Skip to main content

Why I'm pre-millenial

While many friends and most Reformed scholars today hold to the amillennial view of eschatology, I continue to find the dispensational premillennial position most attractive and convincing.

Here's an excellent summary of premillennialism and why it is to be preferred over other views:
Premillennialism is the view that Jesus Christ will return to this present earth prior to the establishing of His millennial kingdom. Jesus will reign supreme in power and great glory and will be the object of worship for all mankind. The kingdom will be on an earth where the curse has been removed and where righteousness, peace, and prosperity are universal. Prior to the millennial kingdom there will be a resurrection of believers, and following the kingdom there will be a resurrection of unbelievers. The primary purpose of this period of time is to fulfill completely the covenant promises made to Abraham and his descendants. When this kingdom is over, the next phase of God's kingdom, the eternal state on a new earth, will commence.

The premillennial position is based squarely on a consistent, literal hermeneutic. A literal approach to the prophetic Scriptures leads one to believe that the promises made to Israel have not been fulfilled in the past and are not being fulfilled today. This mandates that they be fulfilled sometime in the future to national Israel, which means that the nation of Israel and the church of Jesus Christ must be kept distinct. This contrast between Israel and the church is a key to the premillennial position, and it is one of the primary ones that sets it apart from other systems of theology. (Paul Benware, Understanding End Times Prophecy, 100-101).
It's unfortunate that the sensationalism of some pre-millennialists (setting dates, ranting about the rapture and tribulation, endless speculation about the mark of the beast) has caused Christians to "throw out the baby with the bathwater," returning to an Augustinian eschatology that spiritualizes God's promises, misunderstands Christ's present fulfillment, and replaces Israel with the church.

I'm not interested in dueling with other Christians over this issue. It is not a hill to die on. I have much more in common with my Reformed brothers than I have in disagreement. But I do believe many Christians are depriving themselves of a truthful hope because of their misunderstanding of eschatology. I'm doing my best to keep an open mind, but the more I search the Scriptures, the more I favor premillennialism.

Related post:


  1. Thank you for that post. Very insightful.

    I was not aware that most reformed theologians are amil.

    Yes, sensationalism of some -- date setting and so on, is a distraction.

    Do you think this is a view the Church fathers held? I ask because it seems relatively new to me, and would help if I could see it in a more historic sense. ie: It's what the reformers and so on held to. ?



  2. Oh, sorry to post again. . .

    I completely agree it's not a hill to die on!

  3. Stephen, I could not agree more about the sensationalism that has and is going around with dispensational premillenialism, but I think there is more to differing views of eschatology than sensationalism, there are biblical arguments against premillenialism, just as your argument is biblical, not just emotional.

    Since there is no "dueling" allowed I will save any other comments for a dueling post (LOL).

  4. Hi Marty, I totally agree there is more to differing views than sensationalism. There are some strong biblical arguments on both sides.

    However, I think it is fair to list this as at least one main critique against dispensationalism today. One of the most recent rebuttals of dispensationalism, the brand new DVD series "Late Great Planet Church," is obviously playing off Hal Linday's book and the more sensational side of dispensationalism.
    The DVD product description at Amazon begins, "Many Christians today read their Bibles through the lens of pop-prophecy books like The Late Great Planet Earth and the Left Behind Series. They naively believe the prophetic schemes and theological presuppositions expressed in these and other fictional writings represent the doctrinal positions that Christians down through the centuries have embraced. However, that is far from the truth..."

    The very premise of the video is partly to debunk sensationalism -- a method of biblical interpretation that many dispensationalists themselves would agree has been way over the top and doing more harm than good.

    As far as "dueling," I totally encourage respectful dialogue and even disagreement. I am happy to read and discuss other viewpoints. What I do want to avoid is "dueling," define by Merriam-Webster as a "conflict between antagonistic persons, ideas, or forces." I never want to engage in combat with my allies in the Gospel. There is a place for theolgical "sparring," if you will, but not "dueling."


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).

Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…