Monday, January 2, 2012

Rethinking Eschatology

From no intention of my own, I am stripping my eschatological views down to their theological foundation. The only credit I can give myself is my honest desire to understand what I believe. Teaching from a position that lacks clarity is not  a pleasant experience since the heat of embarrassment from my questioning soul being forced to formulate words rises though my body manifesting in clumsy wording and disconnected statements. There is no integrity in words that rise out of a soul that is knowingly ignorant. How can a teacher communicate with words that are spoken without commitment from a soul that questions the very words that the mouth is speaking? Thus, I must retrace my eschatology and carefully reassemble it with the Truth that has been revealed and the facts of history that can be gathered. No eschatological views will be automatically dismissed due to my theological prejudices IF they can make their presentation with scriptural and historical support. None of my preconceived belief's are safe in this personal theological inquisition. Indeed, I have a preferred eschatology, but it is not exempt from this shakedown and it must gird itself for the onslaught of questioning and penetrating skepticism I have already unleashed on it in my own soul and with my own thoughts.

Now, there will be many evangelicals (Here I flatter myself as I entertain the thought that evangelicals and other Christians are reading this. But, I must continue in this pleasant fantasy to help stimulate myself as a teacher in my quest for truth and the understanding of that truth.) who will rush to judgment to defend their shallow understanding of end-time events with quotes from best-selling pop authors and denominational talking points based on 3-4 verses that they have never questioned. The very fact that I will have to start this study teaching the meaning of words like "eschatology," "chiliasm" and "imminence" while introducing and unraveling concepts such as "pre-millennial," "amillennial," "post-millennial" indicates that perceived "commitment to the truth" held by many Christians could be shaken and destroyed with slightest bit of teaching based on an alternate eschatological view. The very fact that I will only hear rebuttals supported by the writings of men like LaHaye, DeMar, Rosenthal, or Lindsey, but will have to explain to Christian readers who men like Irenaeus, Hippolytyus, Papias, Methodius, and Justin are when I teach means I should not be the only Christian shaking down my eschatology.

I am shaken after having held to the same views since the 1970's, but I will stabilize very soon and will reemerge to shake, dismantle and question your eschatology. I will teach a solid eschatology that will not need to be ashamed of Scripture, history, early church writings, or the latest end-times pop author. I am not saying I am changing my views. I am saying I am stripping them down and considering everything (...OK, I'm not considering the cults who have formed their eschatological models based on additional "authoritative" writings [think Mormans], personal visions [think Seventh Day Adventist], twisted hermeneutics with mistranslated Scripture [Jehovah's Witness], or faulty eschatological systems proven repeatedly to fail [Harold Camping, etc., etc.]). I am talking about considering Preterist, Historical, Futurist, Pre-Trib, Pre-Wrath, Mid-Trib, Post-Trib, Pre-, Mid-, Post-Millennial and all forms of dispensational concepts. Nothing new there, well,...OK, that needs to be discussed.

My intention is that this will result in a book entitled something like "Actually Thinking: A Biblical Eschatology." Don't look for it in 2012 since Toni wants to take a break from publishing books. We printed three new books in 2010-2011 and had one reprint of 3,000 copies of a fourth book. Toni's request is reasonable, it is very reasonable. So, our plan is that this will be a year of writing, but not publishing. Of course, you have probably heard that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, so if this proves to be the end of the world then this will not matter anyway. If we assume these three things - that the Mayan calendar maker simply ran out of space, that I actually follow through with this study and Toni's request is honored - then we will look for an eschatological book with ALL the answers and ALL the problems resolved sometime in 2013.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word
http://www.generationword.com

2 comments:

Larry Geiger said...

"ALL the answers and ALL the problems resolved"

:-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-)

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