The Unscriptural Theologies Of Amillennialism And Postmillennialism

by Thomas Ice

The twentieth century has been a time dominated by the outworking of one' s eschatology. In addition to the various eddies and movements within Christianity, just think of the impact that Communism and Islam had on the last hundred years. Both are corrupted forms of a Christian, postmillennial determinism. One' s view of the future has tremendous impact upon what one believes an individual should do in the present.

Historically, only the Bible looks ahead to the future as a time when life will be better than in the past. All pagan religions look to the past and think, " If only we could return to the good old days, then that would be wonderful." " If we could just return the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt." " If we could bring back the wonderful days of Nebuchadnezzar." " If we could just get back to the 50s." Only the Bible says the best is yet to come.

Pagans think this way because all of their cultural experiences have started out on a relatively high plan and then declined from there. When you survey the all pagan cultures, you quickly realize that they usually experience their greatest success and development early in their history and encounter decline and stagnation after that. Only in the Bible does history go from a garden to a city where true progress is anticipated.

I believe that the Book of Job, the earliest book in the canon of Scripture, is a prolegomena of God' s plan for history. In the life of Job we have played out the fate and destiny of God' s elect people and the destiny of history itself. We see evil befalling Job in the first couple of chapters, followed by endless human viewpoint explanations, only to have the Lord intervene and set all strait with His sixty-two questions. In the end, Job was blessed with a two-fold blessing compared to his beginning blessing. This is where the future is headed. God gives greater blessing in the end than He provided at the beginning. One' s view of eschatology matters! It is important to get it right.

Show Me The Scripture

Years ago in my first book, Dominion Theology, with Wayne House, I made the following statement in the introduction:

David Chilton once offered me the following exegetical support for postmillennialism:

That' s why my book started in Genesis. I wanted to demonstrate that the Paradise Restored theme (i.e., postmillennialism) is not dependent on any one passage, but is taught throughout Scripture . . . . The fact is, postmillennialism is on every page of the Bible.[1]

My challenge is simply this: Since postmillennialism is on every page of the Bible, show me one passage that requires a postmillennial interpretation and should not be taken in a premillennial sense. After fourteen years of study it is my belief that there is not one passage anywhere in Scripture that would lead to the postmillennial system. The best postmillennialism can come up with is a position built upon an inference.[2]

Ken Gentry attempts an answer to my challenge in their book House Divided[3] by 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. However, he could not do that without making multiple false assumptions about the text. Thus, he proved my point that they could not come up with a distinctly postmillennial text. He only offered one. This strikes at the heart of the problem with amillennialism and its close cousin, postmillennialism. It is not taught in the Bible! On the other hand, premillennialism is, as has been demonstrated throughout this year' s conference by pervious speakers.

Three Major Views

There are three major views of eschatology or the study of last things. All three revolve around the return of Christ in relation to the millennium (Lat. mille--"thousand" plus annus--"year") or the kingdom of God. The three systems are known as premillennialism, amillennialism and postmillennialism. Every view of eschatology must fit into one of these three millennial categories.[4] While these terms are widely used and are the accepted labels for the three viewpoints, many think they can be misleading if not understood properly. Let us hear a brief description by a proponent of each category.

John F. Walvoord describes his premillennial faith as "an interpretation that the Second Coming of Christ will occur before His literal reign of one thousand years on earth."[5] After His victorious intervention into history, Christ will personally reign from Jerusalem producing a time of peace, prosperity and righteousness. Premillennialists see the present era as the Church Age, which is a separate and distinct work in God's plan from that of Israel. Christ's redemptive work is the only basis for salvation regardless of the period of time a believer lives under.

Amillennialism is described by Floyd E. Hamilton as a view "that Christ's millennial kingdom extends from His Resurrection from the tomb to the time of His Second Coming on the clouds at the end of this age".[6] At no time will Christ reign on the earth in Jerusalem. "On earth, Christ's kingdom 'is not of this world,' but He reigns esp. in the hearts of His people on earth, . . . for a 'thousand years,' the perfect, complete time between the two comings of Christ."[7] After the Second Coming of Christ, believers from all of history will enter into heaven for eternity immediately following the final and single judgment of all mankind.

