John MacArthur decided to let lose on his brothers in Christ right there in front of them at a pastor's conference. Tim Challes blogged about it here.
Well we weren't expecting John MacArthur to begin the conference this way. He decided to forego his usual opening sermon and speak instead on a touchy topic. His lecture was titled (and I'm not sure how much this is tongue-in-cheek) "Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Pre-Millennialist." A couple of weeks ago, at the Resolved Conference, he mentioned this topic so it was interesting to hear him fill it out.Obviously, this has set off quite a bit of controversy on the Internet. Jollyblogger has a bit of fun with it, so does this blog. This guy is a bit steamed and Pastor Shaun wondered why MacArthur would take this stand. And Kim Riddlebarger, Adrian Warnock and Michael Spencer all blog about it as well. I agree with Spencer:
-Macarthur may have orchestrated one of the great moments in the history of American dispenstionalism, and it will drive thousands away. As it should.Even if he wanted to point out that it was inconsistent to be a Calvinist and an amillennialist, there are less rude and divisive ways to do it. I don't think that throwing unity under the bus for this issue is worth it.
-The decision to make this the keynote of one of the largest reformed pastors conferences in the world says volumes about where the head and heart of Macarthur are at this point in his ministry. When I get up at a key moment in my ministry to tell you you aren’t legit unless you have my eschatology, something’s out of balance.
I don't have time to defend Calvinism or the amillennialism position now because I should be studying for my midterm but needless to say there are many verses in the New Testament that speak about the fact that we are one with the Israel:
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands- 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the SpiritI could say a lot more since the Bible is filled with references to the church and Israel but won't. Needless to say, amillennialists have a reason for why they aren't dispensationalists and dispensationalist might want to keep that in mind before saying that we aren't "self-repecting Calivinists."
Romans 11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Galatians 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
Galatians 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
His point that Calvinists who don't accept dispensationalism deny God's election of Israel is easily refuted, we don't deny that God elected Israel, we just believe that Jesus is Israel and all of the promises made to Abraham, find their fulfillment in Him. I can give you many passages to back this up but I will make do with only two:
Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.BTW, MacArthur lists his points here and this refutation pretty much covers it.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Update: I added one other point that I thought of after I turned my computer off so that I could prepare for my midterm :-) Go here for a very good response to whether Christ was an amillennialist.