Review: 75 Bible Questions

He should have stopped after page thirty, for then it would have been a magnificent pamphlet instead of a painful book.  The opening section defending Reformed soteriology is probably the best in print.   I am still waiting on Orthodox Bridge to do a review of it.  The next section on God’s law is decent but the theonomy debate has moved on.

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The final section on eschatology is just bad.   There are good varieties of postmiillennialism.  Puritan and Covenanter Historicism, for one. This isn’t it. He offered no exegesis on the timing of the resurrection and the Bock/Blaising/Blomberg crowd have already won the debate.  He didn’t even try to interact with the epeita…eta construction in 1 Corinthians 15.  This is bad.    Further, he cannot explain why men live longer in the millennium (though he is correct, contra amillennialism, that they will and these passages should be read literally).  Further, he cannot locate a “link” between dominion and the return of Christ, which is brand of postmillennialism desperately needs (it makes sense after a few moments thought:  if there is no link between our current obedience and dominion and the late-return of Christ, then we cannot define the texts as postmillennial.   We can just as legitimately see an era like the Reformation as the “golden age” and expect an apostasy now.).  Even more, he defaulted to the view that all premillennialists are of the Hal Lindsey variety.  Tactics like these explain why Historic Premillennialism is the mainstream view among conservative evangelical scholars.  In short, this book reaffirmed my premillennialism.

The appendices alternated between insightful and sinful.  His tactics of resistance are necessary against a humanist institution.  I’ve used a few of them before.  They are sinful against a Christian institution (even one as corrupt as a certain one in the American South; 1 Corinthians 6).  This is particularly ironic since he (rightly) earlier says we should have Christian courts to adjudicate these matters.

Review: Defending Constantine

I used to be a fan of Leithart’s writing.   Even a few years ago when he openly attacked Reformed theology in *The Baptized Body,* his writing was cogent and impressive.   Something happened between the writing of that book and the writing of this one.    Admittedly, Leithart does accomplish a few useful ends in this book.   I will list where he is strong and where is his is either wrong, misleading, of inadequate.

Pros:
1) Leithart does a good job handling the disciples of Yoder
2) Leithart does a good job dealing with the secular scholarship that downplays the obvious persecution of Christians.   I like Gibbon a lot, but Leithart ably rebuts him.
3) There remains the fact of a Christian *polis,* and we see such in Constantine.

Cons:
1) While I side with Leithart over Yoder, it cannot be denied that there was a seismic shift in the Church’s praxis with the advent of Constantine.

2) Further, there was a seismic shift in the church’s eschatology.   While some have challenged the ubiquity of premillennialism in the pre-Nicene church, it was there and its eschatology was forward-looking to the reign of Yahweh-in-Christ upon the earth.    With the advent of a Christian Emperor over the known world, an emperor who was known as “Equal-to-the-Apostles” (which can still be heard in Eastern Orthodox litanies today), in whose person Empire and Sacras were united (cf Runciman, *The Byzantine Theocracy*), there is little point for the church to retain its premillennialism.  Yoder and Moltmann capably document this.   In losing its premillennialism, one must acknowledge it lost a lot of its original ethical thrust.

2a) This is a tangential note:  In *Against Christianity* Leithart attacks Eusebius for his postmillennial ethics centered in the Advent of Constantine, saying we should have a more Augustinian eschatology centered in the tension of already-not yet.   Now Leithart writes a book where he tacitly endorses Eusebius’ eschatology. One of them has to give.

3) Constantine was a bad Christian, if I may not judge.  I am willing to concede the point he was a Christian.   I can even buy, for sake of argument, the miracle in the sky.  But there are significant problems:   1) He put his family members to death (yes, I know it was realpolitik), 2) he postponed baptism based on very bad theology, and 3) He was not always friendly to Nicene Theology (yes, I realize he didn’t understand it, which further underscores my point).  These facts to not negate Leithart’s thesis, but they remain tough pills to swallow.

Conclusion:

My criticisms notwithstanding, this probably is the best work on Constantine in modern times.

Do you claim Pseudo-Dionysius?

(This is kind of a repost, but it dovetails with some stuff I’ve been thinking of lately).

