Of all the questions asked by readers here at this site, Romans 11 has been one of the most popular topics brought up over the last five years, particularly the phrase, “In this manner all Israel will be saved” (verse 26). I’m glad to see that two well-known teachers will be leading a moderated debate on June 3rd concerning the meaning of Romans 11:25-27. Don K. Preston, the president of Preterist Research Institute (websites 1 and 2), will be debating this topic with Dr. Michael Brown, an author, professor, and radio host (websites 1, 2, and 3). Dr. James White, an author and speaker, will be moderating the debate. Here is the formal announcement for this debate:
I am thrilled to announce that just this morning, (5-13-14) we confirmed final agreement for a formal, moderated debate between myself and Dr. Michael Brown, a very popular Christian apologist and radio / Internet host. Dr. Brown has done some fine work in debating Muslims and atheists. He is not a “typical” Millennialist, in that he takes the Classic or Historical Premillennial view, which is in many respects, totally different from modern Dispensationalism.
Dr. Brown has a nationally syndicated radio program: “Ask Dr. Brown,” (also known as The Line of Fire) in which he welcomes callers to ask any question. On April 2014, Dr. Brown issued a challenge to any qualified preterist to engage in a formal moderated debate. Some listeners posted to me about that challenge and I responded, accepting the invitation.
You can listen to the debate, live, here: (2-4pm, June 3, 2014) Eastern time: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/in-the-line-of-fire/listen-live/
The debate will be on June 3, 2-4 Eastern Time (1-3 Central). I am particularly pleased to say that Dr. James White, of Alpha and Omega Ministry, also a noted Christian polemicist, will act as the debate moderator.
The Debate subject will be:
Resolved: The Bible teaches in Romans 11:25-27 that at some point of time in our future, “all Israel shall be saved” at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.Affirm: Dr. Michael BrownDeny: Don K. PrestonNeedless to say, this is a very, very important topic. Many Postmillennialists, some Amillennialists, and certainly, Millennialists of all stripes believe that there is yet to be a massive conversion of ethnic Jews at the time of the second coming of Christ. Obviously, I believe this view is not supported by the scriptures.This offers to be a very lively debate, with a ton of information being made available. You don’t want to miss it, so put it on your calendar, and tune in!
You can read more about Dr. Michael Brown here: http://askdrbrown.org/press-room/
Here is the Scripture text which will be under discussion in this debate:
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins‘” (Romans 9:25-27).
Since Don Preston first made this announcement, I’ve heard that the debate likely won’t begin at 2 pm EST on June 3rd, but will be somewhat later in the afternoon. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to watch it live, but once the debate video is posted on YouTube or elsewhere, I plan to post it here. It’ll be good to see what these two men have to say on the subject, and there will be an open invitation, for anyone who wishes, to evaluate what they have to say and discuss it here (as well as to look at discussions that may happen elsewhere).
Questions to consider:
1. What is the blindness that happened to Israel? How long was it to last? Where else does Scripture speak of this blindness?
2. What is the meaning of “the fullness of the Gentiles“?
3. Who is Paul speaking of when he says, “all Israel will be saved“?
4. Is Isaiah 59:20-21, quoted in Romans 11:26-27, about Jesus’ first coming and His work on the cross, or is it about His coming in judgment and in His kingdom (often spoken of as His Second Coming)? Is Isaiah 59:20-21 already fulfilled, or not yet fulfilled?
UPDATE: The debate took place as scheduled, and I’ve posted the video, along with notes and time stamps, here: