(Note: when I say “Preterism” in this post, I’m talking about what is called either Orthodox Preterism or Partial Preterism. Full preterism is heresy.)

For a long time I had multiple problems with Preterism. My eschatology started as dispensationalist (Left Behind view of the end-times) because of that book and because, quite frankly, everyone that I knew believed it. However, after becoming more and more familiar with the Bible I kept noticing inconsistencies with the dispensationalist view. I read magazines like Midnight Call to see what their answers were for many of these things. Though they offered a lot of good insight on certain things, I believe that many of their defenses for dispensationalism are just wrong. I found the most baseless theory in dispensationalism to be the theory that says the seven churches in the book of Revelation are 7 “church ages.” Where is any hint in the book (specifically the first few chapters) of Revelation of that being the case? Dispensationalists will always say that we are in the last age: the age of Laodicea (the lukewarm church). I agree that a lot of the church in America is lukewarm, but is that the case all over the world? Certainly not. Plus, what if the dispensationalist doctrine came 100 years before the 1830’s? More than likely people in the 1790’s would have said they were in the church age of Laodicea.

After seeing that and several other major problems, I dropped dispensationalism. I became an Amillenial futurist in my first or second year of college (can’t quite remember which). Basically, I was open minded to many views on the end times while holding that position. In a way, I still hold that position.

This summer I started reading N.T. Wright’s The Challenge of Jesus. His explanation on things like the Herodian temple, Jesus parables, Old Testament prophecies, etc. began to help me understand preterism and why it makes sense. Later in July I picked up Hank Hanegraaf’s The Apocalypse Code. I read it and a lot of my mistaken thoughts on preterism were corrected. For instance, I thought that preterists believed that Jesus second coming was in 70 A.D. with the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple when the reality is that they believe no such thing.

After reading through the various arguments in the book as well as other places on the internet, I cannot refute them. That does not mean that a refutation does not exist, but I have not found it. If I ever do, I’ll post them and my preterist friends and I can have a good debate here or elsewhere.

So, what’s the next step? Counter-research! I’ve heard a good many of the preterist arguments, now I want to hear the counter arguments from scholars who disagree. I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon…yet. However, I am thinking about it.

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I have to say, I’ve seen a lot of nonsense in my 23 years of life. This movie is just an addition to the list of it.

This “documentary” is nothing more than a list of baseless assertions with no citations of authoritative sources like scholars of ancient history (and yes, I have checked Zeitgeist’s list of sources that they provide on their website). What’s funny is that even the other two people who speak in the film while the screen is black aren’t even identified during the film! How ridiculous can a person get?

Nice try, but I think my professors in the history department at the secular school I attend would have a great laugh over this film.

Hey everyone. I’m T-Shirt Ninja and I’m in Thailand.

I want to apologize for not getting to the argument about Confucius and Jesus. I’m still working toward it when I have time. The problem is, I haven’t had that much time on my hands.

Anyway, I’m having an awesome time here doing ministry. Please pray for me and the folks I’m with.

In any sort of ministry position, one of the most interesting lessons is that nothing is too hard for God at all. A good friend of mine who is in ministry gave me and some others a lesson from Jeremiah 32. Specifically, the verse he focused on is Jeremiah 32:17. The historical context is that Babylon is casting a siege against Jerusalem and the king has shut Jeremiah up in prison (check the first couple of verses in the beginning of the chapter). I think in that instance the king of Jerusalem was pretty sure that the city was going to fall even though they kept holding off against the Babylonians. Still, he decides to put Jeremiah in prison for saying such things. The fact of the matter was that Jeremiah had been prophesying the downfall for a long time beforehand, yet the people refused to repent because of their unbelief. On a separate note, belief and repentance from sin go hand in hand. One cannot repent of something he does not believe is sinful or wrong.
Let’s go further into the text:

“6And Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

7‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, “Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it.”‘

8“Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of the LORD and said to me, ‘Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself ‘ Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

9“I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver.

10“I signed and sealed the deed, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales.

11“Then I took the deeds of purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions and the open copy;

12and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle’s son and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard.

13“And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying,

14‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time.”

15‘For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.””

Pardon me, but who buys land when it’s about to be conquered? Jeremiah was clearly a true prophet among all of the false prophets of his day. Notice that it is first said by God that Hanamel will come to sell him land (verses 6-7). It goes clearly in line with earlier scripture on how a true prophet is to be recognized from a false one. See Deuteronomy 13:1-3 as well as 18:22.

Let’s keep going….

“16“After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, then I prayed to the LORD, saying, 17‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

18who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God The LORD of hosts is His name;

19great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds;

20who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day.”

If you’re a person in ministry, you know how immensely frustrating things can get at times. The fact is that ministry is HARD and requires a good deal of work. However, this passage is quite comforting in those times and especially when a very big task is ahead. For those not in ministry, you also know that the Christian walk is no cake walk. Whatever side you’re on, I hope this passage can give the greater picture of what God is doing. It’s a very encouraging thought that if you are doing the Lord’s work, nothing is too hard for Him and that He will accomplish His will. How blessed it is to be a part of that.

