Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The real effect of futurism on the Christian Bible Colleges

Dr. Vic Reasoner is President of Southern Methodist College and the author of A Fundamental Wesleyan Commentary on Revelation. 

He says of his book-"Although my basic orientation toward Scripture is from a Wesleyanperspective, I cannot accept their historicist approach to this book. Therefore, I will try to give a thorough overview of Wesleyan thought, but at the same time suggest preterist approach which I will attempt to argue is consistent with Wesleyan principles of interpretation."

He is a partial-preterist Arminian but his insights into the effects of futurism are great. He is talking about the Christian Bible College phenomenon in the U.S.-

From a speech found at 

http://vimeo.com/67307092

"The downside was that the bible college believed that Jesus was coming in their generation, their attempt was a short term proposition to train a few more Christian workers before the end of the world and as a result they have tended to operate in a survival mode. That means a hand to mouth existence, with no long range plans and certainly no endowments, they did not plan for the world to still be in existence a hundred years later and for that reason many of them no longer exist. Today the Christian college is basically the unwanted ugly stepsister to Secular and Christian universities. We have to fight with them in order to transfer credits. Many of our graduates are only accepted to other colleges on probation, the irony is that right now I am trying to get a Christian college to accept a transfer of credits and I have two adjunct professors who teach at my college who teach at theirs.
"My own alma mater Biola...its magazine the Kings Business, routinely predicted the Rapture and the end of the world in the 1940's. Yet somewhow while their theology department taught one thing, their leadership in their business department broke out of their short term vision."

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I am not sure how to respond to this. I also attended a bible college with a short term view of the end times. They no longer exist either.

But I think most other bible schools nowadays simply tell their graduates to go out and make churches. The church today is demoralized because of their bad theology concerning the end times, and the net effect is that they choose to ignore eschatology, because primarily there is no agreement between churches about what it all means. So it is easier to just ignore what is an inconvenient truth.

Your words are so true,"... they choose to ignore eschatology, because primarily there is no agreement between churches about what it means. So it is easier to just ignore what is an inconvenient truth.".

 1 Timothy 6:20

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”


Opposition to Science is perhaps the greatest feature and hallmark of Futurism. I can't think of anything more damaging to The Church (and science) than this literal approach to The Bible and the self-revelation of God, told through the lives of the saints. Science in no way contradicts God's revelation and is perhaps the greatest benefit of a mind freed from superstition and guilt.

The interesting thing however, is that all of the major religions have the same pessimistic view of the end of The World / The Universe / The Whole Enchilada, and we haven't even mentioned Gog and Maygog.

The implications for the church are that we are no further forward in teaching the mysteries of The Kingdom than 1st Century believers. We are stuck in a world-view where "everybody dies"! And it is this idea which forms the main plank in International Diplomacy and conflict.

I don't think God cares very much about us having the "right doctrine", rather than the good work which is done by faithful Christians who have put these questions to one side in order to serve their neighbors. However, doctrine does have it's place and as long as Futurists continue to adhere to the idea that this world is going to Hell in a Hand-basket tout suite, and this is common to Jews, Christians and Muslims.............then it will continue to form part of a world view which defers solutions to current problems in favour of a false hope.............and there's nothing more destructive than "false hope". Goodness knows we've lived with it for the last 2000 years.

Even Science finds it difficult to come up with anything less dramatic than extinction as The Universe accelerates it's expansion towards darkness and absolute zero, albeit that our immediate problem is that of creating machines which will put us all out of business long before the lights go out. Even our preoccupation with Alien Life says more about Corporate Business Power than it does about, "Life Jim............but not as we know it".

The greatest mystery is that Christianity is Jesus.........who is The Way, The Truth and The Life. A genuine spiritual path...........a living way. Thank goodness God is a God of the living and not the dead, world without end. Amen.

Great comment! I agree wholeheartedly. Let me add that the EVIDENCE that the world is winding down is only true if you look at the works of mankind. But if you look at the works of God you see the opposite. The church has been growing steadily through time. The revelations about God and who He is and what He is doing continue to increase. Preterism is perhaps the best remedy to combat this pessimism of mankind.

I assert that the reason we are so pessimstic is because we are looking at man's works not God's. We see what man has done and naturally it looks bleak. But when you see where God is leading, your whole outlook changes. Basically, the church needs to look to God and quit listening to the doomsayers of mankind.

The Future's Bright..............The Light of The World.

Not been a great week for Science, highlighting how different things appear from "inside" a world view as opposed to out-side of it. BBC Radio 4 hosted Astronomers discussing The Kyper Belt who put the water Planet Earth received at about 3.8 billion years ago................and then on the same station, on the same day, Inside Science ironically carried a story on research into the "appearance of Life on Planet Earth" as 4.2 billion years ago as new research now indicates. Ironically in the same programme Inside Science carried the story of how the scientific "Fact" of how Fruit Flies assimilate alcohol through a genetic gene which they procured through their ancestors feasting on rotting fruit was discredited and proved to be wrong  through new evidence of research.

I think the above illustrates the difference between the paradigm of Science and Christian Theology. Science deals in "Facts", while Christian Theology deals in "Truth".  The evolution of scientific facts and their relative value is perhaps one of the hallmarks of The Approach. Science is a wonderful and powerful approach to problem solving and new knowledge, however the distress and uncertainty with which the presenter announced the "new" findings was revealing. He was demonstrably distressed because He had taught this to undergraduates in the same way He had been taught by His teachers. To find out He was responsible for perpetuating this "Fact" seemed to shake Him to the foundation of His understanding. He tossed out the comment that by announcing the new "Fact" based on new "Evidence" Creationists would be rolling-about in the ails.

Even more light can be shed on the subject by a comment made by one of the Astronomers discussing The Alt Cloud ( "A cloud of Unknowing" which possibly hides the 9th Planet of The Solar System ) "depending on how you feel about Pluto".  She remarked that in "being controversial Astronomers believe in The Alt Cloud in much the same way as some people believe in God". And there's the problem in a nutshell. She's comparing Apples with Pears, using different units of knowledge.  She's completely immersed in "Facts" which change with the evidence on which they rest. Christians are immersed in "Truth" which never changes.

Pilate rhetorically asked Jesus, "What is Truth" and missed the greatest opportunity a man can have in this life. It's heartbreaking to see scientists missing the same opportunity "to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent", in their demand for "Facts".

Stephen 

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