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The Collapsing Universe in the Bible, Part 3

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September 7, 2011 Tags: Christ & New Creation

Today's entry was written by Brian Godawa. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

The Collapsing Universe in the Bible, Part 3

In the previous post in this series, Godawa discussed examples of biblical language that seemingly describes a collapsing universe. Most likely, descriptions of a “melting sun and moon” and the “sky turning red” are not literal but rather describe the destruction of earthly powers. Here in part three, Godawa explains that the “last days” referred to by New Testament writers refer to the time in which they were written rather than to an apocalyptic era in the future.

The Last Days

The term “last days” comes from several New Testament passages (Acts 2:17-21; 2Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2; James 5:3; 2Pet 3:3), but the one that encapsulates the issues addressed in this article is Acts 2:17-21:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

This passage seems to have it all: Day of the Lord, last days, wonders in heaven and earth. But let’s take a closer look. This is an Old Testament prophecy that the apostle Peter is quoting to a large crowd of Jews and devout believers from all over the known world gathered in Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost. He is preaching one of the first recorded salvation sermons on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the need for all men everywhere to repent and be baptized in light of God’s coming judgment.

The question arises: Is this “Day of the Lord,” or these “last days,” something yet to occur in the distant future, a part of the end of the space-time universe? Is it the beginning of a series of momentous geophysical catastrophes including astronomical phenomena like a blood red moon and an eclipsed or darkened sun? As indicated earlier, most New Testament imagery is rooted in Old Testament concepts, so let’s take a look at the Old Testament background at this concept of “the last days” in order to understand what the New Testament writers intended with their words.

First of all, in the Old Testament, the “Day of the Lord” never meant the end of history or the destruction of the physical heavens and earth. It was used in varying contexts to proclaim God’s judgment upon a specific city or nation. It was like saying “the day is coming when God will punish you.”

Obadiah prophesied the destruction of Edom as the day of the Lord (Obad 15), judgment on Judah and Jerusalem in the time of Zephaniah was called the day of the Lord (Zeph 1:7, 14), Amos called the Assyrian destruction of the northern tribes the day of the Lord (Amos 5:18-20), Isaiah called the fall of Babylon to the Medes the day of the Lord (Isa 13:6, 9). So when we read of “the Day of the Lord” in the New Testament, we must be careful not to expand it into an end of the universe scenario, but to understand it in context as coming earthly judgment upon a nation or people.1

The Old Testament precedent for “last days” is translated in most English Bibles as “latter days.” In some instances it simply meant events that would happen years later from when the subject was addressed (Num 24:14; Job 8:7). But with the prophets it became an eschatological reference about the children of Israel some day returning from exile and renewing the Kingdom of David, the archetype of Messiah, whose kingdom would be eternal after crushing the four previous kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue (Dan 2:28; 10:14; Hos 3:5).

The “stone cut from a mountain by no human hand” (Dan 2:35) that would crush the other successive kingdoms has been long known to be the “cornerstone” of God’s Kingdom: Messiah, Jesus Christ (Isa 28:16; Act 4:11). That cornerstone that toppled the kingdoms of man came during the Roman Empire, the kingdom of iron mixed with clay (Dan 2:40-45). Daniel then says that, “the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (2:35).

So now the question is, when does this mountain begin filling the earth? The prophets Isaiah and Micah further explain that “in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob” (Isa 2:2-3; Micah 4:1-2).

When do the nations begin coming to the mountain of the Lord? Are these last days at the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time or is this a figurative reference to the spread of the Gospel after the first coming of Christ? In their book The Early Church and the End of the World, scholars Gary DeMar and Francis Gumerlock list early church scholars such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others who understood Isaiah 2/Micah 4 and other Old Testament prophecies to be about the first coming of Christ rather than the second coming.2 But don’t take early church scholars’ word for it. The New Testament apostles clearly claimed that they were in fact living in “the last days.”

If we return to Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, and read it in context we see from the very start that Peter claims that the mysterious tongues speaking that the crowd was hearing was in fact the fulfillment of the Joel prophecy about God pouring out His Spirit in the last days (Act 2:16). This Pentecost event, with it’s explicit proclamation of the Kingdom of God in the various tongues of the nations, marked the beginning of that drawing in of the nations to the Mountain of God, Messiah and the New Covenant (Heb 12:22-24).

But Peter did not stop with the prophesying, dreams, and visions. He also included -- in that current day fulfillment -- the astronomical catastrophic phenomena of the sun, moon and stars which we now know are references to falling principalities and powers both earthly and heavenly. Peter claims that those prophecies were being fulfilled in their very day, not in some distant end of the universe. And Peter reiterates his belief of being in “these last times” (1 Pet 1:10) when he claims in his letters that “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pet 4:7), not in some distant future.

