The page of this book that changed my life was page 145, or possibly 146, and it happened on this wise.
Growing up evangelical in North America meant that I had adopted (by osmosis, largely) the predominant premillennialism. Because my family was not dispensational and had a strong bias against all “systems,” my premillennialism was largely generic and pretty bland. No killer bees, beast-like computers in Belgium, or anything like that. Over time I drifted into what could be identified as historic premillennialism, and this was solidified somewhat by reading George Eldon Ladd’s fine book The Blessed Hope. But all was still not well. I knew the general system that I held to but had real trouble having it fall out of the text for me in any kind of natural manner.
This would be as good a place as any to mention that I am simply describing what happened to me, and how I was experiencing these things. My premillennialism was not exegetically derived, and I knew it. But I do not want to be heard, in making this claim, as saying that other premillennialists are doing the same thing. As for me . . . I was like a piano student, a young boy with a good ear for music, never learning to sight read because he memorized the tune, playing it by ear, while staring at the (to him) meaningless score.
As a result of my trouble getting my eschatology to focus, however much I turned the lens, I eventually dropped my allegiance to any eschatological system. The only thing I was willing to confess was the truth proclaimed by the Apostles’ Creed, which was that Jesus was going to come again to “judge the quick and the dead.” I was a pastor by this time, and I remember telling somebody that Jesus was going to come again, and “not to push me.” That’s all I knew. I was my very own non-millennialist. This was not a good position for a pastor to be in—it takes a good bit of preaching material (called Bible passages) and places them off limits for sermon texts.Continue Reading on thegospelcoalition.org