What do all these terms mean: eschatology (millenarism), apocalypticism (premillenial), postmillennial


#1

I ask because i have been doing some reading for my class, religion and social change, and those terms have come up. The article states that systems that stress eschatolology (millenarism) over otherworldiliness tend to be liberative more so than passive.

Heres one quote: Theologies that are either otherworldy or apocalyptic (premillenial) tend to cause passivity, whereas postmillennial theologies tend to inspire activism.

i dont want to debate the validity of the statement i just want to know what all these terms refer to.


#2

I love the Google define feature. You go to Google and type in:

define:wordyouarelookingfor (remember to not use any spaces)

And you will usually get one or more hits. It’s quite helpful.

~Liza


#3

Briefly, the term “eschatology” simply means a study of all things related to end times beliefs so, it’s a study of “premilleniarism”, “amilleniarism”, and “post milleniaranism” and the subsets of “post-tribulation”, “pre-tribulation”, “mid-tribulation”.

The book, Will Catholics be Left Behind? by Carl E. Olsen would probably be helpful to you.

Note, I think the quote you provided tends to display a bit of ignorance about the positions of “premillenial” and “postmillenial”, as it seems to liken them to pre-tribulation and post-tribulation. So, to be accurate: premillenial is the belief that we are living in a time BEFORE the 1000 year reign of Christ fortold in the Book of Revelation. Postmillenial is the belief that we are living in a time AFTER that reign, (a position, if taken literally, is obviously quite rare these days). There are then, therefore, obviously postmillenialists that don’t believe that the 1000 years is literal in Revelation, and these aren’t very different than the “amillenialists” who believe we are living in the reign of Christ NOW, but obviously the 1000 years mentioned in Revelation is symbolic (since it’s been more than 1000 years since the time of Christ).

Hopefully that’s more helpful. I deleted my “requote” so as to not cause confusion. Again, I don’t think that source understands the difference between the two terms entirely, as there are some “premillenialists” that are “post-tribulation”, for example.

Read the book I recommended. It’s very helpful.


#4

Here are some rough thoughts–

“Pre-millennial” believers think that they will be “raptured” out of this world by Christ before the tribulation. These people (some I know personally) tend to see the events in the world as a confirmation of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation coming true, and therefore that they will be “Raptured” away and therefore not have to deal with it.

“Post-millennial” believers think the “rapture” will happen after the tribulation. Therefore, there is an effort of activism to improve the state of world affairs, since it might affect them.

I tend to believe that Catholics, who don’t believe in any “rapture”, tend to also take more of an “activist” stance, to bring forth the kingdom of God here on Earth.

As I said before, these are rough thoughts…probably incoherent. Hopefully they will make some sense to you.

-erbo


#5

Just for the record, not all premillenialists believe in a “pre-tribulation rapture” which is what you described. Most of them do though. Premillenianism simply means believing we are living in a time before Christ’s 1000 year reign on earth. It’s not necessarily linked to the “tribulation”.

All the main categories (premillenial, amillenial, and postmillenial) can be linked to a specific belief about the “tribulation” and “rapture”, but some combinations would get a bit hairy to explain. One can be a “postmillenial, pretribber” for example in theory, although that would be difficult to explain. The usual Catholic position is described, in these terms, as “amillenial, post tribulation” although it’s important to note, NONE of these terms were used until after the “Reformation”. Before that, everyone, with few exception, was “amillenial”, and the term “rapture” didn’t even exist until the Dispensationalists came on the scene, so the terms “pre, mid and post tribulation” would make no sense before Darby, et. al.

We Catholics do believe in a form of “rapture”, but that’s when all the dead are raised for the final judgement, the Saints taken back with Jesus after the judgement to Heaven (our “rapture”) and the rest cast into the lake of fire. But again, that term is really not descriptive of Catholic belief, as we don’t believe the “rapture” will be very separable from the Final Judgement, as most who adhere to any kind of “rapture theology” do (be it pre, mid, or post tribulation).

This is why I said the original quote didn’t seem to understand the meaning of the terms “premillenial” and “postmillenial”.


#6

Thanks for clarifying that :slight_smile: . I’m still exploring this difference that Catholics have with Protestants.

