Christ centered only = Christo-monistic.

In responding to Jeff Clarke’s post here, in asking the question: Do Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave movements reflect the New Testament focus of the Holy Spirit?, Jeff makes this pertinent and hardly disagreeable assertion:

Every authentic move of the Spirit will always have as its primary focus the person of Jesus Christ.

For obvious reasons, at least to me, while a very good and quotable comment, so far as I see it, it is hardly disagreeable.  I mean, after all, is not the person and work of Jesus Christ front and central to the historic Christian faith?

At issue seems to be the notion the somehow a more “pneumatological” focus of Christian worship in Pentecostal or Charismatic settings somehow detracts from the person of Jesus Christ.  This is in fact, I think, a significant fallacy.   It is a fallacy because seeking the presence and power of the Spirit is a major element of the Christian live in relation to the Trinity.  To seek the presence of the Spirit isn’t taking from Christ nor the Father – if anything, most churches are Father centered enough.   Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are not less “Christ-Centered” than other churches – they may actually, in many ways, be more “balanced” (I would suggest rhythm more than balance), if not more Triune in their worship than many other settings.  This is of course not without exceptions.

But the main reason I wanted to post about this is to share my friend Monte’s thoughts of which he posted on the Facebook page.  He writes:

I thought I would offer several brief yet relevant strands for forwarding the conversation here, while acknowledging the warranted concerns and exhortations that Jeff has provided us.

PART ONE

Notwithstanding the excesses which Jeff calls attention to, I will first begin by pointing out, as has been argued by others elsewhere, that the historical Classical Pentecostal four/five-fold theological motifs of Jesus as Saviour, Sanctifier, Baptiser, Healer, and Coming King have in fact served, at least on a doctrinal level— to narrate the christocentric focus of a robust Pentecostal spirituality. Incidentally, the themes I am raising here largely reflect the following text: “Toward a Pentecostal Ecclesiology: The Church and the Fivefold Gospel,” ed John Christopher Thomas (2010). This is important to note because the four/five-fold motifs demonstrate that common Protestant/Evangelical assumptions that characteristically presume that Pentecostalism is largely pneumacentric are actually inaccurate.

As Church of God theologian Kenneth Archer points out, the experiential orientation of Pentecostalism is thus wholly centered on Jesus: encountering Jesus via the Holy Spirit. Yet also as Assemblies of God theologians Simon Chan and Frank Macchia respectively point out, this experiential orientation stresses coming to Jesus as our Spirit Baptizer. As both Chan and Macchia respectively demonstrate— “Spirit baptiser” is perhaps the most attested identity of Jesus in the New Testament, at least in the Gospels.

As many of the essays in the “Toward a Pentecostal Ecclesiology” text point out, and as consistently stressed in Macchia’s and Chan’s respective works elsewhere, we can attribute many of the failures that do occur in Pentecostalism, to a failure of adequately integrating the functional motif of Jesus as Sanctifier in Pentecostal spirituality. I moreover find this significant since both Macchia and Chan represent the more Keswickian orientation of Classical Pentecostalism (eg, AG).

However, while I appreciate Clark’s concerns, I am oftentimes a bit ambivalent when I read or hear admonishments suggesting that the primary criterion of an “authentic move of the Spirit” is that we keep Jesus as the “primary focus.” Well, on one hand, how can anyone argue with this? Yet on the other— I would argue however that the very weakness of historical Reformed Protestantism and much of Evangelicalism is— christo-monism, meaning, an overly nuanced stress on the Son, to the neglect of the Father and the Spirit.

Let me briefly further describe the problem of christo-monism. Given limited space here, I will focus on the “worship” of the Church. I would argue that actually, a consistent nuance on the Son as the centre of our worship and perhaps even preaching, is not healthy. What results is a very poor sense of spiritual direction in how, ironically, the life of Jesus should shape the direction of our life, both personally and corporately as a church. Hence, we end up with a very poor “via salutis” (way of salvation). We should rather consistently directly our address in worship and mediation towards the Father— and hence therefore more broadly— towards God as Trinity. I believe this is indeed a major theme stressed in Acts, which incidentally accounts for the greater emphasis on the “kingdom of God” in the preaching of both Jesus and the early church.

