Names for different eschatology approaches

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Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
I've just started looking at Steve Gregg's book Revelation four views.
So I'm generally familiar with premill, postmill, and amill. Also preterist.
But this book, and other places, use other terms which I want to understand. In this book the four views are historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist.
How do all these terms relate to one another and what do they mean by way of a concise summary?
My understanding is that both ammill and postmill would be preterist and premill would be futurist but what about historicist and idealist?
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
Just flicking through Steve Gregg's book and it seems that only historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist are mentioned up to Revelation 20 and then premill, amill, and postmill are mentioned. I understand it's partly because of the millennium mentioned in chapter 20, but pre, a, and post are not only concerned with chapter 20 so which of the other terms do these fit into for the first 20 chapters?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
The millennial positions are positions regarding the timing of the millennium in Revelation 20.

Terms such as historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist (or maybe some hodgepodge mixture) describe how one interprets prophetic passages.

Historicism sees Revelation (and parts of Daniel) as the unfolding of Western European history. Therefore, all events have to be interpreted on how they fit into Western Europe.

Futurism sees most prophetic events as future.

Idealism sees them all as ideal pictures of something or other.

Preterism comes in two parts. Partial preterism says that all events up to the millennium are already fulfilled. Full Preterism says it is all fulfilled. That is a heresy.

Most partial preterists are postmil. Most idealists are amil. Most futurists are premil. I am a futurist, but I am amil.
 

EvanVK

Puritan Board Freshman
Historicism sees Revelation (and parts of Daniel) as the unfolding of Western European history. Therefore, all events have to be interpreted on how they fit into Western Europe.
Hmmm. Not to derail but this seems truncated. Where did you get this definition from?
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I've just started looking at Steve Gregg's book Revelation four views.
So I'm generally familiar with premill, postmill, and amill. Also preterist.
But this book, and other places, use other terms which I want to understand. In this book the four views are historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist.
How do all these terms relate to one another and what do they mean by way of a concise summary?
My understanding is that both ammill and postmill would be preterist and premill would be futurist but what about historicist and idealist?
I’ve just started digging into this work as well. It’s okay, but it seems Gregg is pulling from the same sources for each, and didn’t really have a big base. (For example, he uses Matthew Henry all the time for the historicity view).

I find the book to be insufficient in-depth (plus he is Arminian, even if he denies it lol. He is openly not Calvinist)

Let me know what you think!
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Historicism sees Revelation (and parts of Daniel) as the unfolding of Western European history. Therefore, all events have to be interpreted on how they fit into Western Europe.
That’s not what Historicism is, it has nothing to do with referencing Western Europe specifically. Historicism is the view that the prophecies of scripture, particularly of the New Testament, have their fulfilment throughout history, not all in biblical times, as preterists claim, or all way in the future as futurists claim.
 

EvanVK

Puritan Board Freshman
That’s not what Historicism is, it has nothing to do with referencing Western Europe specifically. Historicism is the view that the prophecies of scripture, particularly of the New Testament, have their fulfilment throughout history, not all in biblical times, as preterists claim, or all way in the future as futurists claim.
Thank you. That seems like a more accurate definition in my opinion.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
That’s not what Historicism is, it has nothing to do with referencing Western Europe specifically. Historicism is the view that the prophecies of scripture, particularly of the New Testament, have their fulfilment throughout history, not all in biblical times, as preterists claim, or all way in the future as futurists claim.
Jacob clarified this by saying he defined it that way because that is by an large how it has been applied.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
My definition was tongue-in-cheek, though there was a point to it. As the papacy is ostensibly the man of sin, there is really no point to look for prophetic fulfilment and unfolding in Siberia, China, or North America during much of church history. In other words, the unfolding of Western European history and the unfolding of prophetic history largely overlap. That's why Napoleon probably figures larger than Sitting Bull. Of course, one could make an argument that Genghis Khan is the locusts of Revelation 9, although historicists usually say that is Mohammed's armies.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Cocceius saw Gustavus Adolphus as the rider on the White Horse.