I never quite understood the impact that Ps-Dionysius had on theology until recently.   (The Title is taken from a footnote in the Russian Orthodox theologian Sergius Bulgakov’s work The Comforter). Summarizing a host of monographs and risking oversimplification, one can say that Ps-Dionysius represented the final triumph of neo-Platonic thinking over Hebraic-Apostolic-Creational thinking (and I realize the infinite shades of Middle and Neo-Platonism apply, but few people can follow those discussions, so neo-Platonism is as good a moniker as any.  I can always advance something like von Harnack’s thesis if I have to).    True, it is Olivianus who informed me of the Ps-Dionysius problematic, but my critique has operated somewhat independently of his.   People criticize him, but few have actually answered him point-by-point.  You can begin here.

The Negative Way

Ps-Dionysius argues that as our ascent toward God continues, language falters–becoming more and more abstract, more and more negation.   As readers of Joseph Farrell recall, the more “abstract” talk-of-God becomes, eventually it doesn’t say any-thing, which seems to be Ps-Dionysius’s point.

A Problem by way of response:  this is not how Scripture reveals God.   Scripture is full of positive statements about God.  The most devastating critique is from Colin Gunton:

This worldview ought to have been rejected centuries ago on the grounds of a doctrine of creation in light of the Trinity.  The interaction of God and the world in Christ–with its implicit affirmation of the goodness of the created world, material as well as spiritual, implies a radical critique of the dualism of material and intellectual, sensible and insensible…But without that dualism, the way of ascent becomes impossible, cut off by the descent of Christ (Phil. 2)…who makes God known within the world, within the structures of space and time, not by abstraction from them” (Gunton 65).

Earthy Hebraic Christianity

When we go to the Bible for talk of “kingdom” and “heaven,” does the Bible sound like Ps-Dionysius?  Is the goal of human existence to abstract towards unity with the one OR eat and drink with Jesus in the Kingdom?  Or to look at it from another way:  would Ps-Dionysius be comfortable speaking the way the Bible speaks?  Ps-Dionysius talks about negating language on our unity to the One, freeing language by means of abstraction.  The Bible talks about blood, sweat, and hair.  Is it any wonder that allegory arose in the Greek Christian tradition?  Adolf von Harnack was very wrong on some important things, but there is an undeniable grain of truth to his Hellenization thesis; he simply misplaced it.  I don’t have a problem with Hellenized formulae like impassiblity, provided at the end of the day we let exegesis, particularly Hebrew Old Testament, be the guide).

Works Cited:

Buglakov, Sergius.  The Comforter

Gunton, Colin.  Act & Being.

A reflection on some millennial positions

Criswell college did a decent job on these debates.  I know it is fashionable and good form to make fun of traditional dispensationalism, but I sometimes wonder if that intellectual sip has already sailed.   Some of the older dispensational arguments against “spiritualized” amillennialism were actually quite good (e.g., Payne, others).   Recently, when I’ve listened to classical dispensationalists debate, as seen in the above link, they almost appear tired and jaded.   Wayne House at no point appeared interested in offering a cogent position.

Further, given the modifications in dispensationalism, few premillennialists seem to defend it today (which is a point many Reformed scholars need to come to grips with and update their arguments accordingly).  When I first started interacting with progressive dispensationalism, there wasn’t much to refute at first (yes, there was the occasional Israel-worship and other problems).  What should a Reformed response be:  initially, we should encourage them.   They are starting to incorporate Covenant theology into their eschatology.  Do problems arise?  Of course, but still.  We should be encouraged that they are making progressive instead of our laughing at them and telling them how stupid they are.

For most of the past seven years, I was historic premil.  From an exegetical perspective it is the strongest case.  There are some difficulties, but those are more of a theological reflection and not an exegetical bending of texts.  Sam Storms listed what he thinks are problems with premillennialism.  First, it should be noted that none of these are actually logical refutations.  They are simply difficulties with which a premillennialist must deal.   At the end of the day, it must be admitted that “difficulty” does not equal exegetical refutation.  Secondly, I think it is safe to say that most Evangelical scholars in North America today are some form of historic premil and/or Progressive Dispensationalism.  Number counts do not equal truth, granted,

I should also encourage Reformed folks to interact more with historicist readings in church history.  There are few modern works that appear to defend historicism from a magisterial Protestant position.   There are some decent sermon audio series on the topic, but I hesitate to recommend them because of their neo-Steelite leanings.  Now to give a surface-level evaluation of some points:

Amillennialism

The pros of amillennialism:  it is the simplest and neatest of the systems.

