Those of you who share my interest in eschatology will find the following video to be quite helpful. A week and a half ago, John Piper moderated a roundtable discussion between three Biblical scholars who have differing views on the millennium that is mentioned in Revelation 20: Premillennial, Postmillennial, and Amillennial. They do an admirable job of staying on the topic at hand, without delving into other eschatological distinctions. For instance, you’ll not hear the terms “tribulation” or “rapture” anywhere in this discussion.
By way of admission, I should point out that in my eschatology blog series from about a year ago (which you can find by clicking the “eschatology” tab on the right side of the screen) I very briefly addressed post- and amillennialism, but this was nothing more than a cursory paragraph for each. By design, I did not attempt to comprehensively represent these positions, which I do not hold, due mainly to the time it would take me to do so. Still, there are very many Christians whom I love and admire who hold to them. It is important, though, to have these sorts of discussions. As all the participants agree at the end of the video, God is honored when we care enough about the pursuit of Truth to allow other viewpoints to help us refine our own.
The video is two hours long, so you may not want to watch it right this instant, but I highly recommend returning when you can block out some time, even if you have to pause and come back to it later. At the end of this post, I’ll link to some resources for further reading on this topic.
You can find the original posting of this video, along with Piper’s summary of the event at Desiring God Resources.
Realizing that most of the folks who read my blog are probably already premillennialists, I’ll assume you already are pretty familiar with those arguments. If not, there is no shortage of information available, as this seems to be the dominant contemporary millennial view, at least so far as can be assumed based on the number of its proponents. Therefore, I’d like to point out further reading for the other two millennial views represented in this video:
- Sam Storms’ “Problems With Premillennialism”, courtesy of Justin Taylor’s blog
- What is Amilliennialism? by Michael Vlach
- A Defense of (Reformed) Amillennialism by David Engelsma
- Jonathan Edwards’ “A Humble Attempt” to explain his postmillenial views
- Postmillennialism by Lorraine Boettner
- Wittenberg Hall keeps a blog called Postmillennialism.com, subtitled “Optimistic Eschatology in the Midst of Christian Pessimism”
Also, each of the men in this video keeps his own blog. Here are those links:
- Jim Hamilton: For His Renown
- Sam Storms: Enjoying God
- Doug Wilson: Blog and Mablog (Wilson definitely wins the award for best blog name!)
Last but not least, Piper himself has been reluctant to spend much time fleshing out his own particular eschatology, preferring to concentrate (as we all should) on how the Bible commands us to live regardless of our understanding (or lack thereof) of the End Times. When he has addressed eschatology, he has described himself as “an optimistic premillennialist”, and has written a couple of articles dealing with Christ’s return. Here are a few of those:
- Misgivings About Hal Lindsey’s “Planet Earth” from 1974
- Definitions and Observations Concerning the Second Coming of Christ from 1987, which he calls “a brief and sketchy position paper intended to clarify my position without being exhaustive”.