Premillennialism as a Philosophy of History Part 1: Non-Christian Interpretations of History -- By: Ramesh P. Richard
BSac 138:549 (Jan 81) p. 13
Premillennialism as a Philosophy of History
Non-Christian Interpretations of History
[Ramesh P. Richard, Instructor in Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary]
A “philosophy of history” refers to the way one views the totality of world events of the past and present, and the futuristic direction, if any, toward which those events are moving. The problem of determining an accurate philosophy of history has plagued the keenest of minds for centuries. In fact the extent of this problem has led some to conclude that a sophisticated skepticism is the only way “out,” that there is no discernible pattern in history.
Any philosophy of history is a system, and as such it should be both comprehensive and consistent. For it to be comprehensive, the systematizer should have “near-omniscience.” For it to be consistent, it should be rationally ordered and purposeful. One cannot forsake consistency for the sake of comprehensiveness nor vice versa.
Some systems are less comprehensive than others, and therefore are less viable. For example, a system which accounts for and posits causal factors for only a king’s actions is less comprehensive than one which includes causal factors for both a king’s and a peasant’s actions. Or a system which is clear about the “past” but foggy about the “future” is less viable than one which can account for both the past and the future. And the system which can account for the significance of the “present” is more viable than the one which has to wait till the “present” becomes the “past.” So an adequate philosophy of history must be all-inclusive and must account for all of reality.
BSac 138:549 (Jan 81) p. 14
A system can also be faulted for inconsistency. Consistency is the relationship between what the system considers as the truly real and decisive issues of man and the details in that “reality” scheme. If some details are excluded, the system is not comprehensive; or if some details are contradictory, it is not consistent. And the system that is most coherent is the one that is not only all-inclusive but is also consistently inclusive.
The thesis of this three-article series is that a premillennial philosophy of history is the only system that is viable as a philosophy of history since it is the most comprehensive and consistent of all the alternatives.1 It is relatively easy to fault other systems, but to set one up is more difficult. “More effort seems to be expended in pointing up the fallacies of existing comprehensive syntheses than in offering new solutions.”You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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