Thank you for the response, and an official blog post at that. You appreciate the irenic tone? (Looks up in dictionary.) Of course, irenic, yes, yes. I like the term Historic PreMillennialist being a student of Nathaniel West, B.W. Newton, and S.P. Tregelles. But I really can’t see me being a dispenstionalist. If you only have two categories for the theology of the relationship between the church and Israel, then I guess you would put everyone into one of those two categories. But there are many more, or at least there should be.
One problem is that dispensationalists don’t want me. The best that I can hope for (as one person suggested) is that I’m a Progressive Dispensationalist with most of the emphasis on Progressive and almost no emphasis on the Dispensationalist part. I’m pointing out things I disagree with in Bock and Blaising’s book as we speak. Too centered on the nation of Israel and not enough centered on Genesis 3:15, I say. But who listens to me?
I have more of an IN-placement theology. Gentiles are inplaced within elect Israel. The disciples constituted the true Israel, the spiritual remnant through whom God had been working all along. Gentiles are allowed to participate in the New Covenant which was inaugurated in the presence of the believing remnant of Israelites. Gentile participation in the body of Israel’s Messiah forms the nation which isn’t really a nation designed to provoke national Israel to jealousy as prophesied in Deuteronomy 32. Israel’s destiny is to be restored, raised up, and regathered, to be the people that are willing in the day of His power, Psalm 110. Gentile nations will be judged, but to save them, not to destroy them. Currently, Gentiles are full participants in the commonwealth of Israel without losing their identity as Gentiles as per Romans 15:8-12.
But on to your response. I am not claiming that a reinstitution of the sacrificial system will bring forgiveness of sins. So I don’t understand how your first paragraph deals with seeing Ezekiel’s temple as being future. As for the shadow to substance, would you answer a question? Do you believe Jesus came to do away with the Old Covenant?
The mention of Hebrews 8:1-6 is interesting. I think what you are getting at is that it states that Jesus is currently interceding in the heavens and not on earth. If Jesus were to come to the earthly temple, He couldn’t be a priest in that earthly temple since that earthly temple is a shadow of the true temple in the heavens. He is currently mediating (priesting) in a more excellent priesthood. Is that the main idea you are getting at?
Psalm 110 is the text from whence we get this teaching that Jesus is the priest after the order of Melchizedek. Peter tells us in Acts 2:34-35 that Psalm 110:1 refers to the ascension until such time as the Father determines to make Messiah’s enemies His footstool. This means Messiah will return, pour out His wrath, and judge the nations – all while being both priest and king, as Psalm 110 teaches. So for the present, Messiah’s ministry is strictly heavenly. The temple that was erected in the days of the writer to the Hebrews was only a type of the heavenly temple. At some future point in time when Messiah comes to make His enemies a footstool, He will be completely qualified to enter any temple that the LORD may lead to be erected. Zechariah 6:12-13 I see as having the same application. Does that answer the question? Would you like to clarify any issue there?
I appreciate your honesty of being unmoved by my arguments. The reigning paradigm which you will unwaveringly point to, I see from a bit different perspective. I see Christ as a King after the order of David and a prophet after the order of Moses. David was rejected by His own people, lived in exile, wrote of death and rejection in the psalms. He then returned to his people to be crowned as King. The nations gathered against Him, but He triumphed over them. The nations learned to embrace David’s kingdom as being from God, even into the days of Solomon. David wrote of His enthronement in the psalms as well.
Moses was mighty in words, deeds, and wisdom. When he was forty, he visited his people, but was rejected by them because they didn’t understand that he was to be their saviour. "Who made you a ruler over us?" He fled into exile until the LORD sent him back with the sign of a flame of fire. He returned to his people and this time they believed. The LORD led His people out with signs and wonders like the world has never seen. The same prophet which they rejected, the same was their deliverer after the time of rejection.
Messiah came, but was rejected according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God that we Gentiles may come to the light of the God of Israel. Messiah will come again and fulfill the prophecies to Israel according to the pattern of David and Moses.
Thank you very much for the two posts. I didn’t expect to alter the course of your blogging with my response. Hopefully I will get a chance to respond to the other post as well.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman
One thing I would point out, in case the readers of my blog haven’t caught on to this yet, when it comes to New Testament fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, I always go back and study what the original context of those prophecies were. Psalm 110 is a great example. Those who are studying Hebrews which quotes Psalm 110:4, should familiarize themselves with the entire context of Psalm 110 before developing theories about what it means to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Because Psalm 110 has an entire series of events that will happen, you cannot take that one verse out of context and say that the entire extent of Messiah’s priesthood is heavenly. The Psalm is clear that this Messianic figure comes to earth to turn His enemies into His footstool. He strikes through kings in the day of His wrath. His priesthood which is contemporaneous with His kingly reign will be established here on earth.
P.S. Dr. Waldron never responded to these comments.