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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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John Piper: Why Jews Don’t Have a Divine Right to the Land Anymore

Pastor Piper

Pastor Piper

Ten years ago, John Piper held a sermon on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East. It was a hot topic then and may be an even more hot topic now, and I really recommend you to read it. It may not be any convincing for Jews themselves, since they don’t believe in the New Testament, but Piper gives a good case why Christians should not think that Israel has to occupy Gaza and the West Bank in order for Jesus to come back, but instead support a solution that secures the safety and peace of both Israelis and Palestinians, no matter how the borders look like. Below, I qoute point 3-5 from Piper’s seven-point sermon:

3. The promises made to Abraham, including the promise of the Land, will be inherited as an everlasting gift only by true, spiritual Israel, not disobedient, unbelieving Israel.

This was the point of Romans 9. When Paul grieved over the lostness of so many Jews who were rejecting Jesus and were perishing, he said in verses 6-7, “It is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring.” In other words, the promises cannot be demanded by anyone just because he is Jewish. Jewish ethnicity has a place in God’s plan, but it is not enough to secure anything. It does not in itself qualify a person to be an heir of the promise to Abraham and his offspring. Romans 9:8  says it clearly: “It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” Being born Jewish does not make one an heir of the promise—neither the promise of the Land nor any other promise.

This was plain in the Old Testament, and it was plain the teachings of Jesus (which we will see under truth #4). For example, in the terrible list of curses that God promised to bring on the people if they broke his covenant and forsook him was this: “ And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it” (Deuteronomy 28:63 ). Throughout the history of Israel, covenant breaking and disobedience and idolatry disqualified Israel from the present divine right to the Land. (See also Daniel 9:4-7 ; Psalm 78:54-61 .)

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Clever Christian Comics

I really appreciate a lot of Adam Ford’s comics. Myself being an (nowadays somewhat inactive) comic drawer, I love the medium and I think Adam’s message is Gospel-centered, radical and thought-provoking. I don’t agree with everything, he is clearly Calvinist, but I love his zeal for truth and taking Jesus seriously. Now here are some comics!

...let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. -CS Lewis (more…)

Why John Piper is Wrong about Prophetic Dreams

John Piper (theologian)

John Piper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote the other day about how thousands of Muslims become Christians because they claim to have seen Jesus in a dream. As I was googling “Muslims Jesus dream” to find testimonies about this to link to, I also came across criticism of this phenomena by reformed pastor John Piper. Piper says that he is “very suspicious” to these claims because the Biblical model of evangelism is not hearing the Gospel through dreams but through a preacher:

“Jesus coming to them in their head, preaching the Gospel to them that they have never heard of before, and believing and being saved… that I am suspicious of… big time,”

“The Gospel needs to be heard. How shall they believe unless they hear and how shall they hear without a preacher and how shall they preach unless they be sent. That’s a pretty significant argument in Romans 10… It says, how shall they preach unless they be sent? It doesn’t say, oh they can preach in a dream when they are not even there.”

I think there are several problems with this argument. First of all, dreams and visions are a very common way for God to communicate to people in the Bible. As Jack Deere write in his awesome book Surprised by the Voice of God:

According to the Bible, dreams and visions are the normal language of the Holy Spirit when God speaks to hos prophets. Numbers 12:6 says, “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.” Joel promised that one day drams and visions would be common among the people of God, saying, “And afterward, I will pour our my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29). The apostle Peter claimed that the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost began the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16ff.).

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