Just had a theological/hermeneutical ton of bricks land on my head. As it were.
I've noted before that dispensationalism has been guiding some of the criticism of The Harbinger, but I managed to forget that and focus on the separate arguments. While taking note of its influence to some extent I was hoping to avoid getting into such a thicket of theological controversies.
Now it's hitting me that it is this system of theology, or system of hermeneutics, that is THE basis of the attack on The Harbinger. This came as a depressing realization as I've been grappling with David James' book. Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to get into it to some extent, and even a small extent is already far beyond where I wanted to go with such questions.
Why is it there is such a divide among conservative Christians on The Harbinger? James asks that question and I found myself coming to the conclusion that it's somehow because the critics all share a theology, a theology that I don't share and that apparently the average reader doesn't share either. But I wasn't yet understanding just WHAT theology that is.
James, who is very saddened by the disagreements on this book among conservative Christians, also attributes it to theological differences, in his last chapter, but he doesn't name the theologies in question.
It took a while for it to sink in. Ah yes. Dallas Theological Seminary. Ah yes, look at who the critics are. James, DeYoung, Howse, McMahon, Thomas Ice, Roy Zuck.
Dispensationalists. Of course. Why did "Replacement Theology" ever come up at all, and why is it still an issue in some form or other? All that stuff I keep wanting to call stupid and so on, that keeps missing the point of The Harbinger, is dispensationalism.
THAT's the cause of the huge divide. Even though many of the book's defenders are also dispensationalists to one degree or another.
And I'm going to have to deal with all this, like it or not. I've collected some links. My work is cut out for me.
When Words Become Stumbling Blocks
1 month ago