early church end times

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 6 2012 8:58 PM

Is there any good book(s) someone could recommend that deal with the early church fathers teachings of the last days?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 9:13 PM

Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times by D E Engleman and T Hopko is the only thing that comes to mind.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 9:30 PM

Blair Laird:

Is there any good book(s) someone could recommend that deal with the early church fathers teachings of the last days?

The early early church fathers were post-tribulational premillennial (I shouldn't say that in such an absolute way because there were a few exceptions).  That position hasn't been real popular because it hasn't been pushed like dispensationalism or amillennialism and because who wants to go through a tribulation anyway.  Therefore there isn't too much writing on it.  Those who do usually have their own ax to grind and misrepresent the fathers to promote their view.  Good luck.

 

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power"      Wiki Table of Contents

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 9:35 PM

Jerry M:
The early early church fathers were post-tribulational premillennial.  That position hasn't been real popular because it hasn't been pushed like dispensationalism or amillennialism and because who wants to go through a tribulation anyway.  Therefore there isn't too much writing on it.  Those who do usually have their own ax to grind and misrepresent the fathers to promote their view.  Good luck.

Any idea on good search strings for logos that I can use to show their post trib, premill positions? I have been searching through the fathers but not coming up with much..

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 9:45 PM

from a site I have no reason to trust. Note that it names names for amillenial but not for premillenial. Bolding of text (not headings) is mine.

MILLENNIAL VIEWS

Amillennialism

This view is usually traced back to Augustine (354-430 AD); however, Origen (185-254 AD) from Alexandria, Egypt, who was greatly influenced by Greek philosophy, taught that the kingdom was not physical but spiritual. It is interesting to note that all the other early church fathers were premillennial. A basic teaching of amillennialism is that the kingdom began with Christ's first coming and will continue until His Second Coming. They teach that there is no 1000-year kingdom on earth. They use an allegorical system of interpretation of prophetic events. The Olivet Discourse and the greater part of the book of Revelation are largely viewed as past historical events or are spiritualized out of existence. They do believe in a Second Coming of Christ for His own, which takes place at the end which is immediately followed by the judgment of the wicked and the eternal state. They believe that conditions in this world will continue to deteriorate up until the time of the coming of Christ.

Download a PDF file of Parousia #19 for an in-depth look at the "Origens" of Amillennialism.

Postmillennialism

This view found its beginnings in England and was first taught by Unitarian minister Daniel Whitby (1638-1726). This view basically teaches that the return of Christ takes place at the end of the millennium. They do not take the 1000 years in Revelation 20 literally but suggest it is speaking of a long period of time. Loraine Boettner, a postmillennialist, in his book "The Millennium" states, "The millennium to which the postmillennialist looks forward is thus a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, the Church Age. This is to be brought about through forces now active in the world. . . . The changed character of individuals will be reflected in an uplifted social, economic, political and cultural life of mankind. The world at large will enjoy a state of righteousness which up until now has been seen only in relatively small and isolated groups: for example, some family circles, and some local church groups and kindred organizations. This does not mean there will be a time on earth when every person will be a Christian or that all sin will be abolished. But it does mean that evil in all its many forms eventually will be reduced to negligible proportions, that Christian principles will be the rule, not the exception, and that Christ will return to a truly Christianized world." There is a new form of postmillennialism known as "Reconstuctionism" which teaches how the world will eventually be Christianized. David Chilton writes in his book, "Paradise Restored", "Our goal is world dominion under Christ's Lordship, a world takeover if you will; but our strategy begins with reformation, reconstruction of the church. From that will flow social and political reconstruction, indeed a flowering of Christian civilization." There are other similar forms of postmillennialism such as "Dominion Theology" and "Kingdom Now Theology."

Premillennialism

This view is the view of the early church fathers which takes a literal approach to the Scriptures. It teaches that after the seventieth week of Daniel is completed, Christ will establish His kingdom here on earth and reign for 1000 years. The primary subjects of this kingdom will be the surviving remnant of Israel that will eventually turn to Christ as their true Messiah and King just after the completion of the seventieth week. There will also be a remnant from among the surviving Gentile nations, especially from Egypt and Assyria, none of which will have taken the mark or worshiped the beast or his image. Premillennialists have various views on the timing of the Rapture, but they all place that momentous event before the 1000-year reign of Christ and His kingdom.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 9:46 PM

It's kind of late where I live to come up with a search string.  Here is a paper from Jets on the subject.

www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/29/29-2/29-2-pp163-177_JETS.pdf

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power"      Wiki Table of Contents

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 10:23 PM

It's interesting you should ask. This morning TKBlack (I hope I got that right) recommended a book coming out on spiritual warfare. I've been buried in the apostolic fathers so I did a quick query.

