Friday, August 17, 2012

The error of expecting the application of an Old Testament message to modern times to be exact

I'm trying to get all this together in my mind, in order to have a definitive response to the critics myself, which is what I regard David James' book as attempting to do for his team. So along with reading his book I've been listening to the last part of the discussion on Brannon Howse's program for August 7th, with Howse and T A McMahon as well as David James, which deals with the same material the book does if not in as much detail.

Something I have to say right away is that if David James is going to complain about my trying to make him or his fellow critics look foolish, which he suggested in his comment to my previous post, it has to be acknowledged that they are not pulling any punches themselves in characterizing The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn or his defenders as foolish. It's true that David James himself seems to be more cautious in his use of terms but the message is nevertheless the same: the defenders of The Harbinger are falling for an extremely foolish illusion, treating mere coincidences as a word from God, and failing to apply what they characterize as basic principles of Bible interpretation, and so on and so forth. Brannon Howse on that program mentions an email he received from a "well-known" pastor in Chicago whom he quotes as saying he'd read half of The Harbinger and found it "silly and foolish."

With that kind of rhetoric coming from the critics they are hardly justified in demanding that Cahn's defenders refrain from similar language. In fact, there is no way to do so consistently. Even with the best of intentions, bending over backwards to avoid insulting language, it can't be done beyond a bare minimum because both sides of this controversy regard the other side as coming to absurd and foolish conclusions about the book. Certainly I don't think the critics themselves are foolish, but I do think their arguments are foolish, something I find hard to account for coming from knowledgeable Christian leaders, and I've had a struggle to comprehend this all along. Obviously they have the same opinion of their opponents' judgments.

In my last post I raise questions about what seems to me to be only one of their absurd criticisms of The Harbinger, this notion that Cahn interprets Isaiah as literally addressing America. I asked what might have led them to this conclusion since to me it IS absurd, and so far I have only my same guesses -- some way they read Cahn's word choices in some other sense than he meant them. That's the best I can do to understand it.

Another issue that is just as absurd to my mind is their insistence that the "harbingers" are not precise enough matches from Isaiah 9 to present-day America to claim that these harbingers are something only God could have brought about. Jonathan Cahn has himself answered this many times, pointing out that this is like expecting New York City to BE Jerusalem of the 8th century BC, or to expect that ancient Assyrians are going to come marching against the United States as God's judgment against us. You can't expect a message that was originally intended for ancient Israel to be precisely matched in the context of modern America, to which it does now nevertheless clearly apply. They keep harping on the idea that the match must be PRECISE. This is absurd in the extreme. What on earth leads them to this absurdity?

I'm sorry, David James and the rest of you, I can't see this any other way and I sincerely do not understand how you can allow yourselves to entertain even for a moment what I can only regard as extreme absurdities.

But this is just to give one more instance of the same. I'm still working on all this.