Here are some of my latest comments relating to some of the articles and video projects found at The Forerunner. Check back for my thoughts on eschatology, world missions, God’s Law and Society, pro-life activism, evangelism testimonies, Neo-Puritanism, revival and spiritual awakening, church history, and so on. Use the navigation sidebar to see Forerunner Blog articles by category or see the blog archive for the category listing.
The date of Christmas was not determined by Church Fathers by copying the date of a pagan Roman winter solstice festival. Instead, the date was calculated from the Jewish calendar using the date of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, September 22nd, 6 BC, when Gabriel appeared to Zecharias in the Temple according to Luke 1:5. The conception of John occurred “immediately after that” when Zecharias returned home to Elizabeth to the hill country of Judea, by calculation on September 24th, 6 BC.
The conception of Jesus was calculated to have occurred when Elizabeth was “in her sixth month” (Luke 1:26,36) on March 25th, 5 BC, which was also the first day of Passover in that year. John’s birth was June 24th, 5 BC, followed by Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem on December 25th, which was also the first day of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, in that year. The Church Father, Hippolytus of Rome, in his work Chronicon, saw that each date had allegorical significance.
So why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?Read more
History as Truth
If it is possible in a courtroom to judge a defendant guilty or innocent, or in a laboratory to discover the relationship between physical properties and phenomena, it must be possible to know the truth about history.
The word “history,” according to Webster, is related to the Greek historia, “a learning by inquiry.” The word “skeptic” also comes from the Greek skeptesthai, meaning to examine or consider. A true skeptic is a “considerer” who will not pass judgment before the evidence has been thoughtfully examined.
In a world of sunshine and rain and natural beauty beyond measure, who is so cynical as to refuse to examine available evidence of the work of a Creator God in the history of man? For the open minded scholar the possibility of God’s presence in history is not unthinkable.
Page Smith points out in his book, History and Historians, that the Jews discovered history. For them chronology was transcended by the relation of a people with their God. The meaning, purpose and direction of history was found in God’s will and their Messianic expectation.Read more
Update: Subscribe via Followit.com.
If you are subscribed to Forerunner.com via Feedburner, you might know that Google ended this service last summer. We are using the Feedburner replacement called Followit.com. There are additional features you can now use that didn’t exist on Feedburner. You can now define filters and more delivery channels. You can receive your news via Telegram, News Page and many others. If you have not subscribed to The Forerunner, the link is Followit.com.
If you have not seen the website recently, take a look at the updated design of Forerunner.com.Read more
One of the greatest interpretive challenges for modern preterists concerns the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11.
If Revelation 1-19 is primarily about the first century persecution of the Church and the Roman-Jewish War, then who were these two figures?
Were they historical individual figures?
Or are they symbolic?
The text itself doesn’t provide any obvious clues to lead us to the identities of two specific individuals. In fact, the description of the two witnesses only seems to confound the difficulty from preterist literalist perspective. We are given the following descriptions.
- They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth (v. 3).
- They are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks (v. 4).
- Fire comes out of their mouth and devours their enemies (v. 5).
- They have the power to cause drought, waters to turn to blood and all sorts of plagues (v. 6).
- The beast from the bottomless pit shall make war against them and kill them (v. 7).
- Their bodies will lie in the streets of the “Great City,” but after three-and-a-half days, they will be bodily resurrected and will ascend to heaven (vv. 8-12).
- Immediately afterward, there will be an earthquake. One-tenth of the city will fall and 7,000 people will be killed (v. 13).
America’s Pro-life Movement Strangely Silent
I was confused to hear a report in numerous media headlines about Mexico’s Supreme Court. An abortion law in a Mexican state that criminalized abortion was struck down. I heard that the “Mexican Roe v. Wade” would now lead the way to liberalize abortion in this nation of 128 million people. This came in the wake of the recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act that seeks to restrict abortion. I also heard in the same hour that a powerful earthquake shook southwest Mexico.
I expected to hear an outcry from the U.S. pro-life movement condemning this ruling, calling for a national Human Life Amendment in Mexico, and audaciously declaring that the earthquake was a sign of God’s judgment on a nation that has allowed the killing of preborn children.
But most pro-life groups were silent.
Simply, America’s pro-life movement has long agreed with the decriminalization of abortion.Read more