A journalist who spent 10 days with ISIS says there's only one army the Jihadis fear - Israel.
German reporter Jürgen Todenhӧfer, a former member of the German parliament who spent 10 days last winter in IS-controlled Iraq and Syria interviewing a number of militants and made it out alive, told the British news site Jewish News that although IS militants are not afraid of the western military power of the United States or European countries, the group's fighters fear military capabilities of Israel.
"The only country ISIS fears is Israel," Todenhӧfer explained. "They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them."
Story is here.
Israel is the only genuine ally America has in the Middle East. It's also the only democracy in the region. It's unfortunate the current administration has, in essence, turned its back on Israel. While I am reformed for the most part in my theology, I adhere to Progressive Dispensationalism which views a role for Israel. If this understanding (upheld at Moody Bible Institute, Talbot Theological where JP Moreland & William Lane Craig reside, and most SBC seminaries including Dallas Theological) is correct, America turning its back on Israel will have grave consequences for us.
(Dispensationalism is an hermeneutical framework used to guide biblical interpretation. Although often presented as a series of administrations enumerating God's major dealings with mankind, the interpretive center of Dispensationalism is actually a distinction between Israel, the Church, and the Millennial Kingdom. The opposing viewpoint found in Reformed theology is Covenant theology, sometimes referred to as "Replacement Theology" in which interpreters view the church as the fulfillment of OT Israel. In this view, true Israel (the believing remnant) becomes the NT church and is expanded to include Gentiles. The OT promises made to Israel are fulfilled in the church. Progressive Dispensationalism somewhat combines the two viewpoints, but in a limited way.)
Some tenents of Progressive Dispensationalism:
- Essentially recognizes the more literal fulfillment of prophecy (which is Traditional Dispensationalism’s strong suit) but accepts how the New Testament authors quote and apply the Old Testament to the church (Traditional Dispensationalism’s most vulnerable point).
- Is not Replacement Theology; Progressive Dispensationalists assert that God will keep His promises made to “Israel according to the flesh,” the genetic descendents of Jacob.
- Acknowledges a future 7-year Tribulation followed by a 1,000 Millennium with Christ personally present and reigning from Jerusalem.
- Affirms that the nation of Israel (in the Millennium) will be exalted as a nation with a rebuilt Temple and sacrificial offerings (that the Messianic Age is compatible with Temple worship is demonstrated in Acts 21:17-26).
- On the other hand, it does see the church fulfilling many Old Testament prophecies (and thus differs from Traditional Dispensationalism on this point), but in a less literal sense or incomplete sense; Progressives break rank with Traditionals by concluding that the church was anticipated in the Old Testament (but not clearly). The term "mystery," when used in reference to the church, is not defined as "something previously unrevealed," (as in Traditional Dispensationalism) but "previously revealed unclearly."
- Views the church as being blessed through Israel; Progressives avow that God has never stopped working with Israel (some Jews now believe, and He is provoking others to jealousy); the Jews will rebuild the Tribulation Temple largely in unbelief; although the 144,000 will be saved during the earlier part of the Tribulation, most Jews will not believe until the Battle of Armageddon, as interpreted from Zechariah 12.
- Is a "now, but not yet" viewpoint - i.e., the Kingdom Age is breaking forth now, but will have a complete fulfillment during the Millennium.
This is a huge distinction between Classical (Revised) Dispensationalism and Progressive Dispensationalism. As noted by Blaising/Bock the rise of the church does not need to be seen as an interruption or secondary plan of salvation relative to Israel. Rather the nation of Israel provided the historic and ethnic vehicle through which the Messiah—Jesus would come and bring salvation to ALL NATIONS, including, Jews. The PD differs with classical dispensationalists most clairvoyantly at this juncture. There is not one plan of salvation for Jews and one for Gentiles—there is one plan of salvation for all.
BUT, here’s the caveat, unlike amillennialists, who believe in total continuity between Israel and the Church, PD still maintains a “functional role distinction” between Israel and the Church. In other words, both Israel and the Church have partaken of the same salvation—and part of this salvation is yet to be realized as God fulfills His promise to Israel (His Covenant people) to bring a believing remnant (ethnic Christian Jews) into Jerusalem where Jesus will literally rule the nations upon the earth (with His church, both Jew and Gentile) for a thousand years (see Revelation 20).
Michael Patton of the "Reclaiming The Mind" ministry elaborates on progressive dispensationalism below ...