Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Testament Scholar Changes Views on the Millennium

Professor Thomas R. Schreiner of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary stated in a recent sermon on Revelation 20 that he has changed his view on the millennium. He has switched from an amillennial view to the premillennial view. He says he just finished teaching the amillennial view just a month or so prior in his "Intro" class. He admits that he has "changed his mind more than once on the millennium". What finally tipped the scales for Schreiner? He asked himself, "What is the most natural meaning of this passage?" The answer was that it most naturally supports a premillennial viewpoint.

So what should we make of this? A couple of things come to mind. It's a mark of humility to acknowledge a change in your theology. Some could reason that they have taught it so long that they couldn't possibly admit to error. This isn't a second year seminary student but rather a seasoned New Testament scholar. Secondly, scholars change views all the time. The more public the figure the more it attracts attention. It's okay to change your mind if you feel the evidence leads in a different direction. Finally, we have to keep this in perspective. He's not denying the Trinity or the Incarnation or any other foundational doctrine of the faith. He's changed his eschatological views. Within the broad confines of orthodoxy there's plenty of room for all the millennial views.

Baker Academic recently published Schreiner's New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ. For a recent defense of historic premillennialism see the excellent work edited by Craig Blomberg A Case For Historic Premillennialism also from Baker Academic.

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