Author: carl sweatman

exegetical rapture followed by eisegetical tribulation

David Jeremiah recently published a brief article on the (completely supposed!) difference between the (so-called) “rapture” and the (slightly more appropriately dubbed) second coming of Christ. Two seconds into reading it, I could not stop myself from asking: How is this still being advocated? How can people, in good conscience, continue to promote the bunk conclusions of Classical/Modified Dispensationalism? More problematic: why are people still believing things like this to be true? (Proof can found if you choose to enter the hell that is the comments section of the article).

I ask because, and to borrow from D. Jeremiah’s opening claim: the belief that there is a difference between the two is one of the biggest misconceptions in (popular) theology. Sorry, but the only way this type of (Classical/Modified) Dispensational drivel can be sustained if one throws proper exegetical procedures out the window and then willingly shackles himself/herself to eisegetical special pleading. Thus, when D. Jeremiah boldly declares, “Paul is talking about…” or “the Bible says…” before spouting off some theological truth that’s nothing more than the love-child of Scofield and Larkin, I have no hesitation in saying: σκύβαλον.

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ummm…you’re welcome

(for the answer in question, go here).

But I guess my follow-up would be: what exactly was your “problem”? Polemics? Thomas Ice? Or something else?

books* read in 2017

In keeping with last year’s format, this year’s list includes those books, articles, and essays read for pleasure, academic, and/or church-related purposes–hence, “books” with an *. And in keeping with last year, I’ve simplified the categories to two: “Books” and “Articles, essays, etc.” Here’s this year’s list (in order of reading, according to category):

Books:

  • Bill Bryson, Notes from a Big Country (1998)
  • Alistair Donaldson, The Last Days of Dispensationalism (2011)
  • Graham Tomlin, The Provocative Church (2008)
  • Robert Ludlum, The Sigma Protocol (2001)
  • Stephen D. Morrison, 10 Reasons Why the Rapture Must Be Left Behind (2015)°
  • Robert Ludlum, The Gemini Contenders (1976)
  • John Grisham, The Street Lawyer (1998)
  • Gerald R. McDermott, World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction (2011)
  • Jim Putman, Real-Life Discipleship (2010)
  • Darrell Bock, Breaking the Da Vinci Code (2004)
  • Robert Ludlum, Apocalypse Watch (1995)
  • Lloyd Pietersen, ed., The Mark of the Spirit? (1998)
  • Brian Croft, Prepare Them to Shepherd (2014)°
  • Robert Ludlum, The Chancellor Manuscript (1977)
  • Robert Mankoff, ed., The New Yorker Book of Golf Cartoons (2002)
  • Chaim Potok, The Chosen (1967)
  • Stanley J. Grenz, The Millennial Maze (1992)
  • Vincent Cheung, Commentary on Ephesians (2014)
  • R.C. Sproul, What is the Church? (2013)°
  • Plato, Ion (1914)
  • P.G. Wodehouse, Lord Emsworth and Others (1937)
  • Galye Lynds, The Altman Code (2003)°
  • Plato, Charmides (1992)
  • C.S. Lewis, Made for Heaven (2005)
  • Alexander Rose, Washington’s Spies (2014)
  • Rob Suggs, Preacher from the Black Lagoon (1991)
  • Gary Larson, Wildlife Preserves: A Far Side Collection (1989)
  • Robert Ludlum, The Janson Directive (2002)
  • Ellis Brotzman, Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Guide (1994)
  • Jim West, 1-3 John and Jude: For the Person in the Pew (2007)
  • Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik, State of Siege (1999)
  • Zsolt Barta, Symphony of Scriptures (forthcoming)
  • George Guthrie, 2 Corinthians (2015)
  • John MacArthur, Jr., Answering the Key Questions about Elders (1984)°
  • John MacArthur, Jr., Answering the Key Questions about Deacons (1985)°
  • Carl S. Sweatman & Cliff Kvidahl, eds., Treasures New and Old: Essays in Honor of Donald A. Hagner (2017)
  • Michael Gorman, Becoming the Gospel (2015)
  • Caleb Kaltenbach, Messy Grace (2015)
  • Jim Estep, David Roadcup, & Gary Johnson, Answer His Call (2013)
  • Robert Ludlum, Trevayne (1973)°
  • N.T. Wright, Judas and the Gospel of Jesus (2006)
  • Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2004)
  • [[William Steuart McBirnie, In Search for the Twelve Apostles (1973)]]^
  • [[Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults (2003)]]^
  • [[Bill Bryson, Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors (2008)]]^
  • [[Samuel L. Bray & John F. Hobbins, Genesis 1-11: A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars, and Translators (2017)]]^

Articles, essays, etc:

