The Five Pillars of My Disconcerning View of My American Christian Brethren Today

Peter D. Goodgame:

Good commentary here by Dr. Future. Please read and reflect…

Originally posted on The Two Spies Report:

Some of my Christian friends think that I may be a little too critical these days of my fellow American Christians and paint with too broad of a brush, and they may think that I need to focus on my own spiritual inadequacies and shortcomings.  They may well be right; I certainly criticize Christian behavior for which I myself have been guilty, and neglect important Christian work and ministry I should be about right now.  It is easy to be a critic, and sit in the “seat of scoffers” as a judge and spectator, while others are “in the arena”.

Having said that, while I have been raised in the “bullseye” of the Bible Belt both culturally and geographically, and benefitted from its solid Christian worldview foundation and been blessed by its security, hope and sacrificial love from others toward me, I have been developing some type of angst…

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A New Overview On Paul

Back in January of 2013 I was invited to a big bible prophecy conference in Dallas, Texas, to give three presentations based on my books and research. At that time I really thought I had it all figured out, and my end-times outlook was solidly Dispensational. In the aftermath of the conference, through meeting several key people, I was challenged to examine some very serious accusations regarding the Apostle Paul. A few highly motivated bible scholars had collected evidence that Paul was a false apostle, allegedly mentioned by Jesus in Revelation 2:2. This led to a season of study and prayer as I tried to sort it all out, and I finally offered my personal conclusion in my online series “Jesus and the Law,” which I finished on the last day of 2013.

Part of my deep study into the life and ministry of Paul included diving into the massive book about Paul written by N.T. Wright, which came out in November 2013. I figured that since I had listened to the enemies of Paul it was only fair that I take a look at the work of a serious scholar who supported Paul. The only problem was that the book was 1700 pages long! It took me many months to read it, and I think I finished it while I was visiting China in September of 2014. Yet at the beginning I dove right in, and it did not take long for me to realize how wrong Paul’s detractors were, and how shallow their evidence was, compared to the in-depth treatment given to Paul by Tom Wright.

Hallelujah, the big book on Paul helped to save me from going down the misguided route of Hebrew Roots! Unfortunately this is often a natural route to take from a dispensational mindset. Dispensationalists read the Old Testament prophets literally and try to apply it to today, and it is not a far stretch from that point to read the OT Law literally and try to apply it to today as well. I am not anti-Semitic by any means, and I do love digging into the OT to discover the Hebrew Roots of the New Testament. But I do have a litmus test when it comes to Hebrew Roots teaching: If it points forward to Jesus, then it is good; if it points back to Moses, then it is highly suspect!

N.T. Wright helped me to understand the OT through Paul’s eyes, which kept me from reading the Law literally, and even showed me that the Dispensationalist approach to prophecy was flawed as well. In fact NONE of the New Testament writers read their Bible the way that Dispensationalists teach it today! That’s because the Apostles were using a hermeneutic given to them by Jesus Himself. It’s no longer all about “literal interpretation” because the OT was always looking forward to spiritual realities. This is reflected in my new study of the end times focused on the New Exodus.

In any case, the point of this post is to recommend that everyone, especially American Christians with dispensational backgrounds, take a second look at the way they read their Bibles. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and to question what you have been taught. Don’t be afraid to seek out other perspectives. Maybe even take a look at N.T. Wright’s book on Paul. Or if you don’t have the stamina for 1700 pages, take a look at the new book by Derek Vreeland which condenses Wright’s book down to about 120 pages.

It contains some great insight that will help prepare you to grasp the spiritual depth of the New Exodus!

Jesus showed who his Father is…by not “Grasping”

Originally posted on The Religious Vortex:

If Jesus is the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3), then God is not only nonviolent, but God does not grasp to be more than he should be. Some would ask, “why would God grasp at anything when he is almighty, all powerful, and everywhere at the same time?” This is an excellent question, but what I would like to propose is that God thinks more about you than he does about himself. Or better yet, God thinks you are more important than himself. That’s a big statement….and I truly think it is possible when we see Jesus representing “God’s very nature”. The verses I will focus on are again in Phil 2, god_is_love_by_riikardo-d70clskwhich say,

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  

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Sunday Bun

Peter D. Goodgame:

A good word from L. A. Marzulli

Originally posted on L.A. Marzulli's Blog:

BunSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27

We are all made in the image and likeness of God…. period.  The moment we move away from this fact we create the problems that face us in today’s world.

It is God who made us and in His sight we are all equal.  It doesn’t matter what the color of our skin is, or if we’re tall, or short, fat, or skinny, or blue.  It doesn’t matter.  When we look at another person, no matter what he or she looks like, we must remind ourselves that that person is made in the image and likeness of God.  If we practice this how can we have a racist bone in our bodies?  If we embrace this, how can we fall into the trap of thinking one…

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Rising Stars

Jesus promises in Luke 8:17 that one day every mystery will be revealed. I think that most people see this as being fulfilled after the Second Coming and after the Resurrection, but I don’t think so… why not here and now?

