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ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi KingJimmy...

While I wouldn't consider the notion of a pre-wrath gathering of the Bride of Christ as "theological leftovers," I do agree that there are many people -- on every side of doctrinal disagreements -- who often just don't know WHY they believe what they believe.

During college, I was involved with several different campus ministries. I was sometimes asked to speak at the meetings, and I always tried to make the most of such opportunities. During one such meeting, I handed out some worksheets with some topics listed. Some of these topics included abortion, homosexuality, the coming of the Lord, salvation, water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and many other such matters -- including some that are somewhat "controversial."

Following these topics, there were two boxes. I asked the students to write down as much as they could regarding WHAT they believed about those issues (like whether speaking in tongues the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, can people lose their salvation, etc...). The second box was to include all of the Scriptures that they could about those issues. I even let the students interact, search their Bibles and discuss as they worked. Ultimately, we learned that most of the students could write down what they believed, but few of them could list any Scriptures to substantiate those beliefs.

My point was not to be controversial. Nor did I want to discuss and debate the issues themselves. Rather, I hoped to provoke a pause within the students. I explained that we often know WHAT we believe, but too often (I think), we base these beliefs on what we are taught by others and what we read from books RATHER THAN on what we know the Scriptures say about such things. Now, this lack of knowledge regarding Scriptures on such topics was true of new believers AND of longtime believers who had been raised in Christian homes.

I explained that it is helpful to not only know WHAT we believe on such issues...but WHY. Of course, the WHY needs to be substantiated by Scriptural "witnesses." I tell individuals that we need to test our views by what the Scriptures tell us...and not the other way around. I also mentioned that it is helpful to use more than a single passage to substantiate such beliefs, because cults are often formed by one passage of Scripture taken to establish an entire doctrine (such as "baptism of the dead" from a single Corinthian passage).

When it comes to issues that are oft debated, I hope that believers will KNOW what they believe and why they believe it. I don't think that it is enough to read various books on the issues (or visit websites). We should base what we believe on Scripture. If we are going to use extra-Scriptural anecdotes (such as "the idea of a 'rapture' was created in the 1800s"), we need to only make such declarations AFTER we have sought out the truth of such claims.

Of course, I am more than confident that you already know this, brother Jimmy. Most of us take the "study to show thyself approved" to heart. Unfortunately, there are many who limit their "study" to what pastors and books (second and third hand witnesses) convey that the Scripture means on certain subjects. By the little lesson that I taught to my Christian student fellowship, I hoped that those believers would reconsider surface level "research" and be more contemplative before proclaiming as facts what it is that they believe.


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Christopher

 2010/8/16 20:02Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

I do agree that there are many people -- on every side of doctrinal disagreements -- who often just don't know WHY they believe what they believe.



Agreed.

Quote:

During one such meeting, I handed out some worksheets with some topics listed



Very interesting idea. I love it. I'll have to borrow that one day :-)

Quote:

If we are going to use extra-Scriptural anecdotes (such as "the idea of a 'rapture' was created in the 1800s"), we need to only make such declarations AFTER we have sought out the truth of such claims.



I agree. I think the use of Church history ought to only be used as a sort of "check and balance" in which to consider one's careful exegesis of the Scriptures. It is possible that the Church could have been almost completely in the dark concerning a teaching of Scripture. But when we study Church history, and compare our study notes of the Scriptures with what we find in it, should our doctrine be without witness, I think it should at least raise a yellow flag that tells us to proceed with caution, and to check ourselves again.

And with that said, I think we should also be sensitive to the history of how doctrine has developed to the extent that we can. Theology is never born in a vacuum. That is why I somewhat insist that the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture has sorta become "theological leftovers," because while many people believe it and teach it, it's often become disconnected from it's historical origin: dispensationalism.

While people are capable of making the same conclusions without having the same foundations, I think whenever one is aware of such findings and known influences, one should at least try to be aware of these things, so when studying the Scriptures, they take extra care to not import that view and impose it on what they read. The same goes for any doctrine, not just the pre-tribulation rapture. No doubt, when one starts using formal theological terminology to describe what they are reading in Scripture, (i.e. rapture, trinity, original sin, free will, etc.) such a person should be extra careful, and realize they are standing in some sort of tradition that is ultimately extra-Biblical.

