Friday, September 21, 2007

Now I'm Just Confused

For the past couple of weeks I have been reading Kim Riddlebarger's sermons on the book of Revelation. (You can find them here.) Dr. Riddlebarger describes his approach as a "modified" Idealism, and I must say, it makes a lot of since and really seeks to honor Christ. I am also in the process of reading Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison. I really like the modified Idealism approach to Revelation. I agree with Amillennialism and the Idealist view fits well into that scheme. However, the Idealist interpretation of Revelation depends on a late date of Revelation (A.D. 95-96) and Postmillennialism embraces a Preterist approach to Revelation which depends on an early date of Revelation (ca A.D. 66-68). Dr. Riddlebarger (An Amillennialist that I highly respect), in the first sermon in his series, spends no time on this issue, leaving only a reference to Beale's The Book of Revelation. He merely states that Revelation was written "some time in the mid-90's". Mathison, however, spends quite a bit of time on this issue in Postmillennialism showing the internal and external evidence on an early date. The issue boils down to this: In A.D. 70 Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Roman army. Now, if Revelation was written after A.D. 70 then the prophecies have either not yet been fulfilled (Futurism), are in the process of being fulfilled (Historicism), or serve as symbols of a continuous theme throughout the history of the Church showing that the Church will always be persecuted by antichrists and "beasts" but will always persevere through Christ(Idealism). But, if Revelation was written before A.D. 70 then that leaves us with the Preterism view that says most (Partial Preterism) or all (Full Preterism) of Revelation was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. For the sake of time I will leave the gritty details of internal and external evidence for the next entry. I really want to be an Idealist, but now I'm just confused. Thoughts are welcome.