Millennials and Eschatology

For many Evangelical Baby Boomers the word Millennial is connected to the “End Times.” This is largely due to the fact that one of the hallmarks of American evangelicalism in the last 50 years has been a vivid end times discourse. But in our 21st century American Lexicon, Millennial has a greater connection to the up-and-coming, and now largest Generation in American history than it does Eschatology. Millennials, those born [approximately] between 1980 and 2000 are beginning to come into their own; and as they are, it is creating an interesting dichotomy in the landscape of American Christianity. And the discussion of eschatology is one sphere that is sure to cause a stir.

I came late to the eschatology party. Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” came 10 years before I was born. My introduction to the “End Times” came while I was in High School when Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ fictional thriller series “Left Behind” hit the scene. In fact I remember very well being introduced to the series while on a family vacation the summer after I graduated from high school. I read the first 3 books in 3 days, which for a dyslexic who just graduated from high school vowing to never read another book, was a near miracle. Admittedly, the whole thing read like fiction, as that’s what “Left Behind” is. But the thought of what it presented actually happening blew my mind. I had been taught during the several years preceding my reading that these sort of things were soon coming to the planet nearest you… i.e. this one.

Before I continue, let me affirm my belief in the rapture of the Church. I absolutely hold a futurist position on Bible Prophecy. I, like virtually all orthodox Christians, look forward with hopeful expectation to the second coming of Christ. But as one who lives on the bridge between GenX and Millennials (decidedly closer in identification to the later) I find that interest in these things, both in myself and among my peers, is not as it is among Boomers. The lack of interest is evidenced by the fact that prophecy conferences and updates are not greatly attended by 20 and 30-something’s. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered a concern among our Baby Boomer brothers, that our lack of interest indicates a departure from the teaching. It doesn’t, not necessarily. In conversations with peers I think there are a number of reasons for this change.

First, there is a concern for what appears to be a hyper-escapist bent in many Christians when discussion of the rapture comes up. The view that seems all to common is one that says, “The world is sinful and getting more evil. America is not as Christian as it once was. Tribulation is coming. I can’t wait for Jesus to come so we can get out of here!” This view also seems to carry with it a glee over the [apparent] worsing conditions in the world, as these somehow hasten the “end.” Right or wrong, these are the [anecdotal] observations I’ve encountered.

It is true, in the last days perilous times will come; the love of many will grow cold and wickedness will abound. But Millennial Christians are unwilling to sit as idle spectators watching with little to no engagement. The words of the lepers in 2 Kings 7 come to mind.

“Why sit we here till we die”

2 Kings 7:3

Secondly, the teaching that is sometimes presented in support of pre-tribulational rapture doctrine highlights and amplifies the cataclysmic doom and gloom that will come post-rapture, with very little concern for the billions of lost who will be left behind to suffer that doom. In other words, evangelistic fervor does not appear to be the immediate bi-product of the teaching. If it is truly believed that these things will soon come to pass, then our response ought to be overwhelmingly evangelistic.

Furthermore, the question arises, “If it is supposed that pre-tribulational rapture teaching produces a greater awareness of the imminent return of Christ, and therefore a more acute righteousness, then why aren’t followers of this view living more righteously?” It is clearly taught in scripture that expectation of Christ’s appearance should inspire righteousness (2 Peter 3:10-13). But if such is not evident in many that affirm the teaching, then it is only right to ask, do they truly believe what they affirm?

Thirdly, many Millennials want to know what the proper (i.e. biblical) response should be to the current conditions of the world in light of the rapture and ultimate second coming of Christ? What does it mean for us as the body of Christ, today? Beyond pursuing personal righteousness, how should we respond to sin and suffering, pre-rapture? Questions such as this are the driving force behind initiatives that push for social justice, equality and modern abolitionist movements. Responses that only highlight the increase of wickedness as the end draws near are inadequate.

Fourthly, Millennials are tired of modern predictions as to the timing of the rapture. If Jesus said, “It’s not for you to know,” (Acts 1:7) then Millennials are fine with not knowing. In fact the mysterious nature of such things adds to their intrigue. Insistence upon perfect knowledge or understanding of things that are clearly mysterious (interesting concept, right?) is the height of arrogance. Millennials greatly respect a humble orthodoxy concerning things that are unknowable or where there is considerable disagreement.

