PMT 2014-135 By Larry E. Ball (author: Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation)
The battle between Exile Theology and Dominion Theology is important to understand. It is vital to notice that both sides quote the Bible. It’s just a matter of which passages are quoted.
For example, the exile crowd reminds us that the faithful are like Abraham who was a stranger and an alien (exile) upon the earth (Heb. 11:13). Christians must set their affections on the things above and not on the things on the earth (Col. 3:2). We are to pass our time as sojourners here on the earth (1 Pet. 1:17). “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rms. 8:18).
The dominion crowd quotes texts like Hab. 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” God’s Kingdom is like a mustard seed which is small when it is planted, but grows into a tree so that “the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Mat. 13:32). Leaven is very small but it multiplies with phenomenal power (Mat. 13:33). We are to occupy until He comes (Lk.19:13). We are to pray that God’s kingdom will come, and the evidence of the presence of his kingdom is that God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt. 6:10). The kingdom is greater than the church. Christians are to be busy destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). We should expect success in our endeavors (Mt. 28: 18-20).
Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball
A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective.
It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.
For more studies: KennethGentry.com
America was once Christian (imperfect, but rooted in Christian principles), but we lost it. Actually, we gave it away. Now the political neo-conservatives misconstrue the past as “American exceptionalism” without the influence of Christianity. A nation that was once a sign of the conquering Jesus has become the fodder of many in the church to capitalize on our persecution and suffering. Exile Theology is presently preeminent in the church although that has not always been the case.
Theologically, the exile crowd accuses the dominion crowd of being unrealistic. Dreamers they are! The dominion crowd accuses the exile crowd of being neo-Platonists (the spirit is good and the physical is not so good). In Reformed circles both sides have their patron saints. The exile crowd claims Geerhardus Vos. The dominion crowd claims Benjamin Warfield. Both sides claim Spurgeon.
In my mind, a yet unexplored area is what paradigm from the Scriptures is to be the norm for the relationship between the Christian and the world around him. The New Testament was the church in seed form under persecution. Is that to be the norm for a mature Kingdom of God on earth? Or is the typology of a weak Israel in the promise land living under the Law of God to be the paradigm for a mature Kingdom of God in the age of the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?