Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Minority Report

I recently read of Hank Hanegraaff's latest book, The Apocalypse Code (2007) and highly recommend it for any student of the book of Revelation. Especially if your main exposure to the End Times is Tim LaHaye, Jack Van Impe, or Hal Lindsey, I'd almost insist on a book like this to balance out what you've already been exposed to.

As Hanegraaff explains, "Failure to interpret Scripture in light of Scripture creates a genuine conundrum for Christian Zionists [those who push Israeli nationalism in order to prompt the Second Coming]. If temple sacrifices in the Millennium are efficacious for ceremonial uncleanness, Christ's atonement on the cross was insufficient to pay for all sin for all time. The teaching that the temple must be rebuilt and that temple sacrifices must be reinstituted not only stands in direct opposition to the book of Hebrews but undermines the central hope of the Christian faith – the atoning sacrifice of Christ for all sins past, present, and future."

The great value of Hanegraaff (or any other teacher) training us to "interpret Scripture in light of Scripture" is that it becomes a valuable tool for reading all of the Bible, not just Revelation, and to do so consistently.

My own personal testimony is that I grew up with a pre-trib, premillennial dispensationalist view of Revelation, though I didn't know that terminology at the time. And why shouldn't I have believed this way? The vast majority of every Christian book, radio show, tract, movie, song, etc. that I had been exposed to was uniformly in the Hal Lindsey camp. But as I went to Bible College, I began to really study the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and my understanding of Revelation was radically transformed. How relieved I was to discover that the conclusions I couldn't avoid were already an age-old understanding of eschatology called amillennialism. In fact this system was older and more thoroughly vetted than the currently popular dispensationalism.

Though most Christians in America in the last 100 years are firmly in the LaHaye/Lindsey camp, that doesn't mean that the debate is over. In fact, with Hanegraaff, the "Bible Answer Man," on our side, I feel like those of us who have been teaching responsible Bible interpretation for years have gained an important ally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Wheaties? Actually, I don't care. But I do care if you have never tried Googling "Pretrib Rapture Diehards." Clara