Do Pre-Millennialists deny the person and work of Christ?
This begins my series comparing and contrasting A-Millennialism with Pre-Millennialism. This began when Dr. Waldron began a series on the website Illumination reviewing a book by Barry Horner entitled Future Israel. One thing that got Waldron’s attention was that Horner feels that A-Millennialists are anti-semitic. Horner follows the dispensational view with all its flaws, so it is easy to find fault with certain portions. But there is a place where Waldron is not simply critiquing dispensationalism, but he is critiquing Pre-Millennialism itself.
Enter the Orange Mailman. I posted a lengthy comment on Illumination responding to an appropriate blog which dealt with Pre-Millennial essentials. There were three people who responded to me in the response section. Barcelou, Jason, and Brett were all quite pleasant. I responded to their responses as well. But then came the big surprise. Dr. Waldron took the time to write two blogposts for his response to my comment. Of course I commented on both of these in the response sections. Dr. Waldron was very gracious in his response, as well as polite.
My goal here is not to bash A-Millennialists or the A-Millennialist position. If Dr. Waldron comes to read my blog, I want for him to not be offended in any way, as I was not offended in any way when he responded to me. My goal is simply to set forth a type of a dialogue between the two positions. There are some questions that I’m just not getting the answers to. The A-Millennialist points out what he feels is a contradiction in the Pre-Millennial view. I respond that there is no contradiction because of a certain reason. Then I hear crickets chirping. So my series is not so much trying to prove Pre-Millennialism, but to show that I cannot see where A-Millennialists can claim that they have disproved Pre-Millennialism.
I give the link to the post so that you may check it out to see if everything happened just the way I describe it. Here is the link to the post with 27 comments.
The basic ideas in Waldron’s post to which I respond consist of critiquing Horner for believing in a future Millennium. The passage which Waldron aims at is Ezekiel 40-48 in which Ezekiel sees a temple to which the Shekinah glory returns to. Ezekiel had seen it depart earlier in his ministry. Waldron dislikes Horner’s literal approach in believing a yet future fulfillment of this temple because it prophesies that the Aaronic priesthood will play a role in offering sacrifices. To Waldron, this flies in the face of the sacrifice that Christ offered on the cross. Waldron quotes heavily from Hebrews to show that our High Priest, Jesus, has a never ending priesthood which is superior to the priesthood of Aaron.
Also contained in the Ezekiel passage are references to the religious calendar including Sabbaths. Since the A-Millennialist points to everything being fulfilled by Christ, this means that there can be no future religious calendar with new moons or Sabbaths being observed. Waldron states, “Their re-institution is viewed as a denial of the significance of Christ’s person and work.” Note upfront: I believe that everything is fulfilled in Christ. But fulfillment does not equal abolition. Those of you who read my series on the Sabbath should understand where I’m coming from. So basically, according to Waldron, I deny the significance of the person and work of Christ because I believe in a future temple here on earth which the restored Aaronic priesthood will offer sacrifices and observe the Sabbath.
This gets the ball rolling. Next I will post my response to Waldron followed by some side discussions. If there is an angle which you feel has been left out, feel free to chime in.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman