Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Deterministic Universe

It is possible for a deterministic Universe to exist (since a Universe exists and might be determined). It is reasonable to consider the issue a little further perhaps.

One would tend to make an evaluation about the state of pre-destination or determinism in the Universe on the basis of extrapolating from observation and inferences or interpretation of revelation I would think. The Second Law of thermodynamics and the arrow of time seem to support the idea that everything is determined within certain limits. Quantum mechanics and the standard model indicate that all interactions of quanta are pre-determined to occur with certain values and rules of order. Degrees of freedom of motion and of association of quanta have a determined element with an element of uncertainty simultaneously in order to allow structure to exist and change to occur. Being and nothingness are common elements of existence.


“Testimonium divinitatis est veritas divinationis. Tertullian.
To foretell things contingent, which depend upon no natural causes, is peculiar to Deity.”

There is another point somewhat interesting; that of different categories of infinites. Cantor and Godel developed a logic of trans-fine sets and of a set of all sets conundrum respectively, yet there may be another transformative sort of infinity, or a different kind of infinity that differs in destination rather than just cardinal or ordinal character. An infinite series of numbers may morph at some point into something else, such as a line of natural numbers morphing into a cloud of numbers, and that may exemplify the space-time or phenomenal importance of location for infinite series. Alternatively an infinite series could just continue, yet as a singularity at T=0 extrapolated from Einstein's field equations might lead one to contemplate is thought of as reducible infinitely with recursively concentrating gravity, the abstraction of an infinite series might be changed by the physics of quanta and permissible forms of being. A singularity could morph into a field or cloud I guess.

One cannot at all be certain about the metaphysics of the solid-state energy field that is the Universe. Innumerable dimensions morphing like ghosts through one another creating temporal physics here and there are possible. Its been noted that the Universe could be a hologram-like event horizon around the black hole in a five-dimensional metaverse. I believe that God created the Universe myself and have thought about the six days of creation equated with the special theory of relativity and a differential value for how mankind observers speed-of-light values for God as something in the billions of years range (Twin's Paradox).

If one uses a realm-of-forms context for quantum forms like one-dimensional branes, quarks, atoms, etc. and any given field such as a Higgs field presenting the energy quanta that appears to observers to be mass it would be reasonable to consider the zero-mass context for light, the speed of light as a massless quanta and that relation to Spirit as faster than light in so far as it transcends the matrix of space-time and energy-mass comprising the Universe clump of energy-mass. God wills it to exist for a while.

Adding Up Six Days of Creation & Special Relativity

God issued light straight away in the first fraction of a second of Creation. Then he worked six days. I will consider how special relativity relates to the creation early-in particular the 6 days of creation. Take a literal value of the word ‘day’ in Genesis 1. It isn’t about deciding that the word day really means ‘watermelon’ or ‘night’. I considered the fact of day as a unit understood in the 2nd millennium B.C. mostly referring to the period where the Earth turns one full revolution (though the ancients didn’t know that the Earth rotated) and from that point made an inference. I think God would work more than 8 hours a day-maybe 10. Some people include night as part of day of course. Though if someone said that it was 6 days walk to village delta they may have meant walking all night too, or not. If one wanted to walk at night and take that risk maybe village delta was three days walk-one can't be sure about the specific use sometimes. They might have meant just walking in the light when  lions weren't prowling about.

I should note a minor point before moving on to comment on the relation of special relativity to the six days of creation. In Genesis 1 -5“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

There is an empty space evidently before light or anything else existed. In contemporary cosmology though energy was created at T=0 light did not emerge until the CMB scattering at 380 thousand years post time=0.

God created the qualities that Einstein would later discover and name special relativity too. Relativity probably was issued simultaneously with energy. One must know the Twin’s paradox to understand the points at issue. I will briefly explain the Twin’s paradox...

A pair of twins standing on the Earth one morning looking toward the sky. Twin Brother A says to Twin Brother B- “I will take yonder space ship resting in the pasture on a six day mission at the speed of light to get some sugar for my coffee from the store, try to get some work done while I am gone.”

Twin A walks over to the spaceship, gets inside, sits down, buckles up and accelerates in a streak through the clouds.

Twin A reaches the store on his third day, buys a pound if sugar and some High Country coffee and heads back to Earth. His ship chronometer says that six days have passed, yet when he reaches Earth the chronometer in the pasture says 26 billion years have elapsed. Twin B who remained at rest on Earth had himself encased in plastic,  shrink-wrapped and hermetically sealed with an atomic clock stopwatch placed on his head. It also has recorded the passage of 26 billion years.  Space and time are one field. Traveling at the speed of light has time dilation effects; in comparison to time for a stationary observer time passes slower. This is not a matter of a literal interpretation of language. Special relativity applied in the 3rd century B.C. too-as well as at the creation; it is a characteristic of space-time built into the Universe.

Because God issued light first thing, I used the speed of light as the basic measure for creation work at time=0 contrasting God as Twin A and mankind as Twin B.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Time Parameters of Creation in Genesis

Six days of creation is the parameter given in the book of Genesis for the creation. The first day was concluded before Earth or mankind existed. Thus it seems almost a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical error-an intrinsically vain and humanist error of equating the days of God to those of men and women. Some insist on giving human literal values to the term 'day' used in the K.J.V. with a unique sort of Platonic, non-relativistic meaning of 'day'. Newton made a similar mistake about the nature of time. The ancients believed time was the same all over the Universe. If it's 1 p.m. in West Palm Beach it is the same time on Alpha Centauri. The ancients did not have advanced knowledge of time zones, G.M.T. and so forth (just kidding). Until the renaissance the concept of galaxies was virtually unknown though Leibniz knew and until the 20th century the existence of extra galaxies unproven.


Dark Ages literalism is unreasonable instance of the effort to reinforce a particular dark ages cosmological hermeneutic for the book of Genesis. Strict scriptural reading does find mention of a beginning or concluding Big Bang or Big noise to begin or end the Creation. It is important not to read into the Bible terms such as 'Universe' instead of creation willy nilly. Inconsistent use of hermeneutic (a theological modal logic lexicon of terms and meaning values for interpreting scripture) can produce inexact an erroneous results just as sloppy astrophysics may in its own field. I do not mean to say though, that it is unreasonable to draw inferences and ideas regarding the steady state of the Universe and cosmology from scripture in comparison and contrast with what is known of the observable Universe today. No longer do scientists, dark age theorists or Mickey Mouse believe that the moon is green cheese and will fall to the Earth thus feeding us all (in memory of the ancient columnist).


Grudgingly perhaps some literalists admit the world is not flat and that the Sun does not circle around the Earth. Even so the recalcitrance of select evangelicals to adopt relativity as a valid parameter when interpreting Genesis can lead to some bad science and hermeneutic.


Genesis chapter 1 verses 1-5
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”


Christians should stipulate that God's power travels at least at the speed of light. The famous Twin's paradox used to explain time dilation in the special theory of relativity can usefully be applied to the following Genesis one parameters in order to show how many human days it would take traveling at 25,000 m.p.h. to go as far as God could at the speed of light in the same six days. to


5.785344×10¹² miles traveling at c (the speed of light) for six days


33,323,581,440 years it would take traveling at 25,000 mph to travel 5.785344×10¹² miles


That is six days of creation for God would take approximately 33 billion human years. Since I used the value of 25,000 for human rocket travel without time dilation speed effects of greater than 1% and the number might actually be somewhat higher I may have generated too high of value for the human experience. It could perhaps be just a few billion years.


God however is eternal and in some way may configure dimensions to create the complex appearance of energy and fields, space-time and form. His power would be super-luminal of course because all space-time coordinates and energized fields are contained within His being.


On the end of the planet Earth and the atmosphere (heaven definition 1 of 3) the Apostle Peter wrote...


2 Peter chapter 3 verses 12-1312 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?


13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”


The parameters of this description coincide with those astrophysicists predict will end the existence of the Earth a few billion years from the present when the sun reaches a red giant phase and will burn up the Earth's atmosphere and everything on Earth-that is the Earth will melt and dissolve.


A new place to live wherein dwells righteousness-Jesus Christ-is a place to look forward to not only for people living toward the end times when or wherever but for Christians of any age. The kingdom of God is a new 'land, Earth, realm etc.' regardless of its composition. The kingdom of God is within you-a relativistic space-time where place and spirit rather than time are juxtaposed.


Thanks for commenting-here are some ideas on the topic...KJV Mark 10-6" But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. "- I think that the verse refers to sexual rather than asexual reproduction yet is not addressing the issue of length-of-days. Literal in algebra means variable, and the word literal isn't in scripture at all, so  I am not sure that taking a 'literal' view is too meaningful for determining what a 'human' view of scripture is. In fact the 'human view' of natural philosophy has changed substantially over history hence people tend to apply contemporary natural philosophy content in their hermeneutic. If the idea of what a day is could change (consider if future Christians live on Mars) the idea of one Earth day period is something of a constant to calculate how long God took to Create the Universe as in the initial equation. If the length of an Earth 'day' is 8 hours then the time it took God to create the Universe in terms of the equation expressed above would be something like 11 billion years. Jesus as God hasn't changed. Days in the first century A.D. had a certain length. I can't recall exactly what they were; one knows that terms about the hour of the watch on the day the Lord was crucified were fixed and that Biblical scholars have written on the subject. More humans understand special and general relativity now than in prior times of history where none understood that at all, yet God always understood relativity and knows what humans will think of after that.


In relativity mass becomes infinitely heavy when accelerated to the speed of light so only massless particles can travel at light speed. True massless particles are part of a field though and have an apparent rather than a separate identity. God though is pure spirit and not limited to being incarnate within mass and hence not even limited to light speed. Spirit is faster than light, yet days are terms within human parameters for understanding and temporal parameters of being. I believe therefore that since light was in the beginning-the fastest think about, that that is the point source for understanding the relation of God to a temporal world-universe He created.

I did take a New Testament Theology course (BS521)-So I have some idea about what has become a contemporary paradigm for the meaning of 'literal'. I don't want to get too far into that subject without reviewing it, and actually I am reading Watson's 'Divinity' presently. I wasn't intending to go far into hermeneutic issues here therefore. Did you ever read Rosenberg's books including 'Abraham; The First Historical Biography'-very good reading. 

Some use the historical-grammatical hermeneutic with adherence to the letter of the text rather than a more metaphorical direction as you mentioned. I tend to recognize the philosophy of language and the idea of lexicons that are word-sets that various peoples use to infuse meaning in to language. That is, I don't agree with the left hermeneutics yet do recognzie the validity of language as more or less nominalist until given meaning by a reader. There is no intention of deception-it's just the way it is. I like Quine's point of view more so than Kriipke's neo-realist philosophy of logic. An advanced being from the future (God is more than an advanced being and doesn't have problems of course yet it is necessary to use human language in considering such issues because it isn't possible to use anything else) writing inspiring writing in 2000 B.C. would have the challenges of making himself understood then and in the future if that is what was intended. Keep in mind how cuneiform and number were invented in Mesopotatmia counting animals corralled with lines, strikes and so forth and how that evolved. There were not even adequate symbols to record words for some time and certain primary stories were repeated, recorded and passed around..the flood story for example. Yet people interpreting that with their own language later would uncover the writing and understand it as they would sometimes differently. 