Cons: notwithstanding its protests against dispensationalists, Amillennialism does spiritualize most of the OT texts.  It is one thing to claim and demonstrate that the apostles used some OT texts in a non-literalist manner.  It is quite another thing to spiritualize ALL other OT prophetic texts with the end result being whatever you want it to be.  Secondly, I haven’t found amillennial exegesis of Revelation 19-20 to be all that compelling.   As a good friend of mine pointed out, amillennialists essentially take a red crayon and write “JESUS” and “CHURCH” over many OT prophetic texts.

Postmillennialism

Pros:  While holding this position might get you barred from Reformed seminaries, and there are some difficulties with post., it does do justice to a number of passages.  When postmillennialists point to OT texts that illustrate the glorious future, they are on the right track.  The passages really do talk like that.

Cons:  When one reads the New Testament one does not get the impression that there is going to be coming golden age for the church.  If anything, the NT texts speak of a coming darkening of culture.   A postmillennialist could respond by means of the partial-preterist route, I suppose.

Premillennialism

Pros:  It is the most exegetically straightforward reading of the texts.  Further, it does have the merit of being how the post-apostolic church read the Bible.   Even better, as Donald Fairbairn notes, this view fell out of favor when the church adopted the gnosticizing tendencies of Augustine and Origen.   However, the early church held to a historicist historic premillennialism, whereas modern historic premillennialists hold to a futurist reading.  So when the modern historic premillennialist says, “We read the Bible the way the early church read it,” it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Cons: Modern premillennialism needs to continue divorcing itself from zionism and American activism.   More seriously, some texts which offer a literalistic reading (Ezk. 40-48; Rev. 20) also offer some strange difficulties (rebuilt temple; sacrifices; death in the millennium).   The only serious problem of these is the continuing sacrifices.  But the same God who wrote Ezk. 40-48 also wrote  Revelation 20.  I plead ignorance beyond a certain point.

An Eschatological Musing

There is no logical contradiction between the fact that some nations covenant with Christ in the last days but yet Antichrist rules over some nations and wars with the saints. I think even a lot of Reformed people default to the Left Behind mindset that Antichrist rules the entire globe by a supercomputer.

This allows for several things.   The amil wants to affirm the NT passages about falling away and a darkening of culture.   The postmil wants to affirm the passages about nations coming to Christ.    There is no logical contradiction between these two statements.  Many historic premils have successfully affirmed both propositions.

Review of the Criswell Millennial Debate

This is worth a listening to.  I haven’t yet listened to the non-premil positions.  I plan to listen to Beale’s.  I’ve read so much of Gentry and Bahnsen I am really wondering if I should bother.   I’m iffy on Listening to Preston’s.  It’s just hard to get excited about listening to a heretical position.

Per the premil views:

Thomas:  Classic Dispensationalism–I’ve been guilty in the past of not preparing for a message.  I think we see this here.  He makes a couple of distinctions between his view and the progressive view, but I am not entirely sure what his point was.  He didn’t make an actual argument and he ran out of time.  Even worse, I don’t think he even cared.

Blaising:  Progressive Dispensationalism–this is pretty good, actually.   It sounds very covenantal and he appropriates the insights made by Ladd and others, yet retains the emphasis on God’s promises.   It was more of a distinction of his position vis-a-vis with dispensationalism and little critique of amillennialism.

Blomberg:   Blomberg basically explains his interest in historic premillennialism, and it is interesting.  He really doesn’t develop his position and he certainly doesn’t offer a critique of the others.  Even worse, he wasn’t always speaking into the microphone.

 

Is the original church the Dionysian Church?

I think I’ve come to the point in my theological journey where I am no longer bothered by the claim that Protestantism isn’t the original church.  I’ll go further:  Neither is the Dionysian Church.   The following from Olivianus should be helpful.  We further see this influence in the early church’s movement away from a plainer reading of Scripture (evidenced by its commitment to historic premillennialism) to allegorism (evidenced by its spiritualizing everything) and its scorn of the “carnal passages of Scripture.”