Both historically and existentially, we can in fact argue that “pentecostal experiences” in Spirit baptism are in actually, encounters with God’s Triune life and mission as Father, Son, and Holy Life. There is moreover, substantial literature arguing this thesis, which can be explored, including literature representative of early 20th century Pentecostalism.

We can conversely argue that a robust Pentecostal spirituality is not only primarily grounded on a strong consciousness of the Trinity, but conversely with primary understanding of Jesus according to recapulatory themes (eg, Jesus coming as the Perfect Human to re-script the human story) that are informed by the Spirit-Christology narrated via the Luke-Acts story. Hence, Christ is existentially present with us (christus praesens), He is “contemporaneous” with us (Kierkegaard)— and it is through the Spirit He is present with us. The recapulatory and Spirit-Christology themes of Luke-Acts also demonstrate that our coming to Jesus is indeed that of disciples following our model Teacher and Lord— looking to Him as our pattern for life. Given the true Trinitarian center of Pentecostalism, Pentecostal spirituality thus duly affirms on one hand, the Son and Spirit as the “two hands” of the Father,” while on the other— the Spirit as the “shared love” between the Father and the Son.

So to recap, the inherent resources within Pentecostalism that provide us the integrity we need as a healthy expression of Christian spirituality are:

1. Holding in tandem the Pentecostal vision of Jesus as both Sanctifier and Baptizer.

2. An understanding of Spirit baptism as existential encounter with the Triune life and perichoretic mission towards creation.

3. And a strong recapulatory understanding of Jesus as our standard for spiritual and life formation.

PART TWO:

Having shared quite a bit of theological musing in the preceding posting, I want to now add some thoughts more directly affirming certain experiential and transrational dynamics of Pentecostalism— with reference to how those dynamics are illustrated in the book of Acts.

I will begin here by drawing attention to Gordon Anderson’s illustration of Pentecostal resonance with spiritual encounter as narrated in Acts [“Pentecost, Scholarship, and Learning in a Postmodern World,” Pneuma 27, no 1 (Spring 2005)].

Anderson suggests: “If you want to see a funny movie, run this one in your mind. Picture Peter explaining what happened (Acts 11) to a . . . rationalistic . . . audience. His lines go like this:

“You see, I was in a trance, and saw a vision, and heard a voice, then some men came who had been sent by an angel, and so I went with them to the house of a Gentile and they were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, so I baptized them in water. And, despite my training in the scriptures, it just seemed to be the right thing to do!”

Incidentally, I would point out that every major missiological decision narrated in the book of Acts, was linked to some kind of transrational, “visionary” experience, usually involving hearing either the audible voice of God, or that of an angel, or some kind of visual vision. Of course, these dynamics are in truth, to be programmatically expected by believers— as demonstrated in Peter’s Pentecost sermon (Acts 2). Therefore, I whole heartedly affirm Terry Cross’ description of Pentecostals, as those who “are open to hearing voices.” [Terry Cross, “The Divine-Human Encounter: Towards a Pentecostal Theology of Experience” (Pneuma 31 (2009)].

Finally, I want to add a very shorter word about the Toronto Outpouring. As for myself, I was personally “touched” through one of the streams linked to the Toronto Outpouring back in the mid-90’s. the “touch” I experienced on several occasions included on one of those occasions, crawling around on all floors for some reason, then passing out for some time. It certainly does not make any sense, although I was obviously beside myself. Consequently, concerning other strange happenings and excesses that accompanied the “move,”

I don’t have all the answers, as I cannot help but leave a little bewildered space in my reflection— that allows the possibilities that sometimes such invasive outpourings of the Spirit may prompt people to behave a little strangely. Moreover, why else were also so many onlookers prompted to exclaim on the day of Pentecost, “Ha! These people have drunk way too much wine!”

The danger of opening windows on a very windy day, is that the neat and orderly piled papers on the desk might actually be blown everywhere on the floor. The alternative of course, is to lock up those windows.

Well, whew!  Now THAT should give some good food for thought for a while!

Blessings!

Prayer of the day: Knots Prayer

THE KNOTS PRAYER.

Dear God:

Please untie the knots that are in my mind,
my heart my life.

Remove the have-nots,
the can nots and the do-nots
that I have in my mind

Erase all the will-nots,
might-nots
that may find a home in my heart.

