An Evening of Eschatology-VIDEO !!!

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Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
An Evening of Eschatology-VIDEO !!!

Video of An Evening of Eschatology" :: Desiring God

The Meaning of the Millennium
A Conversation with John Piper, Doug Wilson, Sam Storms, and Jim Hamilton
The following is background by John Piper on this event and the issues being discussed. Listen to the audio or watch the video for the conversation itself.

On September 27, 2009, Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary hosted “An Evening on Eschatology” at the Downtown Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. It was attended by about 800 people who sat in the darkened sanctuary while six cameras were trained on the brightly lit roundtable where the four participants sat in a circle.

For two hours I moderated, more or less, a discussion among Jim Hamilton (professor of New Testament at Southern Seminary in Louisville), Sam Storms (pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City), and Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho).

The discussion was intended to focus on the relationship between the thousand-year reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20 and the return of Christ to this earth visibly and physically to reign. This thousand years is usually called “the millennium.” Revelation 20 is the only place in the Bible where the length of this period is mentioned.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. . . those who had not worshiped the beast . . . came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. . . . And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations” (Revelation 20:1-4, 7-8).

Concerning this thousand years (millennium), there have been three major views in the history of the church. Each of these views was represented in the discussion by an advocate who believes the view to be true.

Premillennialism (represented by Jim Hamilton): The return of Christ happens before (pre-) the thousand-year reign of Christ, which is a reign of the risen Christ on the earth.

Amillennialism (represented by Sam Storms): The return of Christ happens after the thousand-year reign, a reign that occurs in heaven, in the intermediate state, and not upon the earth. Those who have died in faith and entered into the presence of Christ share his rule and reign during the current church age in which we now live.

Postmillennialism (represented by Doug Wilson): The return of Christ happens after (post-) the thousand-year reign, which corresponds to the Christian age, and the reign of Christ from heaven leads the church to triumph by and through the gospel to such an extent that the Great Commission will be successfully fulfilled, and the Christian faith will pervade all the cultures of all the nations of men. All Christ's enemies will be subdued in this way, with the exception of death, which he will destroy by his coming.

None of the views insists that the “thousand years” is an exact number, but all of them allow that it may be symbolic of a very long time (from a human standpoint).

As moderator, I tried to see that each view was fairly represented and defended. My own view is the one represented by Jim Hamilton—historic premillennialism. I think amillenialism is the next most plausible view. Postmillennialism has a long and respected history. In fact, the most influential dead theologian in my life, Jonathan Edwards, was a postmillennialist. Indeed, most of the early missionaries of the modern missionary movement, like William Carey, shared this view as well—the strong conviction that the gospel would triumph in all the world and subdue all other religions, with gospel power, not military power.

There are biblically attractive things about each of these views, and none of them, in their best representation, bears such marks as to suggest the advocates are undermining the precious gospel of Christ. On the contrary, each of them has strengths that specifically honor parts of the Bible that the others seem to honor less.

Postmillennialism seems to honor the power of the gospel and the promises for the Old Testament for the triumph of God’s people over all the nations. Amillennialism seems to honor the warnings of bleak end times as well as the seamlessness between Christ’s coming and the immediate destruction of death, the removal of the enemies of the cross, and the beginning of the new heavens and new earth. Premillennialism seems to honor the plainest meaning of Revelation 20 and the seemingly literal meaning of many Old Testament promises.

All of these views are upheld by teachers who warmly embrace the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible. This is especially true of the roundtable participants. We were glad to host this event with a view to showing that across these differences of interpretation (which were vigorously defended in the discussion) there is a profound brotherhood in the gospel.

What do we hold as crucial in regard to death, resurrection, and the second coming of Jesus? Section 14 of the Bethlehem Elder Affirmation of Faith gives our answer:

14.1 We believe that when Christians die they are made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, and are taken consciously into the presence of Christ, which is more glorious and more satisfying than any experience on earth.

14.2 We believe in the blessed hope that at the end of the age Jesus Christ will return to this earth personally, visibly, physically, and suddenly in power and great glory; and that He will gather His elect, raise the dead, judge the nations, and establish His kingdom. We believe that the righteous will enter into the everlasting joy of their Master, and those who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness will be consigned to everlasting conscious misery.

14.3 We believe that the end of all things in this age will be the beginning of a never-ending, ever-increasing happiness in the hearts of the redeemed, as God displays more and more of His infinite and inexhaustible greatness and glory for the enjoyment of His people.

