Thursday, September 10, 2009
Replacement Theology... or Not
So I've been reading some of the Old Testament prophets in search of enlightenment concerning end times, and after reading Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and parts of Isaiah and Jeremiah, I do not understand how anyone could think that the church "replaces" Israel as God's chosen people in these prophecies. For one thing, it seems that Israel is also strongly connected to a specific geographical location, which is intimately tied into most of these prophecies. Someone could maybe convince me that a lot or even all of the prophecies have already been fulfilled... but it would take a creative mind to come up with an explanation for some of the events described, like "they will not learn the craft of war," "the Lord himself will settle their disputes," "the Egyptians will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles," "They will do no harm or destroy on the mountain of the Lord, because the world will be full of the knowledge of the LORD like waters cover the sea," etc. Also, when there is talk about Israel occupying the land of Philistia and Gilead to the North, what could that possibly symbolize if the prophecy is concerning the church? If someone wishes to argue that the church will be gathered to Jerusalem and the surrounding area (because the LORD will gather his people from the four corners of the earth), then that's a little more plausible... but I'd say that there would be a huge over-population problem. I guess that depends on your other theological and escatalogical beliefs. In my opinion, though, the most plausible explanation of the Old Testament prophecies is that they are referring to Israel, and not the church.