Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Calvinists and their Eschatology

At the 2007 Shepherds' Conference, Pastor John MacArthur delivered a controversial message entitled, "Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist." MacArthur said that premillennialism as being the only consistent position for any person who holds to the doctrine of sovereign electing grace. He even went so far as to say that the amillennial position is more consistent with Arminianism than it is with Calvinism.

You can read about that message here and here. I have not found a free MP3 download anywhere but you can get an MP3 for $2.00 if you register (for free) at the Shepherd's Fellowship.

The gist of MacArthur's message is below:

1. Were the writers of the Old Testament amillennialists? No

2. Were the Jews of Jesus time amillennialists? No

3. Was Jesus an amillennialist? No (cf. Acts 1:3, 6-7)

4. Were the apostles amillennialists? No (cf. Acts 3:19-21, 25; 15:15-17; Rom. 3:3-4; 9:6-8, 13; 11:26-29)

To this could be added…

5. Were the earliest church fathers amillennialists? No

MacArthur lays out his eschatological positions in the following books:

MacArthur knew exactly what he was doing in opening the popular and well-attended conference. He knew the audience was filled with amillennialists. He knew the backlash that would occur but he threw down the gauntlet anyway - which is another reason to love the guy.

The responses came quickly. You can read those here and here and here. That last link is part one of a series by Sam Waldon. His blog posts have just been published as a book, MacArthur's Millennial Manifesto (which you can read about here).

Endorsers say:

Thank you, Dr. Waldron, for showing us how a theological refutation may be done with grace and kindness...James M. Renihan, Ph.D.

Samuel Waldron's "friendly response" to John MacArthur's "millennial manifesto" will go a long way toward setting the record straight about what Reformed amillennialists actually believe about the church and Israel...I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in this controversy...Kim Riddlebarger, Ph.D.

Samuel Waldron's response to John MacArthur's controversial sermon, "Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Is a Premillennialist," is a gem. In a gentle spirit, and with an awareness of what is at stake, Waldron makes a persuasive case against MacArthur's unlikely claim that true Calvinists must subscribe to the tenets of dispensational premillennialism...Cornelis Venema, Ph.D.

Most of the individuals who would read this blog are familiar with the premillennial scheme of the end times (rapture, tribulation, millennial kingdom, final battle, eternity). To learn more about the other views that are out there, the following books are worth reading:

1 comment:

Patricia Burns said...

The Seventh Trumpet occurs AFTER the Tribulation -

When a “rapture” is referred to many refer to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The events referenced in those two verses occur at the conclusion of the "tribulation" under the beasts of Revelation chapter 13.

The church (1 Cor.10:32 - Jesus' living body, Col.1:24) will face the tribulation under the beasts of Revelation chapter 13.

(Matt.24:9, Dan.7:21, Dan.7:25, Dan.8:24, Re.12:17, Re.13:7, Re.13:15, Re.16:6, Re.17:6, Dan.12:6-7)





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Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982
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