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2001 Issue 2

The author of Hebrews now turns to Sarah's faith in God's promises and role in the Old Testament church. Like Abraham, her faith was a remarkable display of submission to God's Word. There has been controversy surrounding verse 11, and some do not believe that it properly refers to Sarah, but to Abraham. The Greek verb translated "to conceive seed" (katabole), is the standard term for "to father a child." Hence, it is sometimes claimed that this verb could not properly be applied to Sarah, but must instead refer to Abraham as subject of the verse and the father of the child. Moreover, how can Sarah be commended for her faith when she laughed at the divine messenger of the covenant (Genesis 18:12)? [It should also be noted that this verse continues to be used as a proof that the Bible is not inspired. It supposedly teaches that the woman creates seed in the conception process even as the man does. While the woman does contribute an egg, the man provides the seed. Hence, the Bible contains a scientific error.] There are three considerations that necessitate a rejection of this hypothesis and support the view that the verse properly refers to Sarah.

One of the most popular teachings today in Evangelical and Charismatic churches is the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. The pretribulation rapture teaching is that there are two separate comings of Christ. The first coming is secret and occurs before the future seven year tribulation. At this coming Jesus comes for the saints (i.e., all genuine believers) both living and dead. These saints meet the Lord in the air and then are taken to heaven to escape the horrible judgments that take place during the seven year tribulation. At the end of the great tribulation Jesus returns to the earth with the saints. This coming is not secret but is observed by all. At this coming Christ crushes His opposition, judges mankind and sets up a one thousand year reign of saints upon the earth (the millennium). Some pretribulation advocates speak of two separate comings while others prefer to speak of one coming in two separate stages or phases (phase one is the secret rapture and phase two is the visible coming in judgment). Hal Lindsey likes to refer to the rapture as "the great snatch." He writes: "The word for 'caught up' actually means to 'snatch up,' and that's why I like to call this marvelous coming event 'The Great Snatch'! It's usually referred to as the 'Rapture,' from the Latin word rapere, which means to 'take away' or 'snatch out.'"

E. E.Ellis, The Making of the New Testament Documents.

Summary: A thorough, technical, evangelical analysis of the historical process involved in the making of the New Testament documents. Counters liberal form-critical trends by demonstrating the New Testament writers (and their "schools") often used shared information and drew from common, early sources. It establishes an early date (pre-A.D. 70) for all New Testament books, except for John's Gospel and epistles (some early reviews wrongly stated that he held early dates for all books).

It has been variously referred to as "distorted", "radical," "utopian", and "threatening," and this is by members of the same general school of thought (those outside of the tradition have not been quite so kind; Barker. 11, 89, 257, 392)! Moreover, many regard it as an innovation and a more recent development, rather than an inherited distinctive (245). "A school of thought bearing the label 'Christian Reconstruction' and characteristically using the term theonomy has been making an impact on American religious and political life in recent years" (9). Westminster Seminary's symposium on theonomy, Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, represents to many the standard academic and theological answer to theonomy, despite the fact that theonomists generally regard themselves as faithful and consistent champions of the very Reformed faith that Westminster Seminary professes to embody.