There are many subtleties in scriptural analysis yet the objective reality of physics where constants tend to be revealed is comparable a little to the constant qualities of God that are barely understood. Humans experience His glory a little and have scripture, the presence of the Holy Spirit and abilities to correlate elements of teleology with history perhaps. There is a dichotomy between spirit and mass or material substance however that seems self-evident. If God said that he created the world in six days then that is a condescension for humans to understand later. I am just pointing out that since relativity is actual in this Universe along with an Earth-day, and Earth did not exist on day 1, that the relationship being the six days of God may be convertible to 11 to 33 billion years for mankind using the primary sub-superluminal speed that God may have used for communicating to all of humanity-a rather elegant method.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Alaska Governor to Consider a Confederacy of One?

Alaskan Governor Walker (not Scott Walker) made an impolitical poutish reply to a question about Alaskan secession from the nation over the President Obama's wise decision to protect some national Wildlife critical habitats from the rapine and plunder of oil corporations.

http://juneauempire.com/state/2015-01-28/after-federal-announcement-governor-talks-secession

The new governor should sound more patriotic and be for secure borders including sea level and shorelines. If anyone were to plunder and drill ANWR the coastal plain could subside when the oil is gone, and global warming could send late season storms to surge ashore.

The new governor should sound more patriotic and be for secure borders including sea level and shorelines. If anyone were to plunder and drill ANWR the coastal plain could subside when the oil is gone, and global warming could send late season storms to surge ashore.

The Alaska government gave 341 million dollars to study drilling Cook Inlet to produce gas to send to the Interior-more kick-back for the fossil fuel loyalists. If Fuel cell power plants cost $20 million each the state could have bought about 18 power plants for Fairbanks and North Pole and got something real for the money.  Governor Walker could see himself as a potential Jeff Davis (who ended up retiring to Biloxi) able to take Alaska to a new confederacy of one, yet that's too stupid to mention.

The price per barrel of oil is likely to be very low the next 15 years with the entire world's oil fields potentially recoverable with fracking. The United States is the world's largest oil producer already because of fracking, and Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and other countries haven't even got started yet. Oil main remain at 40 dollars a barrel or less quite a while yet solar power and fuel cell tech is advancing. Alaska interior cities should look for fuel cell power plants and even super-conducting lines in the years ahead and make real investments in that direction instead of looking to the past when oil was the new tech.

Alaskan fuel cell plant operators could be trained outside then return for good jobs locally instead of crews from Asia arriving to install some pipelines for global oil corporations at minimum wage before disappearing over the horizon.

It is possible that a revenutionary war to get rid of N.P.R. would be adequate cause, but assuredly taking Alaska out of the U.S.A. in order to prevent national Wildlife Refuges from being formed is the work of an true oil groupie seeking more from his main revenue supplier. If the state were to diversify it could have a better time of negotiating with the global oil corporations that know Alaska politicians are retarded pushovers on the subject.

http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/products-services/products/2-8-mw-dfc3000/

Restarting the Cold War (poem)

Cold war enigma
a fuel cell power plant
silhouetted shadows deepen
concrete Soviet blocks built to the west
waterfront plots around dark pools
research firms mining dissident ideas
corporatists,communists, advanced telecommunications networks
ad hoc ideas for consolidating absolute power
without stalin or delay

Ants scurry along networks of varicose pipelines
innumerable jobs working underground
exhausting reproductive economic cycles of guns and butter
working jobs of field crafts
attacking rotting fruit producing mountains of molehills
freely in trade
for dusty twits, trime and singularity

Raptor rime of ancient mariner
syncopated with blackened lips
parched through waves of verdant decline
expanses of revenutionary warps of the old school
with new tools of gathering power
where trillions of stealth drones lurk in dark space
like whirlwinds of logic sold as slaves to evolution
a doctrine for combat ops droning on
as corporals of industry deadveloping time

Clouds restoring defeat from victory's jaw
disappear while peaceful ice crystals melt away
quietly tickling down to silent spring''s sanctions
in a non-renewable river flow breaking up empires
where deposits from borderlands build banks
being and becoming fossil's fuels of the new hive.



President Obama Has Earned an 'F' in Ecological Economics

With enough political loot in his swag of success a retiring President Obama could open a green tourist lodge on the shore of verdant Lake Tanganyika for Eco-tourists and to coordinate decades of Carterist political interventions globally yet he would still have earned an 'F' on ecospheric economic reform.  While a Walker-Rubio dynamic duo would probably beat down a Hillary-Bill,Lopez,Winfree,Feinstein or Boxer ticket any new President would continue the F- approach to economic reform. It is not sufficient to just slow down the rate of loss of savings from an environmental account 5% to get a few votes over a rival political party; instead a complete economic reform bringing environmental restoration and new, sustainable global economic practices is required starting in the U.S.A.

President Obama has as a loyal to non-sustainable economics capitalist tool worked to enhance the concentration of wealth that the misguided take as pure capitalism. Actual global financial and market networking is effacing and converting capitalism from a pluralist condition toward monism. In time the Stalin of Wall Street with the best social empowerment skills will rule an oligarchy with inflexible domination of the global market allocating resources wheresoever he, she or it will. The end of capitalism occurs with over-concentration of wealth and networked ownership of capitalism. It is not a communist utopia or a minimalist eschatological Von Mises actualization of a few global corporations in competition as winners in survival of the fittest competition-it is an undesirable yet socially deserved death of capitalism, repression of free enterprise and death of democracy. The environment is being killed on the way.

So any politician with environmental economic enlightenment is unlikely to see the light of day through the propaganda ocean of news media oppression of anything that seems antipathetic to a corporatist or networking of power social agenda. Since the world's natural resources are incapable of sustaining an American lifestyle for ten billion it will become undesirable to permit free expression without economic reprisal of dissident economic ideas. 

It is hard to underestimate the desire of Americans to posture for politically correct positions rather to risk saying or writing anything in support of democracy. While self-determination and democracy were politically [popular terms during the Reagan administration, like the word 'poor' that has dropped out of Democrat Party vocabulary unless it applies to illegal aliens or foreigners. Self-determination and democracy too have faded out of the political leadership lexicon as U.S. interventionism to annex former Soviet lands for market exploitation have escalated.

When the Nobel Prize Committee awarded President Obama a peace prize in advance foreseeing his leadership in stimulating wars across North Africa and support for civil war in Ukraine, it did not realize what success he would have a reconstituting a cold war with Russia after the Soviet Union in a remarkable breach of distrust gave up and joined the capitalist world. The United States in some ways has reversed the Soviet Evil Empire modality of expansion that Trotsky envisioned and itself seems to be pressing to compel capitalism upon the world economic system. Barrack Obama makes a poor post-Stalinist cadre of leaders example (when Trotskyism resumed after the Stalin hiatus). Unfortunately, even with a virtual diner's dilemma kind of devotion to avoiding the check loyalty to capitalism, the Universal phase of capitalism in the networked era unforeseen by the Austrian school results in the death of capitalism and environment together.

Yet of course there are off-world resources and millions of black-boy stealth drones possible for budgeting conflicts in space. I guess one can be optimistic that way and trust that Martians can pay the check.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Forms and Immortality of the Soul


Numerous configurations for considering how and why the soul may be immortal may be developed with causality made by the Creator or without. The souls could be regarded as a naturally occurring development in a given Universe that would be replicated inevitably in the same way that the natural form of a hydrogen molecule would recur in any Universe of a similar composition to this one. Because this is a Christian philosophical contemplation though, I prefer to write of the way that God in his glory maintains the immortality of the soul.

It is always fair to say that the soul is immortal that lives in the transcending kingdom of God yet this essay is intended to approach the answer in terms that may be understood by those interested in natural philosophy as well as spirituality.

For one; a soul may be described as that content of sentience and personality, body and mind that comprises an individual. God created that content in mind before the beginning of the Universe, as he did foresee and create a particular number of individual souls to be and become in their own appropriate time. Thus it is obvious that God may restore a soul to actual being though the physical body has perished. It is possible to compare the soul to a computer operating system; if it is wiped out the computer operator may restore it from an original off-line. Obviously God has omniscience of all a priori for he has created all a priori and determined when and how any Universe or thing within it will actualize.

A soul like everything within a created and actualizing Universe has a deterministic character as well as indeterminate characteristics within it. Indeterminism embedded within determinism is an innate characteristic of a Universe with sentient beings within its nature. Variable ranges of freedom within a pre-determined, evolving temporal system exist to allow sentient will to express intelligence and intelligent design of components to exist within the deterministic physical order. In that regard human beings become ‘as little gods’.

A Universe has a given number of dimensions and time axis as boundary conditions, although it is theoretically possible for those to change within a Universe’s historical expansion though with a probability of catastrophic consequents. The boundary conditions and initial endowment of energy that may ossify or evolve into mass steady state are pre-determined to occur within forms possible with the boundary parameters of a particular Universe. Branes, strings, quarks and other energy packets that compound to comprise atoms, molecules and observable mass combine and recombine in pre-determined forms that are pre-determined and finite possibilities of that Universe.

The glory of God expresses Universes and sentient beings to exist providing the opportunity for those beings to praise the glory of God-and rightly so. The ineffable wisdom of the ancient of days transcending space-time parameters coordinates and orchestrates the harmony of dimensions and energy to evolve being perceptible-to-others created with the divine will.

One wonders if dimensions give some boundary conditional curvature to draw the energy endowed to a Universe along space-time lines of evolution, or if the second law of thermodynamics and quantum uncertainty of virtual particles are flowing along a temporal axis of charge and change re-energized to complete its course at the conclusive pre-destination at time equals omega. That re-destination would be unchanged within expansive or contractive future evolutionary cosmological courses. Human souls actualize and the for-themselves fade out within the phenomenal history of a Universe comparable in that regard to virtual particles appearing as from the slope of zero-point energy space uncertainty.

 Gregory Cantor and Kurt Godel developed the ideas leading to trans-finite series, trans-finite sets and the problem of a set-of-all sets. God is the Great Spirit enabling a set of all sets to exist for-Himself actualizing His ideas with Universes being-for-others.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Alaska & Oil Patch Price Predictions for 2015-2030, & Frackin the Hilbert Curve

I have no expertise in the oil patch. It is true that I worked for an oil prospecting firm for a while during the late 70's-early 80's time frame to earn some cash for college yet I thought I would take a shot at predicting the price of oil per barrel for the next decade and a half since the politicians of Alaska seem to be little more than corporate oil groupies always seeking to bring more Alaska natural resources to plunder for the Exxon's, BP's, Phillips of this world. State governments that rely on oil for royalty tax revenues tend to always look to that industry as Uncle Sugar; speaking of which-all that cheap Cuban cane sugar may change the export market a little and increase revenue for dentists.

Last Sept I predicted that oil would fall below $50 a barrel because of fracking and supply. I anticipate that trend will continue to bring all run down old oil fields around the globe back in to production the next 30 years or so with the price per barrel remaining below $40 per barrel. In fact gasoline to drop to pre-OPEC 1960s era prices per gallon. Saudi Arabia may double-down it's depleted oil fields to and cross over the Hilbert curve parameters toward economic resurrection of that oil already lost to insatiable engines of transport.