So pre/post millennealism has to do with the thousand year reign of Christ in relation to the tribulation. I guess I got those two concepts confused, thinking the tribulation was 1000 years.

Anyways, I have always believed that the events in Revelation are timeless that generally describe mankind’s struggle with the forces of this world and sin. It is dangerous to attach a political agenda to the prophecies in this book, as many people in positions of wealth & power have done.

Thanks, and good luck to the original poster!

-erbo


#7

Actually over time I found out that it is better to NOT include the colon ’ : ’ and to leave a space between “define” and the word.

So I would google like this:

define millennial

(dont use the : and leave a space)

By doing it that way ALONG with google’s dictionary (the very first page found in the search) you can quickly see what other dictionaries say. I have found that the google dictionary does not always give the best definitions, nor does it always have a definition (especially for slang terminology).


#8

Yes, the term “Millennial” by definition means “1000 years”.

Check out this page for some clear and short articles on the issue:
catholic.com/library/Rapture.asp

socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/12/resources-for-refuting-minority.html

Anyways, I have always believed that the events in Revelation are timeless that generally describe mankind’s struggle with the forces of this world and sin. It is dangerous to attach a political agenda to the prophecies in this book, as many people in positions of wealth & power have done.

Thanks, and good luck to the original poster!

-erbo

You are correct overall with this last comment, it is un-Biblical and dangerous to attach political (or even religious) agendas off of personal INTERPRETATION of those prophecies and symbols.


#9

#10

Wow! That’s so cool to know! I’ll definitely try that next time!

Thanks - :smiley:

~Liza


#11

If I am reading the original question correctly, I DONT see how it does inspire passivity. The way I understand it the Pre-Millienials group (those who believe Christ will return and reign BEFORE/during the 1000 years of peace) are divided into two camps, pre-Tribulation Rapture and post-Tribulation Rapture.

The “tribulation” is in reference to all those times in the New Testament when all the global catastrophe things start to happen. The pre-Tribulation Rapture crowd says the good guys will be “raptured” (taken away from the danger) before the Tribulation starts, the Post-Trib Rapture crowd says the rapture will occur after the tribulation is over with the good guys who survived.

The way I understand it, the Pre-Millennial-Pre-Tribulation crowd WANT the tribulation to come ASAP so Jesus will return ASAP and take them away. I dont see where passivity fits in here, in fact it looks to be the contrary.

DO catholics believe in the tribulation period of 1000 years?

There is no definite number, but the Bible is clear that things will go from bad to worse in the last days with major wars, famines, persecutions, etc. and suddenly Jesus will appear and it will be all over.

Also, what then is amillenial mean?

Usually when you see the letter “a” in front of a word that means negate that word, so in this case a-millennial means no millennial reign is going to occur at all.

I don’t understand how postmillennial theology inspires activism, cause that would according to the definitions given here mean that the parousia has occured and we are living post tribulation… no body believes that though.

The post-millennial view is rare and absurd (the articles I posted state it was only believed in the 1800s because people thought the world was heading in a peaceful direction :eek:). Post-Millennial means after Jesus was Resurrected 1000 years later Christ will return and reign and all will be over with. Obviously it has been more than 1000 years so they must take the number figuratively. Post-Millennialism doesnt have a tribulation.


#12

(1) Post-millennialism – this view interprets the “thousand years” as a very long time. This view also holds that God’s kingdom is being advanced in the world by His grace and the world will eventually be Christianized. Then Christ will return at the close of this period during a time of righteousness and peace.

  1. Pre-millenialism (also called “millenarianism”) – like post-millennialists, this view also interprets the “thousand years” as a golden age on earth when the world will be Christianized. But they believe that this period will occur after Christ’s second coming, during which time Christ will reign physically on earth. They believe the Final Judgment occurs when the millennium is over.

