The End of the World As We Know It with Dr. Crawford Gribben
September 29, 2022
Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Rapture, Second Coming, New Creation, Tribulation, Left Behind, and A Thief in the Night. Today I have a conversation with historian Crawford Gribben about his work chronicling the way people have talked about the end times through the centuries.
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Andy Miller III: Alright, so on today's program, I am very pleased to welcome to podcast Crawford gribbon who serves as Professor of history at queen's University in Belfast Northern Ireland Crawford welcome to the podcast.
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C Gribben: And the it's great to be here thanks invitation and i'm really delighted to start off with an advert for planning for the future.
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Andy Miller III: Oh yeah exactly that is gonna be very connected to what we're going to talk about an eschatology so we're going to get there.
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Andy Miller III: You know I didn't even think of that and, and this is an interesting thing for me because I Crawford I become i've become a fan of yours just this summer I.
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Andy Miller III: was not aware of your scholarship in your writing, but I found one little book in a library in Manchester England.
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Andy Miller III: And that led to another and that led to five and so or four or five books, so in a variety of articles so i've been really I really appreciate your scholarship and the work god's called you to do so, thanks so much for taking some time to be with me today.
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C Gribben: Well, I can tell you, for the slow summer on the i'm sorry for there wasn't many more distractions.
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Andy Miller III: haha well and interesting enough, I came I had this weird phenomena where.
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Andy Miller III: I came upon one of your books and if all this will really this really helped the project i'm working on.
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Andy Miller III: And then I heard you on another podcast talk about a whole nother thing you're working on history of the Church in Ireland and then i'd say I had a Crawford gribbin summer let's just say.
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C Gribben: As more than anyone else can see.
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Andy Miller III: This is what happens when you get specialized in the area, more and more so so here's what's interesting this book that I found of yours.
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Andy Miller III: was a history for 500 years of the way people have talked about.
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Andy Miller III: The millennium in eschatology, so this is fascinating to me that this has been.
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Andy Miller III: Like a certainly a stream for a while and you're right and then you've edited volumes you've written on this, and particularly even what's happened in American context and we'll get into that minute, but before we get too far, what is it that led you.
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Andy Miller III: To be interested in studying the history of eschatology.
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C Gribben: that's a great question it, and thanks for asking it, I think one I think a lot, a lot of scholars right a lot of scholars pretend to be really objective.
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C Gribben: about the subjects they study and really curious, but all of these phenomena, but I think mostly we're curious about ourselves.
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C Gribben: And we're trying to understand ourselves and different kinds of ways, you know just talking before we started recording of our respective backgrounds, now that helps us think.
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C Gribben: about different kinds of of questions and different kinds of topics and for me and I got interested in eschatology because I grew up in a Christian group.
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C Gribben: That was very strongly influenced by these kinds of ideas and and really had been shaped and quite profound ways by.
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C Gribben: Expectations of the rapture tribulation and millennium and so on, and I grew up in Scotland queer those kinds of ideas are not really part and parcel of everyday evangelical life.
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C Gribben: In Scotland, that the denominations, the biggest most influential denominations tend to be quite cool on eschatology and not really make much of it so as I was growing up as a teenager.
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C Gribben: I suppose I became aware that in the history of the Church, some of these ideas are quite a big purchase, but also, I became aware as it began to be more consuming, I suppose, for the American Christian popular culture that.
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C Gribben: Other side of the Atlantic.
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C Gribben: There was these ideas were massive.
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C Gribben: As able to watch, you know pretty horrifying films unreal pretty scary books that we're really dramatizing some of the things I was getting Sunday by Sunday.
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C Gribben: But i'm much more accessible format so, and you know as a as a did my studies eventually ended up doing a PhD and did the PhD on 17th century puritans.
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C Gribben: And their view of the millennium, which obviously is quite different from most, but not all, a contemporary evangelical views and of the times that really got me started.
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C Gribben: And ever since ever since then i've kind of been interested in two things.
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C Gribben: i've been interested of extra continued interest in puritans and and various aspects of their culture, but also continue to be interested in the history of millennial ISM of millennial thought.
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C Gribben: And i've traced that various projects through from the 17th century late 60s early 17th century right way, through my list to the present day, so that's my.
