What does the Future Hold? (Pate)

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Pate, C. Marvin.  What Does the Future Hold?

This is a *very* basic primer on eschatology. Pate, however, does manage to add some insights that aren’t covered in Erickson and Grenz. He surveys all of the millennial options, noting where they agree on hermeneutics and noting difficulties in all of the options. He eventually sides with premillennialism, noting that the premillennial reading of chapters 19-20 makes the most sense of the lexigraphy and grammar, and I think he is right.

He made the strongest critique of postmillennialism. However, he seems to think that all postmillennialists are partial-preterists, yet this is not true. I suppose it doesn’t matter, since non-preterist postmillennialism is actually the weakest of all eschatological positions. He forces postmillennialist to logically accept the claims of hyper-preterism. There is no reason why a postmillennialist should stop the partial-preterist wagon at Revelation 18 and not say that Rev. 19 also applies to the destruction of Jerusalem. If, however, he does, the following absurdities arise:

1. The second coming actually happened in A.D. 70 and your position is now heretical.

2. If (1) we are no longer in Revelation 20, but actually chapters 21-22 (since 19-20 is the 2nd Coming/Millennium, which happened at the fall of Jerusalem). If that is the case, we are currently in the eternal state.

His take on amillennialism is actually the weakest in the book. Beside the critique based on Revelation 20, he doesn’t offer one. This is odd since premillennialist usually act like it’s open-season on amillennialism, yet he pulls all of his punches.

Pate ends his book with an analysis of the Jesus seminar and current gnosticisms in the American academy.

This book is fair, but suffers from a number of problems: the analysis isn’t always thorough and the style can be annoying.

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