Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Christians can’t seem to agree on when or if the promises in the Bible – especially Old Testament ones – apply to Christians today.

Here is another example of writers on another Christian site attempting to explain which promises are meant for Christians today and which are not:

(Link): Which Promises Are For Me? on The Gospel Coalition site, written by Jen Wilkin

I have more comments below this.

Excerpts:

  • Not many things are more comforting than a promise made and kept. And not many things are more hurtful than a promise broken. Knowing we worship a God who keeps his promises is a source of deep joy. But misapplied, this knowledge can also lead us to treasure-hunt Scripture for promises in problematic ways.
  • How can we know which promises are for us? How can we lay claim to the promises of the Bible without overstepping their application? Here are some common pitfalls to keep in mind as you study.
  • Common Mistakes

    Confusing a promise with a principle. Promises are always fulfilled 100 percent of the time. Principles state general truths.

  • The book of Proverbs is often mistaken for a book of promises, when in fact it is a book of principles. The principle of “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6) is generally true and wise to heed. But it is not a guarantee that every child raised with godly instruction will become a believer in Jesus.
  • Ignoring the context. We often apply a promise to ourselves before considering its original audience or its historical, cultural, or textual context. In some cases, a promise was made to a specific person for a specific reason and has no further application beyond its immediate context. In other cases, the application can only be properly made after the promise is understood in its original context.
  • God’s promise to Abram of land and offspring (Gen. 12:1–3) cannot be taken to mean God will give me a house or children. It can, however, be applied to mean he will give me a spiritual inheritance through Christ.
  • Overlooking the “if.” Promises that contain an “If” require some form of obedience before we can expect them to come to pass in our lives. They are conditional.
  • Limiting a promise to your own understanding. Even when we rightly recognize a promise as intended for us, we often impose our own understanding of exactly how it will be fulfilled. Or we are tempted to impose our own timeline on its fulfillment.
  • Yes, God does have a plan to prosper you and not to harm you (Jer. 29:11), but as in the case of the people to whom those words were originally written, that “you” is more likely a collective reference to the body of believers, and that plan may play out across centuries in ways we can’t possibly predict.
  • To recognize this intent does not diminish the beauty of the promise at all. It actually enhances it.
  • Do your homework. Before you write it on a note card for your fridge, before you post it on Instagram or shop for it on a coffee mug or declare it your life verse, make a thorough study of where your promise lives in Scripture and in biblical history. Make sure it’s a general promise, not a specific promise to someone else or just a general principle to observe. Check for any “ifs” that might change its application.

The page goes on and on like that; click the link at top if you’re interested in seeing the full article.

Perhaps some Christians needed to be made aware of these things, but I’m over 40 years of age, have been a Christian since before I hit age ten, have read the entire Bible as well as many books about Christian theology and apologetics.

I don’t think I really need a basic primer on these things at this stage.

I find a lot of the points in the article are rather basic and based on common sense.

Even under her “Do Your Homework” section, I’m sorry, but Christians to this day still debate and fuss over if Jeremiah 29.11 is for believers only today (she mentions that passage in her article).

She seems to feel that Jer 29.11 is for ancient Israelites only, but I still find other Christians who believe it’s equally applicable to Christians in America in 2015.

Her article only adds to the confusion, in my view. That Christians have to keep explaining and teaching which biblical promises and verses apply to whom does not clarify the situation, but piles on.

I can guarantee you if Christians of other denominations read this page (I refer again to (Link): Which Promises Are For Me? ) that this lady wrote, they will each have their own particular objections or areas of disagreement.

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Related Posts:

(Link):  Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link):  Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)

(Link): More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

(Link):   Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11 and Its Application

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything

Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

This is a page that touches on a topic I’ve brought up on my blog a time or two.

(Link):  Unpublished: Being Biblical Means Being Doctrinally Tolerant

The author of that ‘Unpublished’ page mentions Roman Catholicism.

As much as I consider the constant Protestant and Baptist disagreement over certain things in the Bible problematic, I don’t think the solution is becoming Roman Catholic and accepting that their Pope’s ex cathedra statements or their Magisterium is the answer.

Catholics, for one, get all sorts of things wrong – they believe that Mary was bodily assumed into Heaven; they believe that praying to or for the dead is acceptable; they believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary; they believe in Transubstantiation; they reject that salvation is by faith alone – all sorts of wrong things.

Then Roman Catholics tack on 3 or 4 books (called the Apocrypha) to the Jewish and Protestant canon to “prove” to the Protestants that yes, they have “biblical” support for some of their weird doctrines.

Although the Vatican tells Catholics that birth control is wrong and bad, and that pro-life is the way to go, I have seen many news reports that American Roman Catholic women get abortions and use birth control.

Several years ago, I even saw websites by American Roman Catholics who say they support the legalization of abortion. Catholics are not in unity – not even in doctrine, so I do wish they’d stop lobbing this accusation at Protestants, as though the RC is any better.

Their Pope and Magisterium can sit there all day long and claim that the official Roman Catholic stance on Topic X is “blah blah whatever,” but that doesn’t mean the rank and file Catholics are going to agree with it, or follow that doctrine or rule. Because sometimes they don’t.

I do by and large still believe the Bible should be taken literally – as opposed to the liberal Christians who treat the Bible with extreme skepticism or who act like it’s okay to treat the Bible as though it’s silly putty and warp it any way they want – but I do acknowledge some of the points raised in this page:

(Link):  Unpublished: Being Biblical Means Being Doctrinally Tolerant

Excerpts:

  • People who claim to literally interpret the inspired and inerrant Word of God do not agree on what the bible says.
  • Christian Smith calls this “pervasive interpretive pluralism.” And this pervasive interpretive pluralism isn’t just found among progressives and liberals. It is found among evangelicals and fundamentalists, among the very people who claim that they are reading the bible very, very literally.
  • Pervasive interpretive pluralism exists among biblical literalists.
  • Which brings us to the problem at the heart of Protestantism.
  • The problem at the heart of Protestantism is that the bible is unable to produce consensus. This isn’t a theological claim. This is an empirical fact.
  • Sola scriptura produces pluralism. The “bible alone” creates doctrinal diversity. Biblical literalism proliferates churches.
  • The alternative is to be delusional, pretending that opening the bible brings everyone to a consensus. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t happen.

Continue reading “Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything”