By Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
Ryrie argues for a literalistic hermeneutic based on Christ’s first coming being a literal event. But we find that the NT can see Christ and his kingdom coming spiritually, as well. This undercuts Ryrie’s argument. In the last post I noted that in general. But in this one I will focus on the problem presented especially in Acts.
In Acts 2 we find a classic and eschatologically relevant spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament in the apostolic era. Peter interprets the Davidic kingdom prophecies in general (Ac 2:30) and Psalms 16:8–11 (Ac 2:25–28) and 110:1 (Ac 2:34–35) specifically as being fulfilled in Christ’s ascension and session:
Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Ac 2:30–33)
This is the standard exposition of non-premillennial covenant theologians, as well as non-dispensationalist premillennialists and progressive dispensationalists (See: Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants, 220–21. Ladd, Theology of the New Testament, 344.).
Later, Paul preaches that Christ’s resurrection fulfills David’s promise to Israel: “And we declare to you glad tidings; that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David’” (Ac 13:32–34).