Dear Pastor Dever, Part 3

Posted by Matt Postiff July 15, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Church 

Dear Pastor Dever,

Your statement on the sin of including millennial views seems to have an underlying assumption: that one holds views of eschatology in complete isolation from his other views. But no one is this way in practice. One's millennial view comes with other baggage necessarily attached.

Some of us believe that raising the millennial view to the level of the statement of faith is necessary precisely because it is closely intertwined with other doctrines that are essential--that certain baggage has to be avoided. For example, the amill view implies that we have to read the OT kingdom texts and Revelation 19-22 in a certain way. To a modified-traditional dispensationalist like myself, such a reading of the text is so forced and unnatural that it calls into question the perspicuity of Scripture. This in turn is connected to the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. If God did not mean a 1000 year period of history with the devil bound, after which the devil was loosed, why didn't he state that more clearly?

Another example comes to mind. The post-millennial view suggests the improvement of society until the Lord returns. But this has proven (in some cases) to lead to false social gospel movements that undercut the real gospel of salvation. Furthermore, Scripture and experience tend to show that things are generally getting worse, not better. There is nothing wrong with codifying a certain distance between our church and the implications of the post-millennial approach.

Our church is premillennial and not apologetic about it. That does not mean, however, that we count premillennialism as an essential to be saved. Me genoito. But it is important as a distinctive or identity of our group of believers. Since we are not the "only game in town," if someone wants a church that is non-millennial or some other flavor, they are free to join that church.


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