Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Me, Bultmann and Progressive Dispensationalism

Here's another update on what I've been reading, with an ironic twist I think some of my buddies will appreciate. Though I'm no expert on the matter, as best as I understand it, one of the key distinctions (if not THE key distinction) between revised dispensationalism and progressive dispensationalism relates to the current status of the Lord Christ. Is He currently reigning from the Davidic throne? The progressives say yes, the revised and traditional say no. For me, the lynchpin in the argument lies in 1 Corinthians 15:25 - "For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." This citation of Ps 110 is highly significant when corellated with Acts 2:34-35 (which also cites Ps 110). In Acts 2 Christ is described as being told to sit at the Father's right hand until His enemies are made His footstool. RECAP - Christ is at the Father's right hand until all His enemies are His footstool (ie under His feet). Christ must reign until all of His enemies are put under His feet. Therefore, syllogistic logic leads me to suppose that Christ is reigning from the Father's right hand (in the Davidic throne sense due to the Ps 110 citations/allusions). Thus, I am a progressive dispensationalist.

What does this have to do with Bultmann you ask? I was recently page turning through his infamous essay "New Testament and Mythology" and discovered in his introductory brief synopisis of the Christian faith, He speaks in this wise "The risen Christ is exalted to the right hand of God in Heaven and made 'Lord' and 'King'" (Kerygma and Myth, pg 2). He footnotes phrases along the way providing scriptural support similar to the format of the WCF. To substantiate that Jesus is "King" he identifies one verse; you guessed it - 1 Corinthians 15:25. Are you starting to see the connection? Bultmann is the ONLY person I have read who rests as much weight on this verse as I do. Of course that is probably because I have not read more than half an essay on Progressive Dispensationalism (by Bock) and I have been assured by friends that others do indeed adress this verse. I am progressive not because of the progressives, but rather because of this verse (and a few others).

To me the irony (and humor) lies in the fact that I found such a substantial point of agreement with Bultmann (I say that tongue in cheek). I figured some of my buddies would appreciate this (if they read this). Obviously I am not suggesting Bultmann was a progressive dispensationalist; he would probably be quick to demythologize the very doctrinal statement he was articulating (I haven't finished the essay). However, due to the convenient hermeneutics of postmodernism, I revel in the irony of using Bultmann to "demythologize" dispensationalism. :-0

7 comments:

Tim Barker said...

Yes, Mihelis. Dispensationalism does not demytholigizing at points. :) Glad to have you aboard. It's a much better morning knowing Christ is ruling from His throne than to wake up and wonder when (or if) he will.

Tim Barker said...

correction...dispensationalism needs demytholigizing at points.

my bad.

NWMihelis said...

I thought you'd like that :-)

Chris Bruno said...

By "at points" do you guys mean at its very core? If so, then I agree:)

David said...

our next son will be Bultmann Mihelis Griffiths. I've been reading Solomon stories from my Braithwaite Eschatology text. He seems to enjoy the fantastic imagery, and, like we can all attest, it puts him right to sleep. Thank you and have a good night! Be sure to tip your waiters and waitresses!

NWMihelis said...

Alright Bruno, the next post is for you (on the core) :-)

NWMihelis said...

I probably could have tagged this on the last comment, but David...thanks! I consider it an honor, though I won't hold you to it :-) I appreciated your post on Rock and Roll and CRB. How about another one articulating your position? I am in strong agreement, but have not been as succesful in articulating my position.