Cf. Gottlob Schrenk's Gottesreich und Bund im alteren Protestantismus: vornehmlich bei Johannes Cocceius (Gutersloh: Bertlesmann, 1923), p. 29.
 

TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
I've just started looking at Steve Gregg's book Revelation four views.
So I'm generally familiar with premill, postmill, and amill. Also preterist.
But this book, and other places, use other terms which I want to understand. In this book the four views are historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist.
How do all these terms relate to one another and what do they mean by way of a concise summary?
My understanding is that both ammill and postmill would be preterist and premill would be futurist but what about historicist and idealist?
This might help sort it out a little. Article from Ligonier.

 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
My definition was tongue-in-cheek, though there was a point to it. As the papacy is ostensibly the man of sin, there is really no point to look for prophetic fulfilment and unfolding in Siberia, China, or North America during much of church history. In other words, the unfolding of Western European history and the unfolding of prophetic history largely overlap. That's why Napoleon probably figures larger than Sitting Bull. Of course, one could make an argument that Genghis Khan is the locusts of Revelation 9, although historicists usually say that is Mohammed's armies.
Accepting for the sake of argument that historicism has been primarily focused on fulfillment of prophecy in west, or the Christian world more generally, why would that be a problem? It's still a vastly larger domain than the events of revelation were previously confined to (a particular corner of the ancient near east). Everyone accepts that Daniel's prophecies are describing the empires that will take control of the holy land, for example. The Chinese empire was huge at the time but it gets no mention. But that fact does not render the traditional interpretation of Daniel false.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Accepting for the sake of argument that historicism has been primarily focused on fulfillment of prophecy in west, or the Christian world more generally, why would that be a problem? It's still a vastly larger domain than the events of revelation were previously confined to (a particular corner of the ancient near east). Everyone accepts that Daniel's prophecies are describing the empires that will take control of the holy land, for example. The Chinese empire was huge at the time but it gets no mention. But that fact does not render the traditional interpretation of Daniel false.

I wasn't trying to refute it. Steve Rafalsky and I have offered challenges to it elsewhere. I was simply pointing out a different perspective on how to view historicism.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
It's true that historicism sees many prophecies fulfilled in European history. It's also true that Europe has been dominant throughout church history. It's also true that God said Japheth would dwell in the tents of Shem, and Ham would be his servant.

Historicism, however, also sees many events taking place in the East (Muhammad was mentioned earlier in the thread; you also have the restoration and conversation of the Jews), and some having universal fulfillment (the Millennium, etc.).

It's also important to note that there are papists all over the world, not just in Western Europe.
 
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TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I've just started looking at Steve Gregg's book Revelation four views.
So I'm generally familiar with premill, postmill, and amill. Also preterist.
But this book, and other places, use other terms which I want to understand. In this book the four views are historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist.
How do all these terms relate to one another and what do they mean by way of a concise summary?
My understanding is that both ammill and postmill would be preterist and premill would be futurist but what about historicist and idealist?
To flesh out historicism a bit, most historicists are postmil. Modern neo-postmillennialism is partial preterist, but classical postmillennialism is historicist. It's the view of the puritans, most of the Reformers, and indeed most Presbyterians and Baptists until the mid to late 1800s.

Classical, historicist postmillennialism views the Book of Revelation as prophecy concerning the conflict of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan throughout church history. The Harlot is the Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope is the antichrist. We await the conversion of the Jews, the destruction of the Roman antichrist, and the worldwide revival of religion known as the Millennium. At the end of the Millennium, the kingdom of darkness will make its last stand, and Christ will return in judgment. The dead will be raised and appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ. After this is the eschaton.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Cornel Venema's book the 'The Promise of the Future' does an excellent job dealing with the history and theology of different positions. I highly recommend it. The four position books kind of give you a back and forth sometimes but Venema's book gave the history behind the different positions. I highly recommend it. The Promise of the Future by Cornel P. Venema
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
@RamistThomist
Thanks.
I'm guessing that when you say full preterist is heresy your referring to it clashing with the bodily resurrection?
I know a preacher who is postmill and reconstructionist who is preaching through Revelation and has so far preached up to and including 21: 8 and it's still all in the past in his opinion.
At what point, in your mind does preterism cross over into heresy?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
@RamistThomist
Thanks.
I'm guessing that when you say full preterist is heresy your referring to it clashing with the bodily resurrection?
I know a preacher who is postmill and reconstructionist who is preaching through Revelation and has so far preached up to and including 21: 8 and it's still all in the past in his opinion.
At what point, in your mind does preterism cross over into heresy?