I want to thank publicly Jim, Sam, and Doug for their energetic and truth-pursuing participation in the roundtable. It was, and is, a deep joy to be a part of this brotherhood.

Eager to understand more,

Pastor John
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I haven't watched it yet.

Presumably Douglas Wilson's commitment to the Federal Vision can't adversely affect him on this topic.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I haven't watched it yet.

Presumably Douglas Wilson's commitment to the Federal Vision can't adversely affect him on this topic.

Don't know what is the reason for his error. But, if he holds to postmillennialism, there is something wrong with the boy. Maybe it was something he ate?

:lol:

[Actually, my wife and I just finished watching DeMar's 12 episode eschatology DVD last evening. Quite interesting and challenging.]
 

Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
If I read that correctly... John Piper is historic premil.... that suprises me. Don't know why, I always thought he'd be a-mil
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Don't know what is the reason for his error. But, if he holds to postmillennialism, there is something wrong with the boy. Maybe it was something he ate?

May be he's got too much faith, or should that be great faith. ;)
 

Rogerant

Puritan Board Freshman
An Evening of Eschatology-VIDEO !!!

Amillennialism (represented by Sam Storms): The return of Christ happens after the thousand-year reign, a reign that occurs in heaven, in the intermediate state, and not upon the earth. Those who have died in faith and entered into the presence of Christ share his rule and reign during the current church age in which we now live.

None of the views insists that the “thousand years” is an exact number, but all of them allow that it may be symbolic of a very long time (from a human standpoint).

As moderator, I tried to see that each view was fairly represented and defended.

Pastor John

Quite unfortunate that Sam Storms who was asked to represent the Amillennial view did not defend, support or believe in the "historic amillennial" view. Sam Storms who received his M.Div from Dallas Theological Seminary (dispensensationalist background), has what appears to be his "own" amillennial view, rather than the historic view held by most Reformed theologians. He believes that the intermediate state between physical death and the bodily resurrection is the 1000 year millennium.

Why did they not ask someone like Kim Riddlebarger to appear on the program? Someone who has written and has sound historical scholarship. I do not recommend this video to anyone unless they want to affirm their already assumed pre-millennial position.

And how about someone like Keith Matthison to present the Postmill position. Another person that would be better able to present an almost exclusive Reformed position from a orthodox perspective that has not been shunned from the majority of the Reformed mainstream.

If you are going to do a program to draw out truth, you should invite people who fairly represent these mainstream beliefs from their own camps.

This was very disingenuous to the importance of the debate.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Quite unfortunate that Sam Storms who was asked to represent the Amillennial view did not defend, support or believe in the "historic amillennial" view. Sam Storms who received his M.Div from Dallas Theological Seminary (dispensensationalist background), has what appears to be his "own" amillennial view, rather than the historic view held by most Reformed theologians. He believes that the intermediate state between physical death and the bodily resurrection is the 1000 year millennium.

Actually, this is one (if not the) historic amill position, extending back at least as far as Augustine. I couldn't tell you all the names of all the people who have held this version of Amill, but it's certainly not Sam Storms' creation.

-----Added 10/11/2009 at 03:51:32 EST-----

If I read that correctly... John Piper is historic premil.... that suprises me. Don't know why, I always thought he'd be a-mil

If you consider Piper's background, a lot of these things make sense. He attended Fuller seminary, and his entire approach to the storyline of the Bible is in line with Daniel Fuller, George Ladd, and Paul Jewett. Ladd made historic pre-mill (along with inaugurated eschatology) huge in evangelicalism. Fuller produced a substantial work on biblical theology entitled The Unity of the Bible which isn't really classical covenant theology but stresses the unity of the administrations under the rubric of the kingdom of God. Following the Ladd/Fuller line of biblical theology, Paul Jewett wrote Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace, a defense of Baptist theology that (supposedly) fits within a covenatal(ish) view.

So really, you can combine Fuller, Ladd, and Jewett with a dose of Edwards and Reformed theology, bake for a few decades, and - ding! - John Piper.
 

Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
So really, you can combine Fuller, Ladd, and Jewett with a dose of Edwards and Reformed theology, bake for a few decades, and - ding! - John Piper
.

LOL

I must admit I find there are a lot of blurred lines between Dispensational premil and historic premil. There are those who have all the Dispensational ideas but do not believe in the pre trib rapture doctrine. What are they, progressive Dispensational?
 

