A brief argument against millennialisms

This is not a post against eschatology: this is a post against the idealization of any particular system of eschatology (pre-mil, post-mil, a-mil, Chick-mil-A, etc.)

I offer a list of statements (in no particular order) which you should apply to your eschatology as necessary:

  • The Bible most certainly says that time will end and there will be an eternal state. (Rev 21)
  • The Bible most certainly does not say when time will end in terms of dates. (Mat 24)
  • The Bible says that the faith of Abraham is the same faith which all people saved by faith have (James 2)
  • The Bible says that the faith of Abraham is the same faith as those who are in Christ, and is not exclusive to the Jews (Heb 11-12)
  • The Bible says that God has a special plan for Jews at some point in future history (Rom 9-11)
  • The Bible says that all people saved by Christ receive the same final reward (Rev 20-21)
  • The Bible says that the moral law is the same for all people (Rom 1-2)
  • The Bible says that the Mosaic law is a special revelation to the Jews (Rom 3)
  • The Bible says that Christ died and rose from the dead (Acts 2, but seriously?)
  • The Bible says Christ will return to judge all men (Act 17)
  • The Bible says that the return of Christ is both imminent (Mat 24:36-44) and the object of our waiting (perhaps a very long time) (Mat 24:30)
  • There is more than one covenant in the Bible
  • Not all the covenants in the Bible have something to do with salvation
  • There are certainly "ages" or historical periods represented in the Bible
  • The distinction between ages that matters is the age prior to Christ's resurrection and the age which follows -- the one prior to Christ's resurrection is an "age of ignorance" (Acts 17 again), but the one that follows takes away all excuses because of Christ's victory over death.
  • Oh wait - I almost forgot: the progress of history is not from worse to better: it is from bad to worse until, at the right time, Christ is victorious over all his enemies (Rev 16-19, and from a lesser view, Dan 2)

That should be enough to offend everyone.  Have a nice day.

20 comments:

Zack Skrip said...

how would you make a distinction between the moral law and the mosaic law?

Moral: 10 commandments
Mosaic: 10 Commandments and everything else in the Pentateuch?

Mike Meadors said...

I'm going to have to watch my step in I Thess. this fall. ;)

Les Martin said...

Am I to assume that the bullets with no scripture reference aren't as valid as the bullets with scripture reference? ;-p

Next week are we going to learn what Chick-mil-A is? Holding my breath!

I'm not offended yet... As a pre-mill, should I be?

Les

David Ould said...

am surprisingly with you more or less on all of these except for

The Bible says that God has a special plan for Jews at some point in future history (Rom 9-11)

that does rather hang on 11:26 and the meaning of ουτως.

Kerry James Allen said...

Was that use of "immanent" intentional? Just so you know I was paying attention.

Tom Chantry said...

I declare this post a "FAIL." Because I wasn't offended.

On a very cursory reading, I agree with each point.

Frank Turk said...

For bullets without a scripture verse, I am open to hear counter-statements or evidence.

For example, how is the covenant with Cain about salvation?

Frank Turk said...

David: Revelation also speaks to a special plan for Jews in the last days. What that plan is, I think, torpedoes a lot of loose talk.

Kerry James Allen said...

It is interesting that one word can trump three chapters, but hey, we're all theological giants on the Internet.

Frank Turk said...

Zack: I would review the way Rom 1-2 handles the distinction between the moral Law and the Mosaic Law.

Nash Equilibrium said...

So a serious question: Is this an argument against millennialisms, or just an argument that the whole question of millennialisms just isn't that important relative to the points above that we mostly all agree upon? Because if that's what you're saying, I totally agree - I've never gotten into the finer points of millennialisms for that exact reason.

David Ould said...

Frank, Revelation also speaks to a special plan for Jews in the last days.

where exactly?

Kerry, It is interesting that one word can trump three chapters, but hey, we're all theological giants on the Internet.

um, no. But one word is crucial to the understanding of Rom 11:26 and Rom 11:26 is a key summary verse for much of Rom 9-11. We're not all theological giants, but many of us have read up on the literature so every so often we see what the view from the shoulders of other giants is. I'm sorry that someone disagreeing with you would provoke such a snarky response.

Kerry James Allen said...

Didn't mean to sound snarky David. Best to you. Job 36:24

David Ould said...

thanks Kerry, appreciate your response.

Nash Equilibrium said...

God speaking of the Jews:

"From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

(emphasis added)

I've heard all the "replacement theology" stuff before. But clearly, God's promise to Abraham is not revoked, it is instead still in the process of being fulfilled.

David Ould said...

Nash,

I'm certainly not denying the truth of Rom 11:28, i'm just suggesting it's a little presumptuous to claim that all alternate understandings have no validity. As I've already said, much hangs on what you make of 11:26 and quite how you think the promises to Abraham are being fulfilled - that, not least, in both jews and gentiles being saved by trusting Christ. Some of us are convinced that that doesn't require a wholesale (or partsale) influx of ethnic Jews.

Whilst you may reject a replacement theology, there is still plenty of reasons that many find it at least somewhat persuasive (or a form of it - I think I'd rather refer to a "fulfilment theology") and they also read Romans 11 and think they make sense of it.

David Ould said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nash Equilibrium said...

DO:
Yeah, I used to subscribe to Replacement Theology myself. Mostly it requires buying into preterism in some form. Since then I've seen that preterism really ultimately leads to a denial of lots of orthodoxy; the people I've known who stayed in that preterist/replacement vein ended up no longer believing in Christ's return, even.
I've repented of preterism and while I still understand the arguments for it and against it, I'm in the "against" category.

As to the substance of whether the saved are ethnic Jews or not, I can't see how the actual promise to Abraham (go read what he was promised) could be fulfilled without there being some genetic traceability to Abraham's actual offspring.

David Ould said...

Nash,

As to the substance of whether the saved are ethnic Jews or not, I can't see how the actual promise to Abraham (go read what he was promised) could be fulfilled without there being some genetic traceability to Abraham's actual offspring.

And I'm not sure why you would think I disagree. Lots of jumping to conclusions going on, I think.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Maybe because you said "Some of us are convinced that that doesn't require a wholesale (or partsale) influx of ethnic Jews."
Yeah, maybe it was that.