Arminian Today

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Why Arminians Should Read “The Hope of the Gospel”

I don’t write much about eschatological issues here.  It is not my cup of tea.  It’s not that I don’t hold to a position on end times, it’s simply that I don’t use this blog to get my views out.  Part of this reason is that my views have changed over the years.  For example, when I first started blogging back in 2007, I was a premillennialist.  I even taught a Bible study once called, “Seven Reasons Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.”  My views since have changed drastically on these issues.

Dr. Vic Reasoner was once such brother who I read from and who helped to change my views.  His commentary on Revelation was from a partial preterist viewpoint and then his book, The Hope of the Gospel, explored the early Methodist views on eschatology.  When I first was saved, I began to read John Wesley and was struck by his never mentioning the rapture.  I assumed that all Christians believed in the rapture of the church.  I was struck by Wesley’s lack of emphasis on it being the last days.  I assumed Christians had always held that we are living in the last days.  But Reasoner shows that the early hope of the Methodists was the gospel itself.  In fact, it was the gospel that drove them to embrace postmillennialism.  Their Arminianism informed them that they believed in an unlimited atonement and this doctrine set them out to preach the gospel to all nations.  It was their belief in unlimited atonement that pushed them to embrace postmillennialism.

Now I know that some Arminians still hold to both premillennialism and to amillennialism.  I am aware that disciples can disagree over these issues and still serve the Lord tougher, still enjoy fellowship, still worship the King, etc.  This is not an issue of unity nor am I trying to stir up the pot by pointing readers to read Reasoner’s book.  I do believe he makes a strong case both for postmillennialism and how Arminians should embrace this view.  I highly recommend the book and encourage you to study it out (even if you don’t agree with postmillennialism).  For Arminians, the history of Arminianism is strong in Reasoner’s book.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/09/2014 at 11:00 AM

One Response

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  1. My eschatological migration has not gone as far as yours. I was brought up on Scofield and dispensationalism and thus a premillennialist and pre-trib rapture adherent. I taught and preached this in the beginning of my ministry until my wife asked me to defend the pre-trib rapture without using Scofield, I couldn’t.

    Personally, being a well read Arminian I do not see the logical connection with post-mill. As mentioned every generation of Christians have thought they were living in the last days–that’s because they were and we are! I haven’t read Reasoner so I can’t comment on the link between Wesley and post-millennialism though this is the first I’ve heard of it. What I do know is that Arminians even before Arminius held various eschatological positions.

    I still think the premillennial position is the closest to scripture (the caveat being a post-trib rapture) and the reality of the world we live in but I wouldn’t die on that sword. Perhaps not embracing the post-millennial view is a defeatist position but the scriptural strength of the pre-mill position and taking an impassioned examination of the world we live in makes it to me a wishful but naive position.

    I do agree that the focus is on the Gospel. Our Lord said: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14 My thought is that after this proclamation the end (Great Tribulation, Rapture, Millennial reign, final judgement) will occur. The post-mill position, at least historically, would have the activities of the Church create the Kingdom of God on earth to usher in the Millennial reign–this would require much more that the simple ‘proclamation’ that Jesus states.

    Thank you for your service to the Church. Your efforts are very much appreciated!

    Indo Lawson

    07/09/2014 at 11:41 AM

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