Thus oil groupie politicians in Alaska should seek to diversify their revenue base and economy perhaps with income tax and the establishment of alternate energy fuel cell power plants along the rail belt. S.E. Alaska has much potential for wind power as well. Though it is natural and reflexive for Alaska politicians to look for another Prudhoe Bay to refill the Trans-Alaska pipeline, the major oil corporations have a surfeit of oil around the globe waiting to be fracked-why would they want to transport Alaska oil south or to China at low cost per barrel when the U.S.A. is already exporting oil again? Why should Alaska politicians want to plunder ANWR to enhance global warming gassing and also sell Alaska's major remaining oil reserve at the lowest possible price (the answer is that the groupie of oil always suck up to their natural resource extraction paymasters. Of course, they should be looking to broaden their horizons of economics and develop American fuel cell power plants and promote high tech electric transport technological infrastructure establishment.

Global warming and sea level rises may be very costly for the state of Alaska with the federal government some day unable to pay the costs for the state as it often does in many fields. One day the EPA Super-fund site cleanup may discover itself unable to clean up habitat lost to sea level rise, reduce the planetary atmospheric pressure or resurrect exterminated species themselves; the disasters will just accumulate without remediation. So though the world may have cheap oil and gas ahead and the second and third world may want to have every citizen driving a low-millage SUV-that would be a poor choice for human economic development. American politicians should be leaders in change rather than corporate oil groupies to get campaign donations and etc.








Thursday, January 22, 2015

Practical Challenges with the Patent & Production Process (it's not fire and forget)

If one invents a novel product idea it is necessary to discover if the idea has already been patented and though Google has a free patent search tool it can still be costly and time consuming especially if one develops several ideas a year.

With a simple idea such as extensible auto or truck window vents to use when the car or truck is motionless and one wants to have good air ventilation in the parked vehicle (if one sleeps overnight in a car in cold weather the quart per hour water exhalation from the lungs freezes on windows and can eventually collect and ruin automobile electronics) one must think the idea through a little and arrive at a good, cheap too mass produce design.

Say one has a tent-like flap in a rectangular frame that will fit in a car window rolled half way down. Perhaps there is a rod hood on the top that will connect at the bottom of the rectangle to an isosceles triangle shaped rod at the apex when it is point away from the vehicle and snaps in place.  Air can flow up the bottom and with a few Velcro fasteners holding the bottom of the nylon tent material to th triangular rod it would let go air flow into the car. A mosquito net could also be fastened into the frame.

If one were to want to produce such a low-tech product and sell it to chain store outlets it would probably be necessary to file a patent disclosure first, instead of waiting for a regular patent that costs thousands of dollars, and then catch a plane to Shanghai to locate some materials fabricator who would agree to supply the rectangle, triangle, rod, mosquito net, Velcro fasteners and cut the tent-vent to the correct size. Probably the production cost would be less than a dollar per vent and in the U.S.A. they would be sold for $5.00 at some auto supply and sporting goods outlets after one got buy contracts with product samples. Yet its all theory, and a lot of it, for just one idea. At least if one likes Chinese food the cost of a working vacation to China wouldn't be thrown away.

The one would need to produce a few thousand units to export to the U.S.A.  ready to bring in finished packaged form to retail stores. If one has several ideas annually the experimental nature of the entire process is inefficient and has leaky security. In my opinion the entire system has a built in trickle up to concentrated wealth bias in it-and hence the U.S. Government has never done anything to make the patent process and production into a form better suited for native American inventors.

So I have given a little thought to how the patent process might be designed in order to accelerate through-put for the inventor and/or producer. There must be a large number of people that invent something in thought who then just let the idea perish knowing that the practical challenges to bringing the idea to market are substantial.

It could be useful to integrate several artificial-intelligence steps in the process together in stages enabling the inventor to be as free as possible from the non-idea related steps of product-development to market engineering.Perhaps the patent search system could become something much more able to recognize input from the inventor and search through records exhaustively to find anything similar that might be inc conflict or competition potentially-It might also have an inventor's idea 'thesaurus' to survey related areas.

At any stage in the process the inventor should be able to print out or suspend the search-such as if similar ideas turn up he might want to see how he might differ his product from an existing invention.

As the idea continues to be processed the materials, market and producers of inventions or related products interested in working with new inventions should be surveyed. I would guess that it might be possible to create something like an EBay for inventors that would match inventors and reliable producers together that are suitable-and the producers might have inventor ratings.

If all of this were very low cost or free the number of inventions that might be developed annually could increase as people without the means to finance their own inventions would experience the entry of their ideas to market. There is probably a social benefit in consolidating and expediting an invention concept to product development and marketing facility on-line that would enable anyone, anywhere to have an existential best-case, practical opportunity to sell anything that he or she might invent without cost.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Common Wrong Theological Doctrine of Pre-Tribulationism

In my  investigation of Christian theology to discover what is true and what is error I have learned of what may be egregious error in end-times opinion (a field called eschatology) held by numerous sects and denominations including the Seventh Day Adventists and our friends the Baptists. I should mention regarding Baptists that Baptist churches commonly have wide latitude interpreting scripture and thus that thought the Dallas Theological Seminary may propound wrong doctrine that does not mean that all Baptist hold to the error of pre-tribulationist opinion of the end times. Many evangelical churches also hold pre-trib paradigms based on misunderstanding the Revelation of the Apostle John. Surprisingly veritable monuments of church pulpits have propounded wrong doctrine for decades with the wrong belief that the tribulation is yet ahead and that a literal thousand year millennium is as well. The gross errors are understandable when one considers that so many learn theology subsequent to establishing careers and that selection of doctrine without reflection and meditation may be a norm rather than an exception.

Of course troubles, sorrows and even mass disasters may occur in the world people being as inept as they are on keeping peace, prosperity and a health environment together-yet that does not mean that it would entail a Christian-style tribulation.

In this blog post I will cover two topics at least; that the millennium and the 70 weeks of the book of Daniel. Actually I will go over a few more concepts including some of my philosophical ideas about the theory of knowledge. I have several quotations in a point-counter point way from theologians too.

Some theologians believe the 1000 year reign of the Lord mentioned in the Revelation is a literal thousand years with the Lord appearing in person in the flesh,  others believe the millennium occurs with the Lord reigning from heaven. Post-millennialists regard the millennium as not a literal thousand years;  instead

 -quote”This is even more difficult to conceive of in light of our second observation: the mention of the thousand-year reign occurs in the most figurative and difficult book in all of Scripture. If it is a literal time frame, why is it that it is only mentioned in this highly symbolic book? It is a bit odd, too, that this time frame is so perfectly rounded and exact, which seems more compatible with a figurative view. Warfield is surely correct, when he comments "we must not permit ourselves to forget that there is a sense in which it is proper to permit our understanding of so obscure a portion of Scripture to be affected by the clearer teaching of its more didactic parts.... [T]he order of investigation should be fromthe clearer to the more obscure." But this hermeneutical principle has not often been honored. "Nothing, indeed, seems to have been more common in all ages of the Church than to frame an eschatological scheme from this passage,imperfectly understood, and then to impose this scheme on the rest of Scripture vi et armis." Clouse is correct about the place of the millennium in the
 discussion: "These categories [amillennial, premillennial, post-millennial], although helpful and widely accepted, are in certain respects unfortunate as the distinctions involve a great deal more than the time of Christ's return.'

The proper understanding of the thousand-year time frame in Revelation 20 is that it is representative of a long and glorious era and is not limited to a literal 365,000 days. The figure represents a perfect cube of ten, which is the number of quantitative perfection. 81 The thousand here is no more literal than that which affirms God's ownership of the cattle on a thousand hills (Psa. 50: 10), or promises Israel will be a thousand times more numerous (Deut. 1: 11), or measures God's love to a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9), or expresses the desire for a thousand years in God's courts (Psa. 84: 10), or compares a thousand years of our time to one of God's days (Psa. 90:4). The millennial designation, then, is John's visionary portrayal of the kingdom of Christ, which was established at Christ's first coming. Revelation 20: 1 clearly establishes the passage as a vision; John opens with: "and I saw" (Rev. 20: la). This is strongly suggestive of its symbolic import and is evidence against a strictly literal interpretation of the one thousand years. In addition, the first event seen in the vision is the binding of the angel Satan with a chain, which surely is not literal (especially since His binding is shown to be spiritual elsewhere: Matt. 12:29 82 ). Revelation 20:4-6 speaks of the saints living and reigning with Christ, which is elsewhere presented as a spiritual reality in the present experience of God's people (l Cor. 13:21-22; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Col. 3:1-2). This reigning of the saints with Christ on thrones pictures the kingdom of Christ, which is already established (cf. Chapter 11).83 His kingdom, then, is defined chronologically as a complete and perfect time. Besides, elsewhere the Second Coming of Christ is associated with "the end" (1 Cor. 15:23-24) and brings in "the last day": resurrection (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54). "Therefore, in view of the total absence of supporting evidence from the New Testament, it is exceedingly hazardous to claim that a thousand years intervene between Christ's coming and the end of the world on the grounds that Revelation 20 teaches a millennium."84

The millennial era has already turned out to be almost 2,000 years; it may continue another 10,000 or more for all we know. It is the perfect time of Christ's rule in His kingdom (Rev. 1:5) – a time that shall eventually result in the subduing of all nations.”end quote from Gentry's 'He Shall Have Dominion' pages 334-336

 Fortunately I took a philosophy course on epistemology that gave me some insight into the nature of certainty about knowledge. Actually I spent a fair amount of time reading in the field beyond the course assignment of Plato's Theatetus and Wittgenstein's 'On Certainty' and Tractatus Logico Philosophicus'. I read Wittgenstein's Blue and Brown books that are basically about the construction of language and went on from that to discovery of the entire field of analytic and linguistic philosophy from the Vienna Circle with Wittgenstein, Carnap and others to the main point of divergence in the field in the 20th century with publication of A.J. Ayer's  seminal work on the philosophy of empiricism named 'Language, Truth and Logic'.

The philosophy of empiricism was of course the basic criterion in defense of purely scientific reasoning on the basis of objective, empirically verifiable data. That is where the field of epistemology becomes terribly interesting; one gets into very technical points amount the nature of sense perceptions and the relationship of sense data to mind and logic.

Empiricists would divide knowledge into sense data input from empirical, real world information and subjective psychological content. The philosopher that  demolished the theoretical validity of empiricism-W.V.O. Quine with the publication of his book 'The Two Dogmas of Empiricism', pointed out that it is actually not possible to classify sense data into such a fine duality. Quine wrote a number of brilliant works on the philosophy of logic, many of which I also read continuing development of the field of epistemology, language and certainty.

