Old Doxoblogy

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Herman Ridderbos And Kim Riddlebarger On Prophetic Perspective

"According to Herman Ridderbos, many biblical prophecies refer to 'things that appear to be centuries apart in the fulfillment [and] are sometimes comprehended by Jesus' prophecy in the same temporal frame and within the same local framework.' According to Ridderbos, such prophecy is 'something different than a diary of future events...The function of prophecy is consequently not that of a detailed projection of the future, but is the urgent insistence on the certainty of the things to come. This explains why, at the end of the vista, the perspective is lacking. The prophet sees all kinds of events that will come, and he sees in all of them the coming of God. But he cannot fix a date for the events, he cannot distinguish all phases in God's coming. To him it is one great reality.'
This is an important point. The prophet is not concerned with when certain things will come to pass but with the fact that they will come to pass."
Kim Riddlebarger,
The Man Of Sin, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2006), 69.


Jonathan Moorhead said...

Should this be our only concern?

Jeremy Weaver said...

In the sense that it is certain to come to pass and it could happen at any given time (imminence), yes.
In the sense of ignoring explicit signs which point to the soon coming of Christ, no.
In the sense of manufacturing signs of the times, yes.

I just think it is helpful when reading the Prophets to understand that, with the possible exception of Daniel (which seventy weeks in my opinion are fulfilled), there are no real tangible timelines given.

pilgrim said...

Good post.

That his point is true is seen in messianic prophecy.

Some Jews reject Jesus because they see a prophecy about his second coming, and can not distinguish it from His first coming.

Even non Jewish non Christians will jump on that and say He couldn't have been the Messiah.

Yet there it is.

We must be careful in these situations that we do not go where scripture doesn't warrant--but the principle is a biblical one.