Finally, Millennials are concerned by what appears to be a blind and blanket support for National Israel by many American Evangelical leaders. While pre-millennial Millennials recognize God’s future plan for His people under the Abrahamic Covenant, they question uncritical or unilateral support, which is sometimes financial, of the Israeli Government and Military. Such support often turns a blind eye to Israel’s open rejection of Jesus and is typically justified by the use of Genesis 12:3. At hand is not a question of whether or not God has a future plan for Israel, but rather does Genesis 12:3 mean the wholesale support of all things Israel? Or, is blessing/cursing Abraham more oriented toward Messiah and not National Israel? Let me be clear, these questions do not mean that I do not support Israel’s right to defend herself when threatened or assaulted; nor do I deny the holocaust or condone the terrorist actions of Hamas, Hezbollah, or others against her.

I highlight these issues so as to point out that millennials do not necessarily have a problem with the idea of the rapture itself, rather the over-emphasis of it, the way it is often presented and the implications of the teaching. Millennials have more of a Matthew 24:36-25:46 focus when it comes to the end times than do many of their Boomer counterparts. What do I mean? Boomers have often focused on the conditions preceding the rapture, the rapture event itself and the tribulation post rapture; whereas Millennials are more interested in our response to the teaching of the rapture and the conditions of suffering and sin in the world now. Essentially, millennials are more interested on ecclesiology over eschatology.

The ramifications of this reality are clear. The only prophecy update necessary for Millennials is “Jesus promised that He would return, He has yet to do so, there remains much work to do till He does, how shall we then live?”

27 replies
  1. Jim Stretchberry
    Jim Stretchberry says:

    Dear Miles, Your article gives us a lot to think about and so much to consider. We should be looking at EVERY person, every day with a thought of their eternal destination.
    Your arguments about Israel are rather problematic for me:
    1. Israel is supported by very few American Evangelical leaders.
    2. Israel has HAD to defend herself since the time of Abraham, primarily as a result of their disobedience to God’s covenant plan.
    3. We could make an argument that our support of National Israel is motivated with a desire to expedite the second coming of Christ. This is not a negative motivation, it is only naive, as only God knows the hour and the time. Man will never orchestrate God’s plans and purposes.
    4. The questions of Israel are broad and complicated. I believe it is wise to see that God’s covenant if FOREVER (God doesn’t change His mind). How God accomplishes this surely cannot be defined. If you study Jewish history you will see that after the great diaspora (70AD) the rabbinical scholars thought Israel would never return to he Holy land until the coming of Messiah. They thought that only the coming of the Messiah would renew the land to the Jew. Actually, many Rabbinical scholars continue in this belief today. The Word tells us that those who bless Israel, He will bless, curse Israel He will curse (Gen. 12:1-3)…
    All this makes for a complicated discussion.
    5. My family has an extensive written history, I find it interesting that the only time in our history when Gentiles have even come close to blessing us or Israel is in the 19th & 20th century. It seems we are moving quickly in another direction in the 21st century.
    Miles, I have great respect for you and I so appreciate your desire to take on big issues which we certainly need to dialogue about for the sake of the next super informed generation. I will spend a great deal of time considering this article.

    Reply
    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      Hey Jim,

      We don’t really disagree on the issues of Israel. But it should be noted that a well articulated discourse on the topic is necessary. There are questions from many in our churches on this specific topic and our answer cannot be “if we bless them, we’ll be blessed.” It just smacks of a quid pro quo plan for prosperity/blessing from God.

      The discussion needs to be had!

      Reply
  2. Tony Huy
    Tony Huy says:

    Hi Miles,

    I always appreciate your honest post. They are always poignant, critical in the good thinking way, and challenging in the “let’s not just accept the mantra” style. I have for the last 15 years worked with high school kids, college students, and young marrieds. The last 8 years of that has been as an assistant pastor at a bigger Calvary Chapel until launching to start a church this past summer. While I fall just outside the Millennial age range, my observations of them completely concur with your post. In addition, for what it’s worth, here are 4 addition observations:

    1) Millennials live in a world that is more connected than ever and that connection, despite what older people may say, is a very real “fellowship” to them. The result of this is that the plight of persecuted Christians is not a theoretical read in Fox’s Book of martyrs, it is a life drama that they feel connected to. Casual declarations of “we are out of this messed of world” to escape times of tribulation feels like a great offense to them in light of world Christian persecution.