P.F. Strawson was another brilliant logician who wrote about the phenomena of empiricism and the division of valid content into subjective and objective content regarding empirical data. Strawson's book 'Individuals' is another book intensely illuminating the very technical subject-object analytic distinction of thought. Quine wrote a book with similar material named 'Word and Object'.
The development of analytic or linguistic philosophy during the 20th century paralleled the development of the rise of a more subjectivist philosophical school sometimes associated with Dewey and the post-modernist left. That movement has more political force than intellectual acuity and associates itself implicitly with evolution theory.

Evolution theory itself us used as a political philosophy itself today generally without rigorous logical consistency failing even to cohere with the scientific principles of evolution. For instance in one application of evolution as political philosophy...
On the subject of homosexual marriage a few years ago President Obama said that his position was 'evolving'. Consider though what evolution theory itself consists of (actually there are several threads to take including Lamarkian). Evolution theory comprises natural selection of the most fit species for a particular environment. It does not mean 'progressive change' for the better or something like that. Yet evolution as a word can be used to mean change-for-itself with certain characteristics of a continuum of change (like the aesthetic experience of daytime arising from dawn's early light to sunrise, morning, mid day, late afternoon light with the sun having passed two o'clock to sunset dusk and evening only to recur in a cyclic pattern the next day.

What President Obama probably did not mean was random phenomenal environmental selection of the most fit queer human beings for a particular environmental niche of urbanization and high-density population demographics and that his thought was evolving toward political sycophancy with one affirmative action constituency class for political expediency to get votes.

The idea of thought-itself as evolving through random selections to find an idea most suitable for a particular thought-niche corresponding to an empirical political or social situation is not a confidence builder for the accuracy or strength of human reasoning so far as I am concerned. I am not comfortable with the concept that anyone's thought should be a kind of random access data base that operates for-itself like a computer program working a bubble-sort to make the right result float to the top; that result is the result of the bias of pre-determined and willful selection rather than getting a randomly determined number to fit a niche.

It is easy to understand how viewing thought as a kind of lottery to discover the winning number or political opinion might be popular. Yet not to over-labor the point here about evolution theory having many meanings when it is employed as a political philosophy, I simply wanted to point out that there are many different ways to view evolution theory that tend to abnegate reason and will-even human intellect-as an intentional reasoning tool.

In the historical sense it is easy to understand how pre-millennialists lost sight of the truth about the Revelation and accurate eschatology. At least however pre-millenialists remained Christians even if grossly inaccurate ones regarding eschatology. Shoddy lottery style evolutionary logic does appear to be something of a social, historical normal occurrence though. People have often reasoned from historical or empirical circumstances from where they find themselves without much reflection.
If one considers the falsehood of 'The Donation of Constantine' and all of the social development that followed its acceptance until correction one can discern the way that social reality has a content and evolution apart from objective truth and facts not too uncommonly. America's present efforts to change the Syrian Government regime of Bashir Assad is profuse with crocodile tears about civilian casualties. While Muslim terrorists that are called Muslim moderates are trained by the United States, France and others to attack the Syrian Government when some blow-back of Muslim terrorist attacking France occurs the facts are warped by the U.S. Government and media to conform with the use-truth required for implementation of the policy of regime change in Syria. Social reality as an evolving use-truth means serving up falsehood to the public in order to further political goals. It is in this mess of political evolution theory where even lies are regarded as having no moral significance accept as they do not serve the insider political platform that the contemporary Christian finds his beliefs sharing a public social environment.

Thus it is important where, when and how Christians learn the facts about the Revelation and the way post-millennialism rolls back the error of pre-millennialism with its wrong judgments about apocalypse, tribulation and the anti-Christ being ahead. It isn't simply a matter of examining fact A or B or C and countering that as in a simple arithmetic argument of accounting. Fuzzy logic does prevail in historical and literary analysis-that is a somewhat higher I.Q. for the analysis and interpretation of data accurately can be helpful. If Christians are to win more converts ,in addition to a priesthood of believers serving themselves as primary agents for indoctrination of proselytes they need to have true rather than false eschatological ideas...that is they should have the post-millennial ideas that Gentry set out in 'He Shall Have Dominion'.
Returning to the idea of certainty. I ought to explain that epistemology and certainty has something of an element to it comparable to hermeneutics; they are comparable to computer operating systems with different architectures and programs for processing data. Epistemology however makes the effort determine what the most true grounds or operating system construction are and  then employ that to understand life. Instead of being a particular system it is a meta-system method or approach to examining content subjectively and objectively. Plainly one should not want to dismiss knowledge as meaningless because it is circumstantially evolved junk no more meaningful than dirt clods.
Though people were initially made from dirt and Adamas means 'brown dirt', though star dust (dirt) is what everything and perhaps dreams too are made of, reasoning and logic still counts. The mind and it's place in nature is a real experience a little different than non-thoughtful dirt. In spite of a dirt foundation human beings have a spiritual nature a little like that of God whom is the pure Spirit proceeding anything constructed within a Universe or evolved within the dirt paradigm.
I took a photo of a dead tree recently that had broken and fallen over.  It had been dead standing up for many years for various reasons involving forest regrowth a century ago, muskeg and too much water with a lot of acid content in the soil. Where the tree was broken off the cellular structure had already broken down so far as to be in effect nothing more than 'dirt'. People were grown a little like that themselves-and the idea that evolution of mankind physically from the world by the intelligent design of God is met by a too magical of response over-reaction by fundamentalists who thus vacate the field of accurate interpretation of the meaning of Genesis and creation theory to atheists and a few philosophically minded Christians. That means that theology becomes incapable of moving Christians back from the moral abnegation found in secular approaches to evolution as science. Churches such as the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and others accept the sin of homosexual marriage because they accept an atheist interpretation of evolution theory. The material and empirical facts of science added to the political expedience of an immoral philosophy in concentrating wealth permits a non-rational age of evolutionary political philosophy to grow with the logical reactions against that from the Muslim world including jihad against an immoral, decadent, self-destructive civilization.
I found it rather amusing that Ludwig Wittgenstein-the brilliant philosopher and son of Europe's most rich man, was a homosexual. While he was serving in the German army in Northern Italy in W.W. I he was writing the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus and in love with a British pilot who died in a plane crash eventually. That is really crazy stuff—yet a paradigm that political evolutionists would find satisfying I think. Bertrand Russell-an atheist philosopher of excellence and quite a decent fellow-got Wittgenstein a post at Cambridge where he wrote the Blue and Brown books on language philosophy. Russell after serving a prison sentence for opposition to the war eventually moved to California where he wrote 'The History of Philosophy'. Wittgenstein's book 'On Certainty' was a worthwhile project to write tough Wittgenstein himself was perhaps a little confused about many things and obviously a lost soul.

A theory of knowledge requires verification of truth. Science has some criteria for verifying truth and there is a verification model of truth for-itself-rather like disquotation theory of truth I think. A natural human trait is for people to accept what they know as true because they know it. An how one knows anything or examining the content of what one believes they know is an ancient philosophical endeavor as one finds in the Socratic dialogues.

Engelsma writes contra-post-millennialism. So like a juror perhaps one is expected to reach a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt or at least to the lower civil standard of a preponderance of evidence in support of one's opinion about Engelsma vs. Gentry. As I said at the start however I have a certain bias pro-Gentry in the matter having already read Gentry's two books. Engelsma's ideas seem like those of a pale shade complaining from the left-behind camp along the road after the Glory train has passed him by. Though he could have got aboard the glory train he had a fruit stand he thought he needed to defend. It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

I want to make the point that this is all written respectfully of Prof. Engelsma-he does not have an easy job attacking post-millennialism...rather like the Jersey Generals vs the Harlem Globetrotters or Mr. Burger vs Perry Mason. One needs to have a Red team and counter-arguments to field-test discovered truth. Prof Engelsma has worked toward that end.

It seems evident that when numerous theologians with depth in Biblical scholarship and languages arrive on differing sides of opinion  about the interpretation of the Revelation that certainty ought to be difficult to attain. Neither side ought reasonably to have complete certainty of correct interpretation when it is possible for theologians of similar educational backgrounds to arrive at such different conclusions. For one thing, it seems plain that regardless of one's particular Biblical hermeneutic used that the facts of the Revelation ought to be plain enough For theologians to be certain of the meaning of the Revelation rightly understood there ought not to be such a vast range of possible error, and if there is such a vast range then correspondingly the certainty of accurate interpretation ought to decrease somewhat.

So Englesma, pre-millenialists and select amillennialists that do not acknowledge Gentry's version of the Revelation could be comparable to believers in the flat earth theory or thee Ptolemaic systems who refused to accept the Copernican revolutionary insight. That is, anti post-millennialists must be in opposition on generally invalid grounds. The denial of evidence of a correct hermeneutic and interpretation of the Revelation is the foundation for the unbelief, and that is comparable to the denial of scientific insight given by Copernicus and Kepler on non-scientific or invalid scientific grounds. In any case certainty is conditional and relative simply because no human has infallible opinions about everything all of the time.

Before I move on from this explanation of ideas concerning certainty and the formation of true opinion I want to make a comparison of Biblical hermeneutic to computer programs, computer operating systems and to language lexicons.

One of the basic elements of computational logic is Boolean algebra and Boolean truth-tables. Language lexicons can be represented as a kind of truth table or matrices with a particular lexicon differing from other lexicons of other languages. A large part of finding truth is in locating the position in the truth table where the predicates intersect at a hypothetical object in order to determine if the value is true or false.

There is a much greater range for error when comparing different language lexical values obviously; the language elements were not designed to correspond to values in different lexicons. It is as if one did mathematics with inappropriate content in formulas mixing positive and negative numbers up together in ordered series wily nilly-the complete value assumptions of a given scalar field would change.

It is simply the beauty of language and logic tools after good philosophers of logic expressed it in various treatises that brings one to appreciate that respective language universes and hermeneutic universes of meaning may exist that produce their own unique values when the same material is input for theological deliberation. That does not mean that each are true. Science tends to value falsifiability as a verification tool for testing hypothesis and theory. For theologians that might be more a matter of verifying the hermeneutic with scripture, however determining the truth of the way to interpret the Revelation as preponderantly preterist or futurist requires consideration of historical elements as much as abstract hermeneutic calculation of the words of the Revelation as abstract meaning units with possibly different values.

In my opinion the preponderance of words of the Revelation interpreted in the light of first century history seem to well correspond to Gentry's paradigm written in 'The Beast of the Revelation'. In some ways it is more practical to consider that analogy and metaphor were used by John to describe near-future occurrences of real historically existing people, governments and powers rather than as distant future abstract mystical super-figure and space-referents, though the latter make for good movies should anyone in Hollywood need some script ideas.

Ordinarily people considering history may divide social and historical time into periods, ages or events. Inaugurated eschatology would be comparable to the Wisconsin Ice Age of thousands of years that had a start and and end, or maybe to Chinese civilization that began with the Shang era about 2000 B.C.. and continues today. So one might say that the inaugurated end of Chinese civilization began in 1948 approximately when Mao and the communist defeated the nationalists in war perhaps-if Chinese civilization were to evolve to extinction in a hundred years or so as a unit of a global corporatist empire with Chinese-human assets relocated to optimize production to Africa and South America and vice versa for the wealth for elites.