Denying the bodily second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the body.
 

TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
@TheWord4Word
That's a great little read. Thanks.
I only scanned it so which of those approaches does the author's own amill fit into?
I can't speak for Dr Venema, regarding the article/essay, but I would put myself more in the line of the "preterist approach", however I'd add that it's never a very good idea to bring fully well-structured presuppositions to the table when reading scripture. In any case, it's better to start with the three main eschatological positions, Post, Pre, and Amill as being the basis for how one might presuppose the meaning behind revelation.
Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are similar positions. They differ mainly in the view of the church leading up to the second coming. Amillennialist are more pessimistic and share some views with Premillennialist, in my opinion.

The majority of "studied" Reformed Christians are going to fall into one of two positions, amillennialism, or postmillennialism. You might find some premillennialist, but for the most part the premillennialism positions are a form, or derivative, dispensationalist thinking. In any case, these three positions; Postmillennialism, Premillennialism, & Amillennialism are the foundation of these other terms, i.e. futurist, preterist, historic, etc..

I came across this cool little documentary recently that you might find helpful in understanding the reformed views today. What's particularly interesting is the idea of the "state" of the church today. Some will say that the church is weaker today than ever before. Others will say that it is stronger in may ways than ever before. I believe this is true; That the church is stronger. That the church is growing not declining.


 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Attached below is an End-Times paper I wrote up (quoting Dean Davis' The High King of Heaven extensively), while in a 1689 doctrines-of-grace Baptist church I was to co-pastor for a while (the PCA in my area of NY had gone too far off track to remain in). I like Dan's take just above with some caveats. "Preterism" is not well understood, and thus used too loosely, in my view. At the end of Dean's material he addresses Preterism and Partial Preterism, and then I write a bit on Amillennialism, or the present millennium view.

It is not accurate to term the Amil view "pessimistic" seeing as Scripture is clear that the church age is evil, and will become terribly more so as the end of the age draws near:

Gal 1:4 our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father​

1 John 5:19 we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness [or the wicked one]

Eph 2:2 in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience

John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you

John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world

Luke 17:26, 27 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all

2 Tim 3:12, 13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world[/indent]

Another thing: The Amil view is in the general category of the "Idealist", or abstract spiritual camp, in its purest form having no historical references at all past the letters to the 7 churches in Rev 2 and 3 (per William Milligan of the 1800s), whereas the contemporary Amil (per Greg Beale, Dennis E. Johnson, Wm Hendriksen, Stephen Smalley, etc) calls itself "modified" or "eclectic" idealist as it allows some few but highly significant historic referents. I.e., it is not all recapitulated intensifying spiritual dynamics up through the church age.

[I'm at present in NYC having just closed on my wife's and my condo here and we are preparing to fly back to Cyprus in a few days to resume caring for the church there. That is where, D.V., I will spend my last days. We'll look to buy a flat there, and settle in (we both have dual citizenship – U.S. and Cypriot/EU). I'm continuing to write on a new platform, Substack, as a means to evangelize the (mostly) secular seers now writing on current social, geopolitical, and spiritual (or psychic) events troubling today's world: https://apocalypsefield.substack.com/p/apocalypse-field-global-arena-of (no paywall, as many writers there charge for premium content – all content of mine is free. It is of paramount importance to present the Gospel of Christ and the heralding of God's kingdom in a clear and cogent manner without a lot of "religious" trappings, yet staying true to Scripture and the King.]
 

