My next series will be blogging through the book A Case for Historic Premillennialism. It is subtitled An Alternative to “Left Behind” Eschatology and is edited by Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung. I have called myself a Historic Premillennialist for some time because of the old school Premillennialists who parted ways with the new dispensationalism that broke on the scene with the likes of Darby, Irving, and later Scofield. I believe biblical eschatology lines up better with their views than with dispensationalism.
Dispensationalism sometimes gets a bad rap. I’m not a dispensationalist, but it’s not because I believe the position is heretical. I believe it needs some fine tuning. I think Progressive Dispensationalism is much better than the classic, but it still needs a little more work before I will sign on. So my promotion of this book is not designed to slam dispensationalism, but rather to promote premillennialism without having to resort to dispensational extrapolations to prove one’s case.
Historic Premillennialism was hardly heard for some time until George Ladd came along. With his epic work The Presence of the Future, he straddled the line between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology in such a way that everyone had to concede both the present and future aspects of the kingdom in our present time. His “already/not yet” terminology still carries weight in most circles today. But Ladd was different from the old school Premillennialists. He was in his own category. (Aside from that, his easy to follow book The Blessed Hope should be required reading for anyone who wants to enter the rapture debate.)
That is why the publication of this book is of such importance to Historic Premillennialists such as myself. There is so very little literature on the position. Most Amillennialists will assume someone to be a dispensationalist if they are a premillennialist. When I begin stating my case for premillennialism, they automatically begin to try to dismantle dispensationalism. My conclusions for premillennialism are independent of the dispensational framework.
In this first post I will write about the Acknowledgements. The book is dedicated to Bruce A Demarest. He worked with Gordon Lewis closely at Denver Seminary. While both men were able to agree on many things, they could not agree on Dispensationalism versus Historic Premillennialism (or better put, pre-trib versus post-trib). Bruce found himself holding the latter in both instances while Gordon held the former. While disagreeing, they both continued to work closely. This type of graciousness should be an example to us.
It is my hope that those who disagree with my position will be gracious toward me. It is also my hope that I will be gracious toward those I disagree with. There is no need to be divisive about these issues. Let’s study and see which positions better reflect the scriptures. There are strong points and weak points to this book and I hope to accurately blog about both sides of this issue.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman
P.S. Future posts in this series will have ACFHP in the title.