Zondervan Four Views on Revelation

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Puritanboard Clerk
Pate, C. Marvin. Four Views on the Book of Revelation.

Ken Gentry--partial preterist.
Sam Hamstra--idealist.
Robert Thomas--classical dispensationalist.
C. Marvin Pate--progressive dispensationalist

Most of Zondervan's counterpoint views are good. This one is just okay. Usually the format allows criticisms from each participant following each chapter. They didn't do this in this book.

1. Gentry presented the typical partial-preterist argument. Since Revelation says these things will soon take place, then it must mean they will quickly take place for the people to whom the letter is written. Hidden in this assumption and throughout Gentry's work is the idea that Revelation was written pre-70 A.D.

The problem with Gentry's line of reasoning is that his system gives no indicator on why some texts shouldn't have already happened. For example, there is no reason to posit, on the partial preterist gloss, why the Great White Throne Judgment and the Final Resurrection haven't already happened, besides Gentry's commendable job to maintain orthodoxy. If 1:3-4 signal a nearness and completion of time-texts, then there is no *logical* reason why chapters 20-22 should not also be included.

2. Hamstra's Idealism: Hamstra makes some odd claims. He says the book of Revelation is not concerned with history or time-texts, despite the book's repeated claims to both. On a practical level there is some truth to Hamstra's reading. The believer wants to apply the promises made in this book. I agree. I just don't see why we have to gut history to do so.

3. The futurists. Pate and Thomas argue for varieties of premillennialism and dispensationalism. Thomas is still stuck in the old camp of classic dispensationalism. He claims he takes the texts literally, the proceeds to decode the symbols in the book (I don't think he caught the irony). Pate presents a similar futurist case, minus the classic dispensational weaknesses. Both present a strong reading of Revelation 19-20 as sequential, and the two resurrections as literal.

Because there was no critical interaction from each of the writers, there is no clear winner.
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