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NT Epistles discuss O. Palmer Robertson on Romans 11 in the The Scriptures forums; This thread is a bit of a spin-off from this one http://www.puritanboard.com/f46/anyo...ur-here-50723/ I'll put a link there to this also. I have now looked at ...

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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    O. Palmer Robertson on Romans 11

    This thread is a bit of a spin-off from this one

    Anyone want to take a crack at answering John MacArthur here?

    I'll put a link there to this also.

    I have now looked at Palmer Robertson's careful treatment of Romans 11, and he hasn't persuaded me that - as well as speaking about an ongoing small part of the Jews believing until the end of time - that paul isn't also speaking about a future reingrafting of the Jews as a nation.

    I'll explain why later, on this thread..........

    For a start,

    I would largely agree with him that Romans 11 has present concerns and that some of it is about the fact that there is an ongoing (small) proportion of Jews that believe. This in itself would encourage Jewish evangelism by the Roman church.

    vv. 1-11 I can largely agree with Robertson, though because of verse 12, I believe v.11 may have a future reference.

    v.12 There is a weakness in Robertson's interpretation here:-

    Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

    Robertson believes that the fulness of the Jews is the full number of the Jews who will be saved incrementally to the end of time. But - although Jewish believers have contributed to the life of the church and the work of the Gospel - there is no sense in which this addition of Jewish believers has anything like exceeded or been commensurate with the riches that have been bestowed on the world by the fact that the Jews rejected Christ.

    Also, Robertson believes that when the fulness of the Jews - and Gentiles - come in, Christ will return and the world will end. Yet there is no explicit mention of the Parousia in this chapter, and when the Parousia happens, there will be such a great change to the order of things, that the blessings of a Jewish "fulness" in that context would be moot. It would not be the Jewish fulness that would be the riches of the Gentile (and Jewish) believers, but the return of Christ which Paul doesn't mention.

    More later...............
    Last edited by Peairtach; 07-29-2009 at 11:10 AM.
    Richard Tallach
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    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    The next verse where some of us wouldn't see eye to eye with Robertson's exegesis is v. 15

    For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

    Robertson ascribes this to the ongoing addition of a relatively small number of Jews over the centuries until Christ's return. But this interpretation of "life from the dead" does not exceed or is not even commensurate with "the reconciling of the world". Paul is using a fortiori arguments in 11:12 and 11:15. Has the blessing to the Gentiles, and the church, of Jewish believers down through the centuries, been in the order of the blessing that was received through the apostasy of the Jewish nation? Hardly. Paul's arguments in 11:12 and 11:15 wouldn't hold water if Palmer was correct.

    I can't see if Robertson deals with the phrase "life from the dead". By ordinary grammatical rules it refers to life from the dead for the world. The life from the dead that the world has received from converted Jews down the years is appreciated by many Gentile Christians, but has not been commensurate with the reconciliation received from their collective casting away.

    Notice too that Robertson is toggling between collective Jews and individual Jews in one sentence:-

    For if the casting away of them (collectively) be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be (one by one or in a small proportion), but life from the dead?

    More later.........
    Last edited by Peairtach; 07-29-2009 at 03:03 PM.
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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    Scott1's Avatar
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    Romans 11

    1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

    2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,

    3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

    4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

    6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    7What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

    8(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.

    9And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

    10Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

    11I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

    13For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

    14If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

    15For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

    16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

    17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

    18Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

    19Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

    20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

    21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

    24For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

    25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

    27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    28As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.

    29For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

    31Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

    32For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

    35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

    36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
    .
    Scott
    PCA
    North Carolina


    Post Tenebras Lux; "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." - Revelation 21:4

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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    Verse 24 is another verse where Robertson is weak

    For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:24)

    Robertson says, "Nothing in this figure of ingrafting communicates the idea of a distinctive and corporate inclusion of the Jews at some future date."

    This depends on what Paul means by how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    If he means (a) that it is more fitting that a Jew be reincorporated into the Olive Tree, that is one thing.

    But if he means (b) that the Jews will be easy to reach or more likely to become Christians that has not been the experience of Jewish missions down the years. Robertson doesn't try to explain what Paul means by this.

