The Pedigree of Historicism

Recently I joined a Historicism (Reformed) group on facebook to keep up on the current articles and thoughts of Reformed minded folks. I found a letter by Haynes posted in the group and found it helpful. I pray you do as well. It deals with the history of Futurism, it’s popularity and the history of what is known as Historicism. The full letter can be read here. The portion I quoted gives some names from church history that held to a Historicist point of view.

historicism_timeline(click image to enlarge)

So how about the pedigree of Historicism?

Starting in the second century with the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, Iraeneus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine in the fifth century.

Through the middle ages there were Bede and Ansport, Andreas and Anselm, Joachin Abbas and Almeric.

While it is true that these early expositors did not understand the time code, ( God’s apparent design was that every generation of Christians would be watching for Jesus’ imminent return ) they did understand the roles of Rome pagan and Rome papal, and the meaning of the seals and the trumpets of Revelation as those events unfolded.

It was for the scholars of the pre- Reformation period to start to recognize the immense periods foretold by the prophecies, and to understand the day/ year

interpretation, among them the Albigenses and the Waldenses, Wycliffe and the Lollards, John Huss and Jerome of Prague.

All the reformers , including Luther, Zwingli, Melancthon, Calvin, and Knox gained their inspiration and motivation from their certain knowledge identifying the man of sin of Revelation with the false papal church of Rome and that God’s judgment would begin to fall at the end of her 1260 year reign over the kings of the earth.

It was not just preachers and scholars who held to this view. What of the millions of Christian “heretics” who were tortured and martyred, holding to the true faith in opposition to the power they recognized as antichrist. Would they have held fast and endured if they believed their Bible to be silent with respect to the thousand plus year reign of the persecuting papal power?

Continuing with the post – Reformation church scholars, the long list of Puritan theologians, the famous Mede and Moore of England, Sir Isaac Newton himself;

Jonathan Edwards who is recognized as one of the most brilliant minds of modern times; Bengel, Alford, and Wordsworth, Birk and Bichesteth, Faber and Elliott.

And many more. We don’t recognize most of these names, and we grossly underestimate the debt of gratitude we owe them. [end quote]

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