Thursday, December 18, 2008



clipped from:


Rick Warren is a post-millennialist

Billy Graham is a pre-millennialist ,as is James Dobson, John Hagee and others of their ilk. They agree with the following statements and are largely responsible for their widespread acceptance.
  • 55 per cent of Americans believe "that before the world ends the religiously faithful will be saved."
  • 46 per cent of Americans agreeing: "The world will end in the Battle of Armageddon between Jesus and the Antichrist."
  • that the planet will end in a divinely ordained cataclysm -- typically involving war, environmental disaster and economic collapse.
There are two major Christian apocalyptic worldviews:
  • Pre-millennialism and (Billy Graham, James Dobson, John Hagee)
  • Post-millennialism. (Rick Warren)

Unfortunately, it is the despairing form of Apocalypticism -- pre-milliennialism, which has taken root in North America.

Pre-millennialism teaches Jesus Christ will return to rescue born-again believers before the so-called millennium, which is a 1,000-year reign of righteousness predicted in the last book of the Bible, Revelation

pre-millennialism is the most popular end-times worldview among North American evangelicals, including Billy Graham.

The supremacy of pre-millennialism is in part due to the Left Behind series
featuring global catastrophe as a sign of the End Times:
  • Non-Christians suffer eternally,
  • Christians are saved through the Rapture (they're taken up to heaven.)
77 per cent of Canadian evangelicals (compared to 71 per cent of American evangelicals) agree with the statement: "There will be a literal Rapture followed by a 1,000-year reign of Christ."

The dominance of pre-millennial apocalyptic thinking over the last hundred years
  • has had a disturbing impact on real-world issues,
  • including war and the environment
  • Many American pre-millennialists welcome wars against Muslims in the Middle East as signs of the End Times.
  • Prominent pre-millennialists believe the Bible predicts Israel must occupy the Middle East before Jesus returns.
  • (They also believe Jews who don't convert to Christianity will suffer eternal torment.)
  • Many pre-millennialists also believe ecological catastrophe is a (positive) sign of a coming Apocalypse.

Last year Palin dismissed concerns global warming was harming Arctic polar bears.

  • Pre-millennial thinking a Biblical misinterpretation and unhealthy delusion.
  • In its harsh judgmentalism, it displays little connection to Jesus' teachings about the centrality of love.


However, the second major form of End Times belief, post-millennialism, is more optimistic.
  • post-millennialism as the belief that Christ will return after the millennium, the 1,000 years of utopian righteousness.

Post-millennialism was the
  • animating force behind most Protestant social reform efforts in the 19th century.
  • Christians believed it was their duty to create a positive world to make possible the return of Christ.
  • Post-millennialism inspired the battle against slavery, to improve prisons and other reform movements.

Your Comments

There's actually 3 basic positions on the "millenium:"
  • postmillennialism,
  • premillennialism and
  • amillennialism.
The "millenial" part of each word refers to Revelation 20 which refers to a thousand year period in which Christ reigns

late evangelical theologian Stan Grenz scheme
  • optimistic (postmillenial),
  • pessimistic (premillenial), and
  • realistic (amillenial
Postmillenialism, probably the least typical view, is the argument that there will be a future golden period of Christianity

historic manifestations
  • 19th century Protestant social reform, or in the work of the 18th century philosopher/theologian Jonathan Edwards.
  • Postmillenialists largely disappeared in the twentieth century.
  • when you have global atrocities and two world wars.
  • is what I would describe as "default" position
  • This perspective is historically the most dominant in Christianity
  • often attributed to St. Augustine (4th centur
  • amillenialism is the most commonly held belief of Christians of the Reformed tradition (Presbyterians, Reformed, etc.),
  • Basically, amillenialists believe that Revelation 20 cannot be interpreted as a literal 1000 year reign.

As for premillenialism, Grenz split up premillenialism into
  • dispensational and
  • historical varieties.
Because premillenialism requires a selectively "literal" interpretation of the Bible, there are a ton of distinctions between different types of premillenialists (pre-trib, post-trib, etc.).

Premillenialism is truly a "pessimistic" view of human history.
  • Premillenialists think the world is getting worse and
  • at some point, Christ will return to set things aright.
The overwhelming success of dispensational premillenialism in "Left Behind," etc

in the past, things were better (premillenialists often laud the Christian origins of the U.S.).

It is the most common view of historically marginalized Christian denominations

The scariest aspect of premillenialism is
  • the belief that "since the world is getting worse, it doesn't matter what we do (except save souls)."
  • they tend to be extremely supportive of Zionism and
  • believe that there will be a mass conversion to Christ before the end
  • (and that Israel will be restored to its glory).
  • resurgence of interest in eschatology ("last things")

Apostles' Creed (5th century): "he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." This teaching is not simply a statement of judgement, but part of the Christian hope that although the world is broken, God will fix it.

It caused me to forego any serious planning for the future

It was only years later that I discovered that the idea of the 'rapture' was only 100 years old, and that the bulk of Christian tradition through history has never subscribed to it.

dangers of an 'end times theology' that
  • discourages care for the world,
  • social justice and
  • international peace, and
  • settles only for a 'spiritual salvation' that escapes this world for heaven.
Post-millennialism and A-millennialism
  • The last pages of Scripture declare that heaven will come to earth. Jesus instructed us to pray for this.
  • we wake up to our true historic roots and Jesus' vision of the coming kingdom of God,
  • last judgment, but it simply means that we are all accountable for what we've been given, as to what we did with it.
  • Wrong thinking about the future causes us to make bad decisions in the present, for which we will be held accountable

journalist/historian Dave MacPherson, an evangelical living in Utah, concluded long ago that the British-invented "any-moment, pretribulation rapture" is the greatest "glue" that can unite infighting fundamentalists into victorious voting blocs

He notes that premillennialism over the centuries was never more controversial in the public's eyes than other millennial views, and that it didn't get much attention until latter-day pretribulationism adopted it as its launching pad for sensational marketing.

MacPherson's 300-page work entitled "The Rapture Plot" from Armageddon Books

The focus of it is his discovery that between 1889 and 1902 a British scholar quietly made hundreds of changes when reproducing early Irvingite and Plymouth Brethren documents which resulted, claims MacPherson, in stealing credit for the pretrib view away from the Irvingites (followers of London preacher Edward Irving) and giving it wrongfully to John Darby of the Brethren


Shelley Warner said...

Do you have some kind of documentation that Rick Warren holds to postmillenialism? Or is it just that he speaks optomistically about the future?

Anonymous said...

I was a premillennialist; however, I now accept non-millennialism. I accept the views of RVG Tasker, MA, BD, DD of the University of London and Dr. Ray Summers of the Southern Baptist Convention. Premillennialism is too predictive for me and there are other problems as well. Jesus will return after the Church Age and begin the new heavens and New earth also known as Heaven. Charles E. Miller, BA, MAR