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C Gribben: kind of background and that's the stuff that i'm interested in doing.
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Andy Miller III: yeah it's interesting you bring it and we might this might come up later, when we talk about your book writing the rapture and but I, you mentioned the horrifying films and I had a.
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Andy Miller III: Conversion experience you call it, but I certainly when I saw thief in the night, for the first time, you know, and they were singing and wish we'd all been ready, I was making sure I was ready buddy.
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Andy Miller III: That was that was certainly a part of it and not I I make I say that in kind of a lightweight, but I would actually say that that was a legit.
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Andy Miller III: And, as I developed theologically thinking about how God has revealed himself through scripture the the fear.
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Andy Miller III: There is, there is an appropriate level of fear that comes in, you want to be able, like hey look look if if.
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Andy Miller III: I don't affirm and people in the institution I serve don't affirm.
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Andy Miller III: The rapture and I think that might cause some people concerned right now we're going to get into that and more Nevertheless, I still think it's helpful to think about Jesus return and rather not you're ready for it, so I can I can understand that experience.
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C Gribben: yeah absolutely I mean whatever denominational spend there isn't that topic, it is part of the apostles creed.
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C Gribben: is something that all Christians need to expect and live in light of an joyful expectation.
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Andy Miller III: hey this is what's interesting is I think i'm just gonna maybe jump ahead of here of where the questions I had sent you just because I think we we brought that up here.
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Andy Miller III: Sometimes in an American context the rapture has become orthodoxy, but, but I think people often confuse jesus's return the Paris SIA with.
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Andy Miller III: The rapture So if you say you don't believe in the rapture it's almost like the same thing as saying you don't believe Jesus is going to return is that something you found through literature.
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C Gribben: yeah, of course, that that objection rests upon differentiation that's really introduced in the early 19th century mid 19th century so up until that point part of car definitely all of those kinds of of vocabulary I.
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C Gribben: Thought to describe the same event but only in the mid 19th century to begin to get teased apart, and of course in you know, in the UK Christians who think about these things will hold all of those things together, almost always.
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C Gribben: As a single event.
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C Gribben: And what's different in some small groups here but also generally in United States evangelicalism.
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C Gribben: And, but yeah that that that's a that's a that's a common thing anyone who pushes back in the idea of the rapture is sometimes thought to be denying the the ecumenical Christian expectation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
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Andy Miller III: yeah, which is, as you said, connected to the apostles creed, I mean this is an excellent we are teaching so maybe it'd be helpful to think about some terms to.
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Andy Miller III: And, and I appreciate how in a couple of your books at the front, you have a glossary what, why is it so important to have a glossary when you're talking about eschatology.
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C Gribben: Well, because I think, as we just indicated Andy people use the same words in different ways.
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C Gribben: yeah and I think when you're starting a book of me, you can include like an introduction that defines every single thing, but maybe a glossary is a bit more efficient way to do that so.
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C Gribben: And you know, not only does theologians or everyday Christians use similar kinds of language with a different kinds of references also social scientists do the same thing.
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C Gribben: So you know if you dip into 1970s 1980s even made in 90s.
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C Gribben: sociology anthropology of religion you'll often find people making distinctions between millennial lists and more millennial audience.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, yes.
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C Gribben: yeah and it's very weird because they don't do so in a consistent way.
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C Gribben: And so you know, as I was reading through a lot of this material I just began to get really confused, so I thought, if it was helpful for me to have a glossary it may be helpful, some readers to the glossary as well.
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C Gribben: As were in which I was not only a common definitions pre post the millennials the rapture tribulation Antichrist etc, but also make it clear that I am not social scientist that Obama anthropology.
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C Gribben: Evil desires and instead of just try to coin terms or use terms that that I think we can stand over.
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C Gribben: and not get too much caught up in them, so in the 70s and 80s social scientists were using theological words with non theological definitions.
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C Gribben: And they were also debating among themselves what those definitions should be say I mean I think it's sensible just to sort of ditch that conversation and use theological language with theological definitions and then we all kind of know where we stand.
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Andy Miller III: yeah that's great That was really helpful and it's helpful cue for people, as you enter in the dialogue to make sure you're starting in the same place, so of course that can all lead to interesting place of thinking about.