Release me from the could-nots
would-nots
that obstruct my life .

And most of all
Dear God;

I ask that you remove from my mind ,
my heart and my life
all the “am nots”
that I have allowed to hold me back ,
especially the thought,
that I am not good enough

Author Known to God

Quote of the Day: Harvey Cox

‎There was a time when Pentecostals warned themselves and anyone else who would listen not to become entangled and dependent on the ‘things of the world’. Pentecostals were suspicious of the passing fads of stylish clothing, the latest hair-do, glitzy new consumer products. They were also—as it turns out rightly—suspicious that the powerful new mass media could be a seductive lure, tricking people into the empty values of the consumer market culture. Perhaps it is time for a rebirth of that ethic of simplicity, that suspicion of ‘the things of this world’, for which the early Pentecostals were so famous.

Harvey Cox The Globalization of Pentecostalism (394).

Whew!  Boy it is ever VERY different today!!  Shows how much too we have move away from our early teachings on holiness and sanctification.

Jesus the Lamb of God

This is a sermon I preached recently that I wanted to share (it didn’t go exactly the way it is written, but more or less)(yeah, it went faster than it feels):

Central proposition: As the Lamb of God, Jesus brought to fulfillment the long awaited prophecies about the Messiah who would bring deliverance and set up God’s kingdom in the world.

Let’s read together John 1:29-34.

This morning I want to focus on mainly verse 29 where John the Baptist declares to his disciples and those passing by: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Sometimes, when we read the Bible, if we come across a verse that stands out to us or seems to be saying something important, it is often a good idea to take some time and reflect deeper on what is being said. It can be good from time to time to camp out on a verse and take some time to think it though and understand its implications. The second half of John 1:29 is one of those verses. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Perhaps you have heard or read this verse before, probably you’ve read it lots of times and even heard the song with the words, ‘Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.’ Even though we may have heard this verse before I want to take some time and reflect on what this statement means and what it means for our lives, why it is important. It is important we understand the greatness of John’s declaration about Jesus.  It is an amazing statement, if not a bold one.

I wonder what kind of an effect it had on those who first heard them? John the Baptist declared to those who would listen that this Jesus from Nazareth, a local and a mere carpenter, was someone of worldwide and infinite significance.

Things were tense in first century Israel and the people were at a near frenzy with anticipation of a coming messiah deliverer who would set them free from a long and tough Roman oppression. They had just come out of the troubled Hasmonean Dynasty and were still picking up the pieces following the Maccabean Revolt not too many years prior. The people of Israel just wanted to be left alone to live their lives and worship their God and be Jewish.

Tensions were mounting. Various rebel leaders and self proclaimed messiah deliverers had come and gone such as Judas the Galilean mentioned in Acts 5:37 who lead a revolt among the people and yet was killed. Israel was tired of Roman oppression and was crying out to God for deliverance. Sound familiar?

Then along comes John the Baptist, an obscure unknown prophet-like man in weird clothes who ate locusts. He showed up declaring in effect, that all the prophecies and revelations of the Old Testament that looked forward to a Savior and a deliverer had finally been fulfilled in another relatively obscure fellow Jesus of Nazareth — whom John prophesied was “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”

I can imagine this was somewhat shocking to the people of Israel and can explain why the Jewish leadership sent some emissaries out to interrogate John about his claims.  He probably was not helping calm the expectations of the people but only served to build on the anticipation.

God heard their cry and knew their situation. It is true the people of Israel needed deliverance and that God would bring it. However, the deliverance God was bringing to his people was a different kind of deliverance than what they were expecting or hoping for. What did John the Baptist mean by calling Jesus the LAMB of God? Was he talking about his gentle, meek disposition? Was he referring to the fact that he was innocent and pure?  Perhaps.

More likely, however, while Jesus does have his moments as a meek and gentle man, John’s reason for calling him the Lamb of God goes much deeper than a mere description of his personal disposition. In this strong declarative statement about Jesus by John the Baptist we are going to see that John, the author of the Fourth Gospel, was certain portions of the Old Testament in the light of Jesus’ work on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

As the Lamb of God Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant who was led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sin-offering (Isaiah 53:7, 10).

