end it all focusses on Jesus Christ.

    Irenaeus: “But in Christ every blessing [is summed up], and therefore the latter people has snatched away the blessings of the former from the Father, just as Jacob took away the blessings of Esau. For which cause his brother suffered the plots and persecutions of a brother, just as the Church suffers this self-same thing from the Jews.”

    Ambrosiaster: “Thus whoever believes that Christ Jesus was promised to Abraham is a child of Abraham and a brother of Isaac. Abraham was told that all the nations would be blessed in his offspring. This happened not in Isaac, but in him who was promised to Abraham in Isaac, that is, Christ, in whom all the nations are blessed when they believe.

  53. Eclipse Now says:

    And I reject your accusation that the documentary above is a ‘Cheap shot’. Can’t you see the ramifications of Dispensational eschatology? As I said above, the whole thing is an enormous sideshow away from the gospel.

    • E,

      This will be my last statement on this subject with you, as you are not “seeking” (a seeker), but have made up your mind negatively on Dispensationalism. Which is fine, but if you want to “dialogue” further, at least with me, you simply must read Ryrie’s Revised & Expanded version of his book: Dispensationalism! I think that is a fair challenge, and a point of contact!

      Later perhaps my Aussie friend.. :)

  54. Eclipse Now says:

    ///This will be my last statement on this subject with you, as you are not “seeking” (a seeker), but have made up your mind negatively on Dispensationalism.///

    What is it with you assuming *I* have to be the ‘seeker’ and you don’t? What gets you off Scott-free without listening to the Riddlebarger podcasts I asked you to? You’re demanding I read all umpteen volumes of Dispensationalism 101 without merely listening to the Riddlebarger podcasts?

    I’ve already shared that I’m in a really messy career change, but NOOOOO, suddenly I have to play Luke Skywalker and you just assume the right to be Yoda. Get off your horse mate when you’re talking to me mate and *you’ll* communicate better!

    Seriously, is this your way of sulking that I dared ask the origins question?

    One more time, in case anyone was distracted by the “you’re not a Luke Skywalker seeker of the truth” routine, which is basically an Ad Hom of your own there buddy.

    (Clears throat and takes a deep, serious breath).

    What is your earliest reference to Dispensational theology? I don’t need to buy 20 books for you to state that loud and clear right here, right now.

    • E,

      I noted “one” really as you asked..by Ryrie! And I am older and smarter than you! lol I am kidding! Btw, Riddlebarger lives just down the road a piece. And we have chatted some. I live in Yorba Linda, CA.

      Best in your new job mate!

      Fr. Robert

  55. Eclipse Now says:

    The Riddlebarger podcasts question the fundamental presuppositions of both sides of the debate and offer an even FAIRER point of contact. You can play Luke for once, I’m in a career change. Maybe in a few years I’ll play Luke to make it fair?

  56. Eclipse Now says:

    I asked:

    ////What is your earliest reference to Dispensational theology?////

    You answered:
    ////I noted “one” really as you asked..by Ryrie! ////

    Are you really saying Dispensationalism only started after Ryrie’s birth of 1925? ;-)

    Another dodge of the question….

    Third time a charm hey? ;-) Try answering without requiring me to buy a book.

    What is the earliest church reference to Dispensationalism that you can find? As in thousands of years ago?

  57. Eclipse Now says:

    Really, so if that verse somehow supports Dispensationalism and is not — as I think it is about — respecting the 2 sides of the ONE body of Christ — another huge theme in Corinthians, then how does that verse which you are choosing to read in a distinctive, Dispy way reconcile with these?

    You are reading distinctiveness ‘betweeen the lines’ into a book which is all about our unity and harmony. But don’t let that stop you! ;-)

    EG:
    1 Cor 1:24
    21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

    (Therefore if you don’t believe Christ is the power and wisdom of God then you’re not *called*, you’re not in the kingdom! There is not 2 kingdoms but one unified kingdom of both Jews and Gentiles /Greeks who believe!)

    Then there’s all the other unity chapters, like Ephesians 2.

    11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

    19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

    Or try:

    Acts 20:20-22
    20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

    Once you start separating out any 1 bit of the Abrahamic promises as ‘still for Israel’ today, you start messing with the indivisibility of the one new Kingdom of God. Or are Gentile Christians homeless but Jewish Christians get to live in Israel, Gentile Christians priestless but Jewish Christians get to have priests…. straight away it starts messing with who we are as the people of God. The Abrahamic promises are all fulfilled in Christ. Put basically, the promises to Abraham were that he would become the father of God’s people, living God’s way, in God’s land, which would one day bless the whole world.

    In light of the very clear verses from Corinthians and Ephesians and Acts above (and I haven’t even touched on Romans or Hebrews!), aren’t us Christians now God’s people to live God’s way and bless the whole world as we enjoy this world and look forward to the new world? So be very careful as you pull on one particular thread of God’s promises to Abraham otherwise the whole fabric of who the NT says we are — and the gospel itself — starts to unwind.

  58. Eclipse Now says:

    ////St. Paul, and 1 Cor. 10: 32!////
    So other than ripping a verse out of context, you’ve got no-one *really* (and let’s be honest about this till around the 1800’s when all the other end-times cults started as well hey?

