Presuppositions for the End Times

I’ve spent a few months quietly examining my commitment to historic premillennialism.  And I want to ask the question:  is postmillennialism rationally viable?  That is a different question from whether it is true, but one, I suppose, that must be asked.  But before we get there we need to examine what a Reformed eschatology must contain.  The following should be a minimum sine qua non.

Summarized from Richard Muller’s Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms.

I suppose as good a starting point as any would be the dius novissimus, the last day, theadventus Christi.  Here the Reformed Scholastics (excepting men like William Twisse) would also place the resurrection and Last Judgment.  As a historic premillennialist myself, I would have a few questions, but moving on…

While speculation of the last times is fruitless, the Bible does urge the wise steward to be ready, which implies some awareness of the times.  Thus, the Reformed Scholastics would speak of thesigna dei novissimi, signs of the last day.  These signs can be further delineated:

  • signa remota:  opening of the first six of the seven seals of Revelation 6:1-17: wars, famine, conflicts, pestilence, earthquakes.
  • signa propinqua:  signs nearer the end; the Great Apostasy; worldliness in the church.  Covenanted church members forsaking the church as the center of the kingdom.
  • signa propinquiora:  political unrest; regathering the nation of Israel; increased lawlessness.
  • signa proxima:  political disruption from the full manifestation of the Beast (Revelation 13-17); fulfillment of mission to the gentiles.
A note on Antichrist

Antichristus:  arises from within the church and is against the church.

  1.  he will sit in templo Dei
  2. he will rule as head of the church
  3. he will exalt himself above the True God
  4. He will cause many to fall away from the church.
  5. He will have “lying wonders.”

About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in Eschatology, theology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Presuppositions for the End Times

  1. Evan says:

    What do we do with the fact that at many other times the state of affairs then current seemed to map nicely on to the above? There have many times that it seems that end could have come, given the above criteria.

    Although I have been moving further from the idealist position, one of the advantages of it is that one can claim that it is proper to apply Revelation to most times in which the Church finds herself.

    Would it be accurate to call your current position amil historicist?


    • Jacob BA says:

      My main response to that would be this is the only time in history that global capital could be moved at nano-speed paces.

      Amil historicist? I like the sound of that. I have some problems with saying the Pope is the Antichrist simpliciter. I don’t think it is as smooth a 1:1 correlation as people want it to be, but it shouldn’t be discounted outright.


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