In this series we are discussing this simple question:
Are current events or the Bible driving my theology?
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. In this post I want to talk about Amillennialism and a slightly more hidden danger it possesses toward Reactionary Theology.
Amillennialism had been, by far, the most popular view of the End Times throughout history, that is until the 19th and 20th century and the popularization of Postmillennialism(19th) and Premillennialism(20th). It essentially states that there is no (A-) literal 1,000 year reign of Christ and that we are living in the “millennium” right now. The Millennium is an unspecific amount of time between Christ’s ascension and return in which Christ reigns through the Spirit in His followers, but at the same time Satan continues to maintain His role until, at the end of the Millennium, Christ returns and condemns Satan and the Demons once and for all.
This is the view I hold, and I know first hand that this view can hold the most hidden and dangerous tenancy toward Reactionary Theology. The apparent advantage of this view is that it does not need to lean on history or current events in any way. Good things will happen, bad things will happen and one day Jesus will come back. There are no “signs of the times” from this perspective. This is a good thing, but to believe Amillennialism simply because it will help you avoid Reactionary Theology may be the most dangerous form of Reactionary Theology yet! Holding this view for that reason is pragmatism. It has nothing to do with the validity of the claim, it simply is accepted because it works well. That is a bad idea!
As i mentioned earlier in this post, Amillennialism has another advantage in that it has been held for a long time by the majority of Christians, but again we must be careful here. Believing this view because it has been popular through history is also quite dangerous. That is not a good reason to believe something, just like a view’s current popularity is not a good reason to believe it. Popular opinion and beliefs should have very little to do with each other.
Tomorrow we will wrap up this series by listing some of the pitfalls we should try to avoid based on what we learned from the history and interpretation style of these views.