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Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist By John MacArthur

January 5, 2010

I recently read this great article and would recommend every professing Calvinist to give it a read, I believe John MacArthur’s arguments for Pre-Millennialism are biblically irrefutable, mainly because the traditional Reformed view (Amillennialism) does away (Replacement Theology) with future Israel (God’s Elect) and that is far from the truth (Romans 9-11). If the elect cannot forfeit their election, how is it that Israel forfeit’s theirs? John MacArthur gives an exegetical answer to this question and others, here is the link to the article:

 http://www.gty.org/Downloads/PDF/macarthur_on_future_israel.pdf

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 4:55 PM

    Hello Ekklesia, I would strongly recommend that you read about Amillennialism from the likes of Kim Riddlebarger (The Case for Amillennialism) and Sam Storm (Problems with Premillennialism, available on the internet). They both prove themselves very resourceful from where I stand. Riddlebarger has been more substantially helpful to me (though I disagree with him on some secondary points), as he seems to have produced more resources on the subject.

    I don’t want to disrespect John MacArthur, but with his critiques of the Amillennial perspective, he simply doesn’t help the discussion between Amillennialism and his brand of Premillennialism very much. Two things that continually stand out from what I’ve heard and read from MacArthur is that (1) he has, to some degree, a misunderstanding of Israel, though he has said himself that Israel needs to be understand in order for there to be an understanding of Eschatology, and (2) he has a misconception of Amillennialism, as he wrongly associates it with a specific definition (whether correct or incorrect) of Replacement Theology that neither I nor any other contemporary Amillennialist I’ve personally met believe.

    For me, according to the way “Israel” is defined in Rom 9:6 and context, I hold that all Israel is specifically all of the elect Jews. I hold that there will be a mass revival among the Jewish people. And I hold that all Israel will indeed receive the kingdom of God at the final advent of Christ who will usher in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Where’s the “Replacement Theology” in that?

    • January 20, 2010 5:15 AM

      Sonny,
      Thank you for your recommendation and I appreciate the tone of your comment, as you displayed maturity in not trying to spark a debate. I heard a man of God once say that the millennium is a thousand years of peace that christians like to fight about; I love the irony of that quote. I have heard Sam Storms arguments for Amillennialism and I will admit they are really good, but not convincing enough for me to hold to. As far as your view of Israel goes looks like its in keeping with the bible brother, but I have one question for you; to say you’re Amillennial (Hence the prefix A) is to profess a belief in something that does not exist (Like Atheism) so wouldn’t that make you post-millennial?

      • January 20, 2010 7:52 PM

        Hello again Ekklesia, technically speaking, Amillennialists are Postmillennial. The term, “Amillennialism” is considered to be a bit of a misnomer, as we do believe in the millennium, but we just don’t believe in it as defined by the Premillennialist, and to a lesser degree, as defined by those whom we call postmillenialists. But I’m personally not as vigorously opposed to Postmillennialism since I’ve not yet dealt comprehensively with the arguments for that position, especially the objections they raise against Amillennialism. I think it’s fair to say that the term “Amillennialism” is employed the way it is so that one post-millennial perspective might be distnguished from another.

        Of course, I would attempt to convince others of Amillennialism or at least disuade them from Premillennialism, but even if I can’t actually accomplish that, I would at least like to dispel some of the misconceptions that are supposed to constitute reasons as to why Amillennialism should be rejected. It’s kind of like how it is when many non-Calvinists put forth their arguments against Calvinism. I don’t doubt that they understand it to some degree, but they don’t even “refute” it without making straw-man arguments. I’d say if one can successfully refute Amillennialism or Calvinism, it seems like they should be able to do so without misrepresenting those positions.

      • January 20, 2010 8:21 PM

        By the way, Ekklesia, I appreciate your kind words, brother. I do love this subject and the scriptures in general. So to have a discussion of such things, I’m always desirous. I’ll admit, I have had to do a better job of speaking what I believe the scriptures say at the opportune time and in the proper way. So I’m working on that

      • January 21, 2010 5:36 AM

        Sonny,
        That was my point, you are, in essence post-millennial. And even that view (post-millennialism) doesn’t hold much weight biblically and what I mean by that is, there is not much scriptural basis for that view. I have looked into each view and each of them has issues that they cannot resolve for me, so I respect your position; especially because you can articulate it so well. We need brothers like you who can state their view and not bash others for believing different. For the record, I hold to a pre-millennial view because biblically it makes more sense to me, as amillennialism, evidently, biblically makes more sense to you. I visited your blog and I must say that you have some really good stuff on there brother, so with your permission I would like to add it to my blog roll. God bless your expository journey brother, I hope to see you on here more often to discuss posts and other views you might have. Although when reading through your blog I find very little if anything other than eschatology we would disagree on. Grace and peace.

  2. January 22, 2010 10:10 AM

    Ekklesia, If you ever want to discuss these things further through email, in an open forum, or in some other fashion, I’m always available. I don’t want to debate just for the sake of debating or be contentious nor do I want to impose, but I think there is a form of debate that is sometimes necessary in order for us to see to it that are own views as well as those we are looking into are adequately (scripturally) scrutinized.

    Sure, I don’t mind if you add our site to your blogroll. As you might have realized, my buddy Roger is the primary administrator and author for the blog and I haven’t posted very much so far, but I need to get more active. Grace and Peace

  3. Lee permalink
    January 30, 2010 2:49 PM

    Who knows, maybe John MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google “Famous Rapture Watchers”), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if you have a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if you want to have “security” for your retirement years and hope that the big California quake won’t louse up your plans, you have a decided conflict of interest – right, John? Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters – who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don’t dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don’t you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you’re mulling all this over, Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 179-year-old fantasy.

    • January 31, 2010 7:13 AM

      Lee,
      Did you even bother reading the post? It’s about why those who hold to reformed theology should consider the pre-millennial view as opposed to the amillennial view. The post had nothing to do with pre-trib theology; I will admit some of what your are saying about pre-trib theology is true and I would also admit that there is much more biblical proof for the post-trib view, but again the post was not about that. I would recommend that whether pre-trib, pre-wrath, or post-trib you shouldn’t be opposed to your theology changing in mid-air. Just a recommendation.

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