An inaugurated eschatology beginning in the first century A.D. continuing to the present and future just isn't an eschatology in any conventional sense of the term. It is needful to find an extra-dimensional context for the end times to cohere within normal times perhaps or to expand the usual times parameters to those of geology or evolutionary biological epochs. Actually post-millennialism might be alright with that, as might amillennialism, yet neither ought to consider the Kingdom of God era to be an end times. Better, for post-mils at least, the end times may occur all in ode day at the end of the secular Kingdom of God at some uncertain time in the future.

The term inaugurated eschatology is remarkably vague and challenging to define. Yet is has the virtue of quickly leading one's thought toward metaphysical study of what comprises the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God for-itself seems a little redundant or ancillary. God is God, and yet God also has a Kingdom-something like an annex perhaps. Maybe the Kingdom is a realm where contingent beings may exist in direct relation to God rather than in a nominally spiritually inert Universe of mass and energy. The kingdom of God in that sense could arise wherever or whenever God made His presence known. God doesn't need kingdoms-God includes all-possible kingdoms and all possible sets of configurations of mass, energy and forms of matter as expressions of His will for anything to exist. A kingdom of God is a comfortable or understandable referent term for a phenomenal place for contingent beings to experience the Creator. Even with that concept that I have inferred with logic and some reading inspiration-what the Kingdom of God is for amillennialists is still not plain to me.
Anthony Hoekema wrote in his 'Brief Sketch of Amillenial Eschatology'-

quote-“The kingdom of God is therefore both a present reality and a future hope. Jesus clearly taught that the kingdom was already present during his earthly ministry: “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt. 12:28, NIV). When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, he replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!’ or `There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Lk. 17:20-21). But Jesus also taught that there was a sense in which the kingdom of God was still future, both in specific sayings (Mt. 7:21-23; 8:11-12) and in eschatological parables (such as those of the Marriage Feast, the Tares, the Talents, the Wise and Foolish Virgins). Paul also makes statements describing the kingdom as both present (Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:19-20; Col. 1:13-14) and future (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; 2 Tim. 4:18).”-end quote

I think a point that may be taken from this sort of study is that it is necessary to discovery what is true in amillennialism and post-millennialism rather than to accept one system entirely and refute entirely the other-since some of the planks cohere in each. One may however dismiss the pre-millennial point of view as generally invalid and even counter-productive to understanding the kingdom of God. Partial preterism largely negates the main points of pre-millennial eschatology.


http://www.the-highway.com/amilc_Hoekema.html

Reformed Amillennialism – An Introduction by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Revelation 20 by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Apostasy and Persecution by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Matthew 24 – Part I by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Matthew 24 – Part II by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Matthew 24 – Part III by Prof. David J. Engelsma
Reformed Amillennialism – Matthew 24 – Part IV by Prof. David J. Engelsma

The Engelsma criterion of amillennialism seems to differ itself little from salient features of the pre-mill or pre-trib opinions in important respects. I believe those criteria were quite well refuted by Gentry in his two books on the Revelation and Post-Millennialism that I read for this eschatology course.

In fact it seems as if there may be two varieties of amillennialism; one is Catholic with a view of the Revelation possibly closer to protestant post-millennialism except notably for the role of the Pope in the temporal manifestation of  the growing kingdom of God. The second variety of amillennialism is that expressed by Dr, Engelsma that is perhaps rather vague and uncertain in its foundations. Prof. Engelsma has the unenviable position of being a conservative defender of a traditional theological point of view that is perhaps somewhat vague in its origins and content.
Engelsma writes; ”Let us have the positions clearly in our mind.
Both are teachings about the last days. Both instruct the church as to what she can expect in the future before the second coming of Jesus Christ.

They differ radically.

Reformed amillennialism teaches the church, that is, us who believe and our children, to expect increasing lawlessness in the world, apostasy from the truth in the churches, the establishment of the kingdom of Antichrist over the entire world, and great tribulation for all those who fear God and keep His commandments. To such a world, thus fully developed in sin, will Christ return.”-end quote

Gentry pointed out rather humorously that the position such as stated above seems to be an agenda for atheist anti-Christians to follow rather than Christians. He noted that it is as if atheist and/or the church of Satan expected the world to be fully Christian before the return of Satan. Anticipating the world to be 'fully developed in sin' before Christ returns is rather pre-mill in outlook and seems to entirely disregard Gentry's 'The Beast of the Revelation' preterism that appears to me to be far more sound than the metaphor and hyperbole super-spatial thousands of years from the first century tribulation of Nero and Titus that was developing while John was imprisoned at Patmos paradigm of interpretation of the Revelation that pre-mills have and that must inform Prof. Engelsma for his erroneous eschatological viewpoint.

Engelsma also writes in his Introduction; quote-“Post-millennialism in Reformed and Presbyterian circles holds out quite a different prospect. Gradually, the gospel will convert the majority of the world’s inhabitants. True Christians will possess political power in every nation, controlling all aspects of the life of the nation so that there will be a genuinely Christian culture. This will be the “Christianizing,” as they put it, of the world. The human race will obey the law of God, at least outwardly (for many will remain unconverted). There will be earthly peace worldwide. The result will be unprecedented material prosperity. Poverty will disappear. Disease will be checked. Crime will be virtually non-existent.”-end quote

Consider that there are already about a billion people that are nominally Christian at least and that the ability of those Christian to communicate the gospel is increasing-ought they to stop sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and stand by as quietist in order the sin may fully develop?

Christianity steadily increased its numbers in the first and subsequent centuries rather than experiencing a decline. In fact the Christian world has already experienced nearly two rather than one millennium of increasing its numbers. It would be a stretch to say that the majority of the world's inhabitants have been Christian of course, yet at some point in the future that could be so. I hate to say this-yet in addition to conversion there is a real possibility that some global disaster could occur leaving the majority in a Christian society as survivors and hence a planetary majority. At any moment the fulfillment of Gentry's majority criterion is only a heartbeat away.

I believe that a planetary social catastrophe will not be the way that a Christian majority develops though. Simply with the continuity of Christianity and the decline and fall of other major religions over time the majority of human beings affiliated with a religion may arrive by default as Christian. Taoists and Zoroastrians, Manicheans and eventually Buddhists too may decline in number. Islam is presently popular in repressive and neo-authoritarian nations of the second world yet the innate violence and oppression of women in that warrior religion may transition the false prophet's popular to a downward trajectory corresponding to increasing ecospherically renewable prosperity in the second world.

It is possible that poverty will disappear, yet with mechanization and mass production along with other materials technologies sustainable development and resource continuity along with recovery of planetary biospheric health are far greater challenges that eliminating poverty that could simply be accomplished rather swiftly by expanding existing production. The trouble with rapid increase of global production is a corresponding rapid depletion of non-renewable natural resources, rapid and continuing ecosphere decay and possible demographic disaster. Plainly the need for sustainable intellectual development of managing ecospheric health and species diversity exists.

Crime may or may not disappear. Criminal activity has a certain defining element to it. Paul wrote about the law and those convicted by the law-that hasn't changed. The laws of God and the laws of men differ. Being a runaway slave was a crime in the Roman world, while today owning slaves is a crime. Slaves that were Christian were free in the Roman world in a way that their owners still in bondage to sin were not. In a majority Christian world original sin will still exist because it is implicit in human nature within the parameters of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. That can't be helped until one has a non-temporal body in heaven. Notably Jesus said that people are not married nor given in marriage in heaven. Without thermodynamic evolutions and with an eternal form of being sustained by the Lord the short-lived reproductive configured human experience will be obsolete. So will crime disappear on Earth sometime during the build-up to a Christian majority?

In answer to that question it is again useful to point out the innumerable scenarios that could unfold in the future. Technology could make crime impossible. One might also consider primitive societies where there was little technological development. If someone admired another's knife that individually might just give it to him to avoid jealousy and end the envy. It was easy to make a new knife and no one had a need to accumulate a pile of extra knives. It is possible that with 3D print-on-demand production of articles that everyone can get what they need to exist reasonably well and reduce crime. The major issue with that would be running out of the resource raw materials for the printers-an issue with printers even now of the conventional sort is the cost of replacement ink cartridges. There are innumerable scenarios and an off world whereby crime could decrease radically and a Christian majority could exist, yet what of Christian rule?

Many have recognized a need for separate ecclesiastical and secular government bodies. I think that Gentry does not differ on that point. The secular government would be staffed with apposite rather than opposite religious opinion holding individuals so one might not find much practical difference. I think it is important however to note that democratic government is quite compatible with a priesthood of believers ecclesiastical structure.

A Priesthood of Believers church structure with perhaps ranks of beginner, intermediate and elder sharing liturgical and other church roles, sharing job credit banks, sharing health banks and with national and planetary recognition of church participation regardless of where they attended last week would bring all people into a fundamental role serving under the One High Priest as missionaries sharing the good news of the Lord. Work for the priesthood of believers would become a Christian service for others-and this is a quite natural evolution too in the modern age of mass electronic communication. Theological schools can produce customized service content for Sunday readers to use as discretionary helps on their smart phone. Leadership roles in small church groups can rotate weekly in order that all Christians participate. The egalitarianism of the Christian Church means that all would be professing Christians in public and take the Bible and its moral precepts seriously as a profession of faith. That will offset some of the institutional damage inflicted by corrupted hierarchical organization structures to the public now and then.

Prof. Engelsma makes what I believe is a straw man argument toward the end of his introduction; quote “Postmillennialism tells the Reformed saints that apostasy, Antichrist, and persecution are past. It calls them to take power in the world. It assures them of future earthly ease. It leaves the people unprepared for the struggle that lies ahead for the church, the fiercest struggle that the church has ever faced. It renders the people oblivious to the gathering storm at this very moment. The abounding lawlessness in Western society, for example, does not for the postmillennialist herald the “lawless one,” the “man of sin,” of II Thessalonians 2. It is merely the prelude to the collapse of ungodly society so that the saints can take control.-end quote

While it is true that the Revelation in the post-millennial viewpoint generally referred to first century events that are past (preterism), that does not mean that apostasy will never occur in the time after that; history has provided numerous cases of apostates already (i.e. Julian the Apostate) occurred in the past imply that no future persecution happened or will continue to happen. Like sweet and sour sauce there is persecution even while people are saved and a majority arises. Though there are persecutions of Chinese Christians today as there has in the past even so a Christian majority may grow in that nation that has just made a market correct of margin trading (taking out loans to buy stock). Though German Christians were persecuted during the Second World War if they did not support Hitler's state church 30% of German pastors choose not to stay in the expropriated-by-NAZI-criteria German church. While the Presbyterian U.S.A. church has officially made homosexual marriage acceptable doctrine and is thus apostate, some Christians stranded in that church look for other ways to renormalize to a correct doctrine.

In the Presbyterian U.S.A. church a corrupt hierarchical leadership of theologians and those with Divinity degrees as well as session  sycophants can make it very difficult for a church to quit the denomination and affiliate with a God-fearing denomination. A minority may expropriate power and rule over a majority. History discovered that principle in the Bolshevik takeover in Russia, yet their was a better example in the takeover of the Inca civilization by Pizarro with approximately. twenty conquistadors as well as in Cortes' conquering of the Aztec world. Small, powerful minorities can make of the world a terrible place for the majority.

