Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Agreed. And This Makes Me Hopeful.

We should not interpret predictive prophecy as if it were a script written for God by someone else from which God could not deviate. As sovereign Lord, God has the freedom to bring about the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of OT prophecies as he wishes. This does not imply divine unpredictability, as if God arbitrarily changes his mind simply because he “feels like it.” Certainly, God's sovereign purposes do not change, and we may expect him to adhere to much of the prophetic design. We still regard the prophecies that involve the major milestones in God's plan for history – e.g., the return of Christ, God's final triumph over his enemies, and the creation of a new heavens and a new earth – as unconditional and therefore unaffected by any Christian apostasy. Their ground rests solidly upon God's sovereign, unchangeable, larger will for his creation, not upon an exact course of events en route to its realization.

So, as the apostle Paul wrote, we live “by faith, not by sight.” With complete confidence Christians may rightly anticipate the future advent of these great events. But as he has in the past, he may delight to ad-lib some unexpected lines, so Bible students should interpret prophecy tentatively rather than dogmatically. Our God is a God of surprises, and he may still have some left!”

- William W. Klein, Craig L Blomberg, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004. Pages 380-381.