    2) Millenials are a socially conscious generation. Even unbelieving Millenials want to change the world. So I have found that Millenial Christians love the gospel and want to be challenged to mobilize for the cause of the gospel. They want to change the world, not escape it. This doesn’t mean they want to setup an earthly kingdom, they just want to see the power of the Holy Spirit working through the gospel and they want to be a part of that.

    3) Millenials think more about the gospel (such a “hip” word today) than they think about Israel. It doesn’t mean they don’t love Israel. It just means this is what they think about more often. The best way for the church to stir up a God glorifying love for Israel among Millenials may be to direct their passion for the gospel towards the evangelizing of Israel rather than tours of the holy land and conferences that look at the issues of israel and the middle east as a time clock for end time prophecy events. That’s far to passive for this generation.

    4) Millenials are budding into maturity during a time when Reformed theologians have a strong voice in the christian world and the internet magnifies that. What Millenials from pre-trib, pre-millenial dispositions are discovering is that post-tribbers and even post-millenials / amillennialist are not heretics, not God haters, not dumb in their understanding and positions they hold. Rather, they deeply love Jesus and deeply want to make Him known. They do not blindly hold to “systems” of theology, but try to honestly understand the scope of scripture, and some of them do it very very well. I have found that Millenials who have never been taught to appreciate the other side of thinking and encouraged to critically consider it and only taught “this is the only absolute answer to eschatology” tend to get a little cynical and bitter towards the pre-trib/pre-millenial stance once they discover there are many other viable options. They either discount what they have been taught all together or they discount it’s worth.

    Sorry for the long post. I do enjoy reading what you write as it always gets my mind moving. BTW, I should say that for 20 years I was a pre-tribber by ignorance. I believed it and taught it like a parrot. After 20 years, I decided I would look at all the sides and I can honestly say I came out pre-trib, but I came out with a far less emphasis on when as opposed to the simple fact that He is coming back. The exact timing seems far less important to me now.

    Reply
    • Jon Langley
      Jon Langley says:

      Tony — what you said in your last paragraph is me exactly. When I was confronted with the idea of teaching the book of Revelation for the first time at a Bible College I became severely aware of my ignorance-based theology. I did the same as you. I deliberately tore my views down to the ground and studied it for myself. It was A LOT of effort and searching and researching. I finally came to the conclusion that what I had ignorantly claimed to believe before was pretty much identical to what I now understood for myself. The big difference was exactly what you said, “I came out with far less emphasis on when as opposed to the simple fact that He is coming back.” And also a lot less argumentative and edgy about the topic with those who hold a different view. I think a lot of the argumentativeness and edginess that I saw (and see) amongst my peers was because they weren’t truly convinced by the Scriptures of their view, but rather convinced by men.

      Reply
  3. Jeanne DeBenedictis
    Jeanne DeBenedictis says:

    Definite food for thought, but as a true baby boomer and a typical one at that, I don’t necessarily agree with all your conclusions and would say a hearty amen to your end summation of how Millennial’s think. I also agree with Jim, the verse came instantly to mind, that “those who bless Israel shall be blessed”.
    I also think of Israel not only nationally, but in the true meaning of the word; “governed by God.” Without lacking compassion on the Palestinian people who are often caught in the political and hostile crossfire.
    May our gracious God have mercy on all people who long for truth and peace, and through His ambassadors of grace and truth win them all to Christ The Lord.
    I know you are spurring the church on to love and good works, but I’m a bit tired of people always pointing out our differences. Oh that we could be unified in Him. All generations living the Savior and proclaiming His good news to those who have not yet heard. I’m so thankful for hearing the gospel and having a heart that was soft enough to receive. Lord please make us fruitful and may Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

    Reply
    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      You’re an a-typical baby boomer on this topic, because you’ve sat under my teaching for a long time 😉

      Furthermore, I’m over the belief that we need to read Genesis 12:3 in context and interpret it correctly. It doesn’t say “Those who bless Israel shall be blessed.” Rather…

      And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. – Genesis 12:2-3

      Is this blessing speaking of Israel as a Nation or is it speaking of blessing and cursing in the Messiah. I think there is more biblical support for the latter.

      Reply
      • Jon Langley
        Jon Langley says:

        Or is it, in its grammatical context, clearly speaking of Abram?

