Nov 28

Nineveh: A Parody of the Present – Biblical Clues to the Rise and Fall of America, by Victor Schlatter ?

As mentioned in a previous review of a book by Vic Schlatter, I know him personally, and really appreciate him as a friend. He is a very bright person, and very committed to evangelism. At one point in time in his service as a missionary to a tribe in the hills of New Guinea, he made a transformation to a Charismatic leaning. Now, this text is coming out full-force with his bent toward Christian Zionism. Unfortunately, as with another brother of mine who has emigrated to a third world country, their brilliance is betrayed by their current obsessions. That is a pity. Vic speaks in this book very little about the rise and fall of America, except to indict Obama. He speaks NOTHING of the sin of our nation, or its departure from God. To Vic, everything evolves around how we view the nation of Israel. Unfortunately, there are some Biblical persuasions, such as my own, that view Israel as the children of God, who happen to be us Gentiles grafted into a tree that failed to bear fruit, ie., the Jews. Whether or not there is a future for Israel I have no idea, but I do know that the Jews rejection of the Lord of Glory sustains the Lord’s condemnation. Vic lambasts most Americans as being superficial, yet his writing is about the most superficial writing I’ve read in a long time, speaking as though it was a 10 yo kid talking to another ten yo kid. He addresses God as Abba, Constantine as Connie, never gets to the point, and continually uses parody and flight of idea. By the end of the book, I had no clue as to what Vic was speaking about, save that he remained a Christian Zionist. Vic writes in a very funny style, yet has minimal content. I could not recommend this book to anybody. A pity, as I dearly love Vic, and enjoy my conversations with him.

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2 Responses to “Nineveh: A Parody of the Present”

  1. Uncle Dennis says:

    Knowing Vic as well, I have expressed to him independent but very similar comments. The writing style is of the genre of the Theater of the Absurd, like Waiting for Godot. He tells you that he is going to tell you something then never gets around to telling it.

    “Unfortunately, as with another brother of mine who has emigrated to a third world country, their brilliance is betrayed by their current obsessions. That is a pity.”

    I know that other brother and sometimes one must be careful not to confuse “obsession” (whatever it is) with a difference in perspective as informed by a set of facts outside the box of the mental habituation of mainstream American church culture.

    “To Vic, everything evolves around how we view the nation of Israel.”

    To those of us who find dispensensational eschatology somewhat revolting, it is possible to lose sight of the plain facts of scripture that, when run through the interpretational filter of contemporary Christian theological conceits, are distorted beyond recognition. Jesus repeatedly stated in the gospel accounts that his mission was to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Israel, as any good Jew would know is not Judea. The apostles went to “lost” Israel. Yet today, even many Christian scholars do not know that Israel continues to exist. Aber schade. Sadly, Vic does not fill in this gaping hole of ignorance (which has nothing to do with Zionism) but cracks jokes instead.

    “Unfortunately, there are some Biblical persuasions, such as my own, that view Israel as the children of God, who happen to be us Gentiles grafted into a tree that failed to bear fruit,

    This illustrates my point about missing facts of importance. The English word “gentile” comes from the Latin _gentilis_ meaning those who were not Roman citizens. Jesus was a gentile but Paul was not. Additional confusion comes from Bible translations where “gentile” is the translation of the Hebrew _goyim_ or Greek _ethnae_, meaning “nations”, whether Israelite or not. Both Hebrew and Greek words have the same meaning and do not mean non-Israelite. This poor choice of “gentile” was so bad that in most translations, it is not used uniformly, for then you would have scripture saying such absurdities as that Abraham would be the father of many gentiles. Something is obviously screwy here, yet where are the Christian scholars to fix it?

    Furthermore, the English word “Jew” is only about 200 years old. The translation into Jew from the Greek is not incorrect; Judean might have been better or more literal. What is incorrect is to conflate Jew with Israelite. The Jews were those who lived in Judea after the post-babylonian captivity. Jesus was a Jew. Many Jews were Edomites or Babylonians by descent and not descendants of Judah or Benjamin. This distinction is not observed, though critical, because some theological conceits do not find it significant. Yet in Jesus’s time, the difference between “Israel” and “Jew” would have been well-known. The Galileans, who were Benjaminites, certainly retained this distinction and Jesus spent his time among them. They were also said by God to be “a light to Judah”. Go figure.

    The rest of Israel – the northern kingdom deported by Assyria – did not just wither away, as some who do not read the plain promises of God to Israel in scripture suppose. The apostles brought the gospel to them. They did not go to non-Israelites but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Scripture means what it says and does not need twisting from theologians with faulty presuppositions about it, or erroneous history to guide them.

    “Whether or not there is a future for Israel I have no idea, but I do know that the Jews rejection of the Lord of Glory sustains the Lord’s condemnation.”

    If you do not know then it can only be because your theological filter has filtered out the plain words of the NT regarding Israel.

  2. Uncle Dennis says:

    And I should add in clarification of that last sentence that the “Israel” referred to in it is not the modern Edomite-behaving nation-state in the Levant but those nations that descended from the Israelite tribes. If you do not know where they are or who they are, read some books on the subject from

    http://www.artisanpublishers.com

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