Carl Trueman on evangelicals and race theory…
Are we now Christian terrorists?
Russell Moore on the Roman Road from insurrection…
How bad is this moment in American history?
Three bio-ethical questions about the Covid19 vaccines…
Conspiracy theories and the “American Madness” that gripped the Capitol…
False right wing appeal to Pelagius…
Christian nationalism is worse than you think…
How Beth Moore is showing a new way forward…
Conspiracy theories, law, and salvation…
Don’t let the devil get your eye off the prize…
Charismatics at war with each other over failed Trump prophecies…
Orthodox priest battles vaccine skepticism…
On the article “Are We Now Christian Terrorists?”
Well-written and to the point. We need to call out White Christian Nationalism for what it is, and promptly disassociate ourselves from it. For some churches it may mean an entire spiritual re-education of the flock. If the violence can happen at the Capitol, it can happen in your church if some “patriot” decides that you are not politically pure, or if the color/ethnic balance of your church is changing. That is what is happening in mine. We have a thriving Spanish congregation, and many of other ethnicities joining our English congregation. I’ve heard comments occasionally-why aren’t they more like us (they ARE us if they are believers in Jesus). why don’t they speak English, aren’t they those people who___________(some unpleasant comment). Instead of mourning the mythical past, we need to focus on the wonderful future that God is creating in His church.And, I will say that the leadership of. my church does a good job of dealing with those who do not like “other.”
Lots of intriguing links…. Looking forward to them. But tomorrow – it’s been s looong day
per Duin’s recent work see also:
Always love the Bible Project video!
Our church staff spent last fall going through the Bible Project’s video course on the Hebrew Bible (The TaNaK).
Beth Moore–continues to show the men how to lead the church.
Aren’t most of the Christians in the world non- English speaking or ESL?
I attended service at my buddy’s AoG church and felt uncomfortable when they did the US pledge, and then did a pledge to the Christian flag.
My church removed their flag everlasting years ago. The context was what kind of message were we sending to our mostly immigrant neighbors? I thought it was a good move, personally.
We don’t have a flag in our church auditorium. Though some wished we did.
Some ten years ago (when I was serving at a church in Utah), I remember that a worship service had started and the worship team was leading the body in singing. An American flag that was usually on the stage had been set to the side of the room (I think for a wedding). Well, a “patriot” decided to march in front to the worship team, pick up the flag, march in front of the worship team again, and firmly plant the flag back on the stage. It was such a statement! “Yeah, your worship stuff is okay, but don’t mess with the flag.”
Re: false prophecies about Trump winning a 2nd term:
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
I don’t know how we can soften this and turn it to mean something other than what it declares. While we no longer have the legal authority to execute false prophets, uttering false prophecy should mark the death of their prophetic ministry. We should no longer listen to them, no longer be in awe of them or the words they speak, nor should we fear or respect them. They are done.
pstrmike, the 70 years turning into 70 weeks of years introduces a challenge for the Deuteronomic standard, even if we grant that Jeremiah predicting 70 years of exile meant that many wouldn’t have lived long enough to confirm or disconfirm that prophesied exile.
Which is not to say that prophecy to the effect that Trump would win a second term don’t look like false prophecy, just that I’ve been reading scholarship on prophecy, prophets and debates within Judaism during the monarch and post-exilic period on prophecy more generally.
If we stop and think about it in terms of prophecy in relationship to Israelite exile across the divided kingdom a lot of the “successful: canonical prophets were complete failures, if “success” is defined as averting catastrophic exile.
Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years can pose a challenge, but it is also dependent on when that time clock actually started. I don’t see the 70 years morphing into 70 weeks of years, although what you mention might bear some consideration.
I wouldn’t define success as averting catastrophe per se, but yes, some prophetic utterances could be viewed as a warning with the possibility to avoid the judgment. I think Deuteronomy is addressing prophecy on many levels, including those that were more personal that didn’t make it into the canon.
