Theology Thursday, October 20, 2011

Since my last Theology Thursday post went over so well…(you can’t tell but that was extreme sarcasm) I am posting another one (somewhere a cricket is chirping) And this one concerns dispensationalism, since tomorrow is October 21 and all (again that was a joke.) Tough crowd today. Anyway…I do not have a strong point of view on dispensationalism. As far as I’m concerned it does not change my duty here on earth as a Christian. I am to enjoy God’s grace and make His name known among the nations…that’s the entirety of my job as a Christian. So I don’t spend too much time thinking about the subject of dispensationalism. Wherein lies todays Theology Thursday question and this is for those that consider themselves Amillennialist, as I have been informed that all Calvinists should be. I am not Amil however, I an a mid-mil dispensationalist.  My question for those Calvinist Amillennialist is this: If we take the Bible literally, as we should, (we believe in a literal six-day creation, Adam and Eve were literal humans, the Flood was a literal event, Jonah was in the whales belly for three days, Jesus literally was born to a literal virgin and died a literal death and rose again on the third day literally) Why would we take the book of Revelation on the subject of Christ return then figuratively? It makes no sense to me and seems completely contrary to our stance that the Bible is a literal book that can be completely trusted. So I leave this question up to you, the Calvinist Amillennialist.

Why would we take the book of Revelation on the subject of Christ return then figuratively? Discuss…


3 thoughts on “Theology Thursday, October 20, 2011

  1. Indeed the Historical Premillennial position (which I favor) is better expressed by such men as Irenaeus of Lyons, etc. there are really many early Millennial Churchman (I will not quote). And I too have been A-Mill in the past for years. We should not press the Pre-Mill against the A-Mill, or vice versa, but seek to see the common ground, covenant, etc. Note, there is really much common ground, some futurism (Antichrist / antichristian’s, etc.). And both would be against a full preteristism!

    Btw, let me recommend, Charles Hill’s book: Regnum Caelorum, Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity.

    One thing seems very certain, the West is collapsing into a secular postmodernity, and the Middle East (Modern Israel, Radical Islam, etc.) will be central in any Eschatological position! I don’t see how we can deny this, biblically?

  2. Dear John (and no, I’m not leaving you)

    Recognize the symbolism in the book. In one verse (5:5) Jesus is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” and in the very next described as a “Lamb having seven horns”. The writer uses a lot of symbolism. That alone should tell you something. Remember, a bad guy can be a snake in the grass and a wolf in sheeps clothing all at the same time, but that’s symbolic language….just like the 1000 year reign.

    Christ reigns, now and forever, who dare (in their right minds) would desire to limit the reign of the Lord Jesus to a mere 1000 years? What then? New king?

  3. John you combined two different points in one sentence when you said “It makes no sense to me and seems completely contrary to our stance that the Bible is a literal book that can be completely trusted.”

    A book does not have to be literal to be trustworthy. Are the Psalms all literal? Are the parables literal? No, but they are most certainly trustworthy. It is a question of genre.

    It would be relatively easy to smash your stance that the bible is a literal book right from Revelation. Revelation presents itself from the very outset as a vision, not as a narrative. To take Revelation as literal is to molest the original intent of the book. I dare you to make a literal defense of revelation, with the beasts with hundreds of eyes, and dragons with 7 heads and on and on. To read Revelation in a strict literal sense is to intentionally stick our heads in the sand and refuse to see what it is actually saying.

    Genesis sets itself up as a narrative, so it should be read as such. Isaiah sets itself up as a prophecy so it should be read as such, the psalms set themselves up as poetry so they should be read as such. The Gospels are narratives, should be read like narratives, the Pauline corpus is letters and should be read like letters, revelation is an apocalypse and should be like an apocalypse.

    This space is too small to make a defense for Amillennialism, but at the heart of the disagreement is the manner in which Revelation should be read.

    *chirp chirp*

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