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Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
@TheWord4Word Thanks for explaining a few things, it was very helpful. I will watch that documentary but I'm wary of being swayed to postmill : - ) that's if it is an argument for postmill.. So far what I know of Amill seems reasonable to me.

@Jerusalem Blade.. "It is not accurate to term the Amil view "pessimistic" seeing as Scripture is clear that the church age is evil, and will become terribly more so as the end of the age draws near"
Yes I agree.

Now Ramist Thomist talked about preterist and heresy, so today I was trying to define someone's eschatology. They said they are postmill and partial preterist and believe in the doctrines of the second advent and the physical bodily resurrection. They also said they believed all of the book of Revelation including the last 3 chapters had already happened.
Is there any heresy there?
I'm not looking to find fault or cause division. I'm learning and I want to know truth and avoid heresy.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Liam @Barney ,

You said of the person you spoke with, "They also said they believed all of the book of Revelation including the last 3 chapters had already happened. Is there any heresy there?"

Assuming you are quoting him correctly, one has to refer to the Scripture in order to refute that. Has the "great white throne" judgment of Rev 20:11 ff following the resurrection taken place yet where all souls are sent to either paradise New Earth or the lake of fire?

Have the first heaven and first earth passed away, and the new Jerusalem come down upon the new earth yet (Rev 21:1, 2)? And has the Lord Jesus come to be with us so that we "shall see His face" yet (Rev 22:4)?

What does Paul say concerning such heresy as you mentioned? "And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some." (2 Tim 2:17, 18 NKJV)
_____

You said re Gregg's book "the four views are historicist, preterist, futurist, and idealist." Basically, the historicist says that Revelation contains symbols that refer to actual persons / peoples and events, and foretells thusly what will occur and has occurred; the preterist that Revelation has all (or mostly all) occurred already; the futurist that almost none of Revelation (save perhaps Rev 2 and 3 in the letters) has happened yet; and the idealist that no historical events / referents occur, rather the symbols depict recurring (recapitulating) spiritual dynamics (such as proclamation of the gospel, persecution, warning judgments, then lethal and massive judgments. William Milligan in the 1800s rescued eschatology from the historicist error but went too far; it took the balanced and nuanced "modified" or "eclectic" idealists William Hendriksen, Greg Beale, Dennis E. Johnson and a number of others to correct and fine-tune the idealist view, which is what contemporary Amillennialism is.

It is a shame that there is so much error and confusion in this area of eschatology – more precisely, it is the devil's strategy to foster such confusion as he well remembers that Daniel's warnings of the coming ravages of Antiochus Epiphanes in around 150 B.C. saved the Jews of that awful time from abject despair when the persecution was extreme and the one place in the world where the true God had been worshipped was defiled and the worship extinguished.

Such a time is coming afresh for the NT church age – and that on a global scale. The smokescreens the Liar, Deceiver, and Murderer spreads nowadays is meant to blind the church from a unified and strong understanding and defense when "all around our souls gives way" in the dystopian horrors to come. Not to mention the judgments God will send on various nations and regions for the persecution of His beloved people.

It should be clearly understood that any Biblically-based eschatological vision include both the young church of John's day when he wrote the Apocalypse, and all the churches up through the following 2000 years and up to the very end, none excluded! One should study the Amil authors I have noted (there are other excellent authors I have not here mentioned) – perhaps starting with Dennis E. Johnson's Triumph of the Lamb. Greg Beale's massive commentary on Revelation (not the abridged one) is perhaps the definitive work as to details, and quite accessible even to the non-Greek-speaking students.