Though those words may accurately reflection the teaching of Scripture, one clearly has engaged the Scripture apart from "just reading the Bible." Clearly, anybody who has ever used the word "rapture" in their teaching has had some sort of outside influence. They might be right in their theory, but clearly, have borrowed from some sort of theological system... even if just in part.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/16 23:02Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2039
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

snufalapagus, are you a full or partial preterist? From what I understand, full preterists do not believe Christ is going to physically return at the end of this age, while partial preterists do. And from what I've heard, full preterism is heresy because it rejects the physical second coming of Christ.

So so far I've seen Preterism and Premillenialism brought up on this thread if I'm not mistaken. Has anyone considered Amillenialism or Postmillenialism? After doing some biblical research on the various views, I've come to be Amillenial as it seems to line up best with the Scriptures to me. Basically this view says that there is no literal thousand year reign of Christ on this earth since Rev.20 is to be understood symbolically as most of the whole book. It says that we have been in the millenium since the church age began, and that when Christ comes back He will raise the dead, seperate the sheep from the goats, judge the nations and bring in the eternal state. On a side note, from what I understand this has been the most prevalent view throughout church history.

If anyone is interested in studying this view in depth, here is a link to some thourough teaching on it:

http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/MP3-Audio--Multimedia/Doctrine-and-Theology/Eschatology/Riddlebarger-on-Amillennialism-101/


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Oracio

 2010/8/17 0:01Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

While I understand the appeal of the amill. position, having been a fan of the view myself once upon a time, I believe it ultimately glosses over the details of Revelation 20. It simply cannot explain how is Satan is bound presently, and being kept from deceiving the nations, when in fact he is still actively deceiving the nations and blinding the eyes of many. Far from being bound, we are told in Scripture he roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The principalities and powers of this world are still active as well. Far from being bound in this world, Satan is considered "the god" of this world. Additionally, Such an interpretation also doesn't explain the rise of the Antichrist as yet future when the text regards it as a past event by the time Satan is bound.

Also, the amill. and post-mill. points of view ultimately create the same problem dispensationalism does: two peoples of God. They key difference being the new people of God have replaced the old. But such creates two peoples just the same, in the form of replacement theology. And I personally can't accept any doctrine that creates two peoples of God. There always has and always will be one people of God.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/17 7:16Profile
Areadymind
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 Re:

Wasn't Augustine the progenitor of the "amillenial" eschatology?


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/8/17 8:26Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Yes, Augustine was ultimately the one who propigated the doctrine, which is why so many in the Reformed circles hold this position, because of their reliance of Augustine for many things. Though, if memory serves correct, many of the "latin fathers" were already starting to hold to such a view themselves. If I'm not mistaken, Augustine viewed Christianity's triumph over Rome as the essential proof of his argument. His argument though, was mostly reactionary towards "the chilasts" (pre-millenial) theologians of the day, whom he believed created a faith that made Christians live around constantly awaiting the end of the world, and contributing no practical good towards society. Indeed, some sects seemed to only ruin the lives of devoted Christians he said. Of course, Augustine wasn't always fair in his charicatures.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/17 9:00Profile
Areadymind
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 Re:

I have read in places that prior to Augustine the pre-dominant eschatology was pre-millenial. Is this true and if so where can I find a concise document about it?


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/8/17 9:13Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Yes, it is my understanding a pre-millenial view was the dominate view of Christians for the first couple centuries until about the time of Augustine. You can read it in the works of the church fathers themselves, or even a standard survey of early church history will reveal such. Justo Gonzalez has an excellent survey on the topic in his books on church history. I'm sure a simple Google search will reveal as much.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/17 9:40Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Pre-millenial theology started to become unattractive with the Montanist movement, who made great use of apocalyptic fever and charismatic gifts. With the abuse of the Montanist in their theology and practice, the church became increasingly cessationist and more amillennialist, in order to combat the extremes demonstrated in the movement. Thus, Augustines doctrine was much welcomed as a way of combatting the errors of that group, and filling a much needed void.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/17 10:33Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

It should also be noted that from a historical perspective, the exercise of charismatic gifts and the doctrine of pre-millenial theology go hand in hand. Where other eschatologies prevail, there are strong cessationist winds. We should not be surprised that the rise of pre-millenialism also accompanied the birth of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.


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Jimmy H

 2010/8/17 10:47Profile





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