Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Galatians and the Abrahamic Covenant

I noted the first part in this series back before Christmas.

Paul Henebury has some good insights on Paul's teaching in Galatians three on the idea of "seed" and the Abrahamic covenant. He has written three more articles on the subject plus an addendum interacting with objections. They supplement my posts I am currently compiling that detail the premillennial understanding of the land promises.

Galatians 3, the Land, and the Abrahamic Covenant: What was Paul Thinking?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Paul summarizes his main point in the fourth post by writing,

In disagreeing with Gunn I am not saying that he is not justified in attending to the places in Genesis where the apostle appears to be getting his language about “and to your seed” from: that is, from Genesis 12 through 22. The problem comes in when he extrapolates from the false notion that Paul is quoting from only two places in the Septuagint and claims the land promise of these “seed” passages must be transferred to the Church and turned magically into promises of heaven. When Christians insist that this must be done they are going beyond the teaching of the NT, not to say the apostle Paul elsewhere (e.g. Romans 11). They are also claiming the OT cannot be properly understood without the New – a claim which sounds pious enough, until it is analyzed in light of its logical outcome...

My response (which, remember, was just a part response) is that in order for the Abrahamic covenant to be tied to the Church (especially its Gentile contingent), that covenant must be connected to the New covenant in Christ. If that is true then Paul is thinking along these lines when he cites the four words “and to your seed” from Genesis. He most probably does not have an exact reference in mind, as he did with his earlier quotation of Genesis 15:6, but rather has in view the repeated use of the phrase through the Abrahamic narrative (if I had to make a guess which passage Paul may have been citing I would go for Gen. 22:18).

I have to admit I appreciate the comment about transferring the "seed" passages onto the NT Church and "magically" turning them into promises just about heaven.



Blogger Dave said...

It seems that these folks can not operate from a plain reading of the text; yet must use tons of expository on the issues. The Scriptures plainly state 'forever'. Just how confusing is that? Also, it is plainly stated that the Body of Christ should not look at the things of this world, but to Heaven; therefore, the land[being of this world] should not even be part of the discussion. Are they stating that they will trade their mansion for a part of Canaan? Father just might allow this action using Esau as a basis; ie, a pot of peas for an inheritance: so, I would caution them to be carefull of their statements in that regard.

9:19 AM, December 10, 2011  
Blogger Far Talk said...

Dear Brother Fred,

You know, the problem with a hard core Dispensationalist the likesa you, dear brother, might could be that y'all spiritualize texts, rather than makin a litral interpretation as Calvinist Pastor John almost always does.

For example, take Ezekiel 37, which talks about dem bones, dem dry bones. Didn't it occur to you, brother, that the whole house of Israel is dead?

Did God lie to Ezekiel?

God said the whole nation of Israel would be slain, flesh off, sinew gone, past rotten, the buzzards done flew off. Literally, the whole house is all dead. Dem bones, dey ain't alivin (Eze 37:3)! How can you spiritualize that into, like, well they're just apostate, or the bones are just a poetic metaphor for bein scattered.

You gotta be consistent, brother. The Bible says that in some time after Ezekiel heard the word of the Lord, the whole house of Israel is flat out dead.

But that ain't all.

"Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (vv. 9 & 10).

Unless you spiritualize that away, you have yerself a real liiiive resurrection!

When did that happen? I ain't seen nothin like that on no newsreels from 1948 nohow.

Now them four winds, they do sound a bit familiar-like.

Well, come to think of it, they do sound just like Rev 7, where 12,000 of each tribe of Israel get theirselves sealed.

But you say somethin like the resurrection of the whole of Israel already happened. So unless you are a crypto-Armstrongite stayin awake late at night dreamin how your cup-bearin, butlerin, Arkansaw-bound, Anglo-Saxon ancestor was secretly one of the lost ten tribes, I ain't expectin you to claim you saw anybody from Ephraim.

The Bible says dem dry bones of the whooole house, even the northern unJewish one, stay dry until the resurrection. And what comes right after Eze 37? Why, Chapter 38! That's all about Gog and Magog. And we know we ain't gonna see them folks till the dragon, that old serpent, is let outa jail.

Now what did you call that? Don't y'all with them fancy degrees from out California way call that there a "telescope?" Well, I might could believe that ole brother Ezekiel kin spy from the first resurrection, from the beginning to the end of the Millennium, but if you say he is really spyin through his telescope from 1948 straight through to Gog and Magog at the enda time, how come he missed our dear Lord's return in glooory?!!!

There ain't somethin right about that. Ain't somethin right. Gloory!

Just sayin.

I guess y'all'll just spiritualize it all away.

Now time for me to pull some more pork. Gotta put it in the crockpot really low and really slow. I kin almost smell it now. Got me a bottle of Maurices, too.

Bye, now.

1:25 AM, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Highland Host said...

Fred, this is the problem, that writers on both sides of the divide have become cheerleaders, and have discovered that readers all too often appreciate a nice turn of phrase to denigrate the other side rather than substantial argument. So long as this debate is clothed in hostile rhetoric, it will be little more than a shouting-match. And I do not engage in shouting-matches.

This may explain why so many preachers today shy away from eschatology.

3:08 AM, January 27, 2012  
Blogger Highland Host said...

The most common hermeneutic if we're honest is this: we see metaphor where we want to.

Unless you're a Lutheran, you see it at the Last Supper, but the Lutheran says: "Plain sense makes sense to me, you heretic! Don't you go spiritualizing that away!"

And yet you do! "It's obviously metaphor" is a much more subjective decision than perhaps we like to think.

3:11 AM, January 27, 2012  

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