Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 147:587 (Jul 1990)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

House Divided. By Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. Tyler, TX: Institute of Christian Economics, 1989. 410 pp. Paper, $9.95.

This volume was written in answer to Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? by H. Wayne House and Thomas D. Ice (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1988). According to Bahnsen and Gentry, their book has completely refuted House and Ice with devastating logic and arguments.

This reviewer has read few books with more errors of fact and half-truths about the doctrines being considered. If the reader wants a diatribe (defined by Webster as “a bitter and abusive speech or writing”), this volume will fill the bill.

To get clarity on the matter, one must determine first the central issue. What is involved here is the rebirth of postmillennialism, known as dominion theology, and its attack on dispensationalism, premillennialism, and even Reformed theology as previously held by amillenarians. The debate against dispensationalism is a misguided one, because what is actually involved is the premillennial interpretation of the Bible.

This volume does not give a good definition of dispensationalism, and the method of attack is to dispute, run down, and misrepresent various authors classified as dispensational. The theory seems to be that if enough abuse is heaped on various contenders for dispensationalism, including Charles Ryrie and Hal Lindsey, then dominion theology has been proved right. Reborn postmillennialism attacks any view that differs with it, but the contenders for postmillennialism never set up their own view in a solid way. After all, the issue is whether postmillennialism is taught in the Bible.

For readers who want perspective, the history of the doctrine must first be reviewed. Though denied by Bahnsen and Gentry the Christian church was predominantly premillennial in the first century and most of the second century until A.D. 190. It is difficult to find a single, clear advocate of either amillennialism or postmillennialism in those years. Beginning in A.D. 190, the Alexandrian School began an attack on normal and literal interpretation of the Bible and substituted an allegorical interpretation that subverted

every biblical doctrine, not simply that of eschatology. All theologians, regardless of their classification, regard the Alexandrian School as heretical; yet it caused the turning of the church from premillennial truth to what became amillennialism and later postmillennialism.

It is impossible to find an orthodox contender for amillennialism or postmillennialism until Augustine, who to some extent set in order amillennial eschatology. In the Refor...

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