Category Archives: Dispensationalism

JESUS AND PRETERISM (3)

PMW2019-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the final article in a three-part response to Dr. Wayne Briddle of Liberty University. He presented a paper critiquing orthodox preterism and asked me to reply. These articles represent my reply.

Matthew 10:23

As I noted (too briefly!) at the ETS meeting, I disagree with Dr. Briddle’s observation (drawn from Toussaint) in his third paragraph. He states: “At the time that Jesus sent out his apostles, he was enjoying great popularity. There is no evidence that the apostles were in this kind of danger until after the crucifixion of Christ.” I disagree with this on several grounds:

(1) Even if Jesus was enjoying popularity among the common folk at the time, we surely could not say that the religious leadership found him popular. And they were the ones who would have him crucified. In fact, in John 2 (near his first miracle) he gives the cryptic statement about destroying the Temple and his raising it up, which was really speaking of his crucifixion. Much earlier than 10:23 he urges his hearers to a better righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees (5:20) and he rebuts the sayings of the elders of old (5:21ff), so that the people are impressed with his teaching as one with authority (7:28-29). He warns about “false prophets” who are “ravenous wolves” (7:15). In Matthew 9:10 (before 10:23) the Pharisees were charging that “he casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” Continue reading

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JESUS AND PRETERISM (2)

PMW 2019-083 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous article I began a brief response to Dr. Wayne Briddle of Liberty University regarding his critique of preterism. I recommend reading that article before reading this one. In this article I will briefly respond to various issues in a running, seriatim fashion.

Hyper-Preterism/Extreme Preterism

I do not know of any contemporary proponent of Hyper-Preterism who teaches that history may, in fact, come to an end. In fact, it seems to be a distinctive of this heterodox movement that it holds that the earth has been established “forever.” John Noe’s book drives this point home repeatedly. And as far as I can tell, this is commonly asserted in that movement. Continue reading

THE MILLENNIAL POSITIONS

INTRODUCTION

Theological Terms

The technical theological term that describes the study of Bible prophecy is: “eschatology.” It is based on two Greek words: eschatos, which means “end, last”; logos, which means “word or study.” Thus, “eschatology” is technically “the study of the last things.”

Another technical theological term that has become so popular in modern discussions is: “millennium.” It is based on the Latin: mille, “thousand”; and annum, “year.” Thus, the term means “thousand years.” It is derived from Rev. 20:1–6, the only place in Scripture which associates 1000 years with Christ’s rule.

Basic Positions

In attaching prefixes to the term “millennium” we link the second coming of Christ to the millennium that is mentioned in Rev. 20: amillennial, premillennial, and postmillennial. These three most basic positions may be briefly defined in terms of their chronology as follows: Continue reading

MILLENNIUM AS A DISPENSATIONAL PROBLEM

PMW 2019-063 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Millennial cubeDispensationalists are prone to boast that Revelation 20 presents their system in clear and certain terms. They often declare that they can go to one text of Scripture and find their system. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This text actually presents them with serious problems. Consider the following.

First, the concluding period of earth history, which experiences the glorious victory of Christ, is a thousand years long, but its length appears in only one chapter of the entire Bible. Continue reading

REFORMED POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMW 2019-028 by Jay Rogers (The Forerunner)

When thinking about eschatology today, few Christians are even aware of the postmillennial view. When I have traveled to Russia, Ukraine, Latin America and other nations on short term missions trips, I am usually asked this question by new converts: “Are you pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib?” as if these were the only three forms of eschatology. I often have to explain that I am not a dispensationalist. It is difficult to show some Christians that there is another way of looking at the end-times and the millennium altogether.

Postmillennialism (literally, “after the thousand years”) is the belief that Christ will physically return to the earth only after a non-literal millennium is completed. Postmillennialism is optimistic about the end times. Christ’s reign over the earth from heaven increases during the millennium, which is thought to be not a literal one thousand year period, but “a very long time.” Postmillennialism places the Church in a role of transforming whole social structures before the Second Coming and endeavoring to bring about a “Golden Age” of peace and prosperity with great advances in education, the arts, sciences and medicine. Continue reading

THE BROKEN PROPHECY CLOCK

PMW 2018-046 by Gary North (Remnant Review)

Gentry introductory note: Gary North is always an entertaining and insightful read. And this article needs to be read for both insights and entertainment. It is funny how dispensationalism is addicted to continually predicting the Rapture, the great tribulation, the antichrist, and the gullibility of the Christian book-buying public.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the political creation of the State of Israel.

This fact is crucial for American fundamentalists. This is because most of them believe in something their pastors call “the clock of prophecy.” It started ticking on May 14, 1948, or so they have been told by a generation of pastors and authors. But there is a problem. It was not supposed to keep ticking longer than 70 years — the normal lifespan of one generation.

Before I explain all this, I want you to understand that American fundamentalists are almost all dispensationalists. This is called pre-tribulation dispensationalism, and at least 99% of dispensationalists are pre-tribulation dispensationalists. They believe that Christians will be pulled out of history prior to the horror known as the Great Tribulation, which will come mainly on Jews living in the State of Israel after the Rapture. Continue reading

MATTHEW 23:39: DISPENSATIONALISM OR PRETERISM?

PMW 2018-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Matt. 23:39 is a favorite statement by Jesus that dispensationalism cling to as evidence of the future conversion of Israel. Read through their lens, it seems to state that Israel will one day be converted, and only then will the great tribulation begin (according to the order of verses following Matt 23:39). They hold that this would confirm dispensationalism and undermine preterism and postmillennialism.

Matthew 23:39 read:

“For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Continue reading