In this series we are discussing this simple question:
Are current events or the Bible driving my theology?
Other posts in the Reactionary Eschatology series:
I am calling it Reactionary Theology when we let current events drive our theology. I want to look specifically at the affect of current events on our Eschatology. We will glance over each view and discuss its potential danger for reactionary theology and the reactionary theology contained within its history. the first view we will discuss is Premillennialism. I chose it first because it is the most popular view right now so I thought it would be a good launching point.
Premillennialism is surely the most popular view held today. It states that we are living and Jesus will return before (pre) his millennial (1,000 year) reign. If you are like me, you believe this and don’t even know that there are any other views, but actually this view has only become popular over the last century or so.
Some major things that happened in the early 1900’s were the two World Wars, and the Great Depression. Also the Theory of Evolution was becoming popular and Atheism along with it. Premillennialism says that the world will get worse and worse until Jesus returns. Atheism? World Wars? Depression? Could those have been major catalysts to a huge shift in understanding the End Times?
This view normally reads Revelation and other prophecies in Scripture very literally, some say “literalisticly” meaning that Premillennialists overly literalize things that are clearly figurative, so it is very possible and very common to read current events into the text. This has led many to create timelines leading to the end, and to try to understand how close we are based on how they believe the events in the world fit into the prophecies of Scripture. The Left Behind series is a perfect example of understanding the prophecies about the End Times through current events. The authors of those books maintain that they are purely fictional, but if someone were to base his theology on similar grounds it would certainly be considered Reactionary Theology.