As the Lamb of God Jesus bore our sins on the cross. There are different things that come to mind when one hears the phrase “lamb of God.”

One of the first is the reference to the lamb in Isaiah 53. This is often a debated point between Jews and Christians. The Jews and even those who spend a lot of time studying the Old Testament argue that within Judaism the prophecy in Isaiah 53 was not interpreted messianically.

So, some are quick to not want this passage to necessarily refer to Jesus’ work on the cross but I think it is impossible not to and rather appropriate to do so. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead everything about how the Hebrew Scriptures were understood was radically changed. Before some things were unclear in their meaning and hard to understand, but now they are made clear and known to all – that much of the Hebrew Scriptures were fulfilled in the person Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Much of the Old Testament is now understood through this revelation.

(example/illustration) I once heard a story about some Jewish parents being upset a teacher was teaching about Christianity in one of their children’s classes. I can’t remember the context and do not know if this is real or not but to defend herself the teacher read from the passage she read in class. The parents immediately got upset and maintained their accusation against the teacher. Well, it turned out she was reading from Isaiah 53. The parents were in shock and they were silenced. It is hard to dispute that Isaiah prophecy is speaking of anyone other than Jesus Christ and his work on the cross.

Lets look at the passage briefly.  Let’s read Isaiah 53:4-7.

This part of the prophecy really begins at 52:13 and carries over. It comes in a series of prophecies about a person scholars call the Servant of the Lord that begins at Isaiah 42. This person was to come and bring salvation to Israel and the nations by overthrowing oppression and injustice and destroying evil. In the process he would free Israel from their oppressors and restore the glory of God to the nation of Israel so that the nations would not want to destroy them but come rather to the mountain of the Lord in Jerusalem and worship God or YHWH, the God of Israel. One thing was overlooked however, this section of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant of the Lord, who is the Messiah.

Somehow it had been overlooked that Israel needed a spiritual deliverance as well as a physical one. This prophecy seems to be so misunderstood that even today, some 2000 years later, many Jews are still angry at Jesus and feel that he abandoned them and Judaism. In fact, many are so upset at him they can hardly say his name. I think the Jews of the day knew Jesus was the Messiah but they were too full of their own pride and heritage to see the depths of their own sin and need for forgiveness and deliverance. So when he died on the cross their hopes of physical deliverance were shattered.

The Bible makes it plain. All people have sinned and in that sin are separated from God. We need salvation and deliverance from our sins and failures to live up to God’s expectations and purposes for our lives. When John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world he is telling us that Jesus was and is the means of our forgiveness and reconciliation with God. In the person of Jesus Christ we see this prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled and brought to fruition.

Though Jesus came to bring deliverance to the people of Israel and the nations esteemed him not and we despised him – yet willingly and intently he bore our sins for us. He carried the weight of them upon his body and took the to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us “God made him who had no sin to be sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. Imagine how hard this must have been – one who knew no sin bore the sins of the world on his body. What a burden to carry. But he carried them nonetheless and he will help us carry ours if we let him.

In preparing this sermon I found one person who wrote:

“Our sin was laid on Him as a heavy burden. The heaviest thing in the universe is sin. Neither angels nor men can stand under the load of sin—it sinks them lower than the lowest hell. When sin was laid upon the Son of God, He bore it, but He sweat as it were great drops of blood, and He was exceeding sorrowful even unto death. To have born up the WEIGHT of the world would have been nothing compared with bearing THE SIN of the world.”

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He not only bore our sins but he also took them away! 1 John 1:7 says the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. He took them away and washed us clean and made us new.

As the Lamb of God Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant who was led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sin-offering.

As the Lamb of God Jesus fulfilled the role of the paschal or suffering lamb, whose blood saved Israel from the Egyptians (Exodus 12). Restate it: As the Lamb of God Jesus saved us from our sins that plague our lives.

Like the plagues that nearly destroyed Egypt and Israel altogether – the blood of the lamb saved us from our sins. This is another understanding of John’s statement about Jesus. It brings up images of the exodus from Egypt and the institution of Passover. Because Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go he brought on Egypt many devastating and painful plagues the nearly destroyed Egypt altogether. Even so, Pharaoh would not relent. So God said he would kill every firstborn son in Egypt from Pharaoh on down to the lowest servant. But God knew that Israel would need a covering to protect them from what was about to happen. Lets read briefly Exodus 12:5-13.