Why are we so afraid to dig into the many mysteries that still remain? Yes, the Bible offers some brief words about human origins and about the heavenly destiny of the redeemed, but these words are really very limited. For many Christians these words act to mark the extent of our seeking and put our religion in a box, rather than causing us to wonder and to explore with an expectation of learning new things.

It is with this questioning sense of awe and wonder that I offer the latest article in my ongoing New Exodus series:

Rising Stars: The Stellar Destiny of the Redeemed

Peter Goodgame
Kailua, Hawaii
June 7, 2015


I am just finishing up a brilliant book that is an epic overview of the human race, although from a secular perspective. The book is called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, written by Yuval Noah Harari, a history professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, published in February 2015. Back in March I mentioned him in a blog post, and I have finally got around to finishing the book.

I want to share something of his which I feel is a very important insight into the state of human society today, which is rather unappreciated by most people, even by those who are supposed to be seeing things from a grander perspective. I’m speaking as a Christian and I’m talking about the leadership of the Church today, which claims to hold both a mantle of authority and leadership, along with a prophetic vision to chart a course for the future according to God’s plan.

For goodness sake we are supposed to be able to see the world from a position above the cultural attitudes and prejudices that draw carnal people to and fro! We are supposed to know who we are, where we are, and where we are going in relation to the greater plan of God! This is why I really enjoy taking in a Big Picture perspective such as the one offered by Harari. Sad to say, he seems to possess deeper insight about “where we are” than does 90% of the popular prophetic voices celebrated in the Church.

But enough of my rant, here is a short passage near the end of his book, where he offers some commentary on the global shift that has just recently overtaken human society. In the past human social organization revolved around the family and the community, and it was through these close relationships that people became grounded in their identities, realized personal fulfillment, and met their basic needs. However, now we are dominated by the Market and the State. At one time we all tended to recognize that we lived within a close network of mutual obligations, but…

“All this changed dramatically over the last two centuries. The Industrial Revolution gave the market immense new powers, provided the state with new means of communication and transportation, and placed at the government’s disposal an army of clerks, teachers, policemen and social workers. At first the market and the state discovered their path blocked by traditional families and communities who had little love for outside intervention. Parents and community elders were reluctant to let the younger generation be indoctrinated by nationalist education systems, conscripted into armies or turned into a rootless urban proletariat.

Over time, states and markets used their growing power to weaken the traditional bonds of family and community. The state sent its policemen to stop family vendettas and replace them with court decisions. The market sent its hawkers to wipe out longstanding local traditions and replace them with ever-changing commercial fashions. Yet this was not enough. In order to really break the power of family and community, they needed the help of a fifth column.

The state and the market approached people with an offer that could not be refused. ‘Become individuals,’ they said. ‘Marry whomever you desire, without asking permission from your parents. Take up whatever job suits you, even if community elders frown. Live wherever you wish, even if you cannot make it every week to the family dinner. You are no longer dependent on your family or your community. We, the state and the market, will take care of you instead. We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment. We will provide pensions, insurance, and protection.’

Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidized or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are debilitated for months, national social services steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse — usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbors taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins…

But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbors in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay the janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state?

The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all — however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements [which] designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.” (Harari, pp. 358-60)

Please think about this, and recognize that it is a combination of the Market and the State that has created the Beast that rules the world today. We can’t be blindly anti-State and look hopefully for some “free market utopia” to solve all our problems, and we can’t be purely anti-Market agitating for the downfall of Capitalism as the entry point into some future egalitarian hippie holiday. Its much more complicated than Left vs. Right, and neither the Tea Party nor Occupy has the answer, because the Market and the State have always worked together. There would have been no Big Government without the increased production of global commerce, and there would be no global Capitalism without the protection of Big Government. These two monsters always go hand-in-hand.

Our job, on the other hand, is to move forward into the future as a prophetic colony of the Kingdom of God, not merely reacting or protesting, but moving forward with the plan and the vision of God.

I leave you with an insightful quote from author and pastor Brian Zahnd, which comes by way of the Culture Shock podcast from May 15:

“The Beast knows you by number, but the Lamb knows you by name.”

The Mysterious Tree of Life

This morning I was compelled to write what promises to be the entry point into an incredible line of research. It will be very controversial and it touches upon some very sensitive subjects, yet I also feel that digging into this mystery is absolutely necessary in the 21st Century.

You see, if you have been paying attention you know that modern science has been making great strides in developing its own version of human origins ever since the human genome was decoded in 2003. You can read a good overview of this progress in an article from the Wall Street Journal here.

In the face of these recent developments I think it is time to think outside the box and to deliver a new perspective that affirms the truth of the Gospel and the absolute necessity to reconcile Man with God, with Jesus as the only mediator bringing that reconciliation about.

That’s what my new series will be all about, and you can step into part one here:

The Tree of Life: The Mysterious Symbol at the Heart of the New Exodus

Peter Goodgame
May 19, 2015
Kailua, Hawaii