What’s my Eschatology?….I Don’t Know!

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Church History, doctrine, Eschatology, General Discussion, Scripture, Theology
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 One thing that I’ve been guilty of throughout my Christian walk is that I place so much of what I think and believe on what the Pastor or Sunday School teacher says. I am also guilty of being too lazy to search out things for myself. One particular issue that I’ve stood on without actually studying is my Eschatology (end times). I have always considered myself to be a dispensational premillennailist based solely on what I’ve heard in my Sunday School class and from reading the “Left Behind” series. I have recently been turned on to the Amillennialist point of view, and I must admit, I’m intrigued. I am slowly (and I mean slowly) working my way through Kim Riddlebarger’s “A Case for Amillennialism “. Have I changed my point of view? Not necessarily……….But I think I owe it to myself to study at least the 3 main historic views of the end times that have been held by the church and form my eschatology from that and not on popular opinion. I know this is not an important issue to a lot of people and that’s fine, but I would like to know where you stand on this. I’m not looking to debate. just trying to learn so feel free to leave a comment.

 I’m going to post a couple of blog post that Matthew Svoboda has put up on the SBC Voices page. I agree with a lot of Matthew’s points and would rather you see an educated person’s thoughts than my ignorant opinions to maybe jump start the discussion. So here we go…………

Why I believe Amillennialism–Matthew Svoboda

This is a blog.  This will not be an exhaustive argument for Amillennialism.  This post will merely be a small argument as to why I believe that Scriptures teach an Amillennial understanding of the Lord’s Return.  Maybe I should do a post about what I actually believe because many Amillennials disagree on a number of different things… But, I’m not going to, if you want me to clarify something just ask me in the comment thread.

I am going to write a post after this one titled, “Problems with Premillennialism.”  In that post I will deal with more passages and by default will be a further continuation of why I am Amillennial.  This post will not deal with a lot of different texts, but rather principles that lead me to Amillennialism.  The next post will deal more deeply with specific passages.

Also, some of my arguments are not completely restricted to Amillennials.  In fact, some of them I learned from Grant Osborne who is a Historic Premillennialist.  It is when I put all of these things together that force me to hold to an Amillennial position.  Like Graeme Goldsworthy, I am not a big fan of the term “Amillennial,” but it is just easier to use it than to fight the system. Read the rest here

Problems with Premillennialism–Matthew Svoboda

reminder- not a divisive issue. We can disagree and still love each other very much. Don’t be a jerk or your comment will be deleted.

 I don’t know how long this will be, so let’s get to it.

Problems with Premillennialism:

I used to go back and forth between Amillennialism and Historic Premillennialism… Now, because of many of the reasons below I am seeing any form of Premillennialism as less and less of a viable option.  I know that highly offends some people, but let’s be graceful and deal with the points I raise below.

1) Premillennials insist on a “literal interpretation” of Eschatological/apocalyptic literature.  It is my belief that not only is this wrong, but they cannot even hold true to their own convictions.  Premillennials want to take some of Revelation(chapter 20 for instance) literally, while they easily allow for other parts of Revelation to be interpreted symbolically.  Revelation should have a balance of literal and symbolic- but it seems silly to me to be someone who always harps and insists on “literal” when, at times, you dont think twice about interpreting symbolically.  How about some consistency?  According to biblical and non-biblical apocalyptic literature the genre demands symbolism.  Most Premillennials simply do not do justice to Revelation when they insist on all of the literalism(especially since they dont necessarily follow through on their own claims).  To be fair- this isnt every Premillennial.  If someone is absolutely convinced that Revelation 20 occurs after Christ’s return I suggest Dr. Grant Osbornes commentary- he at least does justice to the symbolic nature of the book of Revelation.

As I will demonstrate in a few points below- when I deal with certain texts-  that Premillennials want the “plain, straightforward, literal interpretation of Revelation 20,” yet, they reject a plain, straightforward, literal interpretation of many other New Testament texts that deal with Eschatology. So, Premills insist on a literal interpretation on apocalyptic literature, which is meant to be symbolic, and yet reject a straightforward reading of texts that are not apocalyptic.  Obviously, no Premill will say that is what they do, but as I will demonstrate it seems to me that is exactly what they do. Read the rest here

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Comments
  1. Matt Svoboda says:

    Bill,

    I am glad you found my posts helpful! If you have any particular questions regarding the Amill position, feel free to ask! Although I am sure Riddlebarger will answer it better at some point in his book.

    I was 90% sure I was Amill before I read his book, but he really sealed the deal because he helped me understand all the “grey areas.” I didnt want to endorse a view in which I was ignorant of quite a bit of it… His book REALLY helped me out and I pray it does the same for you! BTW, if youre not fully convinced of the Amil position by the end of the book we will have a chat. 😉

    Matt

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks Matt. I appreciate you willingness to help a brother out. 🙂

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