Useless @ Storylab


 with host Derrick Warfel

 StoryLab is fascinating!  Watch “168” scenes and compare to similar big budget scenes to see what it takes to get from here to there.

Your host is indie filmmaker Derrick Warfel, a graduate of USC Film School, Princeton University & Dallas Theological Seminary.

 Derrick Warfel

11150 Canby Ave., Northridge, CA 91326

The house is at Donmetz & Canby.

Lite snacks provided.
Agenda: Intros @ 7pm, Writing from a Verse Primer for Write of Passage Participants, StoryLab @ 7:30pm.
RSVPs are mandatory as space is limited to 30 people:
 Fri, Oct. 28, 7pm – 10pm
with Writer-Director Brandon Adams

A criminal pleads for mercy from his captor.

Winner Best Film, Best Actor, Kevin Sizemore,  Best Cinematography, Brandon Adams

Am I a Dispensationalist?

I came across a great primer on progressive dispensationalism from Matt Waymeyer. It’s the most helpful summary of a Calvinistic progressive dispensationalism I have read. Waymeyer argues that God’s promise to Abraham to give his physical offspring the land of Canaan forever, has not been fulfilled:

there are two primary reasons I am expecting an eschatological restoration of the nation of Israel in fulfillment of the Old Testament covenants of promise. First, having considered the promises of restoration in their original Old Testament contexts, I am convinced that these promises have not yet been fulfilled. They were not fulfilled in the returns to the land from exile under Zerubbabel (536 B.C.), Ezra (557 B.C.), or Nehemiah (445 B.C.), and they cannot be rightly understood as finding their fulfillment in the present salvation of the church and/or the eternal state. To put it simply, the Lord has not yet done what He has promised to do in these Old Testament passages, and for this reason I await the day when He will.

Second, I believe that the New Testament also teaches an eschatological restoration of the nation of Israel in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises. A key passage in this regard is Romans 11. In this chapter, the apostle Paul addresses the question of whether or not God has permanently rejected His chosen people, the nation of Israel. Not only has she broken the Mosaic Covenant and therefore been dispersed among the nations, but now she has also rejected the promised Messiah. Is there any hope for her as a nation in the plan of God? Paul’s answer in Romans 11is an emphatic yes.

To his first point – his reasoning sounds rather similar to modern Jews who reject Christ as the Messiah. If you read the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus hasn’t fulfilled them. He hasn’t ushered in world peace. He hasn’t restored Jews to their land. He hasn’t done any of the following:

  1. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
  2. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
  3. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
  4. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9)

Listen to modern Jews argue about the Messiah in the Old Testament at

The answer to this is well summarized by Kim Riddlebarger:

…the problem with that is, when you’re using a Christ-centered hermeneutic, you don’t start with Genesis 12 and look at the promise God made to Abraham and then insist that that reading of the promise overrides everything that comes subsequent to that. So for example the land promise in Genesis 12 – and it’s repeated throughout 15, 18, 22, on and on and on – when that land promise is repeated, dispenationalists say “See, that must mean Israel means Israel and that God is going to save Israel again to fulfill the land promise at the end of the age.” Whereas I would look at that and say, “How do Jesus and the Apostles look at the land promise? How do Jesus and the Apostles look at the Abrahamic Covenant?” And that is at the heart of this entire debate.

As to Waymeyer’s second point – Nathan Pitchford did a good job drawing out a key issue:

my question is this: have Gentiles been brought in to become heirs of all those same promises or have they not? If they have—that is, if they have been grafted into the same tree that sprang from the roots of the patriarchs (Rom. 11), if they have become Abraham’s seed by faith and heirs of the promise given to Abraham (Rom. 4 and Gal. 3), if the New Covenant has been confirmed to them, so that they are now the heirs of the Land promised to Abraham (Heb. 81 Cor. 11Rom. 4:13Mat. 5:5), then that admission makes his system so far removed from historic dispensationalism that it can no longer legitimately be called such.

…Are Gentiles who believe members of the New Covenant, and heirs of all the promises made to the fathers? When God fulfills his promise of restoration completely and finally, will it be a restoration in which all the Gentiles who call upon the name of the Lord will be included, and made a part of his people? Is there or can there be an ongoing distinction between Gentiles who are a “kingdom of priests” (1 Pet. 2:9), who are “Abraham’s seed and heirs according the promise” (Gal. 3:27-29), who have participated in the cup of the promised New Covenant (Luke 22:20); and ethnic Jews who by faith and perseverance are also Abraham’s true seed and members of the Covenant, or who by a future conversion will become such? There can be no division between such either now or in the future, any more than there can be a division in Christ, in whom alone is eternal salvation, the fulfillment of every promise (2 Cor. 1:20), the inheritance of every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), both now and forever.





Three-Fold Division of the Law – Moral, Ceremonial, Judicial?

Richard Barcellos directed me to a new booklet on the three-fold division of the law. He notes:

It is quite common in our day to deny the three-fold division of the law – moral, ceremonial, judicial. No one who has read up on the issue denies that Reformed theology teaches this division. It is in Calvin and other 16th-century theologians, in the 17th-century men, and in Reformed confessions and catechisms. The historical-theological question concerning the Reformed tradition on this issue is not disputed. What is disputed, however, is whether or not the division pre-dates the Reformation and, more importantly, whether the Bible itself makes such distinctions. I think the answer to both questions is yes and so does Jonathan F. Bayes in this excellent piece on the three-fold division. It is a very well-written and relatively easy-to-read piece. I recommend it very highly!

I think the end of Bayes’ piece provides some interesting challenges to those who deny any distinction within the law.

Old Covenant Laws and General Equity

I was reading a post from Richard Barcellos on the Sabbath and came across and very concise and helpful paragraph in regards to the general equity of old covenant laws.

Someone on his blog raised on objection, saying:

I would defend what Dr. Schreiner said. I believe that abiding principles can be drawn from the Sabbath without having to hold to the abiding validity of the Sabbath Law itself. Those aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. For instance, in Leviticus 23:22, we are told that the farmer is to leave a portion of his field for the sojourner. So, if a hungry man passes by, he can take a little food on his way. I assume that most would agree that this is a ceremonial law that has ceased in the New Covenant era. Yet, who would doubt that there are principals of love, equity, and a concern for social justice that can be drawn from such a law? Does the fact that one can derive principles from a law make that law a creation ordinance, or somehow universally moral? I don’t think so,

Barcellos’ response is very helpful:

What you are describing in your comment is the concept of general equity as it applies to old covenant judicial laws. The equity that an old covenant judicial law might possess does not come from the particular old covenant judicial law itself, however. It is simply an application of moral/natural/universal law to Israel’s unique, covenantally conditioned national life. So, there may be principles in particular old covenant judicial laws (you mentioned “love, equity, and a concern for social justice”) that transcend the old covenant. I agree with you on this. But the temporary law you mentioned does not establish what constitutes equity, it is a unique illustration/application of it. Hence, the equity predates and even transcends the old covenant.