Lossky mentions that Maximus claimed that Proclus copied Dionysius and not the other way around. Lossky mentions that Koch believed it to be the other way around. Lossky rejects Koch and believes the opposite is true. Lossky says, “here is a Christian thinker disguised as a neo-Platonist, a theologian very much aware of his task, which was to conquer the ground held by neo-Platonism by becoming a master of its philosophical method.” (pg. 122) This is laughable. Paul says, 1 Cor 1: 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God. Men do not come to know God by mastering the methods of pagans but by revelation. Lossky believes he has found another point of individuation between the Eastern Philosophy and the Alexandrian/Plotinian in the doctrine of the divine darkness. Lossky says,

“Knowledge of God can only be attained by going beyond every visible and intelligible object. It is by ignorance…that we know the One who is above all that can be an object of knowledge. It is not divine gnosis which is the supreme end, but the union…that surpasses all knowledge…We grasp the unknowable nature of God in ignorance, by detaching ourselves from all His manifestations or theophanies.”Attempts have been made to connect this union with God through ignorance to the ecstasy of Plotinus….[Individuating His view from Plotinus’ Lossky says] Human beings united to God are not simply identified with Him, they are ‘entirely in God’…In the state of union we know God at a higher level than intelligence-nous– for the simple reason that we do not know Him at all.” (pg 122-123)

I am still trying to figure out why he thinks the Plotinian view is an intellectual issue where thought reached the One as I demonstrated above. Dr. Clark in describing Plotinus says,

“The Supreme One, transcending even the duality of propositional truth, transcending Mind, beyond all knowledge, shines by its own nature, and its expanding rays are the ranks of being in the world, each less brilliant than the prior one, until the light is lost in darkness and nothingness.” Clark, Gordon. The Trinity, (Jefferson, Maryland: The Trinity Foundation, 1985) pg. 115

The Neo-Platonic view and the Eastern view are indistinguishable.

Explorations into Eschatological Options

A while back someone asked me if I were still historic premill.  The answer is “kind of.”  I accept the premillennial claim that Revelation 19-21 must be read sequentially.  I know that most amils say that Revelation recapitulates at several points.  The problem with that claim is that there is no indicator in 20:1 that we are recapitulating back to the beginning of the church age.  Further, all amil scholars admit that the end of chapter 20 throughout the rest of the book must be read literally, sequentially, and futuristically.

Towards a Christian Response to Jay Dyer, part two

Jay’s post here.  The nu

1. The doctrine of a third Person was not clearly taught in the first few centuries. Indeed, even by Basil’s time, he expressed hesitation about declaring for sure that the Spirit was a third hypostasis in the godhead. The problem with this is that we must either admit a very extreme form of doctrinal development, which few are willing to admit, or we must say that in some way the fathers of the 1-3 centuries were utterly deficient in their doctrine of God. How did they carry on the apostolic Tradition, if many of them did not even grasp the divinity and Personhood of the Spirit? In fact, Justin Martyr posited a Dyad. Consider also the “development” of the notion from Athanasius that the Son is generated from the essence of God, to the Cappadocian idea  that He is generated from the Father proper. Once you read Plotinus, though, it becomes clear how influential the Platonic tradition was on the Alexandrians and the Latins in their triadic formulations. But once we admit this, we have moved far from the Hebraic and Mosaic tradition, into what appears to be a Greek Hellenic mystery religion.  Indeed, if you pay attention to Christian writers, notice how often when speaking of God, it is a singular Person, with a singular will acting. Yet when we come to Trinitarian theology and God acting, we are immediately caught in a whirlwind of explaining how three Persons act in different way, yet don’t. It’s a maze that ends up being miles away from the Shema. Peruse the 5th Ennead for yourself, which Augustine openly borrowed heavily from: http://classics.mit.edu/Plotinus/enneads.5.fifth.html

Response to (1):  Were they deficient in their doctrine of God or were they merely deficient in their language expressing the doctrine of God?  Your argument only lends support to the latter.  However, I grant your contention about carrying on apostolic tradition.  I am getting the impression that the “deposit” mentioned in Jude is not the “Full Theology of the Seven Councils” ala the East, nor the “seed-form of everything 21st Century Catholicism would eventually say.”  Rather, I am seeing the apostolic deposit as the faith in the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15).  In this case, I thank Mr Dyer for sharpening my understanding of the issue.