Eschatology is the one branch of theology still in flux in the church of Christ. Why is that? Geerhardus Vos, although speaking of discerning the Antichrist, enunciated a principle applicable here:

“[It] belongs among the many prophecies, whose best and final exegete will be the eschatological fulfillment, and in regard to which it behooves the saints to exercise a peculiar kind of eschatological patience.” (The Pauline Eschatology, p. 133)​

O.T. Allis in his book, Prophecy and the Church, expressed the same sentiment:

“The usual view on this subject [‘the intelligibility of prophecy’] has been that prophecy is not intended to be fully understood before its fulfilment, that it is only when God ‘establishes the word of his servants and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,’ that the meaning and import of their words become fully manifest.” (p 25)​

Stuart Olyott in his, Dare to Stand Alone: Daniel Simply Explained, thinks likewise:

“We must realize that some of the Bible’s teachings relating to the very last days will not be understood until we are in those days. That is why it is both unwise and dangerous to draw up detailed timetables of future events. Some parts of the Word of God will not become obvious in their meaning until the days of which they speak have dawned.” (p 166)​

This stuff is not a merely academic matter! The days darken and danger approaches. There is no safe place on earth save in the presence and care of our great Saviour, and to keep our minds calm and hopeful we need the vision given in the Bible's final prophecy. For more on my thoughts, see the link to Eschatology in my signature below.
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Steve,
Thanks for your, as always, indepth response.
Please forgive my extremely short in comparison responses back. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond and the time you put into it. I'm just not in the same league as many of you guys on here in regard to posting and typing. I use one finger on my mobile phone.
Yes, so this particular brother I mentioned, as my rememberance comes back to me, also said Revelation 21:4 has already taken and is taking place. And it means no more mourning without hope. So I'm presuming he means that these verses became a reality when a believer received the Holy Spirit.
I contended otherwise, that those verses are yet to become a reality when we go to glory.
What's your take on that?
I shall make note of the chapters and verses you mentioned to discuss with the person I'm talking about.
On a different note regarding keeping healthy (I'm sure you mentioned age and aging somewhere), orthomolecular medicine is very effective. We take at least 3x 1000mg of vitamin C a day. It has, and can, prevent heart disease, cancer, sepsis.
Is going off topic allowed?

Footnote:
I'm just wondering if the friend I'm talking about believes that Revelation 21:4 applies to believer's who have died and are now with Christ in heaven as opposed to believers alive on earth. I'll need to clarify that when I see him next Sunday.
 
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Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
I've just put it to my wife that it seems to me that a person's personally traits could possibly predispose them to a particular eschatology approach. For example, if your an eternal optimist then you may want to believe in postmill and so you do?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
.

[I'm at present in NYC having just closed on my wife's and my condo here and we are preparing to fly back to Cyprus in a few days to resume caring for the church there. That is where, D.V., I will spend my last days. We'll look to buy a flat there, and settle in (we both have dual citizenship – U.S. and Cypriot/EU). I'm continuing to write on a new platform, Substack, as a means to evangelize the (mostly) secular seers now writing on current social, geopolitical, and spiritual (or psychic) events troubling today's world: https://apocalypsefield.substack.com/p/apocalypse-field-global-arena-of (no paywall, as many writers there charge for premium content – all content of mine is free. It is of paramount importance to present the Gospel of Christ and the heralding of God's kingdom in a clear and cogent manner without a lot of "religious" trappings, yet staying true to Scripture and the King.]
Subscribed! Looking forward to future posts!
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Liam,

You said, "Yes, so this particular brother I mentioned, as my rememberance comes back to me, also said Revelation 21:4 has already taken and is taking place. And it means no more mourning without hope. So I'm presuming he means that these verses became a reality when a believer received the Holy Spirit.
I contended otherwise, that those verses are yet to become a reality when we go to glory.
What's your take on that?"

When it is written,

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev 21:4)​

you are understanding it rightly – for there is death, sorrow, crying, and pain, and they are not yet passed away. God's wiping away all of our tears is yet to come. That we nonetheless have hope does not mean these things are gone.

So, given his confusion, and spiritualizing what ought not be, he isn't heretical, but rather simply misunderstanding the "already and not yet" of the beginning of our redemption and the yet to come of its finality.
 
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