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Andy Miller III: The nature of language and power dynamics all these sort of things, but nevertheless, like it just a clear state like this is what I mean, and while we're there why don't we just go in and say what do you mean.
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Andy Miller III: When you talk about the millennium in general, like what's that connected to you that will help people as we get into this discussion.
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C Gribben: All right, thanks Andy so that the millennium is the idea that there is often 1000 year period of time.
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C Gribben: And, which some people think of as being in the future, others in the past and it's connected to the Second Coming of Christ in different kinds of ways by different eschatological narratives so the sort of.
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C Gribben: classical passage to find the idea of the millennium is revelation chapter 20 verses one to 10 I think it is describe this period of 1000 years and which satan's chained up.
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C Gribben: And and that's a it's a fairly or pick passage, I think it raises lots of.
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C Gribben: Questions who actually is there in the first resurrection is it just marketers and the other people as well, so there's lots of lots of key ideas key apocalyptic eschatological ideas get.
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C Gribben: mentioned in that passage, without necessarily being fully explained, and so what people do, then, when you read that passage is the pool.
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C Gribben: Ideas or themes from other New Testament or even Old Testament passages into those 10 verses to more fully elucidate what they think it's all about, and so the consequence of that is.
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C Gribben: That revelation 20 sustains or is made to sustain a CDs of ultimately incompatible narratives about the millennium.
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C Gribben: And the one most common, I suppose, in the United States is pre millennial ISM the idea that Jesus comes before the 1000 years to inaugurate the 1000 year reign.
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C Gribben: And there's also an argument which is more historic called post millennial ISM, which is the idea that this present each of them.
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C Gribben: of Christian influence in the world will gradually and successively convert the global population, with the effect that we will move on not effortlessly but but seamlessly.
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C Gribben: into this millennium at the end of which Christ will return that's often known as post millennial ISM is a very optimistic and set of expectations about the triumph of the Gospel in this age.
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C Gribben: And then there is often.
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C Gribben: Probably the most common and millennial position among reformed Presbyterian people Catholics, as well as the old augustinian.
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C Gribben: idea that revelation 20 is actually a metaphor so it's not really describing a 1000 year period of time it's it's it's describing an experience what make the experience of sense after death.
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C Gribben: or it may be the experience of entirety of church history or most of church history or a very small number of people believe in the early mid to.
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C Gribben: early medieval period, it was a 1000 year period, but it ended around the year 1000 or slightly after your 1000.
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C Gribben: But basically it's metaphorical So those are the three possessions over here in the UK, almost all evangelicals or email any of us are you are United States almost all evangelicals are pre millennials.
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C Gribben: But there's always been this kind of bubbling up with post millennial hope and aspiration and we see it, and in the early part of the 19th century in the United States.
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C Gribben: Where both northern and southern clergy are really buying into this idea of of the expansion of what America or what an agency so should see represents and all sorts really claps with a civil war which leads, I think, to a movement away from the optimism.
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C Gribben: Right when there wasn't too much to eschatological possession pre millennial ISM I think is is is better able to explain experience.
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C Gribben: The experience of life after the war with massive numbers, you know 10s of those hundreds of those of casualties and I suppose that that raises the issue and the.
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C Gribben: The o'neill issue of to what extent these eschatological debates are not being driven by competing readings of scripture but actually being driven by the context of which scripture is being read.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, this is what's interesting in as you started talking about this with revelation 20 the actual point of the exit Jesus of that passage.
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Andy Miller III: is often not a part of this discussion we're teaching a class right now in focusing on orders and if people hear this, they can still probably get into it.
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Andy Miller III: On revelation exit Jesus of Revelation but so a lot of us are thinking about those passages right now, but often it's not really connected.
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Andy Miller III: To the study of the passage all these other ideas like, for instance, you just brought up this the civil with the American the you know the American Civil War.
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Andy Miller III: A war of northern aggression, we call there you go well you know i'm a Yankee who lives in this outside very careful Crawford how this works, I was trying, I appreciated what you said, because I do try to be respectful of the fact that America there's North and South America it's a continent.
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Andy Miller III: That i'm not the only American United States and I was trying to make the civil war.