But Peter was not the only one who explicitly proclaimed their era as the “last days.” Both Peter and Paul referred to the scoffers and depraved people of their own time to be a sign that they were in the last days in the first century (2Pet 3:1-4; 2Tim 3:1-9). Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that they were the generation “on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor 10:11), the same generation that Jesus said would see the destruction of the Temple that occurred in A.D. 70 (Matt 23:36; 24:34). The writer of Hebrews said conclusively that “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:1-2).

So if the New Testament writers believed they were living in the last days, then what could that concept mean if not the last days of the space-time universe? As I will explain in the next section, I think the cosmic language of the Bible indicates that they believed they were living in the last days of the Old Covenant and the beginning days of the New Covenant. And in a further concluding section I will explain why this interpretation does not necessarily deny a Second Coming of Christ. You’ll have to bear with me .

Notes

1. In 2 Thess 2:2, Paul exhorts the Thessalonians not to believe anyone who says that the Day of the Lord has come. But he doesn’t make the obvious rebuttal of saying “because it would be the end of the universe, duh.” Instead he gives them other events that will happen first, thus proving that the Day of the Lord was a localized event not a universal or global one. If it was universal or global, they could not possibly be deceived into missing it. See Isa 34:8, 35:4 in conjunction with Luke 21:22ff and Matt 21:33-43. In these passages, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was the “days of vengeance” of God upon Israel for rejecting Messiah. “Days of vengeance” is a synonym for “Day of the Lord.”
2. DeMar, Gary and Francis Gumerlock. The Early Church and the End of the World. Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2006, pp. xi-xiii. Among other important scholars who held this preterist interpretation of the last days or “end of the world” (especially of Matthew 24) were St. John Chrysostom, Bede, Eusebius, Augustine, Origen, Hugo Grotius, John Lightfoot, Milton Terry, Moses Stuart, John Calvin, Philip Dodderidge, Thomas Newton, John Gill, Adam Clarke, and F.W. Farrar.


Brian Godawa is the screenwriter of To End All Wars and other feature films. He has written and directed documentaries on church-state relations, stem cell research and higher education politics. He is the author of Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment (InterVarsity Press) and Chronicles of the Nephilim, a series of fantasy novels about Biblical heroes within their ancient Near Eastern mythological context. He speaks around the country to churches, high schools and colleges on movies, worldviews and faith. His movie blog can be found at godawa.com/movieblog/.

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jrinad70 - #64546

September 7th 2011

Brian,

Good stuff; wondering though.  Is it not clear that the “Day of the Lord” was to occur at the end/after the “last days” just as the Acts 2 passage you quoted from indicates?

”...and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.”

Notice the events were to take place “before” the “day of the Lord”.

If this “Day of the Lord” is a different “Day of the Lord” that you still have future to us (where time etc is supposedly to end), where in the NT is this differentiation made between these two “Day of the Lord”?

I agree the “last days” we in the first century by the way.  But I also understand the “Day of the Lord” was in the first century too.  The “great and magnificent day” the Acts 2 passage talks about did indeed happen after the “last days” (AD 30-70) ended in AD 70.


Brian G - #64584

September 8th 2011

I agree that the Day of the Lord being spoken of in Acts 2 is the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. My bigger point is that Biblically, there is not a single “Day of the Lord” as is most often thought of by Evangelicals, but rather it is a concept used of judgment. So the Day of the Lord for Israel was AD 70.


jrinad70 - #64603

September 9th 2011

Brian,

I agree there was no single “Day of the Lord” in the OT for Israel (as there were several).  But the OT did speak of a future final “Day of the Lord” where the Messiah was to: 1) to finish the transgression, 2) to put an end to sin, l

3) to atone for iniquity, 4) bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) seal both vision and prophet, and 6) anoint a most holy place.  Dan 9:24.

Was this not accomplished in AD 70?


Brian G - #64635

September 10th 2011

I do believe all that in Daniel 9 was accomplished by AD70, during the “days of vengeance.” (Luke 21:22) So that was the Day of the Lord for Israel. 


jrinad70 - #64658

September 11th 2011

So, then you agree that “everlasting righteousness” was established in AD70, right?


Brian G - #64672

September 12th 2011

Strange, I am not being emailed from the comment thread even though my preferences are set to that. Oh well, I may be delayed in responding cause I don’t get the emails. 


But, yes, I do see everlasting righteousness established at the arrival of Messiah. Everlasting Righteousness is the Gospel.

span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“font-size: 12px;”>Gal 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

p style=“margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px ‘Lucida Grande’”>Rom. 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Brian G - #64673

September 12th 2011

Whoops. Sorry for the formatting garbage.