Russians believe the prophecy of 70 years applies to what they call the years of the Communist Yoke as well.
That is an interesting take on that prophecy. I wouldn’t consider it wrong, as I see prophecies as having near and far fulfillments.
I don’t see a comparison really between Jeremiah’s 70 years, and Duet 18: 20-22.
Trump prophesies would serm to be covered by Duet. The prophets all claim xyz will happen on by Jan 20th, or what have you. What’s the point?
Jeremiah writes 70 years are determined as a punishment. He leaves it in some scroll, likely unread, and years pass till Daniel reads it. It’s intended for Daniel’s iinstruction. To the one who has, more will be given. Daniel is given more. It will be read by person/s unknown at the end of yowm, or time.
Neither Jeremiah or Daniel are hitting the sawdust trail with a traveling salvation show.
I live in San Diego where the Heaven’s Gate Cult mass suicides occurred two decades ago. Nearly a hundred people put plastic bags over their heads, took a drug, and died in their beds wearing Nike tennis shoesI remember reading that it was the internet that brought together a certain unique type of person, and that together, they just reinforced each others’delusions and made it made the vulnerable individuals even more divorced from reality. Reading about the diverse group of people from all walks of life who flew to Washington to assault the Capital reminded me of that observation about the Heavens Gate Cult. ‘ Iron sharpens iron’ is a favorite Bible reference. It seems the opposite is true as well – paranoid delusionals meeting together further blunt each others’ reality .
The point is that for anyone who bothers to study the prophetic books vs the deuteronomistic history there’s decades of traditions of scholars pointing out how many prophecies weren’t fulfilled. It also gets into differences between Jewish and Christian interpretations about prophetic fulfillment or lack thereof in the canonical prophets.
And because prophetic speech was simultaneously political speech in the ancient near east it’s germane to the delicate questions surrounding eschatological/apocalyptic fulfillment of prophecies in Christ compared to the disaster of exile after the fall of Jerusalem.
Since partisans on both sides are writing as though the fall of Jerusalem level disaster may befall us if the wrong form of civic religion wins that doesn’t seem irrelevant to the current situation.
The other point was that after 70 years the odds of people in the ancient near east even living long enough to confirm or disconfirm the accuracy of Jeremiah’s prophecy was not a given. The default outworking of Deuteronomy is “wait and see”. We don’t have to wait and see in this case but the presumption that ancient Israelites took that approach is not a given. By the era of the Samartian Pentateuch prophecy was viewed in a pretty negative light. There’s also some interesting scholarship on Ecclesiastes pointing out that Qoholet seemed to have a dim view of “the raving of fools” (i.e. possibly prophets).
There’s also the matter that I think Duane and Michael might appreciate more than some others here at PhPr, which is that some scholars are fine with proposing that Jeremiah didn’t write everything in the book with his name on it and that some of his prophecies didn’t come to pass. In liberal biblical scholarship it’s taken for granted that there are no prophecies in Daniel and that one of the crises in Daniel was why the exile wasn’t over if the 70 years had elapsed. I.e. the book “can” be taken as confirming that Jeremiah’s prophecy hadn’t happened and the Daniel oracles explain further why there was a new timeline.
In Jeremiah’s lifetime he was regarded as a fool, a liar and a traitor for pronouncing doom upon God’s people. I’m not defending a bunch of heretics who are false prophets with regard to Trump, I’m pointing out that just proof-texting Deuteronomy without any demonstrably serious engagement with the legion of challenges in interpreting prophetic books as distinct from prophetic practice can be a bit too easy at times like this. The early Christians recognized that the ways in which Jesus was seen as fulfilling prophecy couldn’t possibly have been how the first recipients of those prophetic oracles would have read or heard them.
