Posttribulationism - “Historic Premillennialism -- By: Rolland D. McCune

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 18:2 (Summer 1975)
Article: Posttribulationism - “Historic Premillennialism
Author: Rolland D. McCune

Posttribulationism - “Historic Premillennialism

First Of Three Articles

Rolland D. McCune

Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis

The purpose of this article is to answer the question, How historic is the so-called historic premillennialism?

Within the present system of eschatology known as premillennialism there are two principal parties: the posttribulationists or “historic” pre-millennialists and the pretribulationists. Each of these has its own peculiar view of the church and scheme of end time events. These are largely antithetical to each other. This study is an analysis of the historical basis of the posttribulational scheme from a dispensational perspective. In the common interests of ascertaining Biblical truth, it is necessary to come to a conclusion regarding the “historic” premillennial position.

The New Evangelicalism, a reactionary movement against Fundamentalism arising in the 1940’s, has become increasingly characterized by a rejection of pretribulationism and an acceptance of “historic” premillennialism. Because of the widespread acceptance of the New Evangelicalism, mainly through the technique of ecumenical evangelism, many controversial issues have been brought before churches, denominations, mission agencies, and other Christian organizations that are dispensational in doctrine. Among these issues is posttribulationism. While not all posttribulational acceptance can be charged to New Evangelicalism, this does appear as its greatest present stimulus.

It is the purpose herein to give a fair statement and a critical analysis of “historic” premillennialism. It is not necessarily to convince post-

tribulationists of what are felt to be their errors. Neither is it designed to be an apologetic for dispensational thought. The dispensational, pretribulation standpoint is assumed in the study, and it is from this viewpoint that the subject under discussion is criticized.

The following is a series of definitions of terms pertinent to this study. As used in this work, covenant theology will refer to the system of thought which understands the Bible largely in terms of a post-Fall covenant of grace. This covenant was first set forth in Genesis 3:15. Collins explains clearly: “To save man from the penalty of his disobedience, a second covenant, made from all eternity, came into operation, namely, the covenant of grace. Throughout the Old Testament period there were successive proclamations of this covenant. We find it in the protevangelium of Genesis 3:15

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