Gal 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

Rom. 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2Pet. 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

PNG - #64547

September 7th 2011

For a concise history of the development of ideas of the last days, especially the Millenium, in the early church, see Adolf von Harnack’s article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica on WikiSource:


http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclopædia_Britannica/Millenium

Jon Garvey - #64563

September 8th 2011

Just to mention that “the last days” has never been understood by competent interpreters to mean “the very last things to happen in the future”. Always, they’ve been understood to refer to the time from the glorification of Christ through his death and resurrection, until his second coming.

In other words, the time during which the Old Testament Scriptures are fulfilled. Whether a particular belief was held about how long that period would be is a different matter, just as the “soon” of OT prophecy about the Messiah turned out to be several hundred years.


PNG - #64577

September 8th 2011

To quote Chesterton (roughly), “as wild as the beasts of the Apocalypse are, none of them are as wild as some of its interpreters.” As Harnack points out, interpretations have always been influenced by current events and social-political agendas, and Brian’s is no exception. 


How does one define competence in the interpretation of prophecy?  In a scientific forum, correct predictions should count for something. One thing to be said for the dispensational magisterium over on Swiss Ave. in Dallas is that their avatar Darby (and others before him) predicted the re-establishment of Israel when it wasn’t even a gleam in Chaim Weizmann’s eye. The other schools of thought have no comparable achievement. 

I don’t have a definite opinion myself, but given the history of eschatology, appealing to some sort of orthodoxy seems dubious. The early church clearly believed things that were rather different than the Augustinian imperial church, and in the interpretation of prophecy, like everything else, hindsight is better that foresight.

Brian G - #64585

September 8th 2011

Predicting the reestablishment of Israel is certainly, though certainly feasible on non-dispensational terms as well. But what I find more important is the wrong predictions of everything happening within the generation of this reestablishment. That clearly did not happen, thus becoming one of the more potent arguments against the school of thought, which is affecting many Evangelicals to leave that camp. But the notion of everything happening to “THIS generation” was clearly contextually a reference to the generation Jesus was speaking to, as it was always used in that way throughout the NT.


Brian G - #64586

September 8th 2011

I meant to write In the first sentence that it is a “notable” prediction, not a “certainly.” Sorry


micahmartin5 - #64572

September 8th 2011

Brain,


Nice installment. I will wait until the next two installments come out before I comment to much. However, I would point out that, logically, if it can be demonstrated from Scripture that Christ returned in AD 70, then one would not be denying the 2nd coming. In fact, the burden of proof would actually be on the person trying to exegete a yet 3rd coming (at the end of space and time) from the Scriptures. 

Just a thought.

Blessings,
Micah



Brian G - #64587

September 8th 2011

A third possibility: There is no description of a “Second Coming” of Christ in the NT, but there are verses that talk about God or Christ “coming.” So, a “cloud coming” as in Matt 24, is not necessarily a “second coming”, as in a physical return, but certainly a “coming” in a biblical sense. I’ll make that argument in an upcoming post.


Brian G - #64588

September 8th 2011

A clarification: When I wrote there is no description of a “Second Coming,” what I meant was that there is no usage of the term “second”. I did not mean to suggest that I think the Bible does not describe a physical return of Christ. 


micahmartin5 - #64589

September 8th 2011

I will be very interested in seeing how you lay out the argument. 


Blessings,
Micah

jrinad70 - #64602

September 9th 2011

Hebrews 9:28
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

I, like micahmartin5, will wait for you to lay out your argument.


micahmartin5 - #64624

September 10th 2011

Well, we certainly know who was eagerly awaiting the 2nd appearance:


1 Corinthians 1:7-8
sup class=“versenum” id=“en-ESV-28354” style=“font-size: 0.65em; line-height: normal; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: text-top; “>7so that you (Corinthians)  an unspecified generation sometime in the far future after every previous generation waited eagerly are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait eagerly for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, sup class=“versenum” id=“en-ESV-28355” style=“font-size: 0.65em; line-height: normal; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: text-top; “>8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

emphasis mine (sorry couldn’t resist).

I am just glad that we know when salvation happens… when he appears a second time!

Blessings,
Micah

micahmartin5 - #64625

September 10th 2011

Sorry for the subscript. 



Brian G - #64634

September 10th 2011

I stand corrected. 


I would like to point out that in that same passage, it also says, “but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” which does support the covenantal context of the first coming of Messiah during the Last Days of the Old Covenant. Messiah brings in the new age of a new covenant (Heb 8:8-13).