        “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

        The Lord is clearly speaking to Abram and all of the pronouns referring to him are singular second person. It is a covenant made by God to bless and curse people based on the condition of how they treated the one through whom “the Seed” would come.

        It may be true that this passage can be understood in a figurative way, as Scripture does sometimes offer secondary meanings through the use of types. (Or it could be true in another Scripture). But unless this is specifically demonstrated through Scripture then the plain meaning of the text remains and the treatment of Abram is the impetus by which God will enact the conditional blessing or cursing.

        So for me the question is simple. Does Scripture, elsewhere, tell us that this mechanism of blessing and cursing was meant to continue through the line of Abraham to each of his descendants individually, or corporately? Is there any Scriptural support for God intending for this mechanism to be used in any other literal way or even as a type?

        As it turns out, the answer is yes. This same (or nearly the same) phrase is used two other times.

        Genesis 27:29, “Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” This is spoken by Isaac as a blessing upon the usurping Jacob, whom he thinks to be his firstborn, Esau. We can argue that like in Genesis 12:3, this is specifically for Jacob. This would be an accurate argument. But Jacob will literally become Israel. Add to that the next verse and the argument for and national application gains even more traction.

        Numbers 24:9b, “Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.” This is part of Balaam’s prophecy in which the identity of the “you” is clearly the nation of Israel.

        Having said all of that, Genesis 12:3, in context, is still only talking about Abram.

        Additionally, the question remains of what it means to “bless” Israel and what it means to “treat them contemptuously”. I’m confident that the latter is easy enough to grasp. But what does the former entail?

        Certainly prayer and the continuance of the Great Commission amongst her people should be “no brainers”. But what did the Lord actually have in mind when He spoke these things through Balaam? Was He trying to elicit a positive action from Balak and/or Moab? Was He pressing them for a specific action or thing? Or was He simply warning them of the results of their attitude towards His people?

        In the historical context of Numbers 24:9, these words seem straightforward to me. They were both a promise to Israel — in the stream of the original promise to Abram and the second one to Jacob — and they were a warning to Moab and other neighbours to recognise who Israel’s God is and realise that if they treat Israel contemptuously then they are treating Him the same and there will be consequences.

        How would that apply to me today? Again, it seems straightforward. Don’t treat God’s people contemptuously. Remember who they are and who their God is even if they don’t claim Him at this point in time. What I don’t see clearly is the over-application of this principle to the secular government of the modern-day nation of Israel. It seems to me to be about the people, themselves.

        Obviously I think this is a topic worthy of much discussion. I’m sorry for discussing it at such length!

        Reply
  4. Gunnar Hanson
    Gunnar Hanson says:

    I’m not sure how I feel on this post. Mainly because I’m not from the Calvary or Millennial circles so I feel that I may be missing something. I would suggest that it could be poor exegesis to approach Scripture from our perspective for that is eisegesis. As Bible teaching pastors we are to search what the Bible says, what does it mean in the original context, and what principles transcend time for application today. I would suggest that our demographic does not, or rather should not, affect the application of the text.

    It seems to me, that the Bible makes the Lord’s return clear. We should expect Him. Our expectation of Him should affect how we live our lives today. I love the apostle John’s teaching concerning the Lord’s return, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28). This seems to apply to everyone regardless of generation. However, I have noticed from those around me that the younger generation is wired to do great things for the Lord, while the older generation longs for the Lord’s return in a way that the younger generation does not simply because their meeting Him face-to-face nears with every passing day (it does for everyone really).

    Concerning Israel. I strongly agree with Jim. Especially his first point. Support for Israel is not widespread amongst Christians today. As I look through Isaiah and other Old Testament books, I see Israel and other nations are judged based on their treatment of Israel. In looking at Romans 9-11 we see Paul’s great love for the Israeli people. He goes as far as saying he would take hell over heaven if it meant his fellow countrymen would accept Christ. I don’t think God is done with the Israeli people and I do believe we should have a great love for them…they make up the nation of Israel in large part.

    Reply
  5. Jon Langley
    Jon Langley says:

    Miles — first off, I tracked with you on that article. You said a lot of things that are in my own head. I didn’t know until now that I’m a “GenX”, though, when it comes to the specific items you’ve discussed within the Christian Faith, I think and feel a lot more similar to “Millennials”.

