Dead Theologian Society

Jeff "Miztah" Rogers By Jeff "Miztah" Rogers, 23rd Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

I was a member for many years of the "Dead Theologian Society". This was a group of men who decided that we were not going to read any bible commentaries or theological treatises unless the author had already gone on to his heavenly reward.

Dead Theologian Society

I was a member for many years of the "Dead Theologian Society". This was a group of men who decided that we were not going to read any bible commentaries or theological treatises unless the author had already gone on to his heavenly reward.

The reason for this is that most theologians over the course of the years will change their position on certain theological areas. And it is best to wait until all the thoughts and ideas settle into a complete and final work. Please understand that I hold the theologians that I mention in this article in the highest esteem, I simply disagree with them on the point in this article. I hope they both go on to many many more active and fruitful years here for God's kingdom. I in no way want to see them pass from this life, just so I can read their writings. I read them anyway.

I have many commentaries on the bible on my book shelf. Many of my favorites are written by theologians named "John". John Bunyan, John Calvin, John Rogers (possibly related), John Lightfoot, John Winthrop, John Milton, John Knox, John Owen, John Brine (highly recommend), John Flavel, John Howe, John Gill (my personal favorite), John Stott, John Dagg, John Broadus, John Walvoord, John MacArthur, John Piper, and others.

Several of these "John's" have been to me, mentors coaches and guides as I seek to "study to show myself approved..." As you look the list of some of my favorite "Johns" there are only two who are still living. That is helpful to me for one reason:

--Dead theologians do not change their minds!

This unchanging reliability gives me a comfort level as I read the different "Johns" ,that I will find some consistency or at least a conclusive statement about what they believed and taught by the end of their life.

Sometimes these "Johns" deliver to me great insight and teaching to God's word. Other times I walk away scratching my head wondering how in the world did they come to that conclusion. In this article I give two head scratching examples.

John MacArthur and John Piper both teach that Israel will be saved en-masse in a future event involving Zechariah 12:10. From this passage they see the nation of Israel looking and seeing Jesus, and noting particularly that he was pierced. Then, it is said, that they will mourn, repent and be saved all at once, en-masse, as a nation.

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zech. 12:10

John MacArthur says:

"God will go back and redeem Israel. Zechariah tells us exactly how. He says, "They will look on Him whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as an only son." That is an indication that their salvation comes about directly as a relationship of their focus on Jesus Christ. At that point, they will be saved."

http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-Q-14.htm

John Piper says:

"Now how is this going to happen? I don't know the details, but it seems to me that Paul does mean that in connection with the second coming of Christ there will be a great turning of Israel to Christ. Just how it works, I don't know. But I find certain prophecies very suggestive. For example, Zechariah 12:10, "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn."

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL...Will_Be_Saved/

Both of these respected and godly men believe that Zechariah 12:10 will be fulfilled in the future, and that Israel will be saved as a result of looking at the pierced messiah at his future return and mourning over what they had done in killing their messiah. This is based mainly on the passage in Revelation:

"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. " Rev. 1:7

It is interesting that they use the words of my all-time favorite Biblical commentator, John the Apostle, in the book of Revelation to establish their position, because that very same biblical commentator/Apostle, comments in his gospel on this very passage from Zechariah.

That biblical commentator John-the Apostle comments in the gospel of John in a completely different way. At the crucifixion of our Lord, John made the following assessment of that Old Testament passage.

"But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." John 19:33-37

Here the Apostle John declares the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 to have taken place at the cross, in the first century. How then are we to evaluate the position of John MacArthur and John Piper? Shall we take our favorite modern day "John" and place his teaching in a higher place than John the Apostle who was ordained by Christ, commissioned and sent by Christ, and who was writing under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, or do we follow men?

I have great respect for both MacArthur and John Piper, but I have come to realize that many of the commentators on my shelf...Check that, "ALL" of the commentators on my shelf are written by flawed men. I love to read my theological mentors named "John". And I love to read and see that many times I have come to the same conclusion as they have, but even better is to be taught by the Spirit of God himself. Relying on the Spirit's chosen authors, ambassadors and Apostles, as we dig deeply into the rich and infallible word of truth, the scripture itself.

Perhaps there is one consolation. Both MacArthur and Piper are still alive and can still change their mind. My hope is that they will be convinced by my favorite "John", the Apostle, and cease declaring things of the future that cannot be so.

***Thanks to my friend Tom Riggle for the inspiration to put this together and for the links to MacArthur's and Piper's comments.





Tags

John Bunyan, John Gill, John Knox, John Macarthur, John Piper, Theologian

Meet the author

author avatar Jeff "Miztah" Rogers
Lived in many places in the U.S.. Served in the Air Force for 21 years. retired from active duty in 2002. Traveled extensively, lived 8 years in Europe. I write about the bible, faith, and new ideas

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Comments

author avatar Tony Barnes
23rd Oct 2011 (#)

Gosh I remember John McArthur back in the late 80s when I first got saved. I hope he finds the courage to change.

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author avatar Tony Barnes
23rd Oct 2011 (#)

Gosh I remember John McArthur back in the late 80s when I first got saved. I hope he finds the courage to change.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
23rd Oct 2011 (#)

I am here to read and try to interpret the studies of theologians of your degree of knowledge. Thank you for including me.
Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar Rev. George Pryor
12th Feb 2012 (#)

Good insight and thinking young man. Did you ever consider that thi may be one of the prophecies that has a dual fulfillment, once in part in a minor way and finally in it's completion

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