This years TGC National Conference “Coming Home” is now available online. The usual suspects gathered in Orlando in April to talk about Heaven. Don Carson, Tim Keller, John Piper, Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, and a new face, a pastor from Brazil, Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, gave the plenary addresses.
From the website:
The conference titled Coming Home: New Heaven and New Earth sought to stir longing for our ultimate home in heaven as we explored the sweep of redemption from creation to consummation, from Genesis to Revelation. Through times of worship, prayer, fellowship and instruction, we sought to reaffirm the Bible’s teaching on eschatology and declare in word and song with joyful hope that Jesus is returning soon. Along with the nine main plenary sessions we had more than 50 workshops and focus gatherings led by speakers addressing topics including evangelism, homosexuality, student ministry, sexual abuse, faith and work, and more.
Don’t miss Al Mohler’s workshop address “Aftermath”, or G. K. Beale & Ligon Duncan’s workshop “The Gospel and Eschatology.”
John MacArthur is one of my favorite Premil Revelation preachers. Very little has to be said, after all, it was MacArthur who said every self-respecting Calvinist should be premil (or something to that effect).
Having grown up in a Southern Baptist church and having spent 10 years at Grace Community Church, I tend to favor the Premil camp. But I am also trying to get my arms around the Amil position which is unfamiliar territory to me. So, in addition to Azurdia’s audio, I have been wading through Craig Keener’s commentary and G.K. Beales NIGTC tome on Revelation.
Jim Hamilton is another preacher I turned to for audio help on preparing my Revelation study, though, admittedly, he’s the last of the 4 who I will listen to if time allows. Given that, I don’t even remember where he stands on the Millennium, though I suspect he’s Premil. Since he’s number 4 he doesn’t really get a fair shake in my Revelation posts.
Arturo Azurdia preached through the book of Revelation in 81 sermons. Azurdia’s messages are very insightful and engaging. He attempts to preach through Revelation expositionally with the intention of seeing the eschatological perspective emerge from the text. Though Azurdia does arrive at an amillenial perspective, and gives a great deal of weight to the apocalyptic literary genre of the 1st century as faithful guide to correct interpretation. As such, he views Revelation as a series of perspectives that explain the same thing, elevating symbolism over literalism.
In January I started taking my teen Sunday School class through Revelation, and last month started taking my adult Bible Study through it. The only way I’ve been able to manage has been to listen to good audio messages during my commute to turn over the fallow ground of my mind so that my study time has a head start. I selected preachers who have a variety of viewpoints. The next few posts will provide links to the most helpful preachers of Revelation that I’ve been able to find on the Internet.
John V. Fesko is amil, and preached through Revelation in 21 messages. John is very concise, carefully thought out, and widely read.
Very interesting discussion at Christ the Center with Matthew Patton about the “already/not yet” eschatology found in Ezra and Nehemiah. Some of the discussion is challenging, but other parts are incredibly helpful, such as the discussion of typology. From the site:
The Christ the Center corporal’s guard spoke with Matthew Patton, PhD student in biblical studies at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, IL about his paper “Searching for a Truly Repentant Israel: Ezra-Nehemiah and Restoration Prophecy.” A very fascinating discussion was had about such things as the already/not yet eschatology of Ezra-Nehemiah and how even though Israel was back in the land, they had not returned from exile. The significance of typology was also addressed. One of the strengths of Matt’s research is that he shows the intertexuality of the various parts of the Bible. This paper particularly highlights Nehemiah’s prayer and his citations and allusions to Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 1st Kings. This discussion augers well for future in-depth biblical theological and exegetical conversations.
John Piper hosted a very exciting roundtable discussion with three of his friends looking at some issues of eschatology. Those friends are Doug Wilson, Sam Storms, and Jim Hamilton, and each one represents one of three escatalogical viewpoints: Postmillenialism, Amillenialism and Premillenialism respectively.
This discussion will stretch your mind, if you are not familiar with the variety of millenial views. Far from being a discouraging discussion, this is a very helpful and encouraging discussion, and shed light on the views that I personally do not hold. We should be willing to delve into these deep waters rather than to avoid them due to the confusion that surrounds them.
As Wayne wraps up his 5 year long series of lectures going through his excellent Systematic Theology, he looks at the varying views of the millennium, final judgment, hell, and the new heavens and new earth.
Wayne spends little time on the Post-millennial view because it’s based on very few and very weak proof-texts. Amillennalism takes more time since this is a very popular view in many reformed circles. There is also a helpful discussion on Preterism and Dispensationalism. Wayne spends on entire message looking at premillennialism, which is the view he holds.
Final judgement and eternal punishment take up another lecture, followed by a look at the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Dr. Fowler White and Dr. Keith Mathison join the Christ the Center panel to discuss eschatology and the varied millennial perspectives. Mathison’s new book From Age to Age is the focus of the discussion.
There are some interesting exchanges on recaptiulation, Preterism, optimistic amillennialism and pessimistic postmillenialism. Mathison points to the differences in how premillennailists look at Revelation 19 & 20 compared to how amillennialists do.
Though, personally, I’m in the premil camp, I found this discussion fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the consideration of prophecy requiring a look at the whole Bible, not just beginning with Revelation. I’m looking forward to reading Mathison’s book which examines prophecy as a move beginning in Genesis.
Don Carson recently spent a weekend at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church in Seattle, giving 5 messages. For those of you who are Carson aficionados, a couple of these messages are repeats ones he gave last year, yet worth listening to again.
Don’s message on Revelation 12 was one I had not heard before, and deals with the Gospel in a fresh light. He spends some time discussing how we modern Christians are largely unaware of Satan’s attack on believers, particularly in the role of accuser. Carson also unpacks a lot of the difficult terminology we find in Revelation, providing a very understandable way of looking at apocalyptic literature. Don relates a very convincing perspective of identifying the pregnant woman in Revelation 12 as the Messianic community and the infant boy she gives birth to as the Gentile church.
In A Miracle of Surprises, Don walks us through the story of Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. He shows how Jesus purposefully delayed his visit so that Lazarus would die, so that he could provide the world a picture of himself as the being resurrection and the life. Don explains how God’s providence is above our perceptions, and that even in what we see as intentional delays, he uses those to teach us things we would not otherwise be able to learn. Carson spends a significant amount of time overturning many of the silly cliches that have attached themselves to this story.
This is a treasure of solid Biblical instruction that you will not want to miss.
Session 1: The Center of the Whole Bible (Romans 3:21-26)
Session 2: The Strange Triumph of a Slaughtered Lamb (Revelation 12)
Session 3: A Miracle of Surprises (John 11)
Session 4: Why Doubt the Resurrection of Jesus (John 20:24-31)
Session 5: The Ironies of the Cross (Matthew 27:27-51)