Norman - #64637

September 10th 2011

I’m going to play Paul trying to divide the Sadducees and Pharisees concerning the resurrection of the Dead but I’m going to point to what many claim is the second coming of Christ as the point of contention.

It seems there is a multiplicity of end time beliefs out there in religious land. Premillennial, Postmillennial, Amillennialism, Panmillennialism and full Preterism. There seems to be commonality yet differences on how the physical world will end especially in Regard to what is biblically called the New Heavens and Earth. Now many full Preterist believe that the NT eschatological language is similar to what we find in Genesis and is not describing a literal physical Garden scene but a literary discussion of the end of Old Covenant Israel and the beginning of the Christian eternal kingdom. So like many of us who don’t see the language in Genesis about Adam and Eve as literal our hermeneutic is consistent with a non literal reading of say Revelation and 2 Peter 3 and Matt 24.

Now many if not most evolutionists that don’t take Genesis literal turn around and take Revelation literal. What gives there? Where is the consistent hermeneutic application? There was no YEC literal Garden scene where physical death wasn’t enabled yet; but then they turn around and like the Postmillennialist or N. T. Wright they change hermeneutic horses in mid-stream and say that there is going to be a restored Eden Garden paradise here on earth: yet they deny the original one. Talk about inconsistent theology. I’m sorry to be so blunt but I believe when I leave this good earth God has a place for me with He and Christ in Heaven and I’m not put into some kind of soul sleep waiting for a redeemed planet earth paradise to happen thousands or millions of years in the future. I think God can provide a home for me in His Heavenly realm.

Do we start to see the problem with Evolutionist who are on the right track hermeneutically in Genesis when they reject the YEC hermeneutic but they don’t blink an eye when it comes to a restored Garden here on physical earth. Something simply doesn’t compute here.

Now I guess some Amillennialist may have a physically burned up earth from their interpretation of 2 Peter 3 and then it’s time to release the bodies out of their graves if they had one and wasn’t eaten by the lions in the first century. Evolutionist are smart people and they won’t tolerate Genesis being mishandled theologically but it seems they really don’t think about the other end of scripture that much and just go along with the crowd concerning eschatology. I say if you figure out Genesis you can figure out Revelation even easier and realize it’s not about a return to physical Eden Garden life but is language depicting the consummation of Christ prophecies in which he finally puts everything under his feet by defeating the powers and rulers of the Old covenant world. AD70 seems to fit that predicted prophecy of His in Matt 24. According to the Barnabas Epistle then would be established the eternal eighth Day beginning of a New World. This matches well with the 8 Day feast of Booths which is typological of the New Kingdom that is without end.

Evolutionist should realize that however long this physical earth last that we will have eternal life through Jesus Christ as dwellers in His Kingdom of righteousness. We simply have no clue how long humanity will be here. It seems that we have essentially been here around 200,000 years so far and it could be for a long haul or it could end slowly or quickly because of some physical process or event. However if we are going to be consistent biblical exegetes we need not change hermeneutics like we do clothes. A smart YEC will challenge an Evolutionist by asking why he thinks Genesis language is not literal but Revelations is. Something to chew on here guys.


Brian G - #64674

September 12th 2011

Norman,

Some good food for thought here. 

br>

The problem is that hermeneutics is not an absolute enterprise. We don’t necessarily use the same interpretive scheme of all genres of literature, especially when separated by a thousand years (Genesis and Revelation). Now, I am making the argument that there is a similarity in figurative language in Genesis and Revelation and Matt 24 and 2Pete because the NT writers are steeped in OT imagery. BUT the big problem is that prophetic and apocalyptic writings are (to our frustration) a mixture of both figurative and literal references, both ancient and current applications (John was not only affected by the OT, but by Hellenist imagination). The reason why there is so much disagreement is not necessarily from those who are “changing hermeneutics” but rather the debate over what is figurative and what is “literal” or what does the figurative mean. 

br>

That is the difficulty of exegesis which we are all engaging in and arguing over.

br>

For instance, when John writes of measuring the Temple in Revelation, I think he is referring to the literal Temple in Jerusalem at the time because measuring was a form of preparation for destruction. But when he mentions the Temple in John 2:19-21, he is using the literal Temple that he is in as a metaphor for Christ’s body, and in Rev 21:22, the Temple is The Lord and the Lamb. And then Paul says the Temple is the body of Christ (Eph 2:21). It is not changing hermeneutics to recognize that images in different texts may be used differently both figuratively and literally even within the same text.

br>


jrinad70 - #64671

September 12th 2011

Brian,

Yes!  And AMEN! Christ came at the consummation of the ages!  The “new” age that he established (Israel’s new Covenant) is an everlasting Covenant/age.  It has no end.  So, how can Christ have still yet another return to bring the “new” age to a close?