    Secondly, I think you’ll get some responses on the Israel topic based on crossover emotions stemming from the current crisis. I know that, like me, you fully support any nation’s right to defend its people from attack. I also know that, like me, you recognise that God is not yet done with Israel. I just think the unfortunate timing of that particular sub-point in your article is bound to draw some misunderstanding mixed in with the discussion of facts.

    Thirdly, thank you for writing a really long one this time. It helped alleviate some guilt for how long my post was last week. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Eric Johansen
    Eric Johansen says:

    Miles, thanks for the post, you nailed it. I am also on the cusp of GenX and Millenial, though I probably identify more closely with Xers. Your post reminds me of one item I encounter with younger CC pastors I meet: they are firmly futurist, yet not threatened by other eschatalogical traditions. Unlike Boomer futurists, Millenial futurists don’t seem to see preterists, Amillenials, etc., as the boogeyman; but rather appreciate the different insights they bring to the table that perhaps we overlook because of our own presups.

    Reply
  7. Jim Stretchberry
    Jim Stretchberry says:

    Miles, as i mentioned to you this post will bring a lot of response… You are wise and most of the feed back is positive… I will spend sometime this week making my case for Israel and the complexity of the discussion..
    Our Lord said often that ‘we’ will know them by their fruit” this application in my mind is meant for all time… As we look at Israel and the “school room” purpose of the nation, we can certainly make a concise case about Israel’s good fruit and bad fruit,this is to defend God’s NEVER ending purpose for them. The nationalistic issues are besides the point or even a minor point as we consider God’s greater purposes…

    Reply
    • Jon Langley
      Jon Langley says:

      Jim — I’m eager to know your thoughts, brother.

      I see that Scripture commissions us all to make disciples, and surely the root is worthy of such ministry as much as the branches. I think that’s a given.

      I see that Scripture teaches that there is a yet incomplete element in regards to the eternal aspect of the Abrahamic covenant. According to my view of Israelology and Eschatology this will be wrapped up in the time of Jacob’s trouble when the remnant repent (Is 53), look unto Him they have pierced, mourn over it, and cry out for Him to come and save them (Zech 12), at which point He will come and save them from the Lawless One and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

      I see that Scripture prophesied blessing for those who blessed Israel and cursing for those who cursed her (Num 24:9). In my understanding this was to encourage Israel and warn her neighbours to remember who her God was. So we should be careful to treat the people of Israel accordingly, remembering that God is still her God even when her people deny Him and that He has a plan to bring about a completion of the Abrahamic covenant through a remnant of her people at some point in the future.

      Is there more to it than that? I mean specifically from a Biblical standpoint. Is there more that the Bible specifically teaches about Israel that should affect how we as believers act?

      Reply
  8. Matt Kottman
    Matt Kottman says:

    Miles,

    Thanks for that. I think it was well articulated. Suggesting a change of weight doesn’t mean a change of theology. Charles Spurgeon said something very thought provoking on this.

    “Those doctrines which are not vital to the soul’s salvation, nor even essential to practical Christianity, are not to be considered upon every occasion of worship. Bring in all the features of truth in due proportion, for every part of Scripture is profitable, and you are not only to preach the truth, but the whole truth. Do not insist perpetually upon one truth alone. A nose is an important feature in the human countenance, but to paint a man’s nose alone is not a satisfactory method of taking his likeness: a doctrine may be very important, but an exaggerated estimate of it may be fatal to an harmonious and complete ministry. Do not make minor doctrines main points. Do not paint the details of the background of the gospel picture with the same heavy brush as the great objects in the foreground of it.”

    C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, Vol. 1: A Selection from Addresses Delivered to the Students of the Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle. (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1875), 78.

    Reply
  9. Jim Vander Spek
    Jim Vander Spek says:

    Hi Miles,

    I think Millenials and many boomeres are turned off by the many missleading and what turns out to have been false books and sermons about eschatology. Hal Lindsey spoke at a chapel at APU when I was a student there at the height of the 70’s rapture excitement. A Bible prof offered a contrary opinion. He saw nothing in Israel to indicate that they were ready for prophecies to be fulfilled in their midst. His take was that present day Israel could be laid to waste and another Israel take its place, say in a thousand years or so. What do you all think of that?

    Reply
    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      Jim,

      I definitely don’t have a problem with that view.

      I would say, that as one who primarily holds a futurist position on bible prophecy (I say primarily because I see value in the historic and idealist positions but lean toward a futurist position) I think that the table is set for fulfillments that seem to involve all the major players mentioned in apocalyptic prophecy. That’s not to say that God couldn’t bring such circumstances to pass again.

