Historic premillennialism is the polemical designation (adopted by its adherents) which could be more objectively called post-tribulational premillennialism. The use of the term "historic" implies that this point of view is the historical view of premillennialists, while pre-tribulationism is a new theory. Post-tribulational premillennialism is the Christian eschatological view which teaches that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur prior to a thousand-year reign of the saints, but subsequent to the great apostasy and the tribulation.
Premillennialism is an alternative view to both postmillennialism, which teaches that the second coming of Jesus will occur after a thousand-year period of righteousness and amillennialism, which teaches that the thousand-year period is not meant to be taken literally, but is the current church/messianic age. The two major species of premillennialism are historic and dispensational premillennialism, which is associated with pre-tribulational and mid-tribulational views. See the summary of Christian eschatological differences.
A major difference of historic and dispensational premillennialism is the view of the church in relation to Israel. Historics do not see as sharp a distinction between Israel and the church as the dispensationalists do, but instead view believers of all ages as part of one group, now revealed as the body of Christ. Thus, historic premillennialists see no issue with the church going through the Great Tribulation, and so they do not need a separate pre-tribulational rapture of some believers as the dispensational system requires.
Historic premillennialism was a popular view amongst Protestant Christians until the rise of dispensationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Proponents of historic premillennialism include Baptists John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, Benjamin Wills Newton (a contemporary and fierce theological rival of the father of dispensationalism John Nelson Darby), George Eldon Ladd, Albert Mohler, and Clarence Bass and Presbyterians Francis Schaeffer, Gordon Clark, and James Montgomery Boice.
- W. Gary Crampton (February 1999). "Review of A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith by Robert L. Reymond". The Trinity Review (The Trinity Foundation). Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology
- Direction: A Commentary on the Revelation of John
- Al Mohler at Dauphin Way Baptist Church, March 29, 2009
- James Montgomery Boice (1986). "How Will It all End?". Foundations of the Christian Faith. InterVarsity Press. pp. 703ff. ISBN 0-87784-991-9.
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