Norman Shepherd defines postmillennialism as "the view that Christ will return at the end of an extended period of righteousness and prosperity (the millennium)."[8] Like the amillennialist, the post-millennialist sees the current age as the kingdom of God. However, they see the reign of Christ not just in the hearts of believers today, but as impacting society. Postmils believe that since the kingdom was established at Christ' s first coming, it is currently being expanded through the preaching of the gospel, until an overwhelming major, though not all, will be converted to Christ. Such Gospel success will create a climate of reception to the things of Christ, like His mediated rule through the church of all the world. Shepherd further explains:

[The postmillennialist] expects a future period when revealed truth will be diffused throughout the world and accepted by the vast majority. The millennial era will therefore be a time of peace, material prosperity, and spiritual glory.

The millennium will be of extended duration though not necessarily a precise 1,000 years. Because it is established through means presently operative, its beginning is imperceptible. Some postmillennialists provide for a gradual establishment of the millennium; others for a more abrupt beginning. Most, but not all, allow for a brief apostasy or resurgence of evil just prior to the advent and in preparation for the judgment. Even during the millennium, the world will not be entirely without sin, and not every person will be converted.[9]

Amillennialism and Postmillennialism Are Similar

Walvoord has observed that "Premillennialism is obviously a viewpoint quite removed from either amillennialism or postmillennialism."[10] This is so, he maintains because premillennialists are more consistently literal in their hermeneutical approach than the other two.

Some postmillennialists have noted their closer kinship with their amillennialist brethren as well. David Chilton links amillennialists and postmillennialists together because of their common belief that the kingdom or millennium is the current age. premillennialists see it as future. He declares, "orthodox Christianity has always been postmillennialist. . . . At the same time, orthodox Christianity has always been amillennialist (i.e., non-millenarian)."[11] More to the point Chilton has written:

What I'm saying is this: Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are the same thing. The only fundamental difference is that "postmils" believe the world will be converted, and "amils" don't. Otherwise, I'm an amil . . . Got it?[12]

In many senses, postmillennialism is simply an optimistic form of amillennialism. This is why some debate whether Augustine was an amillennialist or a postmillennialist. Or, whether he was an amillennialist with some incipient postmillennial strands. The same has been true for classifying people like B. B. Warfield and Oswald Allis. Both were technically postmillennialist, but many refer to them as amillennial.

I believe that the amillennial/postmillennial paradigm is what individuals come up with who do not take into account God' s future for national Israel. This becomes clear when we look at the historical development of these three eschatological systems.

Brief History of The Millennial Systems

We need to focus on the historical development of the three systems since amillennialism and postmillennialism really to not have exegetical support for their views. Thus, this must mean that extra-biblical factors account for their rise and development.

It is generally conceded that premillennialism (known in the early church as chiliasm) is the oldest of the three systems. The other two systems developed, in my opinion, as a reaction to Ante-Nicene premillennialism.

Chiliasm

Premillennialism or chiliasm as it was called in the early church, was the pervasive view of the earliest orthodox fathers. This is the consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars who are experts in early Church theology. J. N. D. Kelly, acknowledged internationally as an authority on patristic Christian thought, is typical of the scholarly opinion on this question and notes that the early Church was chiliastic or millenarian in her eschatology. Speaking of the eschatology of the second century he observes,

The clash with Judaism and paganism made it imperative to set out the bases of the revealed dogmas more thoroughly. The Gnostic tendency to dissolve Christian eschatology into the myth of the soul's upward ascent and return to God had to be resisted. On the other hand millenarianism, or the theory that the returned Christ would reign on earth for a thousand years, came to find increasing support among Christian teachers. . . . This millenarian, or 'chiliastic', doctrine was widely popular at this time.[13]

Kelly asserts further that premillennialism or chiliasm was dominate through the middle of the third century by observing the following: " The great theologians who followed the Apologists, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus, were primarily concerned to defend the traditional eschatological scheme against Gnosticism. . . . They are all exponents of millenarianism." [14] Still another historian says,

Primitive Christianity was marked by great chiliastic enthusiasm, . . . By chiliasm, strictly speaking, is meant the belief that Christ was to return to earth and reign visibly for one thousand years. That return was commonly placed in the immediate future.[15]

Premillennialism was not contradicted by a single orthodox church father until the beginning of the third century, when Gaius (Caius) first launched an attack. Gaius is the first one in recorded church history who interpreted the thousand years symbolically. Additionally, he also rejected the Book of Revelation, holding that it was written by Cerinthus and should not be in the canon.[16] But even with Gaius' appearance, premillennialism was still very much the eschatology of the day.