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Andy Miller III: United States nevertheless that's so One of the interesting things that we have is wars play big price and then in the 20th century, the move away from post millennial ISM also happened as a result of the First and Second World Wars.
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C Gribben: that's right yeah exactly exactly you know you can read the all of it discourses I suppose most famously Matthew 24 wars and rumors of wars.
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C Gribben: I thought to the same of the end or representatives being a sign of the end, and especially the aftermath of World War one and.
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C Gribben: Bible exposed to is really seem to lose whatever hawks they had retained here in Europe.
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C Gribben: and dealing with that kind of devastation so it's kind of interesting if you look at the potted history of post millennial ISM in the United States post millennial expectations claps at the end of the 1860s.
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C Gribben: Yes, in Europe it's 60 years later.
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C Gribben: yeah First World War and, of course, you know, but by the time you come to the early 20th century there are different kinds of groans for optimism of human progress.
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C Gribben: So the post millennial ISM that collapses in the 1860s United States is a strongly evangelical postmillennial ISM that's realistic about.
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C Gribben: The human potential for senate cetera, whereas the post millennial ISM that survives after that, in Europe is a much more enlightened, shall we say.
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C Gribben: All kind of person, when I was um there's maybe much less rooted in traditional evangelical coats of sin salvation sanctification and so on, and much more rooted in.
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C Gribben: what we might call nowadays humanistic ideas of perfect ability and so it's two different styles of course millennial ISM.
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C Gribben: Which are doing two different kinds of things for the people who hold them but yeah you're right in both cases Andy what they have in common is that war destroys those hopes.
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Andy Miller III: what's the distinction between utopianism and millennial ISM so like it or is there, so a lot of times like what we might commonly referred to as.
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Andy Miller III: The like you bring up those kind of liberal movement you think of the social Gospel and various groups that saw the perfectibility of humanity and reason.
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Andy Miller III: But it's now, we might call that a Utopian idea, whereas in the early 20th century that might have been thought of as post millennial ISM is there a distinction.
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C Gribben: Yes, that's a great question, and I suppose you could say that millennial ISM is ancient.
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C Gribben: rose utopianism maybe has a slightly more difficult, I assume it's more difficult to reconstruct me go back to Plato or something like that you can find ideas in the Republic that might look to us utopian and utopian literature, I suppose, is often satirical.
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C Gribben: Okay, so.
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C Gribben: If you look at something like so Thomas more's utopia 15 and 16 wasn't it am or more recent utopia infections or utopian narratives.
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C Gribben: That they're often presented in Greek, they often present a version of the world in great detail but designed as a foil or as a counter to the world as it is.
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C Gribben: And so often has that kind of slightly acidic.
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C Gribben: slightly disappointed feel we just kind of ironic because it's it's meant to be positive.
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Andy Miller III: yeah.
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C Gribben: yeah there's always this kind of play with dystopian hope at the heart of utopia infection you talking about I don't know what you think of it i'd love to hear, but I think he was quite a modern phenomenon.
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Andy Miller III: podcast yeah.
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C Gribben: Of course Reformation a Reformation post Reformation but a modern style of writing for those millennial ISM.
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C Gribben: If you go back to the patristics there are so many of those early church fathers are strongly millennial often in weird ways.
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C Gribben: And, but, but there is, if you look at your brickell or some of these other Renaissance painters when they're depicting utopian situations, the often seems to be drawing don't think a lot of those troops from the father's ideas of fruit trees.
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C Gribben: writing so much fruit we're actually offering it to you to eat.
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C Gribben: And, and you know that's I think I said as a theme and some of those paintings.
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Andy Miller III: In these things get tight over to in the sorry to interrupt you, was it.
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C Gribben: No, you go ahead, good.
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Andy Miller III: These things get connected to the i'm.
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Andy Miller III: Often, what we think of as the very kind of orthodox idea, and I say orthodox broad broadly orthodox idea of a new heavens, and a new earth like a recreated.
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Andy Miller III: earth and what I found in my my study of William booth is that he tends to confuse this as well, he might talk about the millennium.
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Andy Miller III: And one way and he's thinking, maybe of the thousand years, but as how he describes it is probably a picture of the language from the New Testament and Christian tradition.
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Andy Miller III: Of the new heavens and new Earth.
