Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Mon Oct 20 2008 - 23:21:23 EDT

Naturally, Ed, I think we're all aware that there are various viewpoints on
this question, and each of us decide which explanation makes the most sense
in light of the evidence, and guided by faith. I think your combination
example is a bit silly - Catholics believe that faith alone can't save man.
Many Protestants believe that works alone can't save man. So, combine the
Protestant and Catholic views to yield.. what? 'Nothing can save man'?
'Faith and works are required to save man'?

Further, I don't think even the most ardent skeptic or believer argues that
they can 'prove' their interpretation, at least in the way your sentence
would imply. Historical questions always engender themselves to a certain
amount of uncertainty, and therefore a certain amount of freedom for other
viewpoints. Far from it meaning that there's something to be said for
agnosticism, it means that there's something to be said for faith and
reflection - one can both hold to a particular belief or understanding while
being aware of the possibility of being mistaken. I think, on a
science-themed list such as this, such an awareness is common.

Lastly, whatever disagreements there may be with regards to Preterism,
Partial-Preterism, etc, I think the general agreement with regards to
christians across the spectrum is considerable. With this topic and on this
list in particular, there's certainly apparent agreement that the Second
Coming was a 'live' possibility at any time, and that all Christians,
regardless of time or location, were expected to take that uncertainty
seriously and strive to live as if it could happen at any moment. Similar
agreement can be seen on the question of whether Christians in the past have
been mistaken about the timing (we don't even need to go a century back to
see that much). And, there seems to be close to agreement (sans the
Preterist interpretation, naturally) that of what we see in the NT, Christ's
teachings about the Second Coming were expressly noncommittal, warning
against people claiming to know the time while reinforcing the need to be
ever vigilant.

On Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 11:02 PM, Edward T. Babinski <>wrote:

> A word to all,
> I've studied Preterism and Dispensationalism. The Preterists agree with me
> that the predicted time was a generation. The Dispensationalists agree with
> me that the coming of the son of man would equal the final judgment with the
> angels gathering the righteous from the world, etc. Put those two points
> together and you get the modern apocalyptic view that the Bible contains
> errors.
> Neither do you have to be a "skeptic" like Ehrman to note such
> difficulties. Modern theologians including James D. G. Dunn along with the
> host of scholars he cites also recognize such difficulties.
> Lastly, among Preterists, the Partialists and the Full Preterists don't get
> along. There's also different schools of Dispensationalism. It's all pretty
> wild. What I learned after studying such matters is that no matter how much
> you believe the Bible is inerrant, proving it is another thing, and nobody
> so far has claimed that their interpretation is inerrant. And the mere fact
> that interpretations are necessary in order to either try to pull all the
> loose strings together or acknowledge their looseness (the latter of which
> is my view), should make one step back and acknowledge that perhaps people
> are putting too much faith in their interpretations, especially since all
> these difficulties inherent in each interpretation arise from a plain
> reading of the texts themselves and have never been solved, not by prayer
> nor theological cunning. So maybe there's something to be said for
> agnosticism after all.

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Received on Mon Oct 20 23:21:51 2008

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