Anti-Millennialism

I always like to point out that before the actual rise of amillennialism or postmillennialism, there was anti-millennialism. What do I mean by anti-millennialism? Basically, people who just did not like premillennialism. Hans Bietenhard, after noting how the early church was solidly chiliastic in their interpretation of Revelation 20 and other Scripture until the time of Augustine, says,

Today, it is admitted on all hands- except for a few Roman Catholic exegetes- that only an eschatological interpretation [in the context meaning chiliastic one] is consistent with the text. If the question is still open whether the hope is to be maintained or not, it will now be decided by other than exegetical and historical considerations.[17]

The point needs to be made that anti-millennialism did not arise from the study of Scripture, but rather as a result of disturbed sensibilities of individuals who were already affected by pagan thought. The earliest reaction was not to come up with an alternate interpretation of Revelation 20, since it appeared to clearly teach premillennialism, but to claim that the book of Revelation did not belong in the inspired New Testament canon.

Premillennialism was attacked by the Alexandrian school in Egypt during the middle of the third century. In the East, Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339), the court theologian to Constantine and theological heir of Origen, was a strong leader in the rejection of apocalypticism. With the rise of Constantine and the adoption of Christianity as the empire's official religion, alternate perspectives fell into disfavor. Norman Cohn points out the following:

Millenarism remained powerful in the Christian Church so long as Christians were an unpopular minority threatened with persecution. When in the fourth century Christianity attained a position of supremacy in the Mediterranean world and became the official religion of the empire, the Church set out to eradicate millenarian beliefs.[18]

Ayer agrees with Cohn and says,

During the third century the belief in chiliasm as a part of the Church's faith died out in nearly all parts of the Church. It did not seem called for by the condition of the Church, which was rapidly adjusting itself to the world in which it found itself. The scientific theology, especially that of Alexandria, found no place in its system for such an article as chiliasm. The belief lingered, however, in country places, and with it went no little opposition to the "scientific" exegesis which by means of allegory explained away the promises of a millennial kingdom.[19]

Clement of Alexandria and his pupil Origen, popularized not so much another view, as much as an anti-chiliastic polemic. Harry Bultema quotes the Dutch amillennialist, H. Hoekstra, who accuses Origen and his viewpoint for having destroyed the Eastern churches.

The attack against Chiliasm by these dissenters cannot meet with our approval, for they placed their speculation above the Word of God and distorted it according to their grandiloquent ideas, denying the resurrection of the body and the future glorification of the material world, which was also created by God; for according to them the material world, matter, contained sin from which the spirit of man must liberate itself. It was only natural and a matter of course that they were very much against Chiliasm, but they threw away, as a German saying goes, with the bath water the baby also. They were a kind of Hymenaeus and Philetus who had departed from the truth, saying the resurrection was past already (2 Tim. 2:17). The success of the pernicious principles of this school was the first and chief cause of the decline of Chiliasm.[20]

Historically, allegorical interpreters have commonly looked down on literal interpreters as stupid or slow since they are unable to ascend to the deeper, spiritual insights of the allegorical approach. A classic example of this attitude is on display in the writings of the first historian of the early church, Eusebius when writing about one who interpreted prophecy literally named Papias (70-155).

Papias . . . says that there will be a millennium after the resurrections of the dead, when the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this earth. I suppose that he got these notions by a perverse reading of the apostolic accounts, not realizing that they had spoken mystically and symbolically. For he was a man of very little intelligence, as is clear form his books. But he is responsible for the fact that so many Christian writers after him held the same opinion, relying on his antiquity, for instance Irenaeus and whoever else appears to have held the same views.[21]

Amillennialism

In the Latin West, Jerome (347-420) and Augustine (354-430) also reacted strongly to prophetic interpretation. In his commentary on Daniel, written shortly before the year 400, Jerome argued that " The saints will in no wise have an earthly kingdom, but only a celestial one; thus must cease the fable of one thousand years." [22]