2. Can we pray impreccatory prayers now? C.S. Lewis found them offensive and demanded we cannot. Aquinas says we must in no wise despise our enemies.  If no, this would be absurd, since it would mean God composed many prayers in the Psalms that are now useless. Although some might resort to lengthy explanations as to how we can pray them, this would run counter the tradition of many of the saints, who forbid such an idea. And based on a simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount, it would appear we cannot pray them. Other examples of how this is fuzzy would be something like martyrdom – does God want me to fight my opponents and possibly save the lives of others, or am I bound to martyrdom? When we look at the Church of the first few centuries, pacifism was almost the absolute law.  Why such a radical change in God’s social rules?

For all of the problems with the Reformed faith, this isn’t one of them.   My wife and I sing impreccatory psalms as lullabies to our little girl. As to the Sermon on the Mount, there is yet to be a contradiction demonstrated.  A tension maybe, but I can life with tensions.  And for what it’s worth, N. T. Wright has suggested that the Sermon is not meant to be read as a normative ethical blueprint–though certainly not to be discarded–but as an urgent summons to the rebellious 1st century Jews to abandon their way of being Israel to be a New Israel.  The failure to heed would result in their rebellious actions getting their temple destroyed.

3. The sexual views of the fathers of the first few centuries are generally somewhat bizarre. Sex is viewed in some form as evil, and even up to Maximus’ time, it is somehow dirty and base. It is not hard to see why this is when you read the 5th Ennead of Plotinus. Augustine borrowed from this in large chunks.  This is the source of the idea that the Spirit is the glue between the One and it’s generated image. The generated nous returns the love to the One and this is a pure, “spiritual” love. Plotinus and Augustine and many fathers in the East too, conceive of love in an Eros or sexual way apart from purely procreative ends as evil. If you’ve ever wondered where the Church/Augustine got this, read the 5th Ennead. And I needn’t explain how different this view is from the Law and Prophets views on sexuality. This is why the Church has to “spiritualize” all the texts in the Law and wisdom texts about the importance of having sons. What God really wants is “spiritual” sons in the Church, since sex is lesser and base. No one can tell me this isn’t the case with the fathers, East and West, as top Eastern theologian Phillip Sherrard admits:

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion.com/Public/articles/The_Sexual_Relationship_in_Christian_Thought-by_Philip_Sherrard.aspx

Studies have shown that conservative Protestants have the best sex lives.   Actually, the last part of your objection is kind of funny and spot-on.

4. Related to that last issue, it now casts a new light on the matter of the rise in the position of women in Christianity, and this is concurrent with the place of the Virginal Queen of heaven, who over the centuries achieves a progressively higher place of veneration in the Church. It is not surprising, then, that this religion emasculates men, and has progressed to a point where large numbers of the priests in the Latin tradition are now homosexual. One can say that it was not always this way, but I suspect the sublimation of sexuality as dirty and in some form involving some degree of sin (as Augustine says), has lent great impetus to this being the end result. We can blame Masons all day long, but at a certain point, that is just a bunch of excuses. Stepping back and looking at the issues, it becomes apparent that a Latin tradition that exalts celibacy, derives its theism largely from Plotinus, raises women to the status of virtual goddess, and promotes monastic asceticism as the higher calling – that this tradition would eventually fall into mass homosexuality and perversion. Why shouldn’t it? It holds that the good things of nature – race, sex, beauty, are actually bad and despised by the God who purportedly gave them. God has chosen the base things of the world – the stupid, the inane, the poor, right? So why is it surprising that when I attend the local Novus Ordo, it’s a communistic, college girl led, fag fest? The Orthodox Christians may escape some of this, but they cannot even tell us whether God punishes or not, so I am not as thrilled about them as seeking Latin Catholics might be.

Presumably this is an in-house Catholic debate.

5. Thus the next issue – Lex talionis. God Himself operates on the “eye for an eye” principle in many texts in the Law and prophets and writings. Most Christians, however, have read Jesus’ sermon as a rejection of this approach. There have been many exegetes who explain and qualify this as meaning that we as individuals are forbidden to operate this way, but God still does. Well, who believes this anymore? If they did, they would execute homosexuals, since that is the requirement of the Law for this sin crying to heaven for vengeance, but no Catholic or Orthodox would dare have the balls to say this (aside for me and a friend or two). What this makes clear is that Christianity, for all its ad nauseam touting of its practicality cannot even get off the ground on basic moral issues. Indeed, after 2,000 years, we don’t know what to do with imrpeccatory prayers or the death penalty.  Within the first few centuries, we ended up having to debate the very issues (such as “justified lying”) the rabbinate had already debated.