I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard a song that had some really cool lyrics in it. I don’t hear a lot of really awesome lyrics very much on the radio, but this one was one of those rare types that really jump out when you listen in. It’s “When the Saints” by Sarah Groves. Check it out:

“Lord I have a heavy burden of all I’ve seen and know
It’s more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I cannot let it go

And when I’m weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it’s all that I can’t carry and cannot leave behind
it often overwhelms me
but when I think of all who’ve gone before and lived the faithful life
their courage compells me
And when I’m weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharohs court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the dying man’s side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door

I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
and when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them”

You can also listen to the song on her myspace page. There are several verses that I like in particular. I really like the ones about Moses, Calcutta nights, and the dude kicking down the brothel door. There are very few things that really anger me, but the act of prostituting women for money is one of them. I used to make deliveries late at night and would see it. I never laugh when people make jokes about that stuff. It’s not funny. Anyway, I think that Ms. Groves (or whoever wrote the song) did a great job lyrically. Kudos!

School’s tough. I’m hanging in there.

So classes are quite interesting–and hard–this semester. What I like is that I have “opinionated” classes. The Professor in my History of Eastern Thought class said on the first day that he expects us as students to have an opinion and not be afraid to express it. My immediate thought was, “Hey, I like this guy.” And so I do. He’s a good professor. My other class has me reading “Literary Theory” by Terry Eagleton. What’s opinionated about this is that it’s written by a man who is a Marxist. Even from the first chapter he immediately goes into the relationship between English literature and social classes. The teacher for this class said to read him with a grain of salt. For me, I think I have to read him with an entire salt shaker. He touches on some good things. However, at other points he takes rabbit trails to go on Marxist rants that only somewhat relate to what the topic is about. This is only the first chapter, I’ll have to see what he does for the rest later. What I do like about reading this is that I get to think more about what I’m reading since Eagleton’s world-view is almost polar opposite of mine. There are times when I’m reading the book where I think things like, “Dude, you’re wrong, just stick to the subject already,” “…and Marxism isn’t?” “Good grief, you need to lighten up,” “Ok, that makes sense.” Discernment is fun. All of us could use some exercise in it these days.

I have a FAT TON of books to read this semester. Most of these books are on Chinese philosophy. I always wanted to learn a good deal about it. However, I’m definitely getting a crash course. Here’s the books I have to read:

Mencius

Wandering on the Way

Analects of Confucius

Tao te Ching

Basic Writings of Mo Tzu, Hsun Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch; the Text of the Tun-Huang Manuscript

Yeah, good gravy. Thankfully there’s only 1 paper I have to write in this class.  This Ninja’s going to be quite busy this semester.

Hopefully I’ll try to get this blog started again with the new year. Here’s some thoughts:

So there’s this atheist propaganda movie called “Zeitgeist” (by the way, when will people EVER let Nietzche die?) that seems to be catching on more and more as it’s promoted. They’re having a “Z-Day” on March 15th where this film will be sent to different college campuses and etc. I’m hoping they come around to my own college so that I and some good friends can use it for a witness to the truth of the gospel. This is particularly important as more and more people (on the internet at least, I’m not too sure about real life) seem to be buying into this “Christ-myth” nonsense. It’d be a good time to challenge the folks who promote this thing. I plan on giving further comment about the movie later.

Football! Yeah! Congrats to the LSU Tigers for the BCS win. This year I was actually OK with Ohio State losing. I may not like LSU for the most part, but I’m ok with that particular SEC team winning the championship.

School starts back as well. I got some good classes on Chinese history as well as the language. It should be interesting this semester.  Spring is always a good time, in my opinion. If anything, there’s more light to go around.

Have fun, everyone.

Oy, this ninja has had to fight off so many multiple enemies that it’s not even funny! There are several different enemies in particular.

One is called Studying. Studying is a very open enemy. No element of surprise in this guy, he challenges and fights out in the open. However, he’s a very consistent fighter who just keeps coming back for more on a daily basis to fight me for long periods of time. It’s like I can’t whoop Studying hard enough for him to go crying home to his mama. If he does, his mama just gives him a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies and he’s after me the next day.

Another is called Test. This guy is an open challenger, but doesn’t fight me on a daily basis like Studying. However, Test likes to tag-team quite often with Studying to try and bring me down. He’s a bigger dude and requires more concentration, but generally puts up a very short fight before I 1.) beat him well, 2.) beat him, but take a few blows, or 3.) tie with him. T-Shirt Ninja so far has only been beaten a few times by Test, but only enough to count on one hand. Test would need to add about 14 extra arms to count how many times he’s been beaten by T-Shirt Ninja. =)

And then I have this other vicious enemy named Research Paper. He is especially mean and difficult; in fact, one of T-Shirt Ninjas top villains. This guy can open challenge or go guerrilla on me. He’s especially bad when he goes guerrilla. This dude is usually a heavy weight 300 pounds or more, not to mention he’s got plenty of stamina to fight me for weeks on end. He only comes a few times a year, but when he does, you can bet that he’ll try to be the new sheriff in town. When I fight with him, it literally takes several hours for me to get somewhat of a break-through. Whichever one of us becomes exhausted first is usually the loser. Thankfully, he’s a fat kid who, even though he has stepped on my toe several times, usually becomes exhausted first.

The worst, and I mean the worst, enemy ever is Procrastination. This is definitely the big boss of all the henchman. He is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. Procrastination is like Xavier in X-Men, except he’s a bad guy. He works mainly by mind influences. I’ll think, “I really need to go and tackle Studying like a football player right now,” and then Procrastination will try to influence me not to. He’s also excellent with technology. This means he can distract me with a device called “Computer” or another one called “TV.” It’s usually the Computer device that gets me the most. We’re still in an epic battle. I’ve taken a few knocks and hits by this guy, but somehow I always pass through University Land. Not much longer now before I have him whipped!

And that’s why, few and far between readers of this blog, I haven’t been posting much.