Jerome was not alone in his attack on literal interpretation and millennial expectations. In Augustine's City of God, any hope for an earthly or physical millennial kingdom is repeatedly dismissed.[23] Through the writings of men such as Jerome, Julian of Toledo, Gregory the Great, and most notably Augustine, literal interpretation of the Bible, and especially Daniel and Revelation, quickly faded.[24] The Augustinian influence in the West eclipsed many perspectives, some orthodox and some unorthodox or heretical. The result was that views deemed unacceptable were subsequently eradicated or ignored. Lerner observes that Augustine's influence was so strong that " it suffices to say that a prohibition against applying Apocalypse 20 to the future was established during the late patristic era and remained in force for centuries thereafter." [25]

Another hurdle that anti-millennialists needed to overcome was that Revelation 20:4-6 speaks of multiple resurrections. This cannot be if anti-millennialism was to gain a foothold. It was the Donatist theologian, Tyconius, who suggested an allegorical interpretation of Revelation 20.[26] Augustine adopted Tyconius' interpretation of Revelation 20 and produced the earliest form of amillennial theology. Thus, Augustine, in Book XX of The City of God, was the first to actually spell-out a positive statement of amillennialism, which at the same time produced some incipient principles upon which postmillennialism would later arise.

Pagan philosophy was evident in the denial of the resurrection in at least two instances in the ministry of Paul. The sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17 shows their violent reaction as Paul preached " the resurrection of the dead" (v. 32). A more extensive defense of the Christian resurrection is given by Paul in I Corinthians 15. Because of the Greek denial of the importance of the physical realm, they denied the whole idea that resurrection was possible. This anti-physical bias was the basis for rejection of a future physical kingdom of God on earth, and Greek philosophy was the conduit. Eric Sauer notes:

In the early Christian centuries Chiliasm first weakened with the strengthening among the Christians of Greek philosophical thought. Especially through Clement and Origen . . . it came in the West, for the official Church, to the extinction of Chiliasm, and the doctrine of the last things came to be a vacuum for official Church theology. Greek sentiment and thought opposed even the conception of a final historical drama and a real Millennial kingdom on this earth.[27]

Postmillennialism

The final theology that developed is that of postmillennialism. As noted earlier, it too is built upon anti-millennialism, but with a positive twist. Since the foundation of postmillennialism requires a kingdom-now base, which it shares with amillennialism, it was logically the last system to develop. As noted earlier, postmillennialism is positive amillennialism. When people become optimistic about the progress of the church age they usually gravitate to postmillennialism. Eschatological optimism does not necessarily relate to current events. I think one of the sociological reasons why there began to be a revival of postmillennialism is because of the rise of new age optimism in the 1970s to the present.

Postmillennialism almost died out after the two world wars left only a handful of advocates. However, the last 25 to 30 years have witnessed a renewed emphasis on postmillennialism.[28] The Christian Reconstruction movement of the last three decades has been the primary catalyst for the recent resurgence of postmillennialism.[29] " Indeed, it is no accident," declares a Reformed writer explaining the recent rise of postmillennialism, " that both postmillennialism and theonomy . . . have sprouted in the soil of a strong Reformed revival." [30]

Current postmillennialist Gary North admits:

Optimism is not enough! In fact, optimism alone is highly dangerous. The Communists have a doctrine of inevitable victory; so do most Muslims. So did a group of revolutionary communist murderers and polygamists, the Anabaptists who captured the German city of Munster from 1525- 35, before they were defeated militarily by Christian forces. Optimism in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon.[31]

This misguided optimism is a major error in postmillennialism. In the last century postmillennialism provided the optimistic climate in which the social gospel grew. Gary Scott Smith has argued that evangelicals were perhaps the leading force in many of the social gospel issues.

Evangelical Christians provided the example, inspiration, and principles for much of the Social Gospel. . . . the evangelical ideology of the millennium merged without a break into what came to be called the social gospel in the years after 1870. . . . these evangelicals worked as vigorously for social betterment as did the Social Gospel leaders.[32]

Evangelical postmillennialism is to be distinguished from the liberal form. However, one cannot overlook the role that postmillennialism in general played in the rise and development of the " social gospel." Postmillenarians blame dispensationalism for creating a climate of retreat from social and political issues. Are they denying that postmillennialism, an eschatology which they say has had great effect on Western culture, contributed to the optimism of the 1800s? David Chilton does admit to some postmillennial heresy. " Examples of the Postmillenarian heresy would be easy to name as well: the Munster Revolt of 1534, Nazism, and Marxism (whether ' Christian' or otherwise)." [33] Nazism and Marxism are undesirable movements. Why then does Chilton not admit the relationship of postmillennialism to the " social gospel" movement?

