Thursday, January 8, 2009

Taking a Stab at Some of Earl's Questions

Earl asked me some questions in an earlier comment on my earlier post and I said I would get back to him. So my answers don't get buried, I have put them in a new post with his earlier questions in italics.

In your view, asks Earl, does 70 AD cover all of Matthew 24?

Yep. The events around 70 AD, that is the destruction of the temple that was never rebuilt, were predicted to shortly take place in Matthew 24 and in Revelation.

A hypothetical question from Earl. If Dr. Gentry were to discover substantial evidence that Revelation was written in 95 AD that overturned his previous research, how would that change your interpretation of Revelation?

Dr. Gentry and others have given me insight into eschatology. If Gentry changes his opinion and opts for the scholars that lived around 300 AD, say, my opinion doesn't change, Earl. I take literally that these events would happen shortly. Dispensationalists don't take shortly literally, but they maintain so much else is literal and look for the signs, which keep changing ever so often when predictions don't pan out. When Scripture is symbolic, I take it biblically, matching Scripture for Scripture, but I don't take it literally. So much is symbolic in Revelation.

Earl. I am agnostic [sic] on the date of Revelation myself. Depending on the day of the week, I think it is written before 70 AD. Other days I think it is written around 95 AD.

Do you mean you are a non-believer by "agnostic"! That's an interesting term for indecision. It's good to be flexible, but I like the Scripture that says that these events will happen shortly. That is my belief and that is why I go with the earlier date.

I remember wondering years ago before I bought into any eschatology why Revelation was written so late when the other books of the New Testament were written earlier. I was taught that Revelation is prophecy just like Old Testament books are prophecy. Now I believe that 19 chapters out of 22 of Revelation are history, albeit what became symbolic history written by John in prison to his seven churches. It became history because the symbolism happened after the seven churches got this symbolically-rich letter and saw the events unfold.

Am I correct in assuming that you believe that the events surrounding 70 AD is the history that was fulfilled through Revelation 19 asks Earl of me?


In your view, he says, the apostasy has not happened--correct? So I would assume you can't say whether the millennium has started or not--correct?

Yep. I don't know if the apostasy or the millennium have happened. If I did, I might make megabucks writing about it as Lindsey and LaHaye and Jenkins.

All I know is we are in the church age. The Messiah has come and has ascended into heaven. He will return. The term "millennium" is only written once I believe in Scripture. We have made most of our systems of eschatology over this term. I would not guess when the millennium is and if it is exactly 1000 years as dispensationalists do because in this case they take it literally; it could be symbolic for "a long time". Pretty much I shut down at Revelation 20 and wait to see the coming of the Lord and how, as some say, it will all pan out. I'm waiting to see the events unfold just as the seven churches were waiting to see the events unfold that already unfolded. While I'm waiting, I am hoping to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Savior who sits on the throne.

1 comment:

  1. New Kid,

    Thanks for the reply. I though what you said was very reasonable. I agree with you that Jesus talked about the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple that occurred in 70 AD. The issue I have is Matthew 24:30-31 applying to 70 AD. I've read the arguments of Gary DeMar and R.C. Sproul arguing for that view and it does not make sense to me.

    I think the original audience reading/listening to Matthew 24 would overwhelmingly conclude that Jesus was talking about his globally visible and very noisy second coming. There is nothing in reading Josephus' account about the fall of Jerusalem that approaches vs. 30-31. To me, this is what led my away from Preterism.

    I had assumed you and others in this blog were a Postmillennialist in the spirit of Jonathon Edwards. I am wrong in that assumption. I have no argument with your view on the millennium.

    Concerning my use of the word agnostic about the date of Revelation. I should have said undecided or ambivalent.

    I'll give my thoughts about Matthew 24 in a little more detail tonight.


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