Volume 23, Number 1 (Spring 2012)

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  • by Richard L. Mayhue

  • by F. David Farnell

    This is a two-part series. Part One covers the rise of three periods of activity known as “searching for the ‘historical Jesus.’” Its overarching purpose is a deliberate attempt to destroy the influence of the gospels and the church upon society. While this purpose is openly and honestly admitted by theological liberals, evangelicals who participate now in the “third” quest are far less candid as to its design. Part Two will cover this growing evangelical participation in searching. These searches started with the rise in dominance of the ideology of historical criticism over two hundred years ago and are a natural consequence of the innate historical skepticism replete in them. The first two searches ended as declared failures by those who engaged in them. Now some of the same scholars who have inspired the New Perspective on Paul have also been largely influential in stimulating the “third search for ‘the historical Jesus’” (e.g. Sanders, Wright, Dunn). When the evidence is examined, only one overall “search for the ‘historical’ Jesus” actually has existed. All three are unified by sharing, to some degree, the unifying characteristics of significant degrees of suspicion regarding the gospels, similar ideological approaches in utilizing historical criticism, a refusal to accept the biblical accounts as truly depicting Jesus as He actually was in history, and a marked preference for developing a view of Jesus that is acceptable to scholarship.

  • by Michael J. Vlach

    Non-dispensationalists often claim that Jesus’ identity as “true Israel” means there is no longer any future significance for Israel as a national entity. For them, if Christ is “true Israel,” this means that all who believe in Christ whether they are Jew or Gentile are now part of Israel by relation of their identification with Jesus, the true Israelite. Thus, national Israel’s place in the plan of God no longer exists. This approach, though, draws incorrect conclusions concerning how Jesus relates to Israel. Jesus is identified with Israel and He is the true and ultimate Israelite. But this identification serves as the basis for national Israel’s restoration, not Israel’s non-significance in God’s plans.

  • by Greg H. Harris

    Some Bible students believe that God’s promises concerning land to Abraham’s physical descendants have already been completely fulfilled. Those who hold to a ‘fulfillment of the land promises’ position often consider Josh 21:43–45 as proof that God already fulfilled the land promise of the Abrahamic Covenant to the Jewish people. Consequently, one should expect no future fulfillment for either the land or the nation of Israel because of this passage. However, a proper understanding of Josh 21:43–45 and the broader context of the Noahic and Abrahamic covenants shows that it is incorrect to claim that a statement concerning God’s faithfulness in Joshua means that God no longer is concerned with Israel and Israel’s relationship to the land of promise.

  • by Michael A. Grisanti

    The proliferation of artificial means for birth control offers significant challenges for Christians who need to think through this issue from a biblical perspective. As they consider what the Bible says about birth control, Christians need to understand the role it has played in the moral decline in society. This moral decline of society connected to the availability of contraceptives does not determine the morality of birth control, but it does challenge evangelicals to maintain a biblical view of marriage and sex within marriage. A “contraceptive mindset” must not dominate our thinking about how the Bible views marriage and children.

  • by Kevin DeYoung

    Rob Bell, in his book, Love Wins, asserts that God’s love means that ultimately all people will be reconciled to God in a saving way either in this life or the next. For him God does not punish eternally because God’s love wins in the end. But Bell’s use of Scripture, theology, and history, is faulty. Plus, Bell’s position demeans the cross and misrepresents God’s character. The consequences for his approach are devastating for those who need to properly understand both the love and wrath of God.

  • Book Reviews for 23.1   (133-160)

Volume 23, Number 2 (Fall 2012)

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  • by Richard L. Mayhue

  • by Richard L. Mayhue

    One result of America’s national, inceptive history (i.e., disdaining the role of Britain’s king),is that the scriptural “Kingdom of God” concept has at times been difficult to grasp and explain. An inductive study of this topic in the Bible leads to three macro-conclusions. First, the theme pervades God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. Second, the motif appears quite intricate, presenting at times perspectives which at first glance seem to be contradictory. Third, the “Kingdom of God” represents the core subject of Scripture. As a result, the grand idea of God’s kingdom in Scripture has become dominant in the church’s hymn history.

  • by William D. Barrick

    God’s kingdom program is a major theme of both the Old Testament and New Testament. Since the New Testament builds upon the literal meaning of the Old Testament message, a thorough study of both testaments is necessary to understand the kingdom. An inductive study of the kingdom, based on sound hermeneutical principles, will show that the Lord’s plan for His kingdom dominates history from the first creation to the new creation. The Old Testament predicts a coming earthly kingdom, a kingdom that will be fulfilled someday through Jesus Christ, the second Adam, and the One who fulfills the covenants of Scripture.

  • by F. David Farnell

    A proper understanding of the kingdom of God involves a correct understanding of both the Old and New Testaments. The Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation together affirm the OT expectation of a physical, future, premillennial fulfillment of the promised Messianic kingdom. This is in line with the fulfillment of the Abrahamic, Davidic and New covenants.

  • by Keith H. Essex

    There is wide agreement that the kingdom and salvation themes are linked throughout the NT. The Gospels display this link in their many statements concerning entrance into the kingdom. Matthew 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 18:8–9 (cf. Mark 9:43, 45, 47); 19:14 (cf. Mark 10:14–15; Luke 18:16–17); 19:16–30 (cf. Mark 10:17–31; Luke 18:18–30); 23:13; and John 3:5 state how one can enter the future kingdom. There must be repentance and faith in Jesus as Messiah and Savior with a resulting righteousness if one will experience the future kingdom. The NT Epistles reflect this same understanding as they speak of those who will inherit the kingdom. Finally, the book of Revelation demonstrates that genuine believers who are called overcomers will experience the blessings of the kingdom and the eternal state. Thus, the NT clearly demonstrates that it is the saved who will enter the mediatorial kingdom when it is established on the earth.

  • by Michael J. Vlach

    The kingdom of God has multiple facets to it. One important phase of God’s kingdom program is the millennium. The position argued here is that the millennial kingdom of Christ is earthly and future from our standpoint in history. The millennium is not being fulfilled today but will follow certain events such as worldwide tribulation, cosmic signs, the rescue of God’s people, and judgment of the nations. This view of the millennium is found in both testaments of the Bible. The Old Testament tells of an intermediate era that is different from both our present age and the coming eternal state. The New Testament then tells us how long this intermediate period will be—one thousand years.

  • by Nathan Busenitz

    History is heading toward a new heaven and new earth, which is often referred to as the eternal state. This is not a mystical realm but a real, tangible place where the people of God will dwell in the presence of the Triune God forever. Scholars debate whether the new earth is a renovation of the present planet or an entirely new entity. Whichever option chosen, the student of Scripture will be wise to remember that the eternal state has both continuities and discontinuities with our present planet. He should also draw upon the hope of knowing that the troubles of our world today will give way to the glorious world to come.

  • by Dennis M. Swanson

  • Book Reviews for 23.2   (283-320)