Hermeneutics

Dr. Walvoord was asked a few years ago " what do you predict will be the most significant theological issues over the next ten years?" His answer included the following: " the hermeneutical problem of not interpreting the Bible literally, especially the prophetic areas. The church today is engulfed in the idea that one cannot interpret prophecy literally." [34] Such is the trend ten years later. Today too many evangelicals want to blend so-called " literal" and non-literal hermeneutics. According to Dr. Walvoord, it cannot be legitimately done, without producing a confused and contradictory mix of eschatology.

The real reason why amillennialist and postmillennialists believe what they do is because of a refusal to interpret the entire Bible, especially prophecy, literally. This is it! In some of their more candid moments, opponents of the literal interpretation of prophecy admit that if our approach is followed then it does rightly lead to premillennial theology. Floyd Hamilton said the following:

Now we must frankly admit that a literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies gives us just such a picture of an earthly reign of the Messiah as the premillennialist pictures. That was the kind of Messianic kingdom that the Jews of the time of Christ were looking for, on the basis of a literal interpretation of the Old Testament promises.[35]

In the same vein, Oswald Allis admits, " the Old Testament prophecies if literally interpreted cannot be regarded as having been yet fulfilled or as being capable of fulfilment in this present age." [36]

Further, the fact that people want to mix hermeneutics in the area of eschatology demonstrates to me that they do not rightly understand literal interpretation to begin with. If one follows proper hermeneutics, then recognizing symbols and figures or speech will become obvious through the literal approach. Instead, it is because people don' t like what the text says. Thus, they have to front-load the interpretive process with all kinds of ideas that they bring from outside of the text of Scripture.

Anti, Anti

In their presentations of their views, amillennialism and postmillennialism both spend a lot of time explaining why they are opposed to premillennialism, especially dispensational premillennialism. Just as in the early church, so modern amillennialists and postmillennialists always start by setting their views against premillennialism. Yet many premillennial presentations can be found that do not even mention amillennialism and postmillennialism. Why? A positive presentation for premillennialism can be made from the Bible, while amillennialism and postmillennialism cannot.

The best defense is a good offense. This is especially true in relation to combating the false theologies of amillennialism and postmillennialism. By simply presenting a detailed exposition of the Scriptures, it will naturally follow that premillennialism is the perspective taught in the Bible- both Old and New Testaments.

A number of years ago, one of our original members of the Pre-Trib Study Group, Dr. Gerald Stanton,[37] gave me a syllabus that he had prepared for teaching the overall field of eschatology called Prophetic Highways. Dr. Stanton summarized support for premillennialism with the following points:

Consistent literal interpretation

Unconditional nature of the covenants (Abrahamic)

The Abrahamic Covenant

The Old Testament teaches a literal earthly kingdom

The kingdom is carried unchanged into the New Testament

Christ also supports and earth kingdom

There are multiple resurrections in Scripture

Revelation 20 teaches premillennialism

The early church was premillennial

The failure of amillennialism and postmillennialism

Premillennialism harmonizes the entire Bible

Only premillennialism provides a satisfactory conclusion to history

Conclusion

Obviously much more can be said about amillennialism and postmillennialism, but suffice it to say that neither is taught in the Bible. Show me a single text that teaches it. Premillennialism can be inductively gleaned from Revelation 20. In fact, there is why we have the terms premillennialism, amillennialism and postmillennialism; because Revelation 20 speaks of a thousand year reign of Christ in Revelation 20 that will take place after His return in Revelation 19. Since sound theology should be developed from the Bible itself, and since the Bible teach only a single viewpoint on any issue, amillennialism and postmillennialism are nowhere to be found, but premillennialism is found on every page of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. The strength of premillennialism is the text of Scripture. Study it! Teach it! Proclaim it! Hope in it! Live it! Maranatha!





Endnotes

[1] Personal letter from David Chilton to Thomas Ice, December 2, 1986, p. 5.

[2] H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, Dominion Theology: Blessing or Cruse? An Analysis of Christian Reconstructionism (Portland: Multnomah, 1988), p. 9.

[3] Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 214.

