I recently read some of the blog posts on the topic of God’s holiness and wrath by neo-reformed blogger, Tim Challies. You can catch all 4 parts here – part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.
First off, let me begin by saying I have great respect for Tim Challies, and other neo-reformed folk. Not so much because I agree with their every theological approach. But because they typically engage and interact with great humility. All could learn a thing of two from these brothers and sisters.
Nevertheless, there is a problematic trend that I tend to see amongst those of the neo-reformed paradigm when they address topics like judgment, God’s holiness and the ever-growing popular topic of hell. I am very familiar with the particular approach because I would have argued very similarly in past days. Continue reading
We are currently working our way through a short summer series at Cornerstone called, ’55 for 5′. We are looking at Isaiah 55 over 5 Sundays. I have been pretty stirred about the series, as I love Isaiah and this particular chapter follows some direction of the Lord given to us a year ago from Isaiah 54:1-3.
Last week, I looked at vs1-3a. From it, I highlighted 3 points:
- Vs1 – the invitation – Come
- Vs2 – the question – Why?
- Vs3a – the call – Listen
I also spent quite some time considering the imagery of water, wine, milk and bread (also giving out each of the items to 4 celebrated winners in our church!).
On Sunday, I’m moving on to look at vs3b-5. Continue reading
Below is a video teaching of Edward Fudge at Lanier Theological Library in which he addresses the doctrine of hell. Fudge is author of the book, The Fire That Consumes, which presents a case around what is known as annihilationism. This particular view states that the ‘fire’ of judgment is not given for eternal torment but to do just what every fire was meant to do, that is consume (or annihilate) the wicked. It is in contradistinction to the more popular view amongst evangelicals known as eternal conscious torment that says all wicked will be tormented forever as part of God’s judgment. The fire-torment will never end.
I’ve not yet read this particular book, though I had to engage with the debate in seminary as my systematics professor, Robert Peterson, is one of the great modern defenders of eternal conscious torment. Fudge and Peterson debated things in the book, Two Views of Hell. And I am becoming more aware of the in’s and out’s of the two views: annihalitionism and eternal conscious torment. Not to mention the third view known as evangelical universalism or ultimate reconciliation, which is not a nothing-matters universalism, but that all will ultimately be reconciled to God because of the work of Jesus Christ. One of the more well-known works describing this third position is Gregory MacDonald’s (or Robin Parry’s), The Evangelical Universalist. The name, Gregory MacDonald, comes from two of the more well-known evangelical universalists in church history, Gregory of Nyssa and George MacDonald. Continue reading
I was recently made aware of this video teaching of Dr. Michael Williams, one of my former professors from Covenant Theological Seminary. The teaching (35 minutes in length) looks at 2 Peter 3:10-13 and the apocalyptic language given to describe the end of this present age. Peter’s words come to us like this:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
Most of the world, or western world, was made aware of Harold Camping’s end of the world prediction that was to take place on 21st May 2011. The day went and passed, and as usual, the end of the world did not take place.
Personally, I don’t like the phrase ‘the end of the world’. There is something in American pop theology that sees an importance in creating a kind of scary view on all things eschatological, or last things. I think some of that simply goes away when we realise important truth such as a) we have been in the ‘last days’ since the Christ-event some 2000 years ago, b) Christ has won the victory and so will his people, even if an intense future worldwide tribulation were to come, c) Christ is currently reigning over all heaven and earth, and now our task is to ask that this reality come in this world as it is in heaven, i.e., Matt 6:10. For me, this is a more biblical foundation for last things. Continue reading