Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thoughts on Eschatology

At the most recent Desiring God Conference, an event was held to discuss the three main views of the millennium. Throughout the centuries, Christians have differed in their interpretation of what happens in the end times. Most of the debate centers around six verses found in Revelation 20 that mention the thousand year reign of Christ. The three historic positions are Premillenialism, Postmillenialism, and Amilleniallism.

John Piper, who explains himself to be in the premillenial camp, was the moderator for the event. He succinctly describes the views in this way:
"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."
I also appreciated the way he gave credence to all the views as honoring certain things.:
"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."
Click here to listen to or watch the event.

(And just for the record, I lean towards amilleniallism)

1 comment:

  1. The Amill was not represented very well in my opinion. Whenever you have a DTS grad defending Amill something is wrong!