Over at Moldlife D. G. Hart couldn’t resist taking a shot at me on my Birthday… but hey, what’s a birthday without Darrell’s confusion?
Darrell suggests that we should go with the “Jeremiah option” suggesting that the prophet Jeremiah was a “pluralist.” (That sound you’re hearing is my laughter resonating across the amber waves of grain.) Of course as we’ve noted many times here, the pluralist option is merely anabaptist political theory (Long live Roger Williams) and only survived as long as it did because it was living off the capital of a Biblical worldview. Pluralism can approximate success in a Christian social order where Christianity is the reigning worldview, even if it is subdivided into protestant denominationalism. However, pluralism is guaranteed to explode in democratic anarchism when placed in a social order that is entertaining the gods of Humanism, Talmudism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.
Darrell also links my piece answering the problem with the absolutizing of exile as the amillennial favorite tired song. Darrell also manages to take a smarmy swing at the idea of “Dominion,” in his piece. Where would we be without Darrell’s ongoing smarminess?
In honor of Darrell then I spend even more time suggesting that a case can be made from the New Testament that our time of Exile is completed in the Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Session of the Lord Christ.
“Paul also indicates in this passage (II Corinthians 5) that the death and resurrection of Jesus are to be understood as the fulfillment of what was prophesied in the Old Testament. As he spoke of the glorious eschatological future that would come through and after the judgment of exile, Isaiah prophesied of a new creation (Is. 65:17, 66:22). Ezekiel identified the return from exile and the glorious eschatological restoration with the resurrection from the dead (Ez. 37:13-14). Paul sees the inauguration of the fulfillment of these prophecies in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 5:15), which makes those who are in Christ new creations (5:17). The imagery that Paul employs in II Cor. 6:14-7:1 fits with this picture, as the church is spoken of as a new dwelling place of God by the Spirit, a new temple. The new exodus and return from exile have been typologically fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection (5:15), inaugurating a new creation (5:17), and the church’s new sojourn in the wilderness is replete with a new covenant (2 Cor. 3), while the church itself is the new tabernacle, indwelt by the Spirit (II Cor. 6:14-7:1). The glory of God that will be consummated in the future has broken into the present age as a result of the salvation that has come through the judgment of Jesus.
James M. Hamilton Jr.
God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment — pg. 467
Here again our exile was completed in the finished work of the Lord Christ. As we are united to Christ we are placed in the Kingdom of the age to come that has broken into this present evil age. And while it is the case that until the already present Kingdom has yet to come, in it wild fullness, and the church can rightly be said, in a “not yet” sense, to be in the wilderness, it is a wilderness that is incrementally being swallowed up by the “now” of the Kingdom. In Christ our exile is finished. While the Church may go through periods of exilic times where this present wicked age seems to be getting the upper hand, the exile is not absolutized in the New Testament. Christ is Lord. Our exile has been completed in His triumph, and He shall rule until His enemies are His footstool.
“Christ became a curse, was hanged on a tree, and thereby redeemed his people from the curse. Thus what Isaiah prophesied about the sins of the people being pardoned because they had been punished (Is. 40:2), has at last been realized. That statement of Isaiah is recognizably set in context in which he deals with Israel’s glorious eschatological restoration that will come through and after judgment, after exile. There is a sense, then, in which the exile finds it fullest realization in Christ’s death on the Cross The curse was poured out in full. This kind of fulfillment of that payment for sin prophesied by Isaiah (40:2) is also in keeping with what Isaiah said about the one who would bear the sins of the people (Is. 52:13- 53:12, exp. 53:4-6, 8). Isaiah even said the servant’s work would benefit many nations. (52:1; cf. Gen. 12:3), that would ‘see his seed’ (Is. 53:10; cf. Gen. 22:17-18), who would be ‘justified’ because he too bore their sins (Is. 53:11). Isaiah made it clear that the judgment he announced against Israel arose from their failure to keep covenant, and Is. 1:2, where Isaiah calls on the witnesses to the covenant), and so the servant in Isaiah 53 is bearing bearing the punishment the people deserve for having broken the Mosaic covenant. In Galatians 3:13-14, Paul is arguing that Jesus has taken the punishment incurred from the failure to keep the Mosaic covenant, with the result that the blessings promised to Abraham, can be enjoyed by the Gentiles: “Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, … in order that the blessings of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Messiah Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:13-14). THE EXILE IS OVER. THE RESTORATION BEGUN, AND THE AGE IN WHICH THE SPIRIT IS POURED OUT HAS DAWNED (cf. Gal. 3:2).
James M. Hamilton Jr.
God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment — pg. 474-745
Because Christ bore the penalty of Exile, God’s people are no longer bearing God’s wrath by being exiles themselves. Our exile has ended in Christ and now we are no longer strangers and aliens in the Kingdom of God — a Kingdom that covers the earth, a Kingdom in which we are participants under the Holy Spirit’s unction in rolling back this present evil age as the Gospel goes forward in its humble transforming power.
Finally Darrell ads a anti-hero flourish at the end of his rant,
As it is, the lure of domination, even though gussied up with the mantra of Christ’s Lordship, that is far more the norm than it should be because it is a whole lot more inspiring to be on the winning side of history. (Who roots for the Cubs?) And for that reason, Carl’s call will likely go unheeded.
1.) We speak of Dominion and not “Domination.” Darrell uses a “scare” word in order to frighten the other mice away. I might say a great deal here but I will simply offer this book by William Symington in order to give the mice courage to not be scared of Darrell’s scare word,
2.) “Gussied up with the mantra of Christ’s Lordship”? Does this mean Darrell prefers the gussying up of Christ’s non-Lordship?
3.) Of course we are on the winning side of History. When Christ said, “It is finished,” at that point History was won. Does Darrell prefer to be on the “losing side of History?” Darrell is so pious by suggesting that there is something noble about the idea that Christ never wins in history. Christ loses all the way through history until the very end when he finally returns to rescue His church which always found the gates of Hell ever prevailing against it. Rooting for the Cubbies is easy if you’re a person with no expectations.
4.) Both Karl and Darrell are amillennial. I’m postmillennial. That is where we disagree.
We all agree that these are dark times. The only difference is, is that Darrell believes that the times are never anything but Dark while I believe that the Kings will kiss the son, lest those Kings perish in the way.