Years ago, Dave Chappelle used to have his own show. It was a pretty vulgar show, but I was an unbeliever living in the Middle East with plenty of free time, so I watched it with no moral conflict. Anyhoo, I was reading something in Dallas Seminary’s library recently that reminded me of an episode that I had watched over 10 years earlier.
This is part of a series on Ezekiel’s Temple. I’d recommend first reading Spiritualizers, Revisionists, and Ezekiel’s Temple. Or not.
The most popular approach Ezekiel’s temple throughout Church history has been to spiritualize the text and make the temple represent the Church. The cause of this approach is an early influence of Origen from the Alexandrian school of thought. While the Second Council of Constantinople properly declared Origen a heretic, the Church failed to address his approach to Scriptures, such that elements of his hermeneutics would remain for centuries to come. Pavel Ivanovich Savvaitov, a 19th century professor at Vologda Spiritual Seminary, critiques Origen’s hermeneutic circle:
It has been said that about a third of the Bible consists of prophecy, but where does America fit in all of this? Sure, there are passages that talk about “all nations,” but what about America specifically? Will Trump usher in the apocalypse?
I have compiled a list of every single Bible passage that mentions America specifically. They are listed below:
Have you ever seen a conversation like this take place between two believers?
Believer 1: How is life going, Believer 2?
Believer 2: Oh, life is terrible! My dog left me and I stepped on a LEGO. Things will never get better. Blah blah blah.
Believer 1: Oh no. Be encouraged! The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Believer 2: Oh, wow! You’re right! Everything is just swell. I think I’ll ride off into the sunset now.
Believer 1 has just quoted Jer 29:11. If we look at the context of this passage, I think we’ll find that he has actually misused this particular verse (though, I’m sure his intentions were good).
Now, Jer 29:11 is a source of encouragement for many believers and I don’t want to rob anyone of encouragement. So, I have compiled a list of three reasons why we should rejoice that this passage is not about us. If Jer 29:11 was indeed about us, then: