On September 27, 2009 John Piper, Sam Storms, Jim Hamilton, and Doug Wilson spent a couple hours sitting at a table, in front of a crowd of 800 people, talking end times. Here’s a portion of the background paper Piper wrote explaining the event:
As moderator, I tried to see that each view was fairly represented and defended. My own view is the one represented by Jim Hamilton—historic premillennialism. I think amillenialism is the next most plausible view. Postmillennialism has a long and respected history. In fact, the most influential dead theologian in my life, Jonathan Edwards, was a postmillennialist. Indeed, most of the early missionaries of the modern missionary movement, like William Carey, shared this view as well—the strong conviction that the gospel would triumph in all the world and subdue all other religions, with gospel power, not military power.
There are biblically attractive things about each of these views, and none of them, in their best representation, bears such marks as to suggest the advocates are undermining the precious gospel of Christ. On the contrary, each of them has strengths that specifically honor parts of the Bible that the others seem to honor less.
Postmillennialism seems to honor the power of the gospel and the promises for the Old Testament for the triumph of God’s people over all the nations. Amillennialism seems to honor the warnings of bleak end times as well as the seamlessness between Christ’s coming and the immediate destruction of death, the removal of the enemies of the cross, and the beginning of the new heavens and new earth. Premillennialism seems to honor the plainest meaning of Revelation 20 and the seemingly literal meaning of many Old Testament promises.
All of these views are upheld by teachers who warmly embrace the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible. This is especially true of the roundtable participants. We were glad to host this event with a view to showing that across these differences of interpretation (which were vigorously defended in the discussion) there is a profound brotherhood in the gospel.
You can listen to the conversation here or watch it below. And if you get no further than John Piper’s opening prayer, you will still be greatly edified.
[HT: Justin Taylor]