      Reply
  10. David
    David says:

    Miles, that is a thought-provoking piece. If it does describe how evangelical millennials think in contrast to evangelical boomers, is the contrast to the credit of the millennials? Is the point that the evangelical boomers should bend their thinking and attitude toward that of the millennials?

    If I grant that the difference exists, I don’t know that the millennial’s mindset on these things is to be preferred or if it is to be instructed.

    Do the evangelical millennials have much of a passion for the blessed hope of Jesus’ return?

    Do the evangelical millennials have the evangelistic fervor and holiness that the evangelical boomers are said to lack?

    Do the evangelical millennials really reach a declining world while the evangelical boomers sit back and either moan or rejoice that things are so bad; or, are the evangelical millennials able to do whatever they do because they have the participation and support of the evangelical boomers?

    Can a concrete example be given of support for Israel from boomer evangelicals when it should not have been given, according to the wisdom and understanding of evangelical millennials?

    Just thinking…..

    Reply
    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      David,

      These are seriously good questions! As usual you cause me to think critically, thank you!

      Do the evangelical millennials have much of a passion for the blessed hope of Jesus’ return?

      First I’d say that yes, all evangelicals do (or should). From partial preterists to pre-millennial pre-tribulationists. The issue is how they define Jesus’ return (i.e. rapture or second coming). But I’d quickly respond with a follow up question. How would you define and gauge passion? And is what is described as “passion” among boomers the result of biblical instruction or current events? Furthermore does the “passion” encourage mission, evangelism and holiness?

      Do the evangelical millennials have the evangelistic fervor and holiness that the evangelical boomers are said to lack?

      I don’t know. They may not. I think the question is why the [apparent] lack among pre-trib boomers if the position (pre-trib) is wholeheartedly believed. So I think the issue is similar in nature to the question that atheists often pose to those that believe in hell — “if you really believe what you say you do [about hell] then where is the fervor?”

      Do the evangelical millennials really reach a declining world while the evangelical boomers sit back and either moan or rejoice that things are so bad; or, are the evangelical millennials able to do whatever they do because they have the participation and support of the evangelical boomers?

      First, I think it remains to be seen whether or not millennials will reach the declining world. The question of whether or not millennial angst can be turned into millennial action is yet to be answered. One problem I observe among Millennials is that angst, dialogue and discussion on hot topics of social justice, creation care, etc., are sometimes the full extent of their engagement.

      I’m not just a boomer basher. I’m an equal opportunity critic 😉

      Secondly, I wouldn’t necessarily say that Boomers rejoice that things are so bad, but pre-trib boomers sometimes seem to have a level of glee about devastating happenings around the world as it seems to support a view — which I think is a misinterpretation — that famines, pandemics, wars and rumors of wars are the signs of the end.

      As to the second half of the question (post “;”) I’m not sure how to answer. I think I understand what you’re asking, but I’m not certain. Rephrase?

      Can a concrete example be given of support for Israel from boomer evangelicals when it should not have been given, according to the wisdom and understanding of evangelical millennials?

      I am extremely cautious in approaching this question as a direct example would probably cause me problems 😉

      All of the above to say that Millennials are concerned by extreme dogmatism on non-essential or highly debated doctrines.

      Reply
  11. Benjamin Morrison
    Benjamin Morrison says:

    great post and great discussion! thanks, miles. as, apparently, the only millenial commenter on here 😉 , let me say “amen” to this post and tony’s additions (particularly point #4). however, i would add that it’s not a question of ecclesiology vs. eschatology, but rather of being more aware of the connection between the two: how our understanding of kingdom affects the place of the church in the world.

    i’d also add that some of the shift in eschatological outlook is not merely the generational differences, but the developments in dispensational theology itself over the years since the boomers arrived. i recently read an excellent book on the topic called “progressive dispensationalism” by darrell bock and craig blaising which traces the developments in dispensational theology since its popularization in the 19th century. i personally find the progressive dispensational position to be more compelling and biblically rooted, taking into account some of the nuances of passages that older approaches seemed to sidestep. in fact, some of those who consider themselves to be traditional dispensationalists today would be surprised to find that their dispensationalism is actually quite revised and different from darby’s or scofield’s. it’s worth the read for anyone interested in this topic.

    Reply

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