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Andy Miller III: which is different from the millennium.
00:21:07.440 --> 00:21:09.660
C Gribben: or it may not be it depends, how many leads.
00:21:09.900 --> 00:21:13.680
C Gribben: You know exactly so and I mean, I think I need to check, I think.
00:21:14.070 --> 00:21:22.020
C Gribben: The scofield reference Bible when it comes to the new heavens, and the new era at the revelation puts that as the millennium would need to double check.
00:21:22.110 --> 00:21:22.290
C Gribben: Oh.
00:21:22.500 --> 00:21:30.060
C Gribben: I certainly can yeah but but certainly within that kind of long stream of pre millennial thinking and exposures do divided over this very question.
00:21:30.690 --> 00:21:39.090
C Gribben: Should we think of the new heavens and new earth as part annoying or is actually a separate thing and sometimes people who argue that it's a separate thing.
00:21:39.390 --> 00:21:48.810
C Gribben: Nevertheless, go back to the likes of easier describing the new heavens and earth and import that into the millennium so in a way there's a kind of having your cake and eating it simultaneously.
00:21:49.200 --> 00:22:03.120
C Gribben: But you know it goes back to what we're talking about Andy about the way in which passages even words can mean different things to different people, the same words mean different things to different people, yes, just as the classic problem of biblical exposition isn't it how.
00:22:03.570 --> 00:22:04.290
C Gribben: These things.
00:22:04.830 --> 00:22:17.070
Andy Miller III: yeah interesting now it's also I think helpful for people in look you there's kind of part of me that thinks, you know more about me than I know about it we're thinking about eschatology United States having read some of the things you've written but.
00:22:17.580 --> 00:22:30.600
Andy Miller III: it's interesting to a lot of times, the United States there's not an popular understanding of the distinction between historic pre millennial ISM in this sensational pre millennial ISM.
00:22:30.810 --> 00:22:45.180
Andy Miller III: Right so sometimes people will characterize pre millennials as as these folks who just want to see the world destroyed and waiting for a rapture and the like, but but historic pre millennial ISM is different, could you could you help us understand the difference between those two.
00:22:45.420 --> 00:22:51.780
C Gribben: yeah thanks Andy yeah it's different and, of course, just as there are varieties and the dispensation listen say.
00:22:51.810 --> 00:22:53.910
C Gribben: there's varieties and historical pre millennial ISM.
00:22:54.120 --> 00:23:02.160
C Gribben: yeah so you too, so you know you can go back to the early church fathers that I mentioned before, and they are historic pre millennials in the sense that.
00:23:02.610 --> 00:23:13.260
C Gribben: They expect the President, each to continue until Christ returns to set up a 1000 year millennial reign that's different from dispensation lawyers who tend to argue.
00:23:13.740 --> 00:23:18.720
C Gribben: Well, there are variations, but who tend to argue that the present age will continue until the rapture.
00:23:19.320 --> 00:23:33.090
C Gribben: which will be followed by seven year period, after which the Second Coming, of course, and then Christ returns, so I suppose the big question and that divides historic from dispensation of Primo analysts, is whether we are to expect.
00:23:34.590 --> 00:23:37.080
C Gribben: A rapture before.
00:23:37.440 --> 00:23:41.370
C Gribben: The second coming of Christ, and how many stages, does the second coming.
00:23:41.850 --> 00:23:58.770
C Gribben: actually happen so and there are while people, I suppose, are much more familiar with dispensation of pre millennial snow that have been many well known one historic pre millennials in the history of the Church was famously ch spurgeon I suppose.
00:23:58.830 --> 00:24:05.880
C Gribben: or m m, can I mentioned Charles Wesley I think some evidence that he might be a static pre millennials you can correct me on that.
00:24:05.910 --> 00:24:07.110
Andy Miller III: And I think you're right yeah.
00:24:07.170 --> 00:24:17.100
C Gribben: And so, certainly that claim has been made and, and you know basically any any Primo any list before about 1830 to 40.
00:24:17.490 --> 00:24:24.690
C Gribben: would inevitably have been in the static premier waiting list and it's only really from the 1840s on that pre millennials are offered a choice.
