D.A. Carson's Millennial Position
Dear John, I am chair of a study committee for our denomination seeking to grant greater eschatological liberty. We are seeking to amend our doctrinal statement to allow amills to associate with us. Can you tell me if DA Carson has any sermon on Rev. 20. From what I have read of him, I think he sounds Amill, but he is with the E-Free which is premill. Any help you can send my way would be helpful. Thanks,_________
Grace and peace to you. D.A. Carson is Amill, but when he took the position at Trinity, he appears to have decided not to talk about it much. You may not find an exposition Rev 20 in his writings, but if you read the rest of what he writes he definitely has an Amillennial hermeneutic in most everything he affirms. However, (I just thought of this) if you read his commentary on John 5:16-30 (specifically verse 25 & 28, which speaks of the two resurrections) Carson says,
"The tension inherent in Christian eschatology between what belongs to the 'already' and what belongs to the 'not yet' is teased out in this and the following verses. For the expression a time is coming and has now come, cf. notes on 4:23. By v 28, where the eschatology is oriented entirely toward the future, the 'time' or 'hour' is coming; John does not say it 'now is'. Here however, the coming hour already is: the resurrection life for the physically dead in the end time is already being manifest for the spiritual dead. It is the voice of the Son of God ...that calls for the dead, and those who hear, will live. Such a voice, such a life-giving word, is nothing other than the voice of God whose vivifying power mediates the life-giving Spirit even to dry bones." (ezk 37)
vs. 28 "...Jesus insistence that it is his voice that will call forth all who are in their graves on the last day. The words for a time (lit. 'hour' hora) is coming are no longer qualified by "and now is" (cf. notes on v. 25): the future final apocalyptic resurrection is in view. The voice of the Son is powerful enough to generate spiritual life now, it will be powerful enough to call forth the dead then."
As you can see from this passage Carson 's Amillennialism reveals itself because he interprets Jesus to be saying that "the time is come and now is" refers to spiritual regeneration now, while "the time is coming" he believes refers to the future physical resurrection where believers and unbelievers alike will both be simultaneously resurrected. An Amillennialist would argue that this disproves all forms of premillennialism because the Text explicitly affirms that the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked occur simultaneously on the last day while premillennialism (due to Rev 20 ) believes these resurrections to be 1000 years apart. The apostle John having written both Revelation and the Gospel of John would make it appear to be more than sufficient to interpret Revelation 20 in light of John's description of the two resurrections in John 5, one illuminating the meaning of the other ( a spiritual regeneration and a physical resurrection).
Hope this helps
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