Millennial Series: Part 9: Amillennial Eschatology -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:429 (Jan 1951)
Article: Millennial Series: Part 9: Amillennial Eschatology
Author: John F. Walvoord

Millennial Series:
Part 9: Amillennial Eschatology

John F. Walvoord

(Continued from the October-December Number, 1950)

While amillennialism has its influence in all areas of theology, it is natural that it should affect eschatology more than any other. As a form of denial of a future millennial kingdom on earth, it stands in sharp contrast to premillennial eschatology.

In previous discussion of amillennialism, it has been brought out that amillennialism is by no means a unified theology, including within its bounds such diverse systems as modern liberal theology, Roman Catholic theology, and conservative Reformed theology. It is therefore impossible to generalize on amillennial eschatology without dividing it into these major divisions. Aside from various small sects who include within their tenets the premillennial concept, premillennialism for the most part presents a united front on eschatology in all major areas. Amillennialism, however, disagrees within itself on major issues.

Modern Liberal Eschatology

Modern liberal eschatology almost without exception follows the amillennial idea. Modern liberalism usually disregards postmillennialism, or the idea of a golden age of righteousness on earth, as well as premillennialism which advances such an age after the second advent. For them, all promises of ultimate righteousness are relegated to the life after death.

Homrighausen has called the idea of a millennium on

earth “a lot of sentimental heavenism.”1 He goes on to denounce both millennial otherworldliness and the idea that this world is heaven as well: “Millennialists are right in their basic discoveries that this world is fragmentary and needs re-creation. They are right in their insistence that this is an ‘end’ world; things here come to an end and have a limit. They are right in their insistence upon the other world, and in their emphasis upon the pull of God’s power of resurrection. But their abnormal interest in the other world, their reading of eschatology in mathematical terms of time, their otherworldliness and consequent passivity as regards this world, is wrong. But Christians need to be saved, too, from that modern dynamic materialism which romantically sentimentalizes this world into the ultimate. This identifies the time world with the eternal world. This paganism is a hybrid attempt on the part of man to make the creature into the creator. In Christian circles it makes the Kingdom of God a blueprint for a world order. We admire this vehement realism, but we absolutely reject its presumptions that this world is a self-contained and a divine heaven. ...

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