Autocrats and kings, dictators and emperors, proletariat elites and oligarchs may be many or even just a minority of one able to repress and corrupt all of a civilization. Thomas Watson pointed out that Satan was the first apostate.  Hierarchical social structures bear an implicit risk of promoting tyranny. Hitler with a minority of homosexual Storm Troopers and some socialist power conquered the German political scene though perhaps with tacit approval by the dispossessed aristocracy. Prof. Engelsma seems not to consider history deeply enough in forming straw man objections to post-millennialism.

Prof. Engelsma writes in 'Reformed Amillenialism- Apostasy and Persecution' that;
quote- “The ungodly always dominate. The world’s rulers always condemn the cause of the true church. The wicked always oppress the saints. The only hope of the church in the world, and their full deliverance, is the second coming of Christ and the final judgment.
This is Reformed doctrine.”-end quote

Dr. Engelsma is a characteristic pessimist that pre-mil and select amills carry like a thorn in the flesh. Pre-mill and select post-mill approaches require an all or nothing/either-or choice of a strange amillennial fatalism without a kingdom of God existing until the second coming  or an absent from Earth Lord-or a 'golden age' perhaps with Jews ruling all of the nations where thorns too might have child-safe rounded edges.

The only hope that any human being has is of course eternal life with the Lord, and no one will get that immediately in a physical form before they physically die unless they happen to be living when the second coming occurs. For everything else that human beings may wish for life generally has gotten better and so far it hasn't been required that Christians be apostate to have the good life. There are Christians I suppose that are challenged by prosperity to follow Christians ethics better, yet even so, the quality of life today is better for more than at any time in history. The average life span of people on Earth is older than at any time than the ante-diluvian generation. Even in 1776 the average lifespan of a Frenchman or American was fewer than 26 years. At Gettysburg 90% of the soldiers killed had experienced tooth abscess without modern dentistry. Life before modern medical technology was painful-death in war was perhaps a better choice than dying of cancer without treatment. One can understand the ideal of Achilles or of the Vikings a little better in that light. Though mortal man cannot live forever it is possible that with Christian ethics and the inspiration of the Spirit of God a long, slow trudge to better the lot of mankind can arise-and when  the time is ripe the Lord will return to conclude a progress that can go no farther with Jesus personally present in the flesh.

Again-Engelsma's pessimism and either/or point of view; quote-”This view of the future is in harmony with the testimony of the Scriptures everywhere that persecution will be the lot of the believers always. “Blessed are ye,” said Christ, “when men shall revile you, and persecute you … for my sake” (Matt. 5:11). “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” He said to the church at His leaving (John 16:33). In every age, God’s elect confess, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Rom. 8:36). In II Timothy 3, the apostle expressly describes the “last days,” that is, the present age between Christ’s ascension and His return, as the time in which “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (v.12).”-end quote

Christians may suffer persecution in the office being chided for seeming not to approve of purple hair and eyeshadow of the mail guy or for not sleeping around with Sally and Sue when they might have last weekend. Christians may be persecuted for writing a prose poem for Christ with reproof from the government in just not being hired to a government job. It is not necessary for Christians to be burnt at the stake to be persecuted nor machine gunned in Tienanmen Square though the spectacular may occur. Prof. Engelsma and millions of other Christians have probably not been tortured to choose to worship the state gods or God yet that does not mean that they are not Christian even so.

Professor Engelsma's scriptural citations just don't hold water in determining what sort of social conditions must exist; that there is no possibility of a gradually improvement in the human condition-one led incidentally by many Christians in fields from Mendel and genetics to Newton and gravity or Copernicus (a priest too) and heliocentric theory seems manifestly mistaken. It is possible to miss out on small incremental betterments in the human condition including millions of Christians when spectacular sacrifices by star Christians like Polycarp arise in our memory. Even so Christians are in a temporal struggle against sin and the implicit original sin of the second law of thermodynamics with the energy drives for more input and procreation.

Christians actualizing teleology in their social context need not transpire within Marxist or Hegelian dialectical sets. In fact if one were to regard eschatology as a set theory metric occurring over time it is possible that subtlety in schematics could be the rule rather than the exception. Instead of just one member of the set of temporal actualization along the time-line from point A to point B their may6 be many members of the set comprising social status as Christians, non-Christians, anti-Christians, other religions and so forth. Engelsma's idea of a golden age with no coefficient of adversity seems prima facie superfluous. Historians may judge various historical periods as a golden age well aware that significant human suffering occurred within that very society at the same time. Though the term golden age isn't used in scripture (what is wrong with an 'emerald age' or a silicon age'?), in comparison to select eras of world history it could well be fair to say that a time such as that for Christians in the United States presently with persecution generally hidden and subtle or financial and unitive when it occurs with a basic persecution reduced parameter. That is certainly a golden age in comparison to Neronic persecutions.

On page 533 of 'He Shall Have Dominion' Kenneth Gentry writes that; quote
Suffering is an instrument of God for the humbling and purification of His people for the long run. This is why the predominate theme involved in suffering is patient perseverance.”-end quote

Gentry quotes Paul; “"You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions,
sufferings - what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them" (2 Tim. 3:10-11).

"Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your
perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are
enduring" (2 Thess. 1:4).”-end quote

The following quotes from pages 534-535 of 'He Shall Have Dominion' summarize Gentry's view of suffering and persecution for Christians in the post-millennial paradigm..

Gentry starts with scriptural references from John, and James before continuing to explain his viewpoint. Quote-
"You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" (Jms.l:3).
"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord" (Jms.5:10).
"I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and
kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus" (Rev.
1:9).
"If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If
anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be
killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the
part of the saints" (Rev. 13: 10).

Christianity is an historical faith designed for the long run. The faithful are to be diligently laboring now amidst trials and tribulations with an eye to the future. It is the tendency of sinful man to seek short-cuts to attaining his goals, but the Christian is to labor against difficult circumstances with the expectation of the gradualistic development of God's kingdom good in history. We as Christians are to learn this through our trials and tribulations, through our affliction and suffering.-end quote

quote-The Progressive Reduction of Suffering of in History

Because suffering is designed to teach humble patience before God it becomes a strategic means for the training of God's people. It is not an historical end for them. Suffering is a characteristic of the Church in evil times; it is not the definition of the Church for all times. It is an instrument to a greater goal: the ultimate blessing of godly man. Suffering is not a goal; it is a means.”-end quote

quote“The New Testament Message

In Matthew 5:5, the Lord promises: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Meek endurance for the long run goes against the sinful grain of man. Consequently, enduring suffering breaks the weak, but steels the faithful for greater glory. Thus, in the long run and after much suffering, the meek will inherit the earth, as the Bible teaches and postmillennialism expects. Suffering is a means of long-term dominion.

Christ comforts His disciples for the long run: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" Oohn 16:3). The Suffering Christ came forth from the grave as the Victorious Christ. As it is in the school of life, glory
follows suffering. Of Christ, our perfect example, we read: "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26). "He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow" (1 Pet. 1: 11b). Christ no
longer suffered on earth after the resurrection. His exaltation glory began with His bodily resurrection, in time and on earth.

This is the divine pattern for His Church, as well. Paul speaks of his own patient endurance of persecutional suffering in a context that expects earthly victory. He presents it as an example for Timothy”-end quote

Engelsma's Article 1 on Mathew 24 cites-quote;” It quoted the powerful statement in chapter 11 of the Second Helvetic Confession (1566):
And from heaven the same Christ will return in judgment, when wickedness will then be at its greatest in the world and when the Antichrist, having corrupted true religion, will fill up all things with superstition and impiety and will cruelly lay waste the Church with bloodshed and flames (Dan., ch. 11).”-end quote

I am not sure, yet I believe that Gentry and post-mills would say that the scriptural reference in Daniel points to the tribulations of the first century, and that the Lord did return in judgment in the first century.

I will take the opportunity here to make a comment on the Reformed Church doctrine such as the Helvetic Confession. They assuredly are important guides to reformed faith yet served a particular role in their day within a given historical circumstance in relation to alternate doctrines such as were presented by the Roman Catholic Church and others. Just because the doctrines are venerable and were state of the art theologically in their time, it does not follow that they were infallible. On the contrary it is possible that some elements of eschatological interpretation of scripture could have been wrong (though without damage resulting to soteriological concerns) by some of the authors. Dr. Engelsma seems to regard the ancient reformed confessions somewhat akin to scripture canonically speaking. Yet it may be useful to regard the doctrines as in a position somewhat akin to that of Isaac Newton in relation to gravitational theory in that they could stand some modern insight for upgrading and even correction to fit within General Relativity's parameters better. If there were pre-millennial interpretations of scripture that affected the understanding of the reformers, or better preponderantly pre-trib interpretive beliefs dominating the ideas of the reformers that does not obviate the value of continuing to reform and revise the Christian comprehension of scripture in order that it may be a prevalence of orthodox interpretation (straight speaking) today. Instead of Chairman Mao's perennial revolution theologians may require perennial reform to become  better settled in doctrine. It may well be that the wisdom of man is so far deficient from anything approaching exhaustive and accurate knowledge of what the Lord has revealed in scripture as it is that perpetual reform is requisite for breaking free from the wretched ossification of dogmatism endemic to ecclesiastical formalism.

Prof Engelsma wrote in the first of his series of articles on Matthew 24-

quote-”The happy predictions of postmillennialism for the church in the world are overthrown by 2,000 years of history.

Postmillennialism’s denial of apostasy, antichrist, and persecution is refuted by historical events.

Amillennialism, on the other hand, rings true to history, past and present. To refer only to this one vital element in the controversy, the true church has always been and is today the remnant according to the election of grace. When and where has the true church ever been the majority? It was the remnant in apostolic times; it was the remnant at the time of the Reformation; it is the remnant today. Why, even in Israel/Judah, it was the remnant.”-end quote

I have earlier addressed Dr. Engelsma's pessimistic view of history and situation of world Christians today. With perhaps as many as a billion people at least claiming nominally to be Christians the church today may reasonably be said to be somewhat more than a remnant. Christians today may have advantages that Christians in 2nd and third world nations don't, and the majority of those people are not Christian, to modern medical technology. It would seem somewhat wimpish to claim that pain relief is worse or that modern medical treatment for Christians today hasn't improved much since the first century. Some Christians at work today are at risk of paper cuts or carpal tunnel and not much else, yet of course there are persecuted Christians such as those living in China that will need to wait perhaps until the Chinese government leadership is saved through the grace of the Lord, for relief. Yet the basic problem with Prof. Engelsma's analysis is that using secular history as an hermeneutic tool for interpreting scripture isn't scriptural-that it it is an inversion of proper method.

Point-Counter Point

I will conclude this point-counter-point presentation of why so many pre-tribulationists and amilleniallists are plain wrong with a substantive excerpt (found in pages 316-324 of Kenneth Gentry's 'He Shall Have Dominion' on the 70 weeks the prophet wrote of in the eponymous book of Daniel. This is a very important topic to dispensationalist and most all pre-trib evangelicals as well as select amilleniallists.  I have removed the copious footnotes and bibliographical references as well as greek spellings that I cannot print in my word processor)..

