Partial-Preterist Post-Millenialist

One of the courses I am engaged in this term has been a look at the Doctrine of the Last Things or better labeled “Eschatology”. In this class we have barely yet to scratch the surface as far as ripping apart the pertinent texts like Matthew 25, Revelation 20, 1 Thess 4 & 5, and 2 Thess 2. Before taking this course I had not thought through this stuff very much as where I was before put little to no emphasis on these type of subjects and never had a reason to “stake out a territory” so to speak. So after reading other books prior to this class and in reading an excellent book by Cornelis Venema (an optimistic A-Mill) and beginning a work by Marcellus Kik (a Post-Mill) I have come to the following conclusions (for now)…

1) I believe in Partial Preterism.

What does that mean? Basically it means that I hold that the majority of the events prophesied in Scripture dealing with the “end times” refer to and were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in A.D. 70.

2) I believe the Millennium is symbolic.

The literal 1,000 years that Dispensational Pre-Millennialists push is not Scriptural or in keeping with the Biblical text. In other words the reference to 1,000 years in Revelation 20 is not meant to be taken as a literal 1,000 years.

3) I believe that Christ will come back at the end of the Millennium

Which makes me a post-millennialist (also one thing that A-Mills and Post-Mills share).

4) I believe that Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

I would highly recommend Ken Gentry’s work here. Basically that the Book of Revelation was written during the reign of Nero. Also that Nero Caesar is the sixth king who is the one who is in Revelation 17:10.

Suggested Reading List

An Eschatology of Victory by Marcellus Kik

The Last Days According to Jesus by R.C. Sproul, Sr.

Before Jerusalem Fell by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

He Shall Have Dominion by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Post-Millenialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison

Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

The Promise of the Future by Cornelis Venema

This will be the first of several posts on Eschatological issues that will help flesh out my beliefs and illustrate how and why the Scriptures teach what I have professed above.

Next Fall and a Break from Blogdom for a Week

Never too early to let y’all know what my class schedule looks like for next Fall. Registered today for these classes (3 at PTS, 1 at RPTS)…


TH 03 Church and Sacraments
Rev. Dr. John Burgess

A study of the role of the sacraments and the church in shaping and sustaining the Christian life. Particular attention will be devoted to the responsibility of pastors to provide theological vision for the church in contemporary North American society. Issues of conflict in church life will also be explored.

TH 22 Theology of T.H. Torrance
Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves

Study of major themes in the theology of a premier Reformed theologian of the second half of the 20th century. Special attention given to Torrance’s understanding of epistemology, his critical theological realism, some contributions in the area of doctrine, and his indebtedness to Athanasius, and the Capadocian Fathers.

CH 64 Reformed Dogmatics
Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves & Rev. Dr. Charles Partee

This course will study the dogmatic task within Reformed Theology, and the approach of selective theologians.


OT 91 Introduction to Covenant Theology
Rev. Dr. Dennis Prutow

This course will bring the student to a greater understanding of the role of Covenant Theology in the life of the Church and the Christian man.

Also as the title says I am taking a break from active posting for a couple weeks as I bare down for the end of the term and the end of the School Year.

May providence be on your side.

A New Term

Well the time has come for the 3rd Term of the 2007-2008 School Year. If things go as planned then this should the beginning of the three last terms of Seminary for me. I should graduate the end of Term II next year (Feb. ’09).

So here are the four classes and one Independent Study I am doing this term. Two at RPTS and the rest at PTS.

RPTS Classes

ST 41- Westminster Confession (audit)

ST 13- Doctrine of Revelation

PTS Classes

CS 02 – Church and Society – Local

OT 28 – Biblical Archeology

PS 03 – Homiletics

Now concerning the Independent Study it is not one for credit. One of the drawbacks of attending a mainline seminary that bills itself as having an ecumenical diversity is the lack of an Apologetics course being available in any capacity. So to rectify that I am going to read some Apologetical books. You can see on the side of my blog that I have already began that task. If you would like to see my progress just check out that pic.

The First Seminary Professor

The Pastoral Letters of Paul have always been my favorite Pauline material and despite what my well-intentioned Seminary Profs at Pittsburgh Seminary have taught I do believe Paul (the real one not a fake Paul or a ghostwriter etc…) wrote the Pastoral Epistles. So for the time in between terms (PTS has a two-week break while RPTS only has one-week, but I have a Presbytery meeting that will cause me to miss the first week of class at RPTS so I still have two-weeks off anyway 😉 ) I would like to take a look at the Pastorals. I am sure you will find much to disagree as well as much to agree with in my exposition of these great texts.