(3) Amillennialism – this view also interprets the “thousand years” symbolically, but, ulike the pre and post views, not as a golden age on earth. This view believes the millennium is the period of Christ’s rule in heaven and on earth through His Church. This is because the saints who reign with Christ and to whom judgment has been committed are said to be on their thrones in heaven. Rev. 20:4; cf. 4:4; 11:16. During this time, satan is bound and cannot hinder the spread of the gospel. Rev. 20:3. This is why, they explain, Jesus teaches the necessity of binding the “strong man” (satan) in order to plunder his house and rescue people from his grip. Matt. 12:29. This is also why, after the disciples preached the gospel and rejoiced that the demons were even subject to them, Jesus declared, “I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven.” Luke 10:18. Nevertheless, during this period, the world will not be entirely Christianized because satan, though bound, is still in some sense able to prowl around and attack souls. cf. 1 Peter 5:8. Of the three, this position is most consistent with Catholic teaching (the pre and post-millennium views have been rejected by the Church).

The full article can be read at scripturecatholic.com/second_coming.html

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


#13

now im more confussed since readin that article… i thought the millenium and tribulation were related but it doesnt seem that way after reradin that article. So, millenialism refers to the 1000 year period but of what? Peace?

and ‘tribulation’ is the lawlessness, etc?


#14

I guess the argument could be made that the good guys will be taken before all the bad things start to occur, so knowing your good wont inspire you to change injustices?

I still dont understand how post millenial theologies cause activism… if you fit into the post millenial group then you believe the millienium, is occuring now correct? So, wouldnt the fact that you need to fight injustices go against your own theological back drop.

p.s. for the recrod are not apocalypticism and eschatology (the last things) the same?! All these crazy theology words being thrown around.


#15

The millenium is Christ reigning in heaven, ever since his ascension, and the spreading of his kingdom. At the end of the millenium Satan will decieve many and make his final stand. A final tribulation. Then Jesus defeats him entirely at the battle of Gog and Magog.

Peace? No. A restraining of Satan, although he still prowels about. After the millenium Satan is not restrained for a short time. In other words, all hell breaks loose.

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


#16

They are not absolutely related, but they are taught together.

The 1000 years (“millennial”) in the context of Protestant end times beliefs (eschatology) means 1000 years of peace.

The Tribulation, as described in the Bible, is a time of widespread sin, war, famine, etc unlike the world has ever seen or will see.

The term “post” means “after” so a post-millennialist believes AFTER the 1000 years of peace Jesus will return and everything will end. They believe the current world is this 1000 years of peace and things are going to get better and better until Christ comes. There is no room for a Tribulation in Post-Millennialism, except in the distant past, and we are now recovering and growing towards widespread peace.

The term “pre” means “before” so a pre-millennialist believes that BEFORE the 1000 years of peace Jesus will return to earth and start a peaceful 1000 year reign and then everything will end. These people DO believe in the Tribulation which comes immediately before the millennial period, BUT not all Pre-Millennialists agree on how it will occur.

POST-Tribulation-PreMillennials believe that AFTER the Tribulation Christ will come and start His 1000 year reign of peace on earth.

PRE-Tribulation-PreMillennials believe that BEFORE the Tribulation Jesus will come and all the good guys will get “raptured” (taken away from danger) so that they wont have to suffer the Tribulation, and then after the Tribulation Jesus will start His 1000 year reign.

I hope I didnt confuse you here because this stuff is pretty wacky. Here is a nice chart I found online.

The way I understand it that is basically true. The PRE-trib (Rapture) folks see no need to stop injustice in the world because that would be equivalent to hindering the second coming (rapture) before the Tribulation.

From what I have been reading these people actually are excited about the world wars and such because they see it as a sign the Rapture is due any day now.

I still dont understand how post millenial theologies cause activism… if you fit into the post millenial group then you believe the millienium, is occuring now correct? So, wouldnt the fact that you need to fight injustices go against your own theological back drop.

The way I understand it Post Millennial believe the world is growing more and more peaceful each day, thus I would imagine fighting injustice is a duty, though inevitable.

p.s. for the recrod are not apocalypticism and eschatology (the last things) the same?! All these crazy theology words being thrown around.

Apocalypse is in reference to revealing the situation of the end times so they are similar terms.


#17

This is a overused sloppy way to debunk the rapture based on the way overzealous TV personalites teach it and tongue-in-cheek jokes on the event, like bumper stickers, etc.


#18

I wasnt debunking the rapture in that quote because it already is an unBiblical teaching.

I have read articles that explain why these Rapture folks support the nation of Israel so much and that is because they think it is setting the stage for the Tribulation.


closed #19

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