Oscar Cullman on Millennium as a Future Period of Christ’s Lordship

This quote comes from G. C. Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics: The Return of Christ, where he quotes Cullman. What is noteworthy is that both Premillennialists and Postmillennialists view the millennium as an end-historical event. The binding of Satan in the Premillennialist scheme comes rapidly and necessitates Christ’s earthly return, whereas the Postmillennialist scheme views a gradual growth of the kingdom under the current reign of Christ that must, however, lead to a decisive era in redemptive history that is organically connected with the current period, yet distinct. Both camps posit a qualified explanation of Christ’s current reign that will lead, however, to a more visible manifestation prior to the full consummation of all things.There are some Postmillennialists who understand the binding of Satan as a yet future event, departing from Amillennialists, and surprisingly showing greater similarities with their Premillennialist counterparts, even if they disagree about how exactly it’s brought about. Oh, the quote:

Cullmann proceeds from Christ’s rule, which began with the crucifixion and resurrection. Already in the present Christ is exercising His lordship over all men and all powers, now that in His ascension His Kingdom has become an effective, dynamic reality. But this does not mean that “Revelation intends to identify this thousand-year period with the whole period of the Church between Christ’s ascension and his return. Revelation thinks rather of a specifically eschatological kingdom to be realized only in the future. It is, so to speak, the very last part of Christ’s lordship, which at the same time extends into the new aeon.”

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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