00:24:24.990 --> 00:24:35.580
C Gribben: Between the traditional interpretation of breaks the President he continues until the second coming of Christ, followed by 1000 years and this other narrative dispensation of pre millennial ISM which isn't innovation.
00:24:36.120 --> 00:24:38.130
C Gribben: In that mid 19th century food.
00:24:38.430 --> 00:24:50.340
C Gribben: But it's that dispensation narrative that gives us the big themes that we're mostly familiar with, I guess, to the rapture tribulation millennium and then final judgment, you have into new Earth.
00:24:50.610 --> 00:25:00.150
Andy Miller III: that's so helpful because that that language, for in my context is primarily connected in any of those terms are connected to dispensation pre millennials and but that's not it.
00:25:00.450 --> 00:25:07.500
Andy Miller III: So if the history of the Church, as you said before 1830 and I want to ask a question about 18 32nd, but I want to back up as.
00:25:08.220 --> 00:25:19.470
Andy Miller III: Well, go forward interesting enough like they're still insist persistence in I I find of historic pre millennial ISM in England in the mid.
00:25:19.830 --> 00:25:32.160
Andy Miller III: 19th century, so there is this like i'm there are key voices like the URL of shaftsbury Yahoo, is still pushing forward a historic premium that causes like there to be.
00:25:32.400 --> 00:25:44.550
Andy Miller III: Social action, and this was a very socially active care person in history and interacted with William booth and fought with William booth particularly but, nevertheless, like those ideas of historic pre millennials and we're still present.
00:25:44.790 --> 00:25:45.780
Andy Miller III: In that period.
00:25:46.860 --> 00:25:48.690
Andy Miller III: But back in 1830.
00:25:49.950 --> 00:25:56.910
Andy Miller III: What what is it what is it that happens there obviously this is a key time that that brings this new stage into.
00:25:58.710 --> 00:26:09.150
Andy Miller III: millennial millennial thought so tell us avila, this is a key area of your own research and i'm asking a very big broad question but i'd love for you to tell us again you're kind of summary of what what happens in that period.
00:26:09.600 --> 00:26:22.740
C Gribben: Well, and the if I knew I would love to tell you, but I just i'm just not sure it's very, very clear so we'll go back to the American revolution, I like to think that's where things mostly go wrong 1770 so.
00:26:24.690 --> 00:26:35.550
C Gribben: It, of course, all of the French Revolution and 1798 1718 is a big revolution in Ireland as well, and so.
00:26:36.150 --> 00:26:49.380
C Gribben: A number of very prominent people who are associated with artistic erratic families on the island of Ireland, but who didn't declining fortunes are having to cope with the growth of democracy.
00:26:50.490 --> 00:26:58.890
C Gribben: And the growth of democracy for them is a pretty horrifying thing because they've been used to a kind of establishment in which they as.
00:26:59.370 --> 00:27:15.210
C Gribben: A group that represents 10% of the population control everything and the other 90% of the population, so the growth, the slow and gradual expansion of democracy and the other part of the 19th century is literally threatening and into their world.
00:27:15.570 --> 00:27:22.620
C Gribben: yeah no gn darby who we may talk about a little bit later on, is often thought to be the founder of dispensation was.
00:27:23.430 --> 00:27:29.490
C Gribben: The chief architect of the sensationalism he actually recognizes this in some of his letters and you know he described himself.
00:27:29.820 --> 00:27:43.860
C Gribben: As an Irish Protestant, who was witnessing with the rate dangerous tumultuous conditions at the start of the 19th century and and you'll know from your from your knowledge of the Salvation Army history, just how desperately poor.
00:27:44.130 --> 00:27:53.370
C Gribben: yeah so many people were that the horrific circumstances in which the vast bulk of the population lived in Ireland in 1851 a census reported.
00:27:53.640 --> 00:27:57.930
C Gribben: That 50% of the population philly half of the population we're living in my top.
00:27:58.410 --> 00:28:08.820
C Gribben: 20 reasons why so many people left to go to the new world and the conditions here we're really terrible so naturally people who find themselves in those conditions, want to improve their life.
00:28:09.180 --> 00:28:15.930
C Gribben: But for the people at the top of the social pyramid they're improving that a lot can be a very frightening thing.
