Monday, August 15, 2016

Reformed Premillenialism and Horatius Bonar

"In the nineteenth century Horatius Bonar published his Prophetic Landmarks: Containing Data for helping to Determine the Question of Christ’ Premillenial Advent, which is a solid and judicious premillennial apology.  This upholder of the doctrines of sovereign grace considered the pivotal issue regarding a right perception of prophetic revelation to be the primacy of the nature and destiny of the Jewish people in the whole eschatological scheme of things.  He wrote,

The prophesies concerning Israel are the key to all the rest.  True principles of interpretation, in regard to them, will aid us in disentangling and illustrating all prophecy together.  False principles as to them will most thoroughly perplex and overcloud the whole Word of God. (3)
This significant point will be recommended quite frequently throughout this book. Indeed at this juncture we coin the term “Judeo-centric Eschatology” since it offers such a cohesive basis for the integration of various elements of biblical prophecy, and even more so than the common premillennial resource to Revelation 20.  Given a right understanding of Israel in relation to the Christian Church, an eschatology will nevertheless result that incorporates an essentially premillennial understanding of Revelation 20."

(3) H. Bonar, Prophetical Landmaks: Containing Data for helping to Determine the Question of Christ’s Pre-millenial Advent (5th ed.; London: J. Nisbet, 1876), 228. 

It is accessible (with the revised title Judeo-centric Premillennialism: Concerning Christ’s Pre-Millennial Advent) on the internet at  E. Sandeen makes a related point when in his The Roots Of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 11:  “The restoration of the Jews to Palestine-the return of the promised people to the promised land-became firmly established as a plank in the millenarian creed.”  Also see W. A. VanGemeren, “Israel as the Hermeneutical Crux in the Interpretation of Prophecy.” WTJ 45 (1983): 132-44 (1984): 254-97.  Also Bonar’s opponent, Samuel Waldegrave,  New Testament Millenarianism, Bampton Lectures (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1855), 547, who confesses that the topic of “literal Israel” is the most prominent subject in his published discourse.

Excerpt taken from Barry Horner's personal introduction in Future Israel.