The blood of the Passover lamb protected the people of Israel from the plague that took all Egypt’s firstborn sons. In Jesus coming as the lamb of God he fulfills the role of the Passover Lamb in that his blood saves us from the effects of our sins before God and allows us to experience his mercy and forgiveness.

Here I want to note the Exodus nature of Jesus’ deliverance on the cross.

Whereas the first Exodus led Israel out of Egypt, the house of slavery, the house of bondage, the second exodus is a spiritual deliverance from the slavery and bondage to sin leading God’s people in to a new kind of freedom, a life of freedom from the power and effects of sin and its hold on the human heart. By Jesus coming into the world as the Lamb of God he finished what Moses was ultimately unable to do: lead Israel into true and lasting freedom. The completion of this second Exodus (or as some call it, a new Exodus) took place when Jesus gave his life on the cross and then three days later rose from the dead. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, delivered us from a different and more powerful kind of bondage – bondage to sin and its enslaving power over hearts and lives.

It is the shed blood of Christ on the cross and his resurrection from the dead that sets us free from sin and its control over hearts and lives. With this second exodus Jesus brought a different and altogether more important form of deliverance than what Israel had been expecting. He brought spiritual deliverance that as it said in Isaiah 53:5 brings us peace, peace in our hearts and if we apply it properly peace in our relationships with others.  This is the effect of the cross – it brings us peace vertically and horizontally, it brings peace with God and with others.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! As the Lamb of God Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant who was led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sin-offering (Isaiah 53:7, 10).

As the Lamb of God Jesus took away our sins on the cross and has delivered us from the power and hold of sin and death.

In so doing he also will fulfill the role of the victorious apocalyptic Lamb who in the end, will destroy evil in the world and firmly establish the Kingdom of God.

As the Lamb of God Jesus will fulfill the role of the victorious apocalyptic lamb who will destroy evil in the world (Rev 5-7; 17:14).

Through the cross and resurrection Jesus overcame the powers of sin and death in the world and set in process his efforts to overthrow evil and injustice.

In Revelation 5 we Jesus portrayed as the Lion of Judah who has conquered, then as a Lamb with seven horns who has won the right to open the scroll, and call forth the redeemed and bring them into the Kingdom. Here we see the Lamb who leads the flock of God, who delivers them from their foes and rules them in the Kingdom of God. These portrayals of Christ as Lion and as Lamb are not paradoxical but parallel, since seven horns signify immense strength – the Lamb is a powerful Ram!

But he is presented as a Lamb because he “stands as one that has been slain.” He stands for he is the Living one who died and is alive forever (Rev 1:18); and he was slain in sacrifice, specifically as God’s Passover Lamb, to bring about the new Exodus for the liberty and life of the kingdom of God.

He is the slain yet victorious Lamb whose blood ‘ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people’ (Rev. 5:6,9). What we are seeing here an apocalyptic representation of the Christ adapted to the Christian doctrine of redemption; the all-powerful Christ wins salvation for the world through his sacrificial death.

It is the exact opposite of what Israel expected of the Messiah. Whereas they expected a kingly ruler to come and overthrow Roman oppression through victorious battle – Jesus waged a different kind of battle through giving his life on the cross. This was the true victory that he accomplished for us. Through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead Jesus has delivered us from that which plagues us and will also protect us from the coming end-time plagues God will use to finally destroy the wicked and establish his kingdom rule. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God brought us spiritual deliverance through submission to death as the Passover Lamb and his resurrection from the dead and ascension to the Father in Heaven.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! As the Lamb of God Jesus will fulfill the role of the victorious apocalyptic lamb who will destroy evil in the world (Rev 5-7; 17:14). He will protect us from the end-time judgment of the world and lead us into his eternal kingdom.

Will we follow? John the Baptist made this declaration about Jesus and then his disciples followed after Jesus.

Will we? Will we come after him and be his disciples following him as the Lamb of God, following him into a different way of living than what many often expect? Many want a victorious life free from any difficulty – but Jesus doesn’t lead us down that road. He calls us to a different way of living. He calls us a life centered on the cross and resurrection. Will we follow?

