Well, that's great. I'm happy for Schreiner, he should be premill. Everybody should be premill. You have to understand, to me, that's a bit like saying that someone has gone from thinking the world is flat to thinking it's more of a spherical sort of thing: that's great, I'm happy for you, welcome aboard... er, what took you?
I've been listening to Schreiner's sermon.
In it, Dr. Schreiner makes the point that "good Christians have different views on the millennium" — and that will be my focus.
The professor is absolutely right. I'll go one better: excellent Christians, some of the very best Christians ever, hold different views on the millennium.
I'll be more expansive still — and anyone who's heard me much, has heard me say this.
- Some of the very best Christians who ever lived think that attaching spiritual significance to sprinkling water on babies makes any kind of New Covenant sense, and further think that it has some relation to what the Bible calls "baptism."
- Some of the very best Christians who ever lived think churches should be run by majority-vote.
- Some of the very best Christians who ever lived think the Christian Church is Israel, and that all of the OT prophecies of judgment on Israel are literal and apply to ethnic Israel, while all of the OT prophecies of blessing are spiritual and apply to the post-Pentecost church.
Here's the problem. The implication some people would draw from this statement is, "...so these other views are good views, too."
Well no, they're really not, to my mind. At least not equally.
For instance, that baby-sprinkling thing. It is not a good view. It is a bad view held by good (excellent!) men. I have heard it explained by men of whom I seriously think very highly... and it just gets more and more absurd with each telling.
Or take the "spiritual Israel" thing. Splendid men hold that view. But it's not a good view. It's a bad view held by good men. E. J. Young was one of the most wonderful OT scholars ever to put words on paper. But when he explains that Isaiah 2 is all about the Christian church's missionary efforts, but Isaiah 4 is about literal judgment on ethnic Israel, that isn't the text talking. It's a good man expressing a bad view.
I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept. I've been in countless discussions where, "Well, ____ holds that view" is adduced as if it were an argument. As if I'm going to say, "What? Carson? You mean D. A. Carson? Great howling potato bugs, I'm changing my view!"
Insofar as the point is "It isn't as it only pinheads believe X; after all, A B and C are hardly pinheads, and they believe X," I grant the point. Just don't try to make more of it than it is. Great men can be wrong. In fact, great men are always wrong about something.
And the greatest of the greats would be the first to admit it.
This comes up afresh in some connection with today's Pyro post. Unless I've pre-emptively headed them off, I'll be very surprised if someone doesn't say, "But Dr. FamousEvangelical loves the TNIV, Professor Calvinhead was on the committee, and Pastor BelovedPreacher thinks pluralizing singles wins more souls than Whitefield ever did."
And I'll say, "What a great guy. What a bad idea."
The fear of man lays a snare,POSTSCRIPT: isn't this awfully arrogant of me? Since arrogance is a sin, and I'm woefully vulnerable to any sin, that's a strong possibility. All I can tell you is that, in these cases, my honest thought is that the data is really strong and clear, and my honest feeling is along the lines of "Good heavens, if even a pinhead like me can see that...."
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe