Friday, March 23, 2007

Premillennialism 2

It's very interesting that John MacArthur is not novel in his claim that to be Calvinistic or Reformed, when taken to its logical conclusion, implies buying into a millennial view of future history.

Nathaniel West was a Presbyterian minister in America in the second half of the 19th century. He was one of a number of leading premillennialists who were also Calvinistic and Reformed. Well aware that the millennium was not explicitly mentioned in the Westminster Confession of Faith, West still urged that the corollary of the Confession's eschatological statements was the doctrine of the premillennial second advent of Jesus Christ as Lord. West described the Westminster Standards as the strongest pre-millennial symbol ever made because they contained every proposition needed for that conclusion. The rejection of a premillennial advent of Christ was 'an open abandonment of the Reformed ground.' It was also an 'open assault on the Westminster Confession.'

It hardly need be written that many would disagree with West. Preterists, amillennialists, and postmillennialists all subscribe to the Westminster Standards to this day. However to be reminded of the views of MacArthur and West is to be challenged about the meaning and signficance of following the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith today. Will Reformed Christians allow historical studies of the first century to shape their doctrine? W.W.J.D. about the millennial conundrum of our day?

The more I read and study theology the more confused I tend to become about stuff. But more importantly, I'm getting tired of reading and listening to Christians who claim the authority of Scripture, only to preach, teach and do things contrary to Scripture. The question is not WWJD but WDJDADIM (What did Jesus do and does it matter?) Answers to this question that fail to correspond to the New Testament witness are possible. But are they credible? Or faithful?

1 comment:

Danny said...

"It is not open or unanswered questions that paralyse; it is ambiguous or evasive answers, or answers of which we can make no use, because we cannot make them our own. And it is not the acceptance of any theology, or Christology, however penetrating or profound, which keeps us Christian; we remain loyal to our Lord and Saviour only because He has apprehended us, and His hand is strong". James Denney