First we of course come to the 1st Letter to Timothy who is at Ephesus. After the first 2 verses

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

which are Paul’s usual words of introduction we have Paul’s first exhortation to Timothy. Paul instructs Timothy that he had him stay on at Ephesus so that he could

“Teach certain men not to teach strange doctrines nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.” V. 3-7

So here we have the Apostle Paul instructing Timothy to open up a Seminary here in Ephesus, making sure that the men who are teaching are not leading their people astray with silliness that wastes their time and to focus on the simplicity of the Gospel message. This last direction is encompassed in Paul’s mission statement for this Seminary in verse 5, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

As you look at this pericope text think back to (or currently at) your Seminary experience and think how much time was/is wasted paying attention to myths, genealogies, and endless speculation that leads directly to neither edifying or fruitful discussion. One wonders if we spent our time in Seminary being taught as Paul instructs Timothy to teach his students how much more we would actually learn?

Speaking of Giving In to Culture

I am currently working on a more “full length post” but for right now I’d like you to be thinking about a topic with which I am going to wrestle for a good long while personally.

To give a little context I was blindsided (in a good way) this morning at RPTS on the defense by the RPCNA concerning Exclusive Psalmody. I had never heard the arguments made by my Professor (Dr. Dennis Prutow) before and I would like to search them more deeply. Be ready with your arguments.

Ministry of Worship

This is the course I am taking at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Our main texts for this class include: With Reverance and Awe by D.G. Hart and John R. Muether, Worship Reformed According to Scripture by Hughes Oliphant Old, and The Lord’s Day by Joseph A. Pipa, and Old Light on New Worship by John Price. These works are to be read for the class in the order that I have them listed here. One thing is for sure about this term, while I have less “work” to do per week the reading has doubled. This thankfully, does not present too much of a problem for me as I am a quick reader with the uncanny ability to comprehend what it is that I have read. The book I am most looking forawrd to read is the book by Joey Pipa on the Sabbath. I have always had misgivings about the laxity that most treat the Sabbath and would like to receive a more thorough understanding of Christian Sabbath. Also of interest is the work by John Price, especially since RPTS is the seminary for the RPCNA. It will be very interesting when we get to the part of the course where the professor explained in the first class he will present a defense (using the Price book and some of his own writings on the subject) of Exclusive Psalmody and non-instrumentals in worship. This should be a fascinating class.

Here, as promised, is a couple selections from a main text:

“We worship God because God created us to worship him. Worship is at the center of our existence, at the heart of our reason for being. God created us to be in his image-an image that would reflect his glory. In fact the whole creation was brought into existence to reflect the divine glory.”

Hughes Oliphant Old, “Worship Reformed According to Scripture” pg. 1

“If you listen carefully to current debates, you will encounter rhetoric that is strange for Reformed Christians. Here are some comments we have heard, none of which is terribly unusual:

  • “I like a church thats is casual, where I know I can go and relax during worship”
  • “I don’t always enjoy my church’s worship, but that’s okay. I know it will be different next week.”
  • “I’m tired of the barrenness of worship-I’m looking for something with more beauty.”
  • “Worship is ultimately a matter of taste, and there is no accounting for that.”
  • “If there is one thing you can say about our worship, it’s not boring!”

These popular sentiments all remind us that there is significant confusion about the nature, purpose, and practice of worship. This confusion extends to the Reformed community, and it underscores the urgency of recovering a biblical view of worship.

D.G. Hart and John R. Muether, “With Reverence and Awe” pg.11-12

One Term Down, Two to Go

As I finish up this term at PTS I wanted to say a few things about the classes I have taken and the classes that are coming up.

This Term was pretty much a wasted three months. While my Greek Exegesis class with Dr. Dale Allison, Jr. was fascinating to the tilt, I am not sure I learned a whole lot about exegeting a text. Theodicy was on the other hand a fascinating class filled with all kinds of useful adages and readings. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to take it (not that any of the people reading this will likely be in a position to…). Though the professors defense of NPP left a lot to be desired.

Well that ends completely the classes that were worth anything this term. The next two classes which I was enrolled this Fall were a total waste. Intro to Ethics, which was neither really Christan nor really useful (that is unless your college did not require an Ethics course, then this may have been good for you to take). Dr. Hainsworth is a nice professor but I would lobby to teach other things if I were her. PS01: Education was horrendous. We never really learned anything and our sections honestly justed turned into a theological debate that rarely (if ever) engaged the texts we were supposed to be reading.

Well thankfully I have been assured by Seniors at PTS that my last term was the worst I would experience at PTS. Let’s Hope.

Anyway next term will allow us to tackle some more meatier subjects like Pastoral Care, Christology, and the Gospels. Also for those of you who recall I will also be taking a course at what one of my dear professors at PTS referred to as “where the wackos are”, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary on Reformed Worship. As I said before I am hoping RPTS gives a much needed respite from Liberalism and ignorance. We’ll see….

Here is to a good Winter Term!!!