Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comparing the Millennium and the Kingdom

In my earlier post to Earl I place the millenium in the future and was a Partial Preterist/Postmillenialist only so far. Okay, guys, after grappling and reading The Book of Revelation Made Easy I will give up my last sliver of pre-mil (didn't know it still was infecting me) and admit we are in the millennium now.

So I have another question.

When we pray thy kingdom come are we praying for the millennium? Or, are the Millennium and the Kingdom the same?


  1. Perhaps the question could be asked, when are we to stop praying this part of the Lord's prayer? I think everyone would agree we are to keep praying until Christ's second coming.

    This is a multifaceted petition. We are praying that God will extend His rule in human hearts. The fact that not every heart is ruled by God while in the millennial age shows there is a distinction between the concepts of millennium and kingdom.

    The universe is subjected to frustration (Romans 8:20) and we are also praying for it's restoration which will come at the second coming.

    Since we are to pray this prayer until Christ comes again, we are praying for Christ's return too and the establishment of the eternal kingdom (the saints under the alter in Revelation are in a real sense praying the second petition of the Lord's prayer).

  2. New Kid,

    I wouldn't necessarily give up on Premillennialism so quickly. Historical Premillennialism is a very respected position within the Reformed community. It is different from Dispensational Premillennialism in that there is no distinction in the millennium between the Church and Israel. Christ rules with His church -- period. There is no distinction between Gentile and Jew, all followers are in the Church.

    If I were convinced my views on the millennium were to "wimpy" (which Amillennialists are often charged to have), I'd switch over to Historical Premillennialism -- because that would make more sense to me than Bahnsennian Postmillennialism.

  3. I am assuming that what you mean by it is Postmillennialism as described by the late Greg L. Bahnsen. I did read the book that Bahnsen coauthored with Dr. Gentry--"House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology" published almost ten years ago, but much of it frankly I could not use to help form my own eschatology. I am more familiar with the Ice/Gentry book "The Great Tribulation: Past or Future?" and Gentry's "Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation", and "The Book of Revelation Made Easy" which books have been great help to me in this whole area.

    I haven't given up on Historical Premillennialism--just haven't studied it like I have studied the popular Dispensational Premillennialism; the later I have flat out rejected. What would be an easy to read book/web site, then, on Historical Premillennialism or a book that contrasts Historical Premillennialism with other systems of eschatology? (That resource may already be in this blog waiting for me to read it again.)

  4. New Kid,

    "Thy Kingdom Come" refers to both the period of the millennium and the eternal state; to both the present age and the age to come; to both the time following the first advent of Christ and the time after the second advent of Christ. Lord willing, we can discuss "kingdom" as time permits.

  5. New Kid,

    For a casual, conversational (not lecturing style) presentation of "Why I Am A Postmillenialist" (and not premil or amil), purchase the three "tape" series by that title by Dr. Greg Bahnsen. In this series he gives a brief biblical presentation and covers most of the common questions relating to the various end times views. The second "lecture" deals with the "Nature of Christ's Kingdom".

    These resources are available as downloadable MP3 files at this link:

  6. New Kid,

    For Historical Premillennialism, the best book is by George Eldon Ladd (1911-1982), The Blessed Hope. Of anyone in recent years, he was the one who took a good scholarly look at at and caused a resurgence of that view again.

    An interesting commentary on Revelation is Revelation: Four Views: A Parallel Commentary. This have the major views of Revelation, including Historical Premillennialism and Dispensational Premillennialism, as well as the others, in one volume. As a commentary for any particular view, its not very good. But for a comparison of the various views, it is very helpful.

  7. I am trying to loan a family member my new copy of the Obama Spiderman Comic in exchange for the loan of Ladd's "The Blessed Hope" so I can learn more about Historic Premillennialism.

    There is a Baker Academic book coming out next month called "A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to 'Left Behind' Eschatology" edited by Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung. May get that book.

    I am still grappling and wrestling with these ideas, but meanwhile there is Kindgom work to do.

  8. Ooooh. I've got various book by or edited by Blomberg. I have a lot of respect for him. I may not see eye to eye with him on everything, but I really enjoy what he has to say and I have profited much from him.

    I'll be purchasing that Historic Premillennialism book. I am also going to put in an interlibrary loan request to get Ladd's Blessed Hope book.

    Historical premillennialism has much to offer. It is not tied to the headlines like Dispensational premillennialism and it has a sane view of the Church and Israel -- and does not have the contrived idea of a rapture. There are some odd things about a millennium after the second coming -- but not too out of line, no worse that some of the goofy ideas in amillennialism and postmillennialism.

    I believe there was an early ecumenical council ruling against premillennialism, but I'd have to research that. It has also gone by the name chilism. But there have been some very respected Reformed theologians who held to historical premillennialism. For example, there were some professors at Covenant Seminary who held that view -- although I don't think there are any there currently. Historical premillennialism is a minority view.

  9. I purchased and read the Blomberg and Chung book. Earl, did you also get and read it? I have read Ladd's "Blessed Hope" now also.


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