    If (b) is the case then it could only be such if Paul is talking about a future day of God's power upon the Jews when they will flock to Christ and it will be both "easy", natural and fitting for these branches to be re-ingrafted. Currently Jewish evangelism is hard; at some point in the future the Apostle is saying it won't be.

    -----Added 7/29/2009 at 04:49:36 EST-----

    Verse 25

    For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    A mystery is something that was hidden from the ken (knowledge) of man but is now revealed by God. Something of a spiritual nature that would not have been worked out by man, without special revelation by an apostle or prophet.

    Robertson says that the mystery that Paul tells the Romans in 11:25 is that the Jews shall be partly/largely hardened/blinded until the Second Advent, when both the full number of the Jews and Gentiles will have come in.

    One weakness with this is that Paul doesn't mention the Parousia or the end of the world.

    Also it may be something that ordinary, even unsaved, people could work out by their own ken. It was even well known when the epistle to the Romans was written, without any revelation being given, that the vast majority of Jews were opposed to the Gospel. After centuries it is even more well-attested. No one expects a national conversion of the Jews. Without - and even with - a Word from God to say it is going to happen, to the natural man and the spiritual man it seems the most unlikely thing in the world. So I don't think that what Robertson says is a mystery, is a mystery. But a revelation that Israel would turn to Christ as a nation would be a mystery.

    Also, a reason Paul reveals this mystery is so that the Gentile Christians would not be wise in their own conceits. If they knew that the Jews were coondemned to having only a very small proportion of believers among them down through the centuries, it might leave the Gentile Christians still conceited against the Jews.

    On the other hand if they knew that the Jews were yet to play a major part in redemptive history, it might disabuse the Gentile believers of their conceits.

    -----Added 7/29/2009 at 05:11:39 EST-----

    For the above reasons, I take the view that there will be a future national conversion of the Jews.

    One of the weak points for those of us who believe this is as Don P ponts out at this thread

    Anyone want to take a crack at answering John MacArthur here?

    is the diverse use of the word "fulness" in v.12 and v.25.

    In verse 12, according to the Jewish national conversion interpretation, a national conversion of the Jews (their fullness) will lead to greater progress of the Gospel among the Gentiles than there has been over the past 2,000 years.

    In verse 25, according to the Jewish national conversion interpretation, the fulness of the Gentiles is a widespread number of converts over 2,000 years from all nations, which fulness may be petering out and losing steam (see the end of v.15)

    I don't know how this is reconciled. Maybe it is just that you can get different types of fulness.

    Having looked at Palmer's interpretation, I am strengthened in my belief in a national conversion of the Jews.

    More later.............
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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    MICWARFIELD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    I want to know what Pat Robertson has to say about all this!
    Hahaha!!!
    Mike Mariotti
    San Diego, Ca
    Grace Fellowship (PCA)
    Alpine, Ca

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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    I want to know what Pat Robertson has to say about all this!
    Being Scottish I'm (blissfully?) ignorant of that!
    Last edited by Peairtach; 08-01-2009 at 12:24 PM.
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    Verse 26

    Palmer Robertson believes that this refers to all the elect. He uses some strange and outlandish arguments against the idea of it meaning a national conversion.

    I believe the fact that Paul is not only talking about an ongoing salvation of a small number of Jews, but also a national conversion has been established by the previous verses. Whether, "And so all Israel will be saved" or, more accurately, "And in this manner all Israel will be saved" refers to the total number of the elect or to a national conversion of ethnic Israel from being partly saved to all being saved, doesn't affect the above interpretation.

    Throughout this chapter Robertson is reacting to premillennialism and dispensationalism, and seems oblivious to any other view, e.g. postmillennialism. This confirms that some, in their reaction to the errors of dispensationalism, are throwing the baby out with the bath water, and seeing no national conversion of the Jews in Romans 11.

    Maybe some also swing in reaction to dispensational excesses to amillennialism rather than postmillennialism/optimistic-amillennialism, or even heretical hyper-pretism.

    This ends a look at 0. Palmer Robertson's chapter on Romans 11 in his book, "The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow."
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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