Brian G - #64675

September 12th 2011

1 Corinthians 15.

(Which does talk about “sleeping” until the Resurrection of our bodies)

Rom 8:23 we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Acts 24:15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.

2Cor. 4:14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

Scripture speaks of us being spiritually raised with Christ, but also promises a future physical resurrection of our bodies (both figurative and literal imagery). Contextually, all these Scriptures above speak of a physical resurrection of our bodies.

My Hope is not heaven, it is the Resurrection of the Dead (Rom 8:18-25). Heaven is an interim until that time. In Hebrew thought, the body is as much who we are as is our “breath” or “soul” or “spirit.” 

micahmartin5 - #64689

September 12th 2011

Brian,


I for one want to hear your argument out. I’m happy to see this topic being openly discussed on a forum like this. 

I think Norm made some very valid and strong points.

I also know that every one of those passages you have cited in your above post actually are strong full-preterist passages when you examine them closely. Many FP have done amazing work on all of those passages. 

But, I want to give you the time to make your entire case for whatever “final coming” that you see in Scripture. 

Blessings,
Micah

jrinad70 - #64700

September 13th 2011

Brian,

 

If you notice (1 Cor. 15:12-18) those who “sleep” and “the dead” are contrasted over against each other.  These are two separate groups.  My studies have shown that the reference to “the dead” is a reference to OC Israel.  The reference to those that “sleep” where Christians who already entered into the Body of Christ by faith and had since then died.   OC Israel died prior to Christ coming, so this was not an option for them.  This is why the Corinthians were denying the resurrection of “the dead”.  Their question (see 1 Cor. 15:36) “How are the dead raised?  With what body are they coming in” is asking, how can OC Israel be raised when they are outside the Body of Christ?  What “body” are they going to be raised in?  It was Israel that had to die and be raised in her Messiah.  1 Cor. 15 has nothing to do with physical fleshly bodies being raised.  There is much much more that could be pointed out here, but would take a book, which does exist by the way.

Food for thought.


jrinad70 - #64701

September 13th 2011

what’s the deal with all the funky formatting stuff going on when I post?


PNG - #64714

September 14th 2011

I have wondered whether the primary purpose of Biologos was to convert anti-evolutionist Christians to accepting evolution or to convert atheists to Christianity. With the introduction of eschatological debate, I think the answer is clear. So long as the debate doesn’t become scatological, I guess there is hope for the first goal, anyway.


micahmartin5 - #64719

September 14th 2011

@ PNG


I may be misunderstanding your post but it is obvious that atheist also point to the NT to disprove the Christian faith. They rightly point out that Jesus was clear that he was going to return before the generation living at the time died out. This is something that most Christians deny, thus making Jesus out to be a false prophet. 

Many prominent atheist have used this to discredit Christianity. I applaud the efforts of biologos.com to counter the false choice that many Christians feel between science and theology. However, you can not separate the end from the beginning and vise versa. 

Understanding the correct nature of the “curse” and “the death” that Adam experienced in the Garden is crucial in understanding redemption. 

Progress can be made from both ends. For instance, Doug Wilson, brought out the preterist interpretation of Matthew 24 in his debates with Christopher Hitchens when this very topic came up. (DVD Collision) Hitchens’ charge that Jesus was a false prophet was rendered useless with a preterist understanding. Unfortunately, Wilson won’t allow himself to work through the simple logic of full-preterism because he starts from a YEC framework. Therefore, biological death is the curse of Adam and so we have to have that reversed, ergo, evolution is completely incompatible with the Bible because no biological death occurred before the fall.

What happens when partial preterist like Wilson realize that the Resurrection happened in AD 70 (along with the 2nd coming and everything else they have partially fulfilled). They will understand that biological death is a part of the original material creation and not a part of the curse. There goes their foundation for young earth creationism and maybe then they will be more open to accepting the testimony of God in nature through science. 

The end matches the beginning. A non-concordance view of the beginning requires a non-concordance view of the end. Covenant Creation demands Covenant Eschatology. When that argument is put forth to atheist, they have absolutely nothing to hold against Christianity! 

Don’t be fooled, Covenant Eschatology is on the radar for the leading YEC groups. Just go over to AIG and see what they say about full-preterism. They are very aware that if people accept fulfilled redemption they will eventually reject the YEC framework. 

If we want to convert atheist we need to present a complete theology that doesn’t pit science against the Bible AND that doesn’t make Jesus out to be a false prophet. 

Blessings,
Micah

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