Saturday, 5 September 2009

Safely within the premil fold

Premillenialism. I know it might sound like a disease for which there is no known cure. And maybe it is, kind of. The belief that Christ will return and then set up an earthly kingdom for a thousand years has thrown a great shadow over my life - sometimes protective, sometimes restrictive.

Despite the appeal of amillenialism and the triumphalism of postmillennialism - will I ever forget the excitement on reading Iain Murray's The Puritan Hope - I am now safely within the premillennial fold.

Listening to Tom Schreiner's sermon on Revelation 20 confirmed me in the faith. His points that (i) Satan is not presented as "bound" in the rest of the NT and (ii) "Resurection" is physical everywhere else in the N.T. (he cites the work of N.T. Wright to strengthen his case), I think are very strong arguments for the premil position.

So I am going to bed tonight a happy premillennialist.

Now if Ephrem the Syrian really did hold the pretrib position, I might have to consider that as can get so complicated.


MikeK said...

Well done James! I am still muddling between the two because I find Rev. 20 quite hard. I will have to try to catch up sometime!

James said...

Thanks Mike. Good to hear from you again. I'm not sure I completely understand all the implications of the premil approach, but it seems quite a natural reading of the text. Having said that, Schreiner was an amillennialist until just recently - and says as much in his sermon! Guess we can't be too dogmatic about these things. And I certainly wouldn't want to make a premil outlook the belief that shapes all others - as I think some dispensationalists do. Fancy doing a guest post summarising the key hermeneutical issues?

Keith said...

There is some interesting expostion of Rev. 20 here

best wishes,


James said...

Thanks for that Keith. I'm still a bit vague on the details of the millennium and how everything works out. Much to chew on in your link. Hope you are well.

Keith said...

Not to worry James if God wanted us to sweat over the details he would have provided more than 1 chapter on it! The point is hope ... imagine a world where justice and righteousness reign from shore to shore, no more curse .. the lion & the calf playing together. The helmet of hope brother ... not just of heaven but of a renewed earth as it should have been.

God's blessing on your plans,


James said...

I think that sums it up nicely Keith!

Anonymous said...

For the real skinny on "Ephrem the Syrian" (Grant Jeffrey's corruption of "Pseudo-Ephraem"), Google "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by historian MacPherson. Interesting times we live in, right? Roger