Further on the ‘why?’ question

There have been times on this project when I’ve felt like I’ve been facing down the Death Star. However, thanks to last night, I feel like R2 has just given me the schematics and discovered the thermal exhaust port. Now I need Jan Dodonna to give me a flight plan to the trench …

You see, the exegetical reasons that are pro-millennium are well-rehearsed and haven’t changed for years. Premillennialism is, basically, the most straightforward reading of the narrative flow of Rev 19-20. In this way, this Death Star juggernaut is well equipped to handle attacks by capital ships.

But the theological reasons are not well-rehearsed. This is the approach that I am mostly trying to take in my project. This Death Star ain’t equipped to handle a fighter attack. Premillennialists argue that the Bible’s end time schema allows for or is capable of having a millennium. In addition, they argue that a millennium provides for a better fulfilment of various OT promises and prophecies. However, on that front, debate has largely been about OT hermeneutics and just what it is the prophets were pointing ahead to. But in all this, as I noted yesterday, there seems to be a key underlying assumption that the fulfilment needs to happen on this earth and not the new earth. That is, there is such a discontinuity between the two that fulfilment in the latter does not count for the former.

At this point, I now insert the trench I’ve found. It’s the theological concept of the land. By this, I don’t just mean dry ground, but land as in eretz, the earth, created order. One of the things that Provan hinted at last night was that there is a connection between the quality of the land and of the created order and the quality of the Kingdom rule, if I may put it that way. So, in the beginning, everything is hunky dory, but the Fall also introduces a curse onto the land. The various blessings and cursings for obedience and disobedience include statements about the quality of land, usually stuff like plague and famine. Promises of the restoration of Israel include promises of the re-ordering of the land and of animals as well.
Thus, the coming of the Kingdom of God includes with it the restoration of the created order. This would imply that the restoration of the Adamic order (see last post) is not about restoration in this earth, but about restoration of this earth. Now, given that the millennial kingdom is not the complete fulfilment of all things – Satan still needs to be trashed at the end – this also implies that the restoration of the earth is not complete. Fine, it’s the millennial kingdom. But! is this even part of the program, this partial fulfilment? What is left wrong with the land at this point? Is the ground still cursed? Because I don’t think premillennialists see this as what the millennial kingdom will hold. It will be a veritable golden age. But what is missing? Is it, that the Adamic order of creation is inherently lacking? Or, as I want to suggest, that premillennialists unwittingly want to have their cake and eat it too? That is, that they want the millennial kingdom to be the paradise of the pre-fall creation situation, but they also want there to be something more that justifies a dissolution and re-creation.

There’s still a lot of turrets, TIE fighters, and Lord Vader to negotiate, but I think I’m locked on to a critical theological weakness here. Time to use the Force …

One Response to “Further on the ‘why?’ question”

  1. psychodougie says:

    seems to me part of the problem is the insistence on an historical fall. (read my paper @ the filing cabinet to be thoroughly convinced otherwise). i reckon the fall screws up our eschatology which, as you say, is quite evident in the pre-mill camp.

    that is, even an a-mill position needs to come up with a reason why Jesus is more than a cosmic toaster-repairman (the created order being the once-good toaster).

    controversial enough for you? actually, probably not, considering all the fun stuff you’ve been reading!