To the point, I finished Robert P Carroll’s old 1970s monograph When Prophecy Failed recently. I’ve also been working through SBL monographs on prophecy and divination in ancient near eastern empires in terms of the political significance of divinatory practices in the Syrian, Greek, Jewish and Persian empires. Prophecy began to lose a lot of proverbial steam and prestige after the Jewish exile and the fall of Jerusalem, but it was also losing clout in other Mesopotamian empires.
Remembering how Frank Schaeffer gushed about how Obama was going to restore and redeem the United States I am not just skeptical about the false prophets of Trump these last ten years. They’re just the latest in a long line of people.
On the whole people should not wish to be or seek to be prophets, even if the idea of being one seems appealing to people. Anyone who reads what happened to the prophets can see they failed and failing was the express point in Isaiah’s prophetic commission, the people would hear and see but not understand. That the Spirit providentially gifts some people to have some kind of prophetic function and passion I can easily assent to but I’m leery of anyone who self-labels “prophet”. Folks who have read my blog over the last ten years probably don’t need reminders as to why. 🙂
Nice contribution to the discussion. You are provoking me to obtain Robert Alter’s Hebrew Bible and see what he makes of this issue…
WTH et al.
Isaac Newton wrote a sort of introduction titled..Compilers of the books of the Old Testament. Publish in 1733 as ..The Prophecies of Daniel and The Apocalypse. It appears to have been written prior to 1692.
I can barely remember his theory and timeframe, but recall accepting his position as very correct. He discribes essentially of the Old Testament as edited and compiled. The editors and their various locations in time, can be identified. The completion of a Jewish Scripture was contempary with completion of the second Temple. Obviously, this does not address additional works not included in our current Canon.
As far as C.E. Judaism questioning prophecy, I think that is a definite yes.
Thanks for comments, you always provoke me to think.
It been awhile now since I have spent a great deal of time in textual criticism of the Old Testament although most of what you wrote is familiar. All the Bible courses I took in one of my Masters’ program was taught from that vantage point. I accept a Mosaic authorship of Torah—even with what appears to be redactions in the text. My point in citing Deuteronomy 18 is this was the trajectory that YHWH established for His covenant people, a course, that we all know, was not followed well. In that regard, I see the text as standing on its own. Yes, there are inconsistencies that you [briefly] described, to which I do give some consideration to textual criticism. However, I feel some benchmark is in place to maintain some type of consistency in our faith, both individually and collectively. That being said, I have less conviction about the concept of systematic theology in general, and I have learned to live with my own contradictions.
As you brought out, there are historical issues at play that no doubt influenced different hermeneutical models. A popular, prevailing view does not insure accuracy. Considering the history of how Israel responded to the things that were written before (such as Torah) not only is an indicator of their contextual hermeneutic, but also the degree to which they took the canonical texts seriously. Or for that matter, were they even exposed or versed in them?
As to prophetic utterances in the prophetic canonical books that do not appear to have reached fulfillment, many of those oracles were vague and mysterious and some pertain to the time of the end, a common phrase in Daniel. Those prophecies are in my estimation, yet to see fulfillment (no, I’m not a dispensationalist) and I also see the concept of dual fulfillments as valid. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that canonical prophecies are very different than someone standing up and saying “the Lord told me Donald Trump will be reelected.” Among other things, that’s my high view of inspiration coming through. I’ve been in circles where people prophesy—or so they think—concerning future situations or circumstances in the lives of others, and the fallout when those things did not come to pass were at times, either destructive to the hearers, or they pretended it never happened and went merrily along their blind way.
Your citing of the early church’s understanding of Old Testament text and their realized fulfillment by Messiah is noted. I live with the concern that our interpretation and practice within evangelicalism is different that the Early Fathers (yes, I’m hearing you Xenia 😉 ), but that’s another discussion for another time. Thanks again.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that canonical prophecies are very different than someone standing up and saying “the Lord told me Donald Trump will be reelected.”
Well, God told me that Donald Trump will be leaving office in disgrace, in less than three days…