Jonathan Edwards on prophecy

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by openairboy, Jan 5, 2005.

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  1. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Talk about a brain fade. I know what that is. I just didn't put two an two together in the context of what we were talking about. That won't be the last time I get lost like that.

    Robin ,
    I would like to be told more about what you are saying. My question would be how much of his career did he spend on this? Was it a major theme in your evaluation or just a side item that came along side and shaped theological studies?

    [Edited on 1-7-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  2. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    You're on to something, Kyle.

    One thing we miss - Jesus chastises the Apostles for sinning - by being more focused on "what is in it for them" when they ask Him about restoring the Kingdom. There's more to this of course....

    There is a reason we are here at this point in Redemptive History -- with a closed Canon in hand. We have an OT/NT for a reason -- a progressive revelation of what God has done and is doing in history. We are bidden to deliver a Message - to preserve it, diligently - to watch but not be idle.

    The book of Revelation - is a revelation of Christ -- but it is NOT merely a futurist view - Revelation looks back upon the entire Bible. There are at least 400 OT verses quoted in it.

    It is full of references to Jewish idioms and the current Israelite nation and has been clinically removed from much of its original context. I don´t doubt that there are references to Jerusalem and the Israelite nation within the text but it´s only as we understand the reference in the context of the life and times of the first century in Asia Minor that we can possibly interpret it correctly (and that, of course, only through the revelation and illumination of the Holy Spirit!).

    I think it certain, then, that the key to our understanding of what the seven letters meant to the individual churches must be settled by recourse to the events that were taking place within the respective fellowships and cities that they were addressed to. And, simply because we cannot possibly know the intricate details, neither can we speak with any great certainty on numerous passages unless historical pointers can be found from that time.

    While this is impossible to determine in a great many places - there are some pointers from the archaeological and historical sources that seem to bear directly on the Book´s interpretation, especially when the seven personal letters to the churches are considered. But, as the reader makes his way through the text, the lack of a solid basis for interpretation may be opposed but the variety of interpretations which are offered by commentators shows that, if such a thing really did exist, it seems to have been totally ignored.

    The bottom line is this - if we want to know what the Book of Revelation means, we have to be prepared to know what it meant to the people to whom it was written. The prophet Daniel was told (Dan 8:26) that he was to

    "˜...seal up the vision, for it pertains to many days hence´

    but John, differently, was commanded (Rev 22:10 - I will speak briefly about the expected imminency of the fulfilment of the prophecy when I deal with chapter 1).

    "˜Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near´

    In other words, though the meaning of the prophetic visions that were given to Daniel were expected to remain concealed, those given to John were expected to be understood. It´s not right that we should find trouble in our understanding of Revelation and so consign the meaning to something which was to remain hidden until the days in which we now live.

    Rather, it was to be understandable to the people to whom it was sent and, to be honest, our various interpretations of the text in the present day are almost certain pointers to the probability that it remains closed to us.

    However, in the last century, scholars like G. Vos; Mendenhall; M. Kline, GK Beale picked-up on the eschatalogical nature in all of Scripture (Gen.-Rev.) - the KEY being: view eschatology and the entire Bible from a Covenantal stance. Forgetting the meanings of the Covenants will always put a wrong spin on understanding prophecy. EX. The Dispensational interpretation of Daniel 9 mistakes Jesus for the Antichrist! Fortunately, some of these scholar's students are now taking time to communicate to the field. Kim Riddlebarger is one, for example.

    Again, the KEY is connecting eschatology with the Covenants - progressively - keeping the order of Genesis - Revelation - considering Covenantal History.

  3. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    I just noticed your question, Randy. I'll get to it tomorrow. I want to check for the other Puritans involved as well. For now, I can say it was never a "side" issue for any of them. One reason they became "Puritans" was part of their reaction to the Church's position at the time. Eschatology drives theology - just like a world view drives behavior - self-conscious or no - it IS there. The same for us.

    To someone saying "I don't have an eschatological stance" I say they DO -- whether they recognize it or not. And it does affect their theological place. As for the Puritans, not everyone wrote about it. Some were much more bugged than others.

    Again - eschatology drives theology - they are connected and all part of person's world view.

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