OUTLINE: Geerhardus Vos: 2nd Coming and the Millennium
by Jim Dennison
a. The intended audience is probably for
the Reformed Amil. Jim Dennison is quite adament about this topic
is admittedly more dogmaticly opposed to the competing eschatological systems than perhaps Vos himself.
b. This is Jim Dennison's take on Vos's
criticism of premillennialism and, by implication, classic
distinctive features which parallel premillennialism. It does not directly discuss the contemporary theological issues
of preterism, common grace, cultural mandate, etc. which are necessary for an in depth look at modern postmillennialism
which has subsequently adopted the already/not-yet features of Vos's eschatology.
Geerhardus Vos. Redemptive History and Biblical
Interpretation (25-58 / 415-422 "this
____________. Pauline Eschatology (ch 10, 226-260)
II. History of Eschatology
Early Church Premillennialism : Papias, Iranaeus,
After Reformation: Anabaptists, Fundamentalists (19th century), Dispensational (20th)
III. The Chiliasm
Systematic Plausibility of chiliasm:
Conclusion: Therefore, why shouldn't we expect the NT prophecy
to be fulfilled
with two future comings?
IV. Vos's Argument from NT's Silence:
But the NT only speaks of the second coming in terms of a
single, undivided event,
sudden, cosmic, and eternal. It doesn't call us to hope in these two comings:
Then where did the idea of chiliasm come from?
1. Judaistic assumptions:
- Jesus isn't the fulfillment of the Temple-> we still need future sacrifices?
- 1000 years == everlasting/eternal Temple?
- Church (semi-eschatologically, provisional inaugurated with Christ's resurrection)
- New Creation (eternal order, consummated with Christ's own return)
2. Golden Age theology is attractive: (God's people will get to rule the world in power! )
Vos responds :
V. Passages supporting future comings? // with Vos's rebuttals
Should not base an entire eschatological system on one passage!
VI. Jim Dennison's Five Questions Determining One's Eschatology:
1. Is there a future provisional Kingdom?
2. An Eschatological dualism?
3. Eternal state after millennium?
4. This wordly triumphalism?
5. Are things going to get better?
Jim's questions show the similarities between Postmil and Premil. 4/5 agreement.[*]
Only the Amil is unique.
[ * ] One wonders if there are really five different questions here, if not selective. :)