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Posts Tagged ‘Iain Murray

Where Was Arminius on Eschatology?

Unlike John Calvin, Arminius did not leave behind massive amounts of writings.  Much of what we know about Arminius comes to us from those who knew him and wrote about him after his death.  We have his letters which make up his Works.  I have read Arminius’ Works and they are both public and private debates he had with theologians of his day over the issues that would become Arminianism versus Calvinism.

One aspect we know little about with both John Calvin and Arminius is their eschatological views.  The Puritans were clearly postmillennialists and they found their views in the works of Calvin.  Iain Murray, in his book The Puritan Hope, documents how the Puritans passion for the gospel and for Christian living was based in large part because of their postmillennial views.

Arminians, like Calvinists, are not set on one eschatological viewpoint.  There is room in the body of Christ for various views.  The only view that all of us should reject is either a full preterist view that teaches that Christ has already returned or fixing dates (see the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Harold Camping for such a view).  We know that Jesus will come back (Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28) but we know not when.  There is room in the Church for various views on this issue and I am not fixed on one though I would align myself with partial preterism and toward a postmillennial viewpoint.

But where was Arminius on this issue?  I think the best we can guess is that he was postmillennial.  This seems to be the view of Calvin and the Reformers.  John Wesley was clearly postmillennial.  Postmillennialism was the dominant view at the time of the Reformation and even into the late 1800’s, it was the most common view.  I remember when I first was reading John Wesley and I was, at that time, a premillennialist.  I was shocked to see that Wesley was a postmillennialist.  I thought the view was only held by liberals who believed that mankind would usher in the millennial kingdom but was shocked to learn that not just Wesley but many others held to postmillennialism.

Dr. Vic Reasoner wrote an excellent book on this issue that he called The Hope of the Gospel.  His passion was to present a Wesleyan understanding of eschatology.  He goes back and shows how the early Methodists passion for revival and for world evangelism was based on their postmillennial views.  They believed that the preaching of the gospel would usher in the millennial kingdom.  They took serious the great commission because they believed Jesus, as King, was establishing His kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).  They believed that Acts 1:8 promised them the power of the Spirit to accomplish this mission and that the gospel would tear down the strongholds of Satan (Romans 1:16-17).  As Reasoner wrote, “They took Psalm 110:1 as they anchor.”

I am not here to persuade you on this issue.  Again, I know that Arminians and Calvinists alike disagree over this issue.  I know many godly Arminians who are premillennialists.  I know Calvinists who are as well.  I know some amillennialists brothers as well.  On this side of eternity, we see through a glass rather dimly.  I do know Jesus will return but I don’t know when.  Neither does anyone else (Matthew 24:36).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/24/2014 at 9:27 PM

Three Random Books You Should Read

I love to read.  My three main hobbies would be: 1) spending time with my wife and my boys, 2) prayer, and 3) reading.  My wife bought me a Kindle about a year or so ago and I have filled that thing full of books.

I just randomly browsed through my books and picked three out today that I believe you should read.  Here they are:

1.  Pentecost Today? by Iain Murray.

This book explores revival and the historical analysis of revival movements.  Murray’s main contention is that revival is not really biblical.  He acknowledges that God has moved in unique ways such as through Jonathan Edwards and the first great awakening in the United States or the Wesleyan revival in England in the 18th century but he believes that most revival movements simply get it wrong.  He believes that many revivals turn to fanaticism and turn away from the truths of the Bible.  Interesting reading to say the least.

2.  The Cross He Bore by Frederick Leahy.  

I have recommended this book before around the time we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection.  In this book, Leahy offers a devotional look at the suffering of our Savior and the cross that He bore.  Leahy takes his time as he works through the Gospels and the passion of Jesus.  It is solid reading and the best book I have ever read on the cross.  Truly gospel centered and exalts Jesus!

3.  The Dark Side of Calvinism by George Bryson.

I know, I know.  I can hear my Calvinist friends moaning me putting this one in here but its my blog and I did just pick out three books and this happen to be one of them.  Call it divine providence in action.  This book, as the title suggests, examines Calvinism and is the contention of Mr. Bryson that Calvinism creates a caste system in Christianity.  The book is not overtly Arminian as the author holds to eternal security and never claims to be an Arminian in the book.  Bryson hails from the Calvary Chapel movement and calls himself a non-Calvinist Christian.  I actually enjoyed this book.  I know Dr. James White has attacked this book many times and he has challenged Bryson to a debate (which Bryson has ignored).  If you are an Arminian such as myself, you’ll find some solid things to agree with and if you’re a Calvinist, you’ll want to avoid this book as it will probably make your blood boil.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/09/2012 at 11:41 AM

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