[4] With the rise of preterism, there are some who truly do not fit into one of the three historic views and that is those who could be classified as transmillennialists. Transmillennialists are those who believe that we are currently beyond the millennium of Revelation 20 and into the new heavens and new earth. Some partial preterists believe this, while it appears that all full preterists would fall into this classification.

[5] John F. Walvoord, s.v. " Premillennialism" in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Editor Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House: 1975), Vol. 4, pp. 845-6.

[6] Floyd E. Hamilton, s.v. " Amillennialism" in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 129.

[7] Hamilton, " Amillennialism," Vol. 1, p. 129.

[8] Norman Shepherd, s.v. " Postmillennialism" , in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Editor Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House: 1975), Vol. 4, p. 822.

[9] Shepherd, " Postmillennialism," Vol. 4, p. 822.

[10] Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House: 1959), p. 6.

[11] David Chilton, Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, 1987), p. 494.

[12] Chilton, Letter to Thomas Ice dated December 17, 1986, p. 4.

[13] J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978), p. 465.

[14] Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 467 & 469.

[15] Joseph Cullen Ayer, A Source Book for Ancient Church History: From the Apostolic Age to the Close of the Conciliar Period (New York: AMS Press, 1970), p. 25.

[16] The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Editor F.L. Cross (London: Oxford University Press, 1957), s.v. "Gaius", p. 535.

[17] Hans Bietenhard, " The Millennial Hope in the Early Church" , Scottish Journal of Theology, (No. 6, 1953), p. 30.

[18] Norman Cohn, " Medieval Millenarism: Its Bearing on the Comparative Study of Millenarian Movements," in Millennial Dreams in Action: Essays in Comparative Study, ed. Sylvia L. Thrupp (The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1962), p. 33.

[19] Ayer, Source Book, p. 219.

[20] (emphasis added), H. Hoekstra, cited in., Harry Bultema, Maranatha! A Study of Unfulfilled Prophecy (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1985), p. 296.

[21] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, vol. I, translated by Kirsopp Lake, Loeb Classical Library, vol. 153 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1926), pp. 295, 297.

[22] Quoted by Robert E. Lerner, " The Medieval Return to the Thousand-Year Sabbath," in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, ed. Richard K. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), p. 51.

[23] See Augustine, De civitate Dei, 18.52-53; 20.7, 9, 19.

[24] For a summary of this shift, especially as related to Revelation, see E. Ann Matter, " The Apocalypse in Early Medieval Exegesis," in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, ed. Richard K. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 38-50.

[25] Lerner, " The Medieval Return," p. 53. Further confirmation of the duration of this influence is given by Matter, who writes, " All the Apocalypse commentaries from the Carolingian world thus show the continuing assumption of the text as an allegory of the Church, and a continuing process of filtering specific interpretations from earlier commentaries to support that assumption," p. 49.

[26] For an in depth presentation of the views of Tyconius on this matter see Paula Fredriksen, " Tyconius and Augustine on the Apocalypse," in Emmerson and McGinn, Apocalypse, pp. 20-37.

[27] Erich Sauer, From Eternity to Eternity (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954), p. 141.

[28] According to a survey of Christianity Today readers, nine percent of those who responded said they think Christ will come after the millennium (February 6, 1987, p. 9-I).

[29] For an extensive presentation and critique of the Reconstructionism see House and Ice, Dominion Theology.

[30] Aiken Taylor, " Postmillennialism Revisited," Presbyterian Journal, September 6, 1978, p. 11.

[31] Gary North, " Chilton, Sutton, and Dominion Theology," an essay in the January 1987 Institute for Christian Economics monthly mailing, p. 4.

[32] Gary Scott Smith, " The Men and Religion Forward Movement of 1911-12," Westminster Theological Journal, Vol. 49 (Spring 1987), pp92-93.

[33] David Chilton, " Orthodox Christianity and the Millenarian Heresy," Geneva Review, No. 19 (June 1985), p. 3.

[34] " An Interview: Dr. John F. Walvoord Looks at Dallas Seminary," Dallas Connection (Winter 1994, Vol. 1, No. 3), p. 4.

[35] Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of Millennial Faith (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1942), p. 38.

[36] Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, [1945] 1947), p. 238.

[37] Dr. Stanton has made one of the best contributions to pretribulationism in his book, Kept From the Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th ed. (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Company, [1956] 1991).