Quote-“Seventy represents ten seven-week periods: ten jubilees.
 The seventy sevens (weeks) appear to point to a complete redemptive Jubilee. This appropriately points to Christ, who brings in that ultimate Jubilee (cf. Luke 4:17-21; Isa. 61:1-3;
 Matt. 24:31), and who is the leading character in Daniel's prophecy. Consequently, the time frame revealed to Daniel demarcates the period in which "the Messianic redemption was to be
 accomplished. "

Chronological Value
 (continuing quote from 'He Shall Have Dominion')

The seventy weeks represent a period of seventy times seven years, or 490 years: (1) In the preceding context, the original seventy years of Jeremiah's prophecy is in Daniel's mind (Dan. 9:2). (2) The sabbath year (the seventh year of the sabbath period) is frequently referred to simply as "the sabbath."g (3) There is Scriptural warrant for measuring days in terms of years in some passages (Gen. 29:27-28; Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6). The "command" spoken of in Daniel 9:25 is "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem...." At first appearance it would seem to be Cyrus' decree to rebuild the Temple in 538 B.C. This command is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and in Ezra 1: 1-4; 5: 13, 17, 6:3. Daniel, however, specifically speaks of the command to "restore and build Jerusalem," which is an important qualification.

Though half-hearted efforts were made to rebuild Jerusalem after Cyrus' decree, for a long time Jerusalem was little more than a sparsely populated, unwalled village. Daniel speaks of
 the command to "restore" (shub, return) Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25). This requires that it be returned to its original integrity and grandeur "as at the first" Ger. 33:7). It was not until the middle of the fifth century B.C. that this was undertaken seriously. The first period of seven weeks must indicate something, for it is set off from the two other periods. Were it not significant, Daniel could have spoken of the sixty-nine weeks, rather than the "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks" (Dan. 9:25). This seven weeks (or forty-nine years) apparently witnesses the successful conclusion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

The second period of sixty-two weeks, extends from the conclusion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the introduction of the Messiah to Israel at His baptism at the beginning of His public ministry (Dan. 9:25), sometime around A.D. 26. This interpretation is quite widely agreed upon by conservative
 scholars, being virtually "universal among Christian exegetes,,13 - excluding dispensationalists. The third period of one week is the subject of intense controversy between dispensationalism and other conservative scholarship. I will turn to this shortly.

Interpretation of Daniel 9:24

In Daniel 9:24, the overriding, glorious expectation of the prophecy is stated: "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, tobring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy."

The six infinitival phrases of verse 24 should be understood as three couplets (Payne, Terry, Maurer, Hitzig, and the Massoretes), rather than as two triplets (Keil and Young).14 Clearly, these six results are the main point of the prophecy, serving as the heading to the explication to follow. The "know thereforeand understand" statement in verse 25 begins that explication.

The general view of Daniel 9:24 among non-dispensational evangelicals is that "the six items presented ... settle the terminus ad quem of the prophecy,"15 that is, they have to do with
 the First Advent. Dispensationalists, however, hold that these events are "not to be found in any event near the earthly lifetime of our Lord.,,16 Rather they teach that "God will once again turn His attention in a special way to His people the Jews and to His holy city Jerusalem, as outlined in Daniel 9:24."

The dispensationalist takes a decidedly futurist approach to the prophecy, when he gets past the first sixty-nine weeks. Let us notice, first, that the Seventy Weeks will witness the finishing of the transgression. As just noted, Daniel's prayer of confession was regarding Israel's sins (Dan. 9:4ff) and the prophecy's focus is on Israel (Dan. 9:24a). Consequently, this finishing (kala) the transgression has to do with Israel's finishing, i.e., completing, her transgression against God. The finishing of that
 transgression occurs in the ministry of Christ, when Israel culminates her resistance to God by rejecting His Son and...

The second part of the couplet is directly related to the first: Having finished the transgression against God in the rejection of the Messiah, now the sins are sealed up. The idea here is, as Payne observes, to seal or to "reserve sins for punishment."19 Because of Israel's rejection of Messiah, God reserves punishment for her: the final, conclusive destruction of the temple, which was reserved from the time of Jesus' ministry until A.D. 70 (Matt. 24:2, 34). The sealing or reserving of the sins indicates that within the "Seventy Weeks" Israel will complete her transgression, and with the completing
 of her sin, by crucifying Christ, God will act to reserve (beyond the seventy weeks) her sins for judgment.

The third result (beginning the second couplet) has to do with the provision of "reconciliation for iniquity."20 The Hebrew word kaphar is the word for "atonement," i.e., a covering of sin.
 It clearly speaks of Christ's atoning death, which is the ultimate atonement to which all temple rituals looked (Heb. 9:26 21 ).This also occurred during His earthly ministry - at His death.
 The dispensationalist here prefers to interpret this result as application rather than effecting. He sees it as subjective appropriation instead of objective accomplishment: "[T]he actualapplication of it is again associated with the second advent as far as Israel is concerned.,,22 But on the basis of the Hebrew verb, the passage clearly speaks of the actual making reconciliation (or atonement).
18. Matt. 20:18-19; 23:37-38; 27:11-25; Mark 10:33; 15:1; Luke 18:32; 23:1-2;
John 18:28-31; 19:12, 15; Acts 2:22-23; 3:13-15a; 4:26-27; 5:30: 7:52.
19. Payne, "Goal of Daniel's Seventy Weeks," p. 111.

Because of this atonement to cover sin, the fourth result is that everlasting righteousness is effected. That is, the final, complete atonement establishes righteousness. This speaks of the objective accomplishment, not the subjective appropriation of righteousness. This was effected by Christ within the seventy-week period, as well (Rom. 3:21-22a).

The fifth result (the first portion of the third couplet) has to do with the ministry of Christ on earth, which is introduced at His baptism: He comes "to seal up vision and prophecy." By this is
 meant that Christ fulfills (and thereby confirms) the prophecy (Luke 18:31; cr. Luke 24:44; Acts 3:18).23

Finally, the seventy years are for the following goal: "to anoint the Most Holy." This anointing [mashach] speaks of the Christ's baptismal anointing for the following reasons: (1) The
 overriding concern of Daniel 9:24-27 is Messianic. The temple that is built after the Babylonian Captivity is to be destroyed after the seventy weeks (v. 27), with no further mention made
 of it. (2) In the following verses, the Messiah (mashiyach,"Christ," "Anointed One") is specifically named twice (vv. 25, 26). (3) The "most holy" phraseology speaks of the Messiah, who is "that Holy One who is to be born."24 It is of Christ that the ultimate redemptive Jubilee is prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 61:1-2a; cf. Luke 4:17-21). It was at His baptismal anointing that the Spirit came upon Him (Mark 1:9-11). This was introductory to His ministry, of which we read three verses later:
'Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of 23. Walvoord slips by allowing this prophecy to cover "the cessation of the New Testament prophetic gift seen both in oral prophecy and in the writing of the Scriptures." Walvoord, Daniel, p. 222. This, however, does not occur in either the first sixty-nine weeks (up to "just before the time of Christ's crucifixion") or in the seventieth week (the future Great Tribulation), the periods which he claims involve the 490 years. Walvoord, Prophecy Knowledge Handbook, p. 258. Yet he specifically says that the "six major events characterize the 490 years"! Ibid., p. 251.24. Luke 1:35; cf. 4:34, 41. See also: Mark 1:24; Acts 3:14; 4:27, 30; 1 John 2:20;Rev. 3:7; He is called the "anointed one" (Psa. 2:2; Isa. 42:1; Acts 10:38).
God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled [the Sixty-ninth week?25],and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1: 14-15). Christ is pre-eminently the Anointed One. 26

The Seventieth Week

The Messiah now experiences something "after the sixty-two weeks" (Dan. 9:26), which follow the preceding "seven weeks" (v. 25). This is to occur, then, sometime after the sixty-ninth week. A natural reading of the text shows this is in the seventieth week, for that is the only time frame remaining for the accomplishment of the goal of the prophecy listed in verse 24.
 That which occurs at this time is: "Messiah shall be cut off." The Hebrew word translated "cut off" here (karath) "is used of the death penalty, Lev. 7:20; and refers to a violent death,"27 i.e,
 the death of Christ on the cross.

Given the Hebraic pattern of repetition, we may easily discern a parallel between verses 26 and 27; verse 27 gives an 25. Interestingly, there was a current and widely held belief that a ruler from
 within Israel was to arise "at that very time," i.e., during the Jewish War. Tacitus,
 Histories 5:13: "The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus. . . ." Suetonius, Vespasian 4: "An ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judaea at this time would come the rulers of the world. This prediction, as the event later proved, referred to a Roman Emperor...." Josephus even picks up on this idea, when he ingratiates himself to Vespasian by declaring he was the one to rule (Wars 3:8:9). The only prophecy regarding Israel that actually dates Messianic era events is Daniel 9:24-27. Josephus also applies the Daniel 9 passage to the rule of the Romans in another context: "In  the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man
 leave in writing, as God had shewed them to him...." (Ant. 10:11:7).26. Psa. 2:2; 132:10; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; Hab. 3:13; Acts 4:27; 10:38; Heb. 1:9.Vanderwaal denies the Messianic referent of this passage, preferring a Maccabeanpriestly referent. Cornelius Vanderwaal, Hal Lindsey and Biblical Prophecy (St. Catherines, Ontario: Paideia, 1978), p. 37. 27. Young, Daniel, p. 206. expansion of verse 26. Negatively, Messiah's cutting off in verse 26 is the result of Israel's completing her transgression and bringing it to a culmination (v. 24) by crucifying the Messiah.

Positively, verse 27 states this same event: "He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering." Considered from its positive effect, this confirming of the covenant with many makes reconciliation and brings in everlasting righteousness (v. 24). The confirming of a covenant (v. 27) refers to the prophesied covenantal actions of verse 24, which come about as the result of the Perfect Covenantal Jubilee (Seventy Weeks) and are mentioned as a result of Daniel's covenantal prayer (cr. v. 4). The covenant mentioned, then, is the divine covenant of God's redemptive grace. 29 Messiah came to confirm the covenantal promises (Luke 1:72; Eph. 2:12). He confirmed the covenant by His death on the cross (Heb. 7:22b).30 The word translated "confirm" (higbir) is related to the angel
 Gabriel's name, who brought Daniel the revelation of the Seventy Weeks (and who later brings the revelation of Christ's birth [Luke 1:19,26]). "Gabriel" is based on the Hebrew gibbor, "strong one," a concept frequently associated with the covenant God. 31 The related word found in Daniel 9:27 means to "make trong, confirm.,,32 This "firm covenant" brings about "everlasting righteousness" (Dan. 9:24) - hence its firmness.

Daniel's prayer was particularly for Israel (Dan. 9:3ff), and it as uttered in recognition of God's promises of mercy upon hose who love Him (v. 4). Therefore, the prophecy holds that he covenant will be confirmed with many for one week. The reference to the "many" speaks of the faithful in Israel. "Thus a contrast is introduced between He and the Many, a contrast which appears to reflect upon the great Messianic passage, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and particularly 53:11. Although the entire
 nation will not receive salvation, the many will receive."

