Monday, June 25, 2012

What are some problems with the futurist view of eschatology?

From Keith A. Mathison on the futurist approach to the book of Revelation.

"Proponents of the futurist view say that their approach is necessary because there is no correspondence between the events prophesied in the book and anything that has happened in history. This conclusion is reached because of an overly literalistic approach to the symbolism of the book and a lack of appreciation for how such language was used in the Old Testament prophetic books. This, however, is not the most serious problem with the futurist approach.

The most fundamental problem with the futurist approach is that it requires a very artificial reading of the many texts within the book itself that point to the imminent fulfillment of its prophecies. The book opens and closes with declarations indicating that the things revealed in the book “must soon take place” (1:1; 22:6). It opens and closes with declarations indicating that “the time is near” (1:3; 22:10). The book of Revelation does not begin in the way the pseudepigraphal Book of Enoch begins, with a statement to the effect that the content is not for the present generation, but for a remote generation that is still to come. The book of Revelation has direct relevance to the real historical first century churches to whom it was addressed, and the text of the book itself points to the imminent fulfillment of most of its prophecies." 

Read the rest of his post covering the other views on interpreting Revelation here.

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