Skip to comments.MacArthurís Millennial Manifesto
Posted on 05/02/2007 11:53:00 AM PDT by topcat54
[I am going to try something new over the next couple of weeks in this blog. I have just now named it blog a book. I am responding to MacArthurs recent introductory sermon at the 2007 Shepherds Conference. You can help me write this response by your comments and input. So here goes with Chapter 1.]
In fact, this brings me to what is perhaps the major reason why I am writing this response. Actually, I am thankful to MacArthur for lending us his name. Now that he has valiantly addressed this subject. We are at liberty to respond to him using his own fame to help along our cause. And our fundamental reason for so responding is simply to set the record straight. No one who thinks he understands the Scriptures on an important point can bear to see others misrepresent views he believes are thoroughly biblical. I and my fellow Amillennialists really do believe that we have biblical eschatology right. How then can we endure seeing our views drastically misrepresented? We cannot, and allegiance to the truth demands that we respond. We thank Dr. John MacArthur for making it possible by his message for us to use his name to set the record straight.
(Excerpt) Read more at mctsowensboro.org ...
He is working through his critique of MacArthur in five parts.
Part 1: MacArthurs Major Thesis
Part 2: MacArthurs Historical Position
Part 3: MacArthurs Interesting Objection
Part 4: MacArthurs Jewish Evangelism
Part 5: MacArthurs Deep Burden
That should read "accurately depicted the position". Sorry.
"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)
Now I am not upset about MacArthurs remark that Calvin would have been a Premillennialist in our day. As outrageous as this statement may be, I suppose he may have said it in jest. It certainly is completely incapable of historical demonstration. My purpose, however, is simply to note what MacArthur straightforwardly admits here. Calvin and with him most Calvinists historically until today have not been Premillennial.
Of course, much more could be said along this line. MacArthur admits elsewhere that Augustine was not in favor of his eschatology, but was in MacArthurs view a proponent (horrors!) of replacement theology: [Ronald] Diprose lays much of that at the feet of replacement theology that rises out of Augustine and the few before him. Augustine is commonly understood and acknowledged to be the one who by abandoning Premillennialism and defending an Amillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 set the Church on an Amillennial course for a thousand years. (The key passage is found in the City of God Book 20, chapters 6-10.)
What has MacArthur calmly admitted here? He has admitted that the major historical defenders of his understanding of sovereign grace and election have consistently rejected his eschatology. MacArthur thinks that Calvinistic views of election ought to leadmust logically and clearly leadto Premillennial views of eschatology. Yet, and in stunning contrast, church history shows just the opposite connection. The major proponents of sovereign election have been also the major advocates of Amillennialism. Augustine almost single-handedly opposed the insidious and centuries-long drift of the early church into Pelagianism. The view of sovereign election held by MacArthur is commonly known by the very name of Calvin. Calvins theological descendants have been its major and sometimes lonely defenders in the modern era. The very modern age that marked the rise of Premillennialism also marked the fall of Calvinism. Yet, in spite of all this, MacArthur tells us that Calvinism in a clear and logical way leads to Premillennialism.
Exactly. More's the pity.
God is either sovereign and in control of His entire creation and reigning from heaven as we speak according to His perfect will, ordained from before the foundation of the world...
Or God is waiting...waiting...waiting...
JM says that after the Gentiles have come in, then Christ returns to build his tabernacle. However, this is not what the scripture says. It says after Christ has visited the Gentiles and taken out of them a people for His name, then He will return and build the tabernacle.
However, when we examine Acts 15, we see that what Peter and James are talking about is the conversion of Cornelius and his household in Acts 10, and their baptism by the Holy Spirit. That is Christ visiting the Gentiles, confirmed by James in verse 14..
Further, we have verse 12, where Barnabus and Paul relate the miracles and wonders God did by them among the Gentiles. God takes a nation out of a nation by signs and wonders. Deut 4:34, and God uses the Apostles, doesn't have to do it personally.
James affirms that Peter's conversion of Cornelius and his house is that event, the visitation, and the prophecy is fulfilled.. The building of the tabernacle is the Great Commission, the coming in of the Gentiles.
I contend on this important fact, JM gets it wrong. Your opinions?
I don’t see where he even deals with Jesus being the Seed, and that the imoportance of Abraham is that he believed God. He just seems to leave out alot.
He does not. In addition, as Waldron observes:
It is interesting to note that in his message MacArthur deliberately avoids presenting what he is teaching as Dispensationalism. It is clear that he wants to be viewed as coming before his audience on this occasion simply as a representative of main-line Premillennialism. ...Perhaps MacArthur expected his audience to miss that fact that his view of Israel and the Church is not what most non-dispensational (aka historic) premils believe on the subject. In fact Justin Martyr is closer to historic premil position that MacArthur. And Justin saw the Church as the inheritor of the blessing to Israel made to the Seed, Jesus Christ.
These are all of MacArthurs references Dispensationalism by name in his message. It seems quite clear that MacArthur is eager to present himself merely as a simple Premillennialist in this message and not to be viewed as defending in it Dispensationalism.
Now from a certain perspective, who can fault him for this? No doubt, he believes that much of what he calls the wacky world of Dispensationalism is nonsensical, indefensible, and quite distinct from historic Premillennialism. We agree with this assessment. In fact, we admit that Historic Premillenialism has little or nothing to do with the fables of modern Dispensationalism.
But John does not want to identify with the wackier element within dispensationalism. He wants some respect. In order to get that he needs to get closer to the position on Israel that he opposes. Waldron continues:
What is my point? Historic Premillennialismthe Premillennialism of the Early Church periodheld what MacArthur chooses to describe as supercessionism. MacArthur (unintentionally I am sure) misrepresents the real state of the historical debate. When he paints the issue as Premillennialism versus Amillennialism, he distorts the true state of the debate. It is not Premillennialism versus Amillennialism. It is also and as well Dispensational Premillennialism (which is what MacArthur holds) versus Historic Premillennialism (also and significantly known as Covenant Premillennialism). It is, in fact, Dispensationalism versus everybody else. Why? Because everybody else holds a version of what MacArthur calls replacement theology or supersessionism. It is Dispensational Premillennialism versus Historic Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism.
Yes, he is murky on the kingdom, I don’t think he has a clear idea of what he is trying to defend. Let’s call him over here, lol
BTW...as I post this I'm listen to Grace To You online. LOL
Interesting. Change the bottle; keep the wine. (Or is it keep the bottle; change the wine?)
He’s a popular guy who made a rather controversial statement at his Shepherds’ Conference.
The fullness (or full number) of gentiles ala Romans 11 has do with the calling of the gentiles to faith in Christ, to be ingrafted into the root of faith, by the power of the gospel.
One curious thing about these passages is the expectation by some that something will happen after these times. They read it as "until (a) then (b) will occur". But neither text is constructed that way. The text merely says "until (A)". E.g., it does not say "until the times of the gentiles then Jerusalem will be untrampled."
The untrampled part is not in the text.
Thanks TC, UC ping to above
But Luke 21 says that the times of the Gentiles will continue after the Diaspora which took place from 70 AD to 135 AD. So just exactly when were these times completed????
What makes you think they have been completed? The text does not say anything about what allegedly might happen after this time mentioned. Luke 21 is a warning to Israel to repent and a warning to believers to flee from the destruction when they do not repent. It is not a promise of any type of national restoration.
The judgment upon Israel by the nations was complete. It is only the spiritual nation that matters to God today.