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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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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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