Sunday, January 23, 2011

Endless Eschatology

On Wednesday I blogged about eschatology and the small group study we were doing on it. I thought I would pass on 2 more resources I used in preparing for the evening.

1) An Evening of Eschatology - Two of my favourite theologians who happen to be pastors, are John Piper and Sam Storms. In this video, they are joined by two more winsome scholars in Doug Wilson and Jim Hamilton. Piper, via the Desiring God website descibes the event as such,
"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).

You can find the audio and video here.

2) Another helpful resource can be found at David Murray's Head Heart Hand blog. There he provides an eBook entitled End Times Q & A. It is easy to understand, and gives a fair overview of the four main eschatalogical camps; historic premillenialism, dispensational premillenialism, amillenialism and postmillenialism. Here is some info I gathered from his work:

The four (main) millennial views differ in these eight areas:

...the length of the 1000 years,
Is this a symbolical number for a long period of time, or a literal 1000 years?

...the nature of Christ’s kingdom on earth
Is it spiritual, physical, or both?

...the relationship between Israel and the Church,
Is the Church the fulfillment of Israel, a replacement for Israel, identical with
Israel, or distinct from Israel?

...the role of the devil,
When he is bound, when he is let loose, and what can he do?

...the tribulation,
When is it and who goes through it?

...the endtime signs,
Are they past, present, or future? What is the order and intensity?

...the number and timings of Christ’s coming(s).
How many comings and what order?

Amillennialism believes that the 1000 years of Revelation 20 is a figurative term for Christ’s present kingdom on earth and in heaven between his first and second comings, during which the devil is significantly bound, and which will be concluded with these coincidental climactic endtime sign: the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the everlasting kingdom.

Postmillennialism believes that many of the signs of the times have been fulfilled, and that the thousand years is a figurative term for a future golden age of Christianity on earth, when the devil will be almost totally bound and the earth almost totally Christianized, followed by a brief period of Satanic loosing and the Lord’s return to earth for the final judgment.

Historic Premillennialism believes that after the end time signs, including the great tribulation, Christ will return to earth to bind Satan, resurrect His people, and reign on earth for 1000 years; after which Satan will be released for a little season before the resurrection of all at the final judgment, and the return of the Kingdom to the Father.

Dispensational premillennialism teaches that Christ’s second coming will occur in four phases: Christ’s rapture, Christ’s revelation, Christ’s reign, and Christ’s renewal. Without any precursory signs, Christ will return for His church, resurrect all dead believers, transform all living believers, meet them in the air, and return to heaven with them, while the 70th week begins on earth.

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