  • William Lane Craig, “On the Argument for Timelessness from the Incompleteness of Temporal Life.” HeyJ 38 (1997): 165-71
  • Rich Cochrane, “Three Little Truth-Value Paradoxes.” Think 30.11 (2012): 39-43
  • Mark D. Chapman, “The Shortest Book in the Bible.” ExpT 118.11 (2007): 546-48
  • George Beasley-Murray, “The Second Coming in the Book of Revelation.” EvQ 23.1 (1951): 40-45
  • F.F. Bruce, “The Enigma of Paul: Why Did the Early Church’s Great Liberator Get a Reputation as an Authoritarian?” Bible Review 4 (1988): 32-33
  • Gordon Wenham, “Daniel: the Basic Issues.” Them 2.2 (1977): 49-52
  • William Ramsay, “St Paul’s Shipwreck.” ExpT 6.2 (1897): 154-57
  • Mark Sweetnam & Crawford Gribben, “J.N. Darby and the Irish Origins of Dispensationalism.” JETS 52.3 (2009): 569-77
  • Harry Uprichard, “Eschatology in 1 Thessalonians.” Journal of the Irish Christian Study Centre 2 (1984): 68-73
  • Vern Poythress, “Kinds of Biblical Theology.” WTJ 70 (2008): 129-42
  • William W. Combs, “The Preface to the King James Version and the King James-Only Position.” DBSJ 1 (1996): 253-67
  • Stephen Brian, “Deconstructing the Alpha Testimonies.” Theology 108.834 (2005): 193-202
  • L.D. Hurst, “Did Qumran Expect Two Messiahs?” BBR 9 (1999): 157-80
  • Bruce M. Metzger, “Paul’s Vision of the Church: A Study of the Ephesian Letter.” TT 6.1 (1949): 49-63
  • C.H. Dodd, “The Message of the Epistles: Ephesians.” ExpT 45.2 (1933): 60-66
  • G.K. Beale, “An Exegetical and Theological Consideration of the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart in Exodus 4-14 and Romans 9.” TJ 5 (1984): 129-54
  • Shirley J. Case, “The Premillennial Menace.” Biblical World 52.1 (1918): 16-23
  • D. Moody Smith, “Mark 15:46: The Shroud of Turin as a Problem of History and Faith.” Biblical Archaeologist 46.4 (1983): 251-54
  • F.F. Bruce, “Some Thoughts on the Beginning of the New Testament Canon.” BJRL 65.2 (1983): 37-60
  • Lewis A. Foster, “The Chronology of the New Testament.” Pages 593-607 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (vol. 1; ed. F.E. Gaebelein; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979)
  • David J.A. Clines, “Alleged Female Language About the Deity in the Hebrew Bible” (unpublished paper, no pages)
  • Larry W. Hurtado, “New Testament Christology: A Critique of Bousset’s Influence.” TS 40.2 (1979): 306-17
  • Eva Jean Wrather, “Alexander Campbell and His Relevance for Today.” Footnotes to Disciple History 1 (1959): 5-16
  • Alexander Campbell, “The Third Epistle of Peter” (1825)
  • George R. Lunn, “A Study on Mormonism [part 1].” BibSac 59.234 (1902): 341-65
  • Benjamin W. Robinson, “An Ephesian Imprisonment of Paul.” JBL 29.2 (1910): 181-89
  • Bobby Jamieson, “Why New Testament Polity is Prescriptive.” 9Marks Journal 10.4 (2013)
  • Johnny Wei-Bing Lin, “On the Use of Robert’s Rules of Order in Churches.” (2010)
  • William W. Combs, “Errors in the King James Version?” DBSJ 4 (1999): 151-64

___________________________________
° means: not that impressed.
means: those items where I willingly subjected myself to mental torture (i.e., the item was bad).
[[…]]^ means: I started reading it, but did not finish before the end of December. I’ll do so in 2018.

o, holy night(s)…again

One of my lovely wife’s favorite Christmas carols is “O, Holy Night.” Below are a selection of renditions. See which one you like best. Here are the contenders (in no particular order):

  1. Shane & Shane (with Phil Wickham)
  2. Crossroads Church (Cincinnati)
  3. Matt Nickle
  4. Harry Connick, Jr.
  5. Bing Crosby
  6. Martina McBride
  7. Tracy Chapman
  8. Third Day (feel free to clap along at the beginning)
  9. Nat King Cole

Any others that come to your mind are certainly welcome.

Deserved honor

This past Friday night (17-Nov-2017), at the annual IBR meeting in Boston, we had the (brief) opportunity to celebrate the work and contributions of an esteemed scholar in biblical studies and all around delightful guy: Donald A. Hagner. In keeping with such celebrations and feelings of gratitude, we presented Don with a Festschrift entitled, Treasures New and Old: Essays in Honor of Donald A. Hagner.

(apologies for the quality of the picture…the camera on my phone is pitiful)

This was an incredible project to work with and complete, and we are confident it will serve as fitting testimony to scholarly indebtedness to the efforts and insight of Don–both as a gentleman and a scholar. The list of names who honored Don in this book is a veritable who’s-who. They are (in order of appearance, sans the Foreword and Preface):

  • Lee Martin McDonald
  • Craig A. Evans
  • Samuel Byrskog
  • Peter Stuhlmacher
  • David Wenham
  • Craig L. Blomberg
  • Jeannine K. Brown
  • Richard A. Burridge
  • Roland Deines
  • Benjamin Schliesser
  • William R. Telford
  • Paul Barnett
  • Charles Lee Irons
  • Thomas R. Schreiner
  • Scott D. Mackie
  • Craig S. Keener
  • Reidar Hvalvik
  • James D.G. Dunn

It’s 400+ pages of goodness. While it can be purchased on Amazon, it will be available on the GlossaHouse website shortly.

feisty Kitchen

Kenneth Kitchen is always a fun read, and not simply because of his wealth of learning but also his unashamed feistiness. The former humbles me, and the latter speaks to me. For example: after dealing with (=dismantling) some of the core presuppositions of the New Literary Criticism, Kitchen says:

And so one could go on and on. But this tiny handful of examples of (anti)academic lunacy will suffice. If the English departments that started off all this nonsense can find nothing better to do than this drivel, then we would be much better off without them. And their resources would be freed up for people with something worthwhile to offer to their fellow humans. The only worthwhile thing one can really do with claptrap deconstruction is…to deconstruct it.

On the Reliability of the Old Testament (2003), 471-2

Such fiestiness pervades the book, especially the final chapter.