A few people have asked about my blogging absence (I have felt honored that they have noticed!) Anyway, I’ve been sick, first with a stomach flu, and now with an upper-respiratory thing. I lost my voice last week and am only now recovering it. It’s weird; I hardly ever get sick.
Anyway, this has kept me from blogging, but it’s given me the chance to watch and read some amazing things (about which I’m sure I’ll write more in the weeks to come). One of the highlights of my time was this video, An Evening of Eschatology, hosted by Bethlehem Baptist Church and moderated by John Piper (here’s some background to this talk):
This is an amazing discussion, and very insightful for those of us Christians that either have passionate views on the end of the world or don’t think about it much (as a friend used to say, “I’m a ‘pan-millennialist’: I believe in the end it’ll all just pan out.”).
It’s a discussion by proponents of three of the major views on the end of the world. Here’s a summary by Piper:
Premillennialism (represented by Jim Hamilton): The return of Christ happens before (pre-) the thousand-year reign of Christ, which is a reign of the risen Christ on the earth.
Amillennialism (represented by Sam Storms): The return of Christ happens after the thousand-year reign, a reign that occurs in heaven, in the intermediate state, and not upon the earth. Those who have died in faith and entered into the presence of Christ share his rule and reign during the current church age in which we now live.
Postmillennialism (represented by Doug Wilson): The return of Christ happens after (post-) the thousand-year reign, which corresponds to the Christian age, and the reign of Christ from heaven leads the church to triumph by and through the gospel to such an extent that the Great Commission will be successfully fulfilled, and the Christian faith will pervade all the cultures of all the nations of men. All Christ’s enemies will be subdued in this way, with the exception of death, which he will destroy by his coming.
This talk/debate gets pretty heated at times, but is very respectful and is a great example of true, Christian dialogue (if only we could have this on other topics!)
Where do I stand on this? I grew up an ardent Premillennialist, but ever since college, I’ve hovered between an “a-” and “post-” millennialist, not quite sure of the differences and arguments thereof. Well, this video clarified all of that so well and found me firmly in the postmillennialist camp with Doug Wilson. I’ll probably write more about this in the future, now that I have more of a handle on it.
So, if you have two hours with nothing to do, please watch this. I can’t imagine anyone not getting much out of it. Also, know that in Piper’s beautiful commitment to keep this gospel-centered, he spends the first 17 minutes having each person answer questions like “what is that Gospel?” and “why is it important to talk about this stuff?” and “what do we all agree on as Christians?” before he starts getting into any of the end-times stuff. So, if you’re easily bored, feel free to skip to about 17:00. Enjoy!
Oh, and please pray I’m feeling better soon. I sorely miss you all.