Michael Doyle

Puritan Board Junior
So really, you can combine Fuller, Ladd, and Jewett with a dose of Edwards and Reformed theology, bake for a few decades, and - ding! - John Piper
.

LOL

I must admit I find there are a lot of blurred lines between Dispensational premil and historic premil. There are those who have all the Dispensational ideas but do not believe in the pre trib rapture doctrine. What are they, progressive Dispensational?

My understanding is that that is not quite correct. Progressive dispensationalism modifys their tenets of interpretation and of the kingdom of God but still hold to the pre-tribulation rapture. I dont know if it would be fair to qualify historical pre millenialists with dispensationalists as there is certainly a distinction
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Quite interesting.

Doug Wilson seems like a nice bloke apart from his Federal Vision heresy. Very sad.

He wasn't very forceful or forthright on postmil, though.

Suffering and death won't cease during the Postmil Silver Age. But it will be an improvement on things now, especially for those of our brothers and sisters/lands that are suffering statist and ecclesiastical persecution.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
So really, you can combine Fuller, Ladd, and Jewett with a dose of Edwards and Reformed theology, bake for a few decades, and - ding! - John Piper
.

LOL

I must admit I find there are a lot of blurred lines between Dispensational premil and historic premil. There are those who have all the Dispensational ideas but do not believe in the pre trib rapture doctrine. What are they, progressive Dispensational?

None of those men are dispensational, although they do share a lot of ideas in common with some parts of "progressive dispensationalism." It's not useful to speak of Dispensationalism and Covenant theology as the only two alternatives, or even as the two from which all others derive. There are a lot of options out there, and they comprise a lot of issues - Mosaic law in NT, state of Adam during probation, relation of Abrahamic promises to future fulfillment, relation of apostolic era phenomena to contemporary church experience, etc.
 

Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't think I've ever met anyone who holds to a pre mil position who doesn't act like a dispensationalist, regardless of whether they believe in the brethren style rapture, or dispensations. What I mean, is that all those that I know seem to be constantly watching the middle east and praying for Irsael, with little thought to much else in life.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
I don't think I've ever met anyone who holds to a pre mil position who doesn't act like a dispensationalist, regardless of whether they believe in the brethren style rapture, or dispensations. What I mean, is that all those that I know seem to be constantly watching the middle east and praying for Irsael, with little thought to much else in life.

George Elton Ladd is a respected Historic Premillennialist but he has passed away. The current A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to "Left Behind" Eschatology has mainly Denver Seminary writers that certainly don't come off as Dispensationalists.

I would have liked to have had the Postmillennial position by someone other than Doug Wilson, but you know all these fellows were available.

I am still deciding my views and blogging about it at Millennial Dreams as NewKidontheBlogg. Probably I will go with Postmil, as that is the position of my pastor. But it all has to make sense to me.

Meanwhile I am getting ready to respond on that blog to a dispensationalist who is asking what about seven covenants for the seven churches in Revelation!
 
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unlearnedlearner

Puritan Board Freshman
Where does Sam substantively differ with Riddlebarger? Where is he making up his "own" Amil view? Seems quite in line with what I have read from other Amil's, including Hoekema, but that was year's ago, so maybe I didn't grasp it properly.

Re: Mathison - whether Wilson is "shunned" by the "mainstream" is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Did he represent the Postmil view accurately? Wilson's other issues are irrelevant with respect to presenting this view.

Maybe a random charge of disingenuous just seems over the top, especially when I think Storms did accurately portray the position & your gripe on Wilson is about other issues.



An Evening of Eschatology-VIDEO !!!
Quite unfortunate that Sam Storms who was asked to represent the Amillennial view did not defend, support or believe in the "historic amillennial" view. Sam Storms who received his M.Div from Dallas Theological Seminary (dispensensationalist background), has what appears to be his "own" amillennial view, rather than the historic view held by most Reformed theologians. He believes that the intermediate state between physical death and the bodily resurrection is the 1000 year millennium.

Why did they not ask someone like Kim Riddlebarger to appear on the program? Someone who has written and has sound historical scholarship. I do not recommend this video to anyone unless they want to affirm their already assumed pre-millennial position.

And how about someone like Keith Matthison to present the Postmill position. Another person that would be better able to present an almost exclusive Reformed position from a orthodox perspective that has not been shunned from the majority of the Reformed mainstream.

If you are going to do a program to draw out truth, you should invite people who fairly represent these mainstream beliefs from their own camps.

This was very disingenuous to the importance of the debate.
 
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