 

Stephen Krstulovich on the ‘God Particle.”

The US Assemblies of God has an article up on their website talking about the so-called “God Particle” “discovery” highlighting the work of Stephen Krstulovich, an engineer at Fermilab in Chicago for more than 25 years and a member of Maranatha Chapel (AG) in Evergreen Park, Illinois:

On July 4, 2012, physicists at the CERN facility in Geneva, Switzerland, announced the discovery of a particle that is likely to be the Higgs boson or “God Particle” as a result of colliding protons using their particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider. The news has led to a variety of statements, speculation and new theories.

But what, if anything, does the discovery mean for Christians? Is this a good thing or does this discovery “explain away” God creating the universe?

The answer is surrounded by complexities that perhaps only a particle physicist can fully appreciate, but even Christian physicists are excited about the discovery. But in order to understand what the excitement is all about, it’s important to understand (even simplistically) some science/physics history and what has apparently occurred.

On July 4, 2012, physicists at the CERN facility in Geneva, Switzerland, announced the discovery of a particle that is likely to be the Higgs boson or “God Particle” as a result of colliding protons using their particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider. The news has led to a variety of statements, speculation and new theories.

But what, if anything, does the discovery mean for Christians? Is this a good thing or does this discovery “explain away” God creating the universe?

The answer is surrounded by complexities that perhaps only a particle physicist can fully appreciate, but even Christian physicists are excited about the discovery. But in order to understand what the excitement is all about, it’s important to understand (even simplistically) some science/physics history and what has apparently occurred.

Read more here.

Quote of the Day: Fight Sin through Worship

From here:  (A Tim Keller sermon transcribed)

If you are a Christian and you are dealing with enslaving habits, it’s not enough to say, “Bad Christian, stop it.” And it is not enough to beat yourself up or merely try harder and harder and harder.

The real reason that you’re having a problem with an enslaving habit is because you are not tasting God. I’m not talking about believing God or even obeying God, I’m saying tasting —tasting God.

The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship. You need worship. You need great worship. You need weeping worship. You need glorious worship. You need to sense God’s greatness and to be moved by it — moved to tears and moved to laughter — moved by who God is and what he has done for you. And this needs to be happening all the time.

This type of worship is the only thing that can replace the little if only fire burning in your heart. We need a new fire that says, “If only I saw the Lord. If only he was close to my heart. If only I could feel him to be as great as I know him to be. If only I could taste his grace as sweet as I know it to be.”

And when that if only fire is burning in your heart, then you are free.

Trans-Millennial?

Never heard of it before?  Neither have I.  Consider this from Donald G. Bloesch’s The Last Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory (IVP).  After discussing Premillennialism, Dispensationalism, Amillennialism, Postmillennialsim, Idealist-symbolic views and Moltmann, in his usual style, he lets us know what he thinks at the end where he summaries and presents a section called ‘Toward a new understanding of the millennium” where he says in part:  (stick with me):

I propose a realizing or unfolding millennium.  The millennium is the kingdom of Christ that is now hidden in the crises and turmoils of history.  It is a kingdom that is ever advancing but always meeting with renewed opposition by the principalities and powers that still wreak havoc in the world….

The millennium belongs to both history and superhistory.  Its goal is a transfigured earth, an earth transformed by the light of the Word of God.  The fulfillment of the millennium will be realized in the second coming of Christ.  Its inauguration has already occurred at his first coming.  Now we have the millennium in its preliminary phase; then we shall see it in its manifest or consummate stage… the millennial kingdom is not yet the eternal kingdom… then… it will become the kingdom of God in its fulfillment….

After sharing what he appreciates about dispys and premills (that they are futuristic though opposing a strictly futurist view and the promise of a transformed world), he then says the following:

What I am presenting might be labeled a historical-symbolic view.  It must not be confounded with the idealistic position.  The symbols of apocalyptic eschatology refer not to timeless truths but to the penetration of the kingdom of God within history.  This view can also be described as transmillennial, for the millennium points beyond itself to the new heaven and the new earth, which constitutes the fulfillment of the millennium.

I say the way he presents it is quite an interesting way to put it.  I am wondering what others might think of this view as presented by Bloesch?