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

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Oct 21 2008 - 21:29:10 EDT

This is really getting tiresome. I have no idea why you mention the
founding of the nation of Israel -- six decades ago, not fifty -- or the
year 2000. I grew up in a dispensational church and moved away from that
view because after some serious study I came to think it didn't reflect the
proper sense of the genre of scripture's apocalyptic literature and didn't
fit the notion of the Kingdom of God as a Biblical theme. It had nothing to
do with any sort of frustrated expectation about the rapture. And I don't
hold this position as certain -- I think it's a relatively peripheral
concern and I can see the merits of premillennial views.

I also don't know why you keep talking about inerrancy. I've arlready said
that I'm not arguing for inerrancy. I don't think proving an "error" in the
Bible disproves Christianity, nor do most inerrantists who are serious Bible
scholars. My own view on inerrancy is developing and in flux -- if I am an
inerrantist it is a theological judgment that is highly nuanced and is not
an apologetic claim.

No one seriously disputes that there are some difficulties in the Bible,
worthy of a lifetime of study and perhaps not resolveable. But I think
you're making hash of the text and its context with most of your arguments
here. For, "many antichrists have already come..." in 1 John 2 refers to
the gnostic teachers the author is addressing throughout that epistle -- why
is that a problem? And so on, and so on. If all you want to do is jumble a
bunch of disparate verses together and claim some kind of intellectual
superiority, the discussion isn't worth it. There's plenty of serious
scholarship that raises more meaningful questions.

On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:07 PM, Edward T. Babinski <>wrote:

> Hi Dave,
> I see you're pretty sure the Bible is "amillennialist" -- though perhaps
> you've grown more amillennial with the maturation of your own personal
> beliefs and with the passage of 50 decades since Israel was refounded and
> with the passage of 8-9 years since the year 2000. I suspect amillennialism
> will continue to catch on more and more as we approach the year 2100.
> Catholics learned long ago to go with amillenialism, though those darned
> Charismatics in the Catholic church (due to Pentecostal forms of worship
> catching on quickly round the world in all denominations) seem intent on
> bringing back the old millennial fears and sense of "any day now."
> Scholars continue to debate the evidence concerning falsified/falsifiable
> predictions of final comings, final judgments, and end times related
> teachings found in the Gospels, Paul's Epistles, other N.T. scriptures, not
> to mention in the teachings of John the Baptist.
> Google the following search string (since the site is apparently down at
> the moment):
> "Review of Biblical Literature" AND "Edward Adams" AND "stars will fall"
> You'll find there a new review of Adams' book that discusses such
> questions.
> You seem to think I'm trying to say all Christian beliefs and notions go
> back to apocalyptic. But all I said was that the Bible itself raises
> questions of its own veracity in this respect, and such problematic verses
> -- about which there are multiple hypotheses to try and either
> explain them away and maintain the Bible's inspriation or inerrancy or
> admit its non-inerrancy -- such problematic verses can be found throughout
> the N.T., in the Gospels, Pauline letters, non-Pauline letters, and
> Revelation.
> But such verses comprise the mere tip of the iceberg when it comes to N.T.
> questions.
> I've already mentioned the tall tales in Acts and in Paul's letters in
> which a couple are struck dead for lying about giving all they had to the
> church; and in Paul where he writes apparently with a straight face about
> his belief that "many of you are sick/ill, and some have fallen
> asleep/died," because of the inappropriate ways they were celebrating
> the Lord's supper. He says this was due to Christians being "judged" by
> God. If you find such tall tales and beliefs difficult to comprehend today,
> then please consider a false prediction such as "WE shall not all sleep"
> written to a first century church by a first century man, equally
> unbelievable and contray to common sense. Along with, "It is the last
> hour... because many antichrists have [already] come, by this we know it is
> the last hour." Such false statements making me wonder just what they did
> "know." This is an "inspired" book?
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David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Tue Oct 21 21:29:59 2008

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