My curiousity was whether Ignatius, as he bounced his way over the west Asian roads, felt on-board with Polycarp, as he wrote to Smyrna. When you read his end-time and mean-time logic, I can easily imagine Polycarp kind of swallowing hard and sending the epistle copies on their respective ways.

Barnabas, on the other hand, was counting the 'days' and argued that Jesus came in the flesh because elsewise no one could look at him (I thought that was a great point). But it's interesting to watch which 'day' they think they're on. Some appear to be on day 5 and others on day 6.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 11:34 PM

Blair Laird:

Darn, nothing in logos?

Sure, try Revelation or 1 Jn 2.18

18 Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 5:49 AM

DMB:
This morning TKBlack (I hope I got that right) recommended a book coming out on spiritual warfare.
Close enough for Forum work. Wink

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 6:50 AM

Try doing a basic search for "Historic premillennial*"

This Generated 41 articles in 19 resources in my library. My understanding is that Historic Premillenialism is significantly different than Dispensational Premillenialism and would be more consistent with Early Church.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 6:57 AM

Blair Laird:

Is there any good book(s) someone could recommend that deal with the early church fathers teachings of the last days?

Bruce, I would suggest the Ancient Christian Commentary on the Scripture, edited by Thomas Oden.  It will give you many church fathers'

 interpretation of almost any passage. 

I agree with Jerry that most of the church fathers were historic (non-dispensational) premilllenial in their theology, but there were several exceptions.  Actually, I have the same view (surprise!).

(I am not sure why the odd spacing on this post.)

 

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 7:06 AM

David Thomas:

Try doing a basic search for "Historic premillennial*"

This Generated 41 articles in 19 resources in my library. My understanding is that Historic Premillenialism is significantly different than Dispensational Premillenialism and would be more consistent with Early Church.

This is true.  One of the reasons given for the failure of Papias' writings to be preserved is that (it is said) that he was a "chiliast" which meant that he subscribed to a view that held there would be a literal 1000 year reign on earth with earthly pleasures (72 virgins?).

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 8:06 AM

MJ. Smith:
from a site I have no reason to trust.

The descriptions from site (posted here) as well as the magazine article you point us to do not fairly represent the amillenial view.

But please let's not have a discussion on the millenium. I wish this book were available in Logos, but I've not been able to find it.

I have no recommendations regarding the early church's views on eschatology. But I do have an observation: the early church was not a monolith. There were many views on many matters, that often conflicted with each other. I would be surprised if there were a single view on eschatology, the millenium, or anything else. But I've not studied this topic, so I don't know that this area of theology might be an exception.

Also, being Reformed by heritage, eschatology is about the last thing we talk about. [cough, cough] Wink

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 8:23 AM

MJ. Smith:

Premillennialism

This view is the view of the early church fathers which takes a literal approach to the Scriptures.

Have you stopped beating your wife?  That seems about equivalent to this statement which obviously is prejudiced.  It would seem that Papias was not held in high regard (and therefore his works not preserved) precisely because he held what was called a chiliast view, i.e., that there would be a 1000 yr reign on the earth.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 8:46 AM

I'd assume Papias' problem was Eusebius didn't like him. And given the century(s) between the two, I'd assume someone did like Papias.

Personally I like him. At our church, not a few read our pastor's written sermon. But I advice them that chatting with someone that's chatted with the pastor is far better. It's the 'second-hand' and 'third-hand' that really puts the icing on the cake. For the life of me, I can't imagine why, but Papias could.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 9:02 AM

DMB:

I'd assume Papias' problem was Eusebius didn't like him. And given the century(s) between the two, I'd assume someone did like Papias.

Personally I like him. At our church, not a few read our pastor's written sermon. But I advice them that chatting with someone that's chatted with the pastor is far better. It's the 'second-hand' and 'third-hand' that really puts the icing on the cake. For the life of me, I can't imagine why, but Papias could.

In what little we have from Papias <[[Page 556 >> logosres:apfthhlmeng;ref=Page.p_556]]>, it would seem that he was often wrong. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 9:30 AM

DMB:
I'd assume Papias' problem was Eusebius didn't like him. And given the century(s) between the two, I'd assume someone did like Papias.

The fact that Eusebius may not have like Papias doesn't account for the fact that his writings have scarcely been preserved.  There must have been many who didn't much like Papias or someone would have preserved his work.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Louis St. Hilaire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 9:34 AM

J. N. D. Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines (alas, not yet in Logos) also includes a good overview.

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 10:12 AM

Louis St. Hilaire:

J. N. D. Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines (alas, not yet in Logos) also includes a good overview.   /my bold/

Not for my lack of trying.Big Smile I've been pushing it for two years: Suggestion: Introductory books on Patristics. Go vote for it, folks!

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