Lex talionis is a limit of maximum justice, not a mandate to pursue vengeance to the hilt.  This is kind of where theonomy falters:  it doesn’t really explain how the law is variously, if not apparently contradictorily applied in the Old testament.  Jesus is simply limiting the desire to pursue vengeance to the hilt.  We know, however, that Christ did not do away with the penal commands of the Old Testament, for in Matthew 15 he implicitly affirms the death penalty against rebellious children.

6. Why does the Church retain Pentecost as a feast, and not other feasts of the Law? Why do we retain “holy water” and not other aspects that are found in Numbers? It becomes clear this is ad hoc and arbitrary. I know the answer – that the Apostles, via their apostolic authority, confirmed these elements (supposedly – we don’t see holy water in the fathers), and not others. The problem is that we have no consistent hermeneutic for determining why we utilize these “ceremonial” elements, and reject other elements such as the priestly ephod, as fulfilled. This is why in the history of the church, you see new elements become incorporated that were formerly ceremonial (such as holy water or the “tabernacle’).

Interestingly, Jay’s reading of the Fathers and Holy Water is identical to Calvin’s.  Westminster Protestants do have a more consistent hermeneutics:  the ceremonial laws typify Christ.  I am not saying this is the best answer in the world. I am simply saying it is a more consistent answer.

7. The early church for the firt 3 centuries was the persecuted, pilgrim church. After that period, it becomes the imperial church that begins to justify its notion of “Christendom” by saying that the kingdom is now united to the Empire. The kingdom becomes a step more worldly, and the notion of Christian Emperors arises, and ruling as a Christian king. The idea of persecuting heretics by the state is first justified by Ambrose and then Augustine. So the poor church becomes the state church, and Rome more adn more takes on the appearance of an alter-Israel. The texts are then read, not of “spiritual Israel,” but of the state church which can execute or banish heretics and wizards. So the typology of the heavenly Jerusalem becomes more earth-grounded, and Rome, by the time of the papal states, looks more and more like Israel, to the point where the church’s locus is identified with a city-state – Vatican City, replete with its own huge bank, etc. So we have a new church/state/nation, yet the Church was supposed to be the eternal, spiritual eschatological reality, and not another historical institution operating more and more like historical Israel over time. Indeed, the types of the loss of land in Leviticus apply to Israel, but somehow not the curses to the Church. Yet we turn around and end up using these texts for God’s judgments on the church at different points in history. The hermeneutic is again inconsistent. The textual arguments for the Messianic age uniformly tell us of an end to idolatry, yet the Church took numerous pagan elements that God in Deuteronomy 12 says are forbidden, and Christianizes them. In other words, the very things defined as idolatry in the Law and used by the fathers as proof of Christianity as the fulfillment of the covenant (the end of idolatry), become the norm in the Church and are somehow a “proof” of the spread of the messianic age!

This seems to be a slam against traditional, institutionalized churches.  Since I am apparently part of neither, this slam doesn’t bother me.  Per the eschatological thrust of the post, I am a premillennialist and dont’ believe we are in the Messianic Age, understood as the Millennium.

 

 

Premillennial connections…?

C. Marvin Pate writes,

“A spiritual resurrection can hardly explain the compensation provided for the martyrs in verse 4. From John’s perspective they are physically dead but spiritually alive. What they need is a bodily resurrection. (b) The best understanding of the verb esezan (they lived) in verse 4 is that it refers to a bodily resurrection” (Pate, “A Progressive Dispensationalist View of Revelation” in Four Views on the Book of Revelation).

Carl F Henry writes,

The case for a millennial kingdom rests on three arguments: 1)The Old Testament prophets speak so emphatically of a coming universal age of earthly peace and justice that to transfer this vision wholly to a transcendnet superterrestial kingdom is unjustifiable; 2) because the historical fall of Adam involves all human history in its consequences it requires an historical redemption that extends ‘far as the curse is found’ to complete Christ’s victory over sin; 3) the most natural interpretation of Revelation 20 seems to suggest an earthly, millennial reign prior to the inauguration of God’s eternal kingdom” (Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, 6 volumes. [Waco, Tex.: Word, 1983; reprint, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999], 6: 504).