25 Jun 2018

Battle of the Burge Continues

A reader was kind enough this week to alert me to the fact that Dr. Gary Burge is no longer at Wheaton, as I have been writing. In fact, more than a year ago, he moved to Calvin Seminary.

So let’s talk about that.

Before leaving Wheaton, Burge was interviewed by a student reporter from The Wheaton Record. Among the answers he gave:

“For 25 years, two things have been important to me. The first is, I have been an advocate from the very beginning of affirming women in leadership and in ministry. And so I have spoken many times at the Christian Feminist Club in order to give guidance to students who are wondering how to read the Scriptures and still affirm women in leadership.

“The second thing that I hope is part of that story is I have had an extensive number of experiences in the Arabic speaking church. And the Palestinian community has been prominent among those experiences. And I have wanted to let students know that there are two stories in this conflict between Palestine and Israel. Evangelicals tend to gravitate toward the Israeli side of that story. Here at Wheaton, that’s historically how we’ve seen it. And so, I have tried to represent the Palestinian side of that story, which in some cases has felt awkward in our community.”

Besides his advocacy for the Palestinian/PLO narrative, Burge is also a left wing activist for other causes:

“My most cherished memory is when I participated in one of Wheaton’s best moments. In 2006, a bus of LGBT Christian students was travelling across the U.S. advocating for their views of theology and inclusion. They were sorely mistreated at Christian colleges from California to Illinois, but we decided bravely as a college that we weren’t going to participate in that mistreatment. When they arrived in 2006, we welcomed them on campus, we fed them generously, we had an entire chapel gathering in Coray gym in which we confessed initially how we in the church we have hurt this community, and then we listened to their stories and we invited them into our classes. We had an enormous public gathering in King Arena, and we had a real dialogue. We were respectful and civil in our disagreements and I think what we did was model the college Wheaton really wants to be. And we shocked the folks that came to campus.”

Five years ago, I wrote about an email exchange I had with Burge, in which I asked him to comment on a withering report from Malcolm Lowe at the Gatestone Institute.

Malcolm tore apart Burge’s theological claims regarding the Jews and the Old Testament (Burge has referred to the Old Testament as “Jewish theology.” Not Scripture or the Word of God, but “Jewish theology”).

So I emailed Burge and asked if he wanted to comment; I’d sent him the link to Malcolm’s article.

He responded first with some flattery, telling me I’m a good writer. He then totally ignored my question and redirected to an unrelated story that he suggested I report on.

Wow.

This is what the Left does. Obfuscate.

I then emailed again:

“That’s all very interesting, but is irrelevant to what I asked. I asked you to comment specifically on the essay by Lowe. Are you able to do that?”

He never did answer it.

Do you see what’s going on here? This is a hallmark of the Left: when confronted with factual information, they redirect, ignore, etc.

What that tells us is that more than generally, their assertions and worldviews are simply false.

And they know it.

Did you hear that? They know it.

Gary Burge is a PLO-style propagandist. By not answering Malcolm Lowe’s critique, Burge exposes himself as an “evangelical” professor who can’t back up his claims.

It is astonishing, and a big deal.

This is, in a much larger sense, what is going on with change agents sent to infiltrate the Evangelical community. I would suggest you follow people like Jonathan Merritt on social media and notice how they are aggressively pushing left wing agendas…to evangelicals.

Burge does the same thing with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. As I’ve said many times, many evangelical “leaders” simply do not like Jews. That’s the bottom line.

The most arrogant individual you’ll ever meet is one of these leaders. Their smug assessment of all things Jewish is odious.

I now wonder if there was some pushback at Wheaton for Burge. I had assumed that the faculty and administration (and students, for sure) were of the same mind. Perhaps he felt more freedom with the opportunity at Calvin Seminary (after all, Calvinists are not pro Israel).

Poor Calvin Seminary students.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

18 Jun 2018

What If?

While President Trump is muscling North Korea to give up nuclear ambitions, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is doing an end-run around the ayatollahs in Tehran.

Both men are sending very strong signals to the peoples of North Korea and Iran that our beef is not with them. It’s with the leadership.

Netanyahu is offering Israeli technology to help Iranian farmers deal with drought. The water management technology can help alleviate the catastrophic problem faced by the Iranian people, in which 96 percent of the country deals with drought in one way or another.

According to YNet News:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered the Iranian population on Sunday Israel’s assistance in helping save ‘countless Iranian lives’ with its water technological expertise from the “cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water.”

In his unique style, Netanyahu sent a video clip to the Iranians.

“In his remarks in a video clip posted on Facebook with Farsi subtitles, Netanyahu began by pouring and sipping a glass of water, detailing his plans to launch a Farsi website explaining how Iranian farmers can recycle their waste water.”

He then did what he does best: connect with the people.

“’Millions of Iranian children are suffering due to mismanagement, incompetence and the theft of vital resources by the Iranian regime,’ he said, explaining that the shortcomings caused by Tehran could be compensated by utilizing Israeli technology and solutions.

“’Now, Israel also has water challenges. We’ve developed cutting edge technologies to address them. Israel recycles nearly 90% of its wastewater. That’s far more than any other country on earth,’ he proclaimed.

“’Israel has the know-how to prevent environmental catastrophe in Iran. I want to share this information with the people of Iran. Sadly, Iran bans Israelis from visiting, so we’ll have to get creative,’ he continued

Israel is in the fifth year of a very difficult drought; this happens once a century. Amazingly, desalination provides a staggering 70 percent of Israel’s drinking water.

By connecting his people with the people of Iran—and offering legitimate life-saving technology—he is ensuring that the ayatollahs’ days are indeed numbered.

Which brings me to a prophetic point: what if Iran is removed as a threat to Israel and to mankind? Meaning, what if tomorrow Iran is no longer a danger? Stranger things have happened. We are seeing unprecedented changes in Asia, and with Trump’s brand of diplomacy wed to economic interests.

The West is very, very different than it was only two years ago, with the Marxist Obama in the White House. For the foreseeable future, America is reclaiming its place as the leader of the Free World. Israel also benefits from this, and in turn, long-time enemies are losing ground.

So if Iran’s mullahs can no longer threaten Israel (either through an outright coup, or a massive citizen uprising, or…something else), what will happen to the predictions of some that Iran is directly involved in last-days prophecies?

Notice I didn’t say that Israel won’t end up alone at some point. We know from Scripture that they will. But what I am saying is, geopolitics can change on a dime. It always has. To allege that verses from a handful of prophetic books in the Bible prove that Iran 2018 is going to do this, this, and this is a huge gamble.

What happens when those predictions (of men) don’t come to pass is that more people disengage from the Bible and from Bible prophecy.

Are we irresponsible in writing books and church presentations that use Iran in its present form as a major last days harbinger?

Maybe.

In the meantime, God is using two Western leaders to alleviate the suffering of millions.

That is something to celebrate with gusto.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com