    • E,

      The whole so-called Theological Process continues from both the Jewish theolog’s (Mishnaic), to the Medieval times, to the Reformation, etc. and until now. Indeed the whole Salvation History, and the Covenant/covenants stands upon the Old and New Testament Texts. And certainly modern so-called Dispensationalism, is based here in a progressive, but always textual manner!

      It does appear mate that you are just one of those kinda guys that argue’s always from the negative, rather than from the informative and historical information itself! For you nothing I say has any value, you alone and your position is the only one…sad rather! So let’s just be done with each other! ;)

  59. Eclipse Now says:

    ////The whole so-called Theological Process continues from both the Jewish theolog’s (Mishnaic), to the Medieval times, to the Reformation, etc. and until now. Indeed the whole Salvation History, and the Covenant/covenants stands upon the Old and New Testament Texts. And certainly modern so-called Dispensationalism, is based here in a progressive, but always textual manner!////
    In other words you don’t have a clear source that reveals Dispensational theology prior to its emergence in the 1800’s, and are trying to fudge around that with disclaimers like “Oh, theology has always been progressing, so I don’t have anything *specific* to show you….”. ;-)

    ////It does appear mate that you are just one of those kinda guys that argue’s always from the negative, rather than from the informative and historical information itself! ////
    (Sighs) again with the Ad hom!

    ////For you nothing I say has any value, you alone and your position is the only one…sad rather! ////
    More Ad Hom rather than just admit you don’t have the sources! Riddlebarger was right, Dispy’s tend to get into personal attack mode rather than admit they have a weak foundation for their views. Covenant theologian Amil’s like myself are commonly accused of being anti-Semitic and even holding to doctrines of demons! Yet all we can see is a beautiful unity in the Scriptures that has the whole OT pointing to Jesus, and the NT showing how the OT always was pointing to Jesus, and was always intended to be completely fulfilled in Jesus. All us Amil’s want is to see the church freed of various unhelpful and blinding supersitions removed from the secular (and sometimes nasty) nation-State of Israel. Our kingdom is “not of this world”, just like our Lord!

    Yet rather than offer demonstrable proof that some OT covenants are still in action, and how that affects the gospel, and how church fathers have always known this down through the ages, you get into the Ad Homs and take your bat and walk home!

    ////So let’s just be done with each other! ////
    If you don’t want to actually answer the questions and address the issues, then fine, we can call this quits. But let’s not kid ourselves about what happened here hey? ;-)

    • E,

      You have not answered my points, as to Rev. 1:19? So don’t think you have the so-called high ground here..you don’t! And you cannot get thru Romans chap’s 9 thru 11 cleanly either. No Amil can! See Rom. 11: 25-29, and also Rom. 15:8, etc. You forget I was Reformed and Amil once.. oh yeah! Those were proud days! But God has His way of humbling you, so watch out.. you might have to eat your words when you see the “Dispensational” truth! ;) But, I don’t think that is gonna happen anytime soon with you? Your too proud..I know I have been in that Reformed High Covenantal place myself.

  60. Eclipse Now says:

    ///You have not answered my points, as to Rev. 1:19? So don’t think you have the so-called high ground here..you don’t! And you cannot get thru Romans chap’s 9 thru 11 cleanly either. No Amil can! See Rom. 11: 25-29, and also Rom. 15:8, etc. You forget I was Reformed and Amil once.. oh yeah! Those were proud days! But God has His way of humbling you, so watch out.. you might have to eat your words when you see the “Dispensational” truth! ;) But, I don’t think that is gonna happen anytime soon with you? Your too proud..I know I have been in that Reformed High Covenantal place myself.////
    You think just calling someone proud gets you off the hook of having to provide convincing verses and arguments and a verifiable history of Dispensational thought prior to all the cults starting up in the 1800′s. Sorry, but that game doesn’t work with me because I *have* the capacity to change my mind on big theological issues when presented with *enough information to do so*. So far that is lacking.

    Your arguments on Rev 1:19 are just so weak! I already addressed that and asked YOU a question which you have declined to answer. John says all those things were happening ‘soon’, and then as part of that mentions some will be ‘later’. IE: Most things would happen soon, but some things later. That hardly justifies a reading of 2000 years later!

    It’s a gospel presentation particularly applied to the suffering church of 2000 years ago. The only bit of the good news I can see that has *not* happened yet is the return of Christ. That’s it! Your reference to 1:19 is looking really weak in that light. It’s an argument from silence.

    And I’m aware of all the tired old arguments from Romans 11. Romans 15:8 doesn’t even warrant a mention! It’s just another reference to the wonderful unity we have as the ONE kingdom of God. Or are you saying the Jews can be saved OTHER than faith in Christ? Go back a few posts and check my answer to your Corinthians confusion, where I also quoted Ephesians. You’ll find yourself out in the cold if you’re trying to argue that Jesus is a ‘servant of the Jews’ in ANY other sense than that of the gospel call offered to EVERYONE, whether Jew or Gentile, to trust in Jesus and become a child of God through his substitutionary atonement. There simply is not other way to be saved!

    As I said to the other guy using the Ad Hom ‘proud’ attack, I’m just after good information and data. You have yet to provide it. The more I prod regarding the lack of Dispensational teaching prior to the 1800′s, the more you lash out with Ad Homs. How interesting. How very revealing. How sad. Unless you can provide better arguments I’m done here.

  61. For those that might care, let me recommend the book: Things To Come, by Dwight Pentecost. Now an old classic!
    “For precept, must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” (Isa. 28:10)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s