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Jeremy Crooks

Jeremy grew up in Sydney Australia. He has tertiary qualifications in business, training, and Bible. With experience in both church ministry and corporate human resources, Jeremy has a strong interest in how faith is demonstrated in our homes and workplaces. You can contact Jeremy at jeremy@teaminfocus.com.au.

14 Comments

  1. avatar

    Steve

    It is all about having a consistent hermeneutic. Dispensational theology has a consistently literal understanding of the Bible, including the promises to Israel, past and future. I have not read any thing by Covenant theologians that consistently interprets prophecy regarding Israel literally. They must resort to allegory or spiritualizing the text, i.e. replacing Israel with the church.
    Therefore Israel is still in God’s plan for the future, particularly the Millennium. Even though Christians should avoid political activism and focus on the gospel, this doesn’t mean we can’t pray for peace in Jerusalem.

    I also believe that the promises to Abraham are still in operation (Genesis 12:3), so our government ought to be supportive of Israel. This reflects who I vote for.

    Reply
  2. avatar

    Craig

    I always thought that replacement theology was a straw man put forward by Dispensationals.I’ve never read a Covenant Theologian who professed this.I think the correct term is Expansion theology,God initially worked primarily through Israel ,but now has included people from all Tribes,Tongues,People and Nations such that anyone who is trusting in Christ are offspring of Abraham heirs according to the promise.

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  3. avatar

    Jeremy

    What do you see as the difference between Expansive theology and Progressive dispensationalism?

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  4. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Thanks for this post Jeremy. It was a helpful overview for me.

    Reply
  5. avatar

    Craig

    Thanks Jeremy, first sorry for my delay in getting back (I don’t get to the computer very often).Secondly I agree with the sentiment you expressed in your post.I probably would have had some detailed response to your question a couple of years ago when I was looking into all this.I’ve heard plenty of Covenental people speak of the similarity between themselves and Progressive dispensationalists.Both sides have such diverse views on so many aspects of the end times,one of major differences between the two would be how ,and to whom the new covenant promise is applied.
    Thanks once again for the time, spirit and effort you put into all your posts.

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  6. avatar

    Steve

    Replacement Theology, Supersessionism, Expansion Theology and Covenant theology are all essentially the same thing. Expansion theology is the politically correct term for Replacement, due to criticism from Jewish believers who hold to a Reformed perspective, which is fair enough I reckon.

    Progressive Dispensationalism is very much a move towards a Reformed perspective, albeit in a subtle way.

    Reply
  7. avatar

    Jeremy

    Thanks Craig:

    I am not sure if I could classify my theological understanding as purely progressive or expansion. Having said that, my understanding of some of the key elements of end times theology are:

    1. The millenium is a literal and future. It is described in the same context (Revelation 20) as the Lake of Fire. If we were to understand the millenium as figurative, then consistency would demand that we view eternal punishment as figurative as well.

    2. God is clearly working in this world through his church. Something supernatural is also happening at the same time with the revival of the modern state of Israel. (No other culture has survived for nearly 2000 years without a homeland. We could call this evidence of the fig tree sprouting.) The circumstantial evidence that God is directing the movements of both the church and Israel provide weight to expansive/progressive understandings. I believe God has launched the church age without leaving Israel behind. Prophecy such as Zech 12-14 are still to be fulfilled with Israel.

    3. The rapture of the church will definitely happen. A pre-tribulational rapture is a possibility (hinted at in Rev 4:1 and 1 Thess 4:16-17), but it is not enough for me to be dogmatic about, let alone build a doctrinal system around.

    4. Salvation is through Christ alone. While the Jews may be God’s chosen people, they do not have a separate redemptive path. While most dispensationalist would agree with this, the focus on Israel can often overshadow the gospel.

    5. I believe in dispensations (which sometimes overlap). Clearly there are dispensations (times in which God engages the world in different ways). Pre-fall is one example of a dispensation that most Chrisitans agree upon. In addition, I see other dispensations in Scripture. OT & NT at a high level, but also pre-flood, and church age, and a future millenium.

    6. Some of the most glaring signs of the end times are the breakdown of society, greed, truce breaking, disrespect for authority, etc.

    7. Romans 11 should keep the church humble. God is the husbandman who grafts his chosen into redemption. His redemptive plan is bigger than the church age.

    With all the above thoughts, there may not be an end times theological label for me. I am comfortable with that.

    Reply
  8. avatar

    Sasha

    US warned and will veto the vote. Part of the reason (probably the main reason) Obama’s administration doesn’t want to upset the Jewish vote for the upcoming elections.

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  9. avatar

    Jason Harris

    @Sasha, And the Evangelical vote. Being perceived as anti-Israel is a political death sentence in the USA, no matter what side of politics you’re on.

    @Jeremy, Very interesting points so far. I’m very interested in Craig’s response as I’m pretty sure he’d view Replacement Theology as a straw man.

    Reply
  10. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    I too am looking forward to Craig’s contribution.

    Reply
  11. avatar

    Craig

    Thanks for the opportunity to respond, if it gets too far off topic let me know. Firstly theology must be accompanied by doxology, so I praise the Lord that by His grace we are able to discuss these subjects with much love and affection. I intend to respond to each point you have made Jeremy. Of course each response will not be exhaustive but should give you an idea of where I am coming from.

    1: The Millennial age is this current period between the two advents of Christ. This is drawn from the teachings of Jesus and Paul who repeatedly speak of “this age and the age to come” {two age model}, referring to temporal and eternal things. There doesn’t appear to be any reference to a golden 1000 year period. Also the disciples report back to Jesus {Luke 10:17} saying even the demons are subject to them. Jesus replies He saw Satan fall from heaven, and in other places declare that you cannot plunder the strong mans house unless you first bind the strong man. John tells us in Rev 20:2-3 that Satan is bound that he can deceive the nations no more. This allows the gospel to be proclaimed and received with joy by people of every nation. I would read Rev 19 & 20 as both describing the same event from different angles.

    2: Yes the elephant in the room is the existence of Israel. However when the OT talks of the restoration of Israel the reform believe they were pointing ahead to the church. This is because the NT represented this promise as being fulfilled in the church, which Paul called “the Israel of God” Gal 6:16. NT authors also speak of the church in terms which the OT could only apply to national Israel, 1 Peter 2:9, Gal 3:28-29, Heb 12:22-24.

    3: I see the believers being caught up at the same time as the wicked are judged. Matt 13:36-43 and Matt 25: 31-46. This is the Blessed Hope our Lords return.

    4: Agree completely.

    5: Probably more a hermeneutical issue. When the bible is read in a historical redemptive method with covenants of work and grace culminating in their ultimate fulfilment in Christ {His passive and active obedience}. Showing His role as Prophet , Priest and King fulfilling all the OT types and shadows ; Sacrifice, Temple, Manna, Living Water, True Israel the only faithful Son.

    6: I tend to agree with you, although there are probably more Christians in the world today than ever before.

    7: Yes Yes Yes.

    There you have it, a response from an amillenarian position. I guess there is much more that could be said.

    Reply
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  13. avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    Thanks Craig for your contribution and the spirit in which you have presented it.

    Reply
  14. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Yes, thanks. Very interesting to see it laid out. Lots of thinking to do now…

    Reply

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