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Shifting Paradigms: The Bible's millennial prophecies

By Jay Rogers
Published April 26, 2008

If you didn’t see US. News & World Report’s cover story on the new clash over the Bible’s millennial prophecies (December 19, 1994), do yourself a favor and take a few minutes at your local library to make a photocopy of the article for your future study and reference. The article by Jeffery L. Sherer succinctly describes the growing discomfort of many Christian leaders and theologians over the dispensational premillennial theory of Christ’s Second Coming which has been advanced in popular literature, such as Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.

Despite Christ’s biblical admonition against predicting the time of the Second Coming (Matthew 25:13), many evangelical authors have published books in recent years predicting the exact time of the Second Advent. The dispensational view, with its elaborate conspiracy theories, time tables, charts and graphic scenarios, has come under growing scrutiny by scholars.

U.S. News correctly notes that most Roman Catholics and Protestants of past centuries have been either amillennial or postmillennial in their end-times viewpoint, with a fair representation of historical premillennialists. The dispensational theory of premillennialism, advanced in 1830, by John Nelson Darby, the English founder of the Plymouth Brethren movement, has gained popularity among modern evangelicals. The problem with this theory is that it ascribes biblical significance to almost every new development in current world events. The locust plagues of Revelation 9 become Cobra helicopters and the northern invader of Israel described in Ezekiel 38 becomes the Soviet Union’s army. The article also notes that bizarre eschatological theories are the hallmarks of many cults.

As the predictions of the doomsdayers are inevitably refuted by the facts of history, more evangelicals are revising their end-times prophecy charts. Many are shifting to the historical stance of the Church prior to 1830. Some now assume the historical premillennial view which assigns the predictions of the enigmatic book of Revelation to “sometime in history” but not necessarily our generation. Others are adopting an amillennial view or a more optimistic postmillennialism. U.S. New’s report on the shifting “end-times” paradigms among evangelicals (although tainted in places by secularism) is forthright and says more than most evangelical publications dare.

The article concludes with an important point, which describes the problem introduced by dispensationalism: “Aside from concerns about faulty interpretation, critics also worry that some Christians may be getting so wrapped up in deciphering prophecy and awaiting divine deliverance that they ignore other missions.”


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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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