Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Eschatology - four major views

Guest blogger Mick Taylor continues his series on ‘the Last Days’

From the agreed pieces of scriptural jigsaw given in the previous blog four major views have been developed and they are defined by how they understand the relationship between Christ’s return to the earth and the millennium. The four positions are:

1. Classic Pre-millennialism

2. Dispensational Pre-millennialism

3. Post-millennialism

4. A-millennialism

In both Classic and Dispensational pre-millennialism Christ is seen as returning before the Millennium. While for the Post-millennialist Christ will return only after the Millennium. For A-millennialists the Millennium is not a totally future event because it represents the period between the two comings of Christ which means we are in the Millennium now!

So Pre-millennialism has two varieties, Classic and Dispensational. For clarity it is helpful to consider them together but it is also important to note there are significant differences. They agree that Christ will come before a literal reign of 1000 years on earth. They differ in their history and in key elements o f their teaching including what happens at the rapture and concerning the role of Israel.

Classic pre-millennialism has its roots in the very early history of the church. In the first few centuries it was this view that was dominant. The scheme of end times would be:


In support of this view is the fact that it follows the pattern Revelation 19 and 20. Against this view is it is only in one small section of a highly symbolic book that a Millennium is mentioned (Revelation 19-20).

To be continued…