One of the important things in theology is to admit when you (or your school of thought) lose a debate. For example, I am not entirely sure Bahnsen won the debate against Tabash. As much as I dislike Doug Wilson, he easily won the debate against James White. Further, I think Dan Barker easily defeated Wilson (though Barker did shamelessly cheat at the end, on which Wilson should have called him out, but he didn’t). Six or seven years ago, Southern Seminary hosted a symposium on Israel and the End Times. It was a bunch of premillennialists vs. the token amil, Richard Gaffin. Gaffin won.
I am not so much bothered that Gaffin won, but that it wasn’t even close. The other participants are worthy and sharp scholars, but they pulled all their punches.
Albert Mohler (Historic Premil): Mohler began interestingly enough with a “Covenantal Premil” position. Incidentally, that is also how I view my position. But Mohler didn’t offer anything remotely unique to premillennialism (or to modern eschatology in general).
Blaising: Blaising simply stated how we should support Israel politically. Well, maybe we should, but integrate that with a specific eschatological position. Blaising has given one of the most cogent defenses of premillennialism ever (elsewhere) stated. Yet he didn’t engage his indestructable case with the issue at hand.
Paige Patterson: (Traditional Dispensationalism) This was a surprisingly strong presentation. I know people love to ridicule dispies, but Patterson avoided any simplistic neo-con (Kill em all!) rhetoric and he made some engaging points. I say he and Gaffin dueled to a draw.
Richard Gaffin: I don’t buy his amillennialism but he gave some strong reasons why one shouldn’t blindly support Israel.