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"'it would seem wise for the modern system to abandon the claim that it is the historic faith of the church."
Author of "A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr)" - submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Theology (May 1977)
"Perhaps a word needs to be said about the eschatological position of the writer of this thesis. He is a dispensational premillennialist, and he does not consider this thesis to be a disproof of that system. He originally undertook the thesis to bolster the system by patristic research, but the evidence of the original sources simply disallowed this." ( "A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr)", p. 91, note 2)
"It is this writer's conviction that historical precedent cannot be employed to disprove a system of belief, but only Biblical precedent. There is much error in the Fathers studies in other areas of theology (e.g., soteriology - incipient baptismal regeneration, a weak view of justification; ecclesiology - incipient sacerdotalism), so it should be no occasion for surprise that there is much eschatological error there." (ibid., p. 91, note 2)
“It is the conclusion of this thesis that Dr. Ryrie's statement [that dispensationalism was the view of the early church fathers] is historically invalid within the chronological framework of this thesis. The reasons for this conclusion are as follows: 1). the writers/writings surveyed did not generally adopt a consistently applied literal interpretation; 2). they did not generally distinguish between the Church and Israel; 3). there is no evidence that they generally held to a dispensational view of revealed history; 4). although Papias and Justin Martyr did believe in a Milennial kingdom, the 1,000 years is the only basic similarity with the modern system (in fact, they and dispensational pre-millennialism radically differ on the basis of the Millennium); 5).they had no concept of imminency or a pre-tribulational rapture of the Church; 6).in general, their eschatological chronology is not synonymous with that of the modern system. Indeed, this thesis would conclude that the eschatological beliefs of the period studied would be generally inimical to those of the modern system (perhaps, seminal amillennialism, and not nascent dispensational pre-millennialism ought to be seen in the eschatology of the period).” (pp. 90f.)
Dispensational premillennialism is the product of the post-Reformation progress of dogma. (Dispensational Premillennial Analysis, p. 91, n2.)
"The Majority of the writers/writings in this period (70-165 A.D.) completely identify Israel with the church. He specifically cites Papias, I Clement, 2 Clement, Barnabus, Hermas, the Didache, and Justin Martyr."
“it is evident that twentieth-century ‘premillennialism’, as represented by Dr. Ryrie, is much more than just the belief in a literal Millenniumand Christ’s return before it; but it is evident that this ‘pre-millennialism’ is an intricate system of theology, based upon the foundational tenets just discussed and incorporating a complex chronology of eschatological events” (p.14).
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
Bahnsen and Gentry
Ice should have followed Boyd's counsel and the directives of dispensational icon Charles C. Ryrie before he decided to take on the historical argument against preterism. Knowing that dispensationalism has a recent history, and critics have used its novelty against the system, Ryrie responds:
The fact that something was taught in the first century does not make it right (unless taught in the canonical Scriptures), and the fact that something was not taught until the nineteenth century does not make it wrong, unless, of course, it is unscriptural. . . . After all, the ultimate question is not, Is dispensationalism--or any other teaching--historic? but, Is it scriptural?
Agreeing with Ryrie on this point, we can ask, "After
all, the ultimate question is not, Is preterism--or any other
teaching--historic? but, Is it scriptural?" So even if it could be
proved that no form of preterism can be found in first-century Christian
documents, this in itself does not mean the Bible does not teach it. Ice
knows of this argument, but like so much of The End Times Controversy,
he conveniently leaves out evidence damaging to his position." (Biblical
Minimalism and "The History of Preterism")
What do YOU think ?
Date: 08 Jul 2009
Date: 21 Jan 2010
Date: 18 Aug 2013
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