Thursday, November 01, 2007

Authority and Dispensationalism
[two topics that have absolutely nothing to do with one another]

Ted Slater has pointed me to a topic I really commend Boundless for addressing, namely, that of the authority of the local church. Michael Lawrence does an excellent job of pointing out that the church does have authority, but that this authority is connected back to the word of God. It is something we need today when people have this false dichotomy that it is either us and the Bible out in the woods somewhere, or the infallible authority of the Roman or Eastern church. We need to remember that, while the church does have authority, that authority is, indeed, fallible, and is correctable by the word of God.

Secondly, I have some very uncomfortable news to bring up. I know many of my friends are fans of John Hagee, the famous preacher from Texas. I am sad to report that he now believes that, when Jesus came, he did not claim to be the messiah. As far as I am concerned, that puts him well out of the pale of orthodoxy. Here is the video evidence:

What can you say. I mean, here is a man that is willing to stand on national television and tell people that Jesus never claimed to be the messiah. I can only hope that there will be other dispensationalists that will come out decrying this nonsense, and call this man to repent of such statements. I will try to review his arguments if I get the time, but I think this video says it all.


Ted Slater said...

Thanks, PuritanCalvinist. While we may have our differences of opinion, please understand that I do carefully your opinions. Michael Lawrence's article is a direct result of online conversations I've had with you and others. If we hadn't wrestled with the concept of authority, the article would not have been written. I look forward to continued fruitful conversation.

Paul said...

Unfortunately, John Hagee espouses what is know as the Dual Covenant theory, that Jews don't have to trust Christ for salvation:

Of course, that is essentially what Ann Coulter stated in her recent controversy -- that Christians believe Jews can go to heaven by following Judaism, but that Christianity is the "fast track."

It was good that she at least had the courage to say that everyone, including Jews, should become Christians. That's more than you'll get from Billy Graham.

NJArtist said...

Since I like Hagee and did notice this biblical error, the question for me is: how did this man who seems to read the bible so closely come to this error?

Did he make this error in order to ingratiate himself to the Jewish groups he came in contact with? It is one thing to bless Israel and pray for her; it is something else to make this error.

this puts a serious crimp in Hagee's authority as a minister.

Paul said...


I think there are two reasons that Hagee and some other prominent evangelicals have adopted this view:

1) They really do love the Jewish people and are sensitive to the historic anti-semitism that has existed in the Body of Christ.

2) Many large TV ministries make millions of dollars hosting tours of the Holy Land, and they work closely with the Israeli government and tourism officials.

I think they feel that this view -- that Jews can be saved apart from faith in Jesus -- absolves them of any responsibility to share the gospel with these people.

NJArtist said...

I don't see an e-mail address here; so, I am going to go off on a tangent.

In the current online Asian times, the columnist with the pseudonym Spengler stated that the pope is the only major religious leader who can confront Islam. According to him it is only [Roman] Catholics who can stand up for Christianity and Western Civilization. There is no attempt to acknowledge Protestant leaders who are engaged in the battle (Hagee is one).

There seems to be a deliberate move to deny the Protestant legitimacy and any standing in the battle against Islam. In fact, in many of the important blogs, there is a blanket dismissal of Protestantism: I feel as though I am back in the heyday of National Review when Buckley and crew dismissed Protestantism as a viable religious position.

Instead of concerning themselves with the problems of dating, the Protestant theologians, such as yourself and others, need to start entering the debate with sharp delineations of the reformed position against Islam.

PuritanCalvinist said...


I have. I was a member of the forum over at Catholic Answers, and dialogued with Roman Catholics all of the time. Roman Catholicism is one of the major areas I address. In fact, I remember that I dissected James Akin's abuse of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 on my blog.

The problem is that Roman Catholic apologetics is getting weaker and weaker because they ran into the same problems that the Roman Catholic Church did when they came out of the middle ages. I only need to mention the donation of Constantine and the Pseudo Isaudorian Decretals to state what I mean. There are many inconsistencies in the Biblical and historical arguments of Roman Catholics. Even Roman Catholic historians call their views nonsense.

So, yes, I do deal with that issue. However, I also think it is important to help young people in their romantic relationships, and that is another area for which I have a great passion.