This confirmation of God's covenant promises to the "many" of Israel will occur in the middle of the seventieth week (v. 27), which parallels "after the sixty-two [and seven] weeks" (v. 26), while providing more detail. We know Christ's three-and-one half-year ministry was decidedly focused on the Jews in the first half of the seventieth week (Matt. 10:5b; cf. Matt. 15:24). For a period of three and one-half years after the crucifixion,34 the apostles focused almost exclusively on the Jews, beginning first "in Judea" (Acts 1:8; 2:14) because "the gospel of Christ" is "forthe Jew first" (Rom. 1:16; cr. 2:10; John 4:22). Although the event that serves as the terminus of the sixty-ninth week is clearly specified, such is not the case with the terminus of the seventieth. Thus, the exact event that ends the seventieth is not so significant for us to know. Apparently at the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity, the covenantal proclamation began to be turned toward the Gentiles (Acts 8:1). The apostle to the Gentiles appears on the scene at Stephen's death (Acts 7:58-8:1), as the Jewish persecution against Christianity breaks out. Paul's mission is clearly stated as exceeding the narrow Jewish focus (Acts 9:15).

This confirmation of the covenant occurs "in the middle of the week" (v. 27). I have already shown that the seventieth week begins with the baptismal anointing of Christ. Then, after three and one-half years of ministry - the middle of the seven-tieth week - Christ was crucified (Luke 13:6-9; Eccl. Hist.
 1:10:3). Thus, the prophecy states that by His conclusive confirmation of the covenant, Messiah will "bring an end to sacrifice and offering" (v. 27) by offering up Himself as a sacrifice for sin (Heb. 9:25-26; cf. Heb. 7:11-12, 18-22). Consequently, at His death the Temple's veil was torn from top to bottom (Matt. 7:51) as evidence that the sacrificial system was legally disestablished in the eyes of God (cf. Matt. 23:38), for Christ is the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

The Destruction of Jerusalem

But how are we to understand the latter portions of both verses 26 and 27? What are we to make of the destruction of the city and sanctuary (v. 26) and the abomination that causes desolation (v. 27), which most non-dispensational evangelical commentators agree occurred in A.D. 70? In verse 26, we learn there are two events to occur after the sixty-ninth week: (1) The Messiah is to be "cut off," and (2) the city and sanctuary are to be destroyed. Verse 27a informs us that the Messiah's cutting off (v. 26a) is a confirmation of the covenant and is to occur at the half-way mark of the seventieth
 week. So, the Messiah's death is clearly within the time frame of the Seventy Weeks (as we expect because of His being the major figure of the fulfillment of the prophecy).

The events involving the destruction of the city and the sanctuary with war and desolation (vv. 26b, 27b) are the consequences of the cutting off of the Messiah and do not necessarily occur in the seventy weeks time frame. They are an addendum to the fulfillment of the focus of the prophecy, which is stated in verse 24. The destructive acts are anticipated, however, in the divine act of sealing up or reserving the sin of Israel for punishment. Israel's climactic sin - their completing of their transgression (v. 24) with the cutting off of Messiah (v. 26a) – results in God's act of reseroing Israel's sin until later. Israel's judgment will not be postponed forever; it will come after the expiration of the seventy weeks. This explains the "very indefinite" phrase "till the end of the war": the "end" will not occur during the seventy weeks. That prophesied end occurred in A.D. 70, exactly
as Christ had made abundantly clear in Matthew 24:15.

The Dispensational Interpretation
The Gap in the Seventy Weeks

Dispensationalism incorporates a gap or parenthesis between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. This gap spans the entirety of the Church Age from the Triumphal Entry to the Rapture. 36 The dispensational arguments for a gap of undetermined length between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks are not convincing. Let us consider a few of their leading arguments for a gap.

First, the peculiar phraseology in Daniel: Daniel places the cutting off of the Messiah "after the 62 'sevens,' not in the 70th 'seven.' "37 This is so stated to allow for a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth-weeks. If the cutting off did not occur during the sixty-ninth week or during the seventieth
 week, there must be a gap in between wherein it does occur.

In response, it is obvious that seventy occurs after sixty-nine, and thus fits the requirements of the prophecy. Consequently, such an argument does not prove that the "after" requires a gap.
 Besides, Daniel mentions only seventy weeks and, as LaRondelle has pointed out, Daniel most certainly does not say "after sixty-nine weeks, but not in the seventieth. Such an explanation is a gratuitous assumption. Since Daniel has yet to deal with the seventieth week, and he has clearly dealt with the preceding sixty-nine weeks (v. 25), it is quite natural to assume this  cutting off of the essiah must be sometime within the seven-year period covered by the seventieth week.

Second, a fatal admission: "Historically the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in A.D. 70 almost forty years after the death of Christ.,,39 Since this was given in Daniel's prophecy and was to occur within the seventy weeks, "the continuousfulfillment theory [is] left without any explanation adequate for
 interposing an event as occurring after the sixty-ninth seven by some thirty-eight years.

I have already explained the relation of the seventy weeks to the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 (see above). The goal of the Seventy Weeks is not the A.D. 70 destruction of the Temple, which is not mentioned in verse 24. That destruction is a later consequence of certain events brought to fulfillment within the seventy weeks. The actual act of God's reserving judgment (v. 24) occurred within the seventy weeks; the later removal of that reservation did not. There is no necessity at all for a gap.

Third, the general tendency in prophecy: Walvoord writes:
 "Nothing should be plainer to one reading the Old Testament than that the foreview therein provided did not describe the period of time between the two advents. This very fact confused
 even the prophets (cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-12)."41 His argument then is this: Old Testament prophecy can merge the First and Second Advents into one scene, though separated by thousands of years. Consequently, we have biblical warrant for understanding the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks as merged into one scene, although separated by a gap of thousands of years.

This argument is wholly without merit. It must be noted that the Seventy Weeks are considered as a unit, though sub-divided into three unequal parts: (1) It is one period of seventy weeks
 that must transpire in order to experience the events mentioned. The plural "seventy weeks" is followed by a singular verb "is decreed," which indicates the unity of the time period.
 (2) An overriding concern of the prophecy, in distinction to all other Messianic prophecies, is that it is designed as a measuring time frame. If the dispensational gap theory regarding the seventieth week is true, then the gap separating the seventieth from the sixty-ninth week is almost 2000 years long, or four times the whole time period of the seventy weeks or 490 years!
 The concept of measuring is thus destroyed.

The Dispensational Covenant

The confirmation of the covenant mentioned in verse 27 is woefully misunderstood by dispensationalists. According to Walvoord: "[T]his refers to the coming world ruler at the beginning of the last seven years who is able to gain control over ten countries in the Middle East. He will make a covenant withIsrael for a seven-year period. As Daniel 9:27 indicates, in the middle of the seven years he will break the covenant, stop the sacrifices being offered in the temple rebuilt in that period, and become their persecutor instead of their protector, fulfilling the promises of Israel's day of trouble Jer. 30:5-7)."

Several problems plague this interpretation, some of which have already been indicated in another connection: (1) The covenant here is not made, it is confirmed. This is actually the confirmation of a covenant already extant, i.e., the covenant of God's redemptive grace confirmed by Christ (Rom. 15:8).
 (2) As noted above, the term is related to the name of the angel of God who delivered the message to Daniel: Gabriel ("God is strong"). The lexical correspondence between the name of the strong angel of God and the making strong of the covenant is in itself suggestive of the divine nature of the covenant.In addition, covenantal passages frequently employ related terms, when speaking of the strong God of the covenant.
(3) The parallelism with verse 26 indicates that the death of the Messiah is directly related to the confirming of the covenant. He is "cut off" but "not for himself" (v. 26a), for He "confirms the covenant" for the "many" of Israel (v. 27a). His "cutting off" brings the onfirmation of the covenant, for "without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Reb. 9:22).
 (4) The indefinite pronoun "he" does not refer back to "the prince who is to come" of verse 26. 44 That "prince" is a subordinate noun; "the people" is the dominant noun. Thus, the "he" refers back to the last dominant individual mentioned: "Messiah" (v. 26a). The Messiah is the leading figure in the whole prophecy, so the destruction of the Temple is related to His death. In fact, the people who destroy the Temple are providentially "His
 armies" (Matt. 22:2-7).

The Last Days

An eschatological theme that is as widely misunderstood as it is commonly discussed in popular prophetic literature is that of the "last days." In a popular work, the writer comments
 about those of us living among the "generation"

(Matt. 24:34)43. Deut. 7:9, 21; 10:17; Neh. 1:5; 9:32; Isa. 9:6; Dan. 9:4. See earlier discussion
above.

of World War I: "There is no question that we are living in the last days.... The fact that we are the generation that will be on the earth when our Lord comes certainly should not depress US." This factor of eschatological chronology is an important concept that requires a deep appreciation of the complexity ofGod's sovereign governance of history and the outworking of His redemptive purposes.

Properly understood, the idea of the last days is focused on the most important episode of history: the life of Jesus Christ lived out in fulfillment of divine prophecy and of redemptive history. Christ is the focal point of all Scripture. He is anticipated in the Old Testament revelation and realized in the New: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" John 5:39). As such, He stands as history's dividing line - hence the historical
 appropriateness and theological significance of dividing history between B.C. and A.D.

There are many prophetic references looking forward to the "Messianic age of consummation" introduced by Christ. This era is frequently deemed "the last days" or "the latter days." "The expression then properly denoted the future times in general; but, as the coming of the Messiah was to the eye of a Jew the most important event in the coming ages, the great, glorious, and crowning scene in all that vast futurity, the phrase came to be regarded as properly expressive of that.... It was a phrase in contrast with the days of the patriarchs, the kings, the prophets, etc. The last days, or the closing period of the world, were the days of the Messiah."so His corning was "nothing less
 than the beginning of the great eschaton of history.'

It is when Christ came that "the fullness of times" was realized: "(Greek-removed GCG) Gal. iv. 4, implies an orderly unrolling of the preceding stages of world-history towards a fixed end.,,52 Hence, the preparatory preaching at thebeginning of His ministry: "[T]he time is fulfilled, the kingdom
 of God is at hand" (Mark 1: 15; Matt. 4: 17). Prior to this, the Old Testament era was typological and anticipatory. The Old Testament era served as the "former days" (Mal. 3:4)53 that gave way to the "last days," the times initiated by Christ's coming: "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things" (Heb. 1:1-2).

Thus, we find frequent references to the presence of the last days during the New Testament time. The last days are initiated by the appearance of the Son (Heb. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:20) to effect redemption (Heb. 9:26) and by His pouring out of the Spirit (Acts 2:16,17,24; cf. Isa. 32:15; Zech. 12:10). The "ends of the ages" came during the apostolic era (1 Cor. 10:11). These will run until "the last day," when the resurrection;judgment occurs to end history John 6:39; 11 :24; 12:48). But before the final
 end point is reached, perilous times will punctuate the era of the end (2 Tim. 3:1) and mockers will arise (2 Pet. 3:3).”-end quote










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