Print Friendly and PDF

THE BOOK OF ACTS AS A PROBLEM FOR LITERALISM

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment

Ryrie argues for a literalistic hermeneutic based on Christ’s first coming being a literal event. But we find that the NT can see Christ and his kingdom coming spiritually, as well. This undercuts Ryrie’s argument. In the last post I noted that in general. But in this one I will focus on the problem presented especially in Acts.

In Acts 2 we find a classic and eschatologically relevant spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament in the apostolic era. Peter interprets the Davidic kingdom prophecies in general (Ac 2:30) and Psalms 16:8–11 (Ac 2:25–28) and 110:1 (Ac 2:34–35) specifically as being fulfilled in Christ’s ascension and session:

Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Ac 2:30–33)

This is the standard exposition of non-premillennial covenant theologians, as well as non-dispensationalist premillennialists and progressive dispensationalists (See: Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants, 220–21. Ladd, Theology of the New Testament, 344.).

Later, Paul preaches that Christ’s resurrection fulfills David’s promise to Israel: “And we declare to you glad tidings; that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David’” (Ac 13:32–34).

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Posts

Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

*