00:28:16.380 --> 00:28:28.590
C Gribben: Because it represented the end of an old constitutional order and so in 1832 and the British Parliament passes a reform act which massively expand the number of people who get the vote.
00:28:28.980 --> 00:28:33.510
C Gribben: And it changes fundamentally the nature of British democracy and so.
00:28:34.020 --> 00:28:41.280
C Gribben: You know that there had been a sort of romantic sensibility the end of the 18th century that's sort of given towards apocalyptic imagination.
00:28:41.580 --> 00:28:50.490
C Gribben: You can see it in the some of the art that gets produced some of the poetry that gets produced Samuel T college, for example, was very influenced by this apocalyptic mood.
00:28:51.300 --> 00:28:59.340
C Gribben: And and, just as we mentioned before, what drives this new way of thinking about the end time does not necessarily.
00:28:59.640 --> 00:29:11.160
C Gribben: radical new insights into the teaching of scripture often it's the questions that are posed by changing cultural or political circumstances so just as an American 1860s.
00:29:11.520 --> 00:29:18.630
C Gribben: Or the eighth of states, I should say in the 1860s and evangelical clergy and move away from postmillennial isn't because it doesn't explain their world anymore.
00:29:18.870 --> 00:29:27.000
C Gribben: Right so to in the 1830s a generation previously in Ireland, and he evangelicals artists Socratic.
00:29:27.450 --> 00:29:40.740
C Gribben: are moving away from postmillennial assumptions of security and progress and advance conservative order the move away from that because suddenly they see that everything they've taken for granted, is about to disappear.
00:29:40.950 --> 00:29:52.710
C Gribben: And that's pretty much what happens, and so the there is in Dublin in the area just south of Dublin and Wicklow, and around the University of Oxford, a movement begins.
00:29:53.100 --> 00:30:06.690
C Gribben: That thinks quite seriously, but the condition of the church that things quite seriously about political changes and other issues as well, and of course it thinks through all of these questions with an open Bible.
00:30:07.230 --> 00:30:09.000
C Gribben: And it begins asking you, or what.
00:30:09.180 --> 00:30:17.790
C Gribben: Have we got it right, is it possible that there's other ways of understanding the end times, that means that Christianity is not going to be universally successful.
00:30:18.150 --> 00:30:24.540
C Gribben: It means that we don't need to be complacent about the future and other signs of crisis.
00:30:24.900 --> 00:30:29.220
C Gribben: And the New Testament ratings, of course, once you start asking that question it's not hard to see.
00:30:29.460 --> 00:30:48.060
C Gribben: Sure, and, and so they begin to develop new kinds of ideas, new leaders come up through them most prominently, as I said before, john Nelson darby and but many others as well, and they begin a very radical rethinking about the nature of the Church, the church have gone so wrong.
00:30:48.990 --> 00:30:53.250
C Gribben: In churches wrong in this area, what else make the mainstream denominations have been wrong.
00:30:53.610 --> 00:31:00.330
C Gribben: And so they begin to ask these bigger broader questions about the nature of ministry, the nature of denominational identities or obligations.
00:31:00.690 --> 00:31:14.160
C Gribben: I bet the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of it, the necessity of having clarity about what's the nature of true worship, what are the grounds of true Christian unity, and you know this this thing begins at a really radical primitivism.
00:31:14.190 --> 00:31:15.840
Andy Miller III: which of course we're familiar with, yes yeah.
00:31:15.870 --> 00:31:28.530
C Gribben: United States and in a little bit later 1840s 50s and so forth, but, but here we see it kicking off in Ireland and kicks off in Ireland and as it develops this new way of thinking.
00:31:28.980 --> 00:31:44.040
C Gribben: And begins to a marriage, which, as you mentioned before differentiates rapture from appearing or glorious appearing and and begins, then, to see that things are almost at an end.
00:31:45.570 --> 00:31:49.740
C Gribben: there's no real point in getting involved in social amelioration.
00:31:50.130 --> 00:31:50.790
Andy Miller III: mm hmm.
00:31:51.360 --> 00:31:54.870
C Gribben: there's there's no point really is somebody said polishing the brass the sinking ship.
00:31:55.260 --> 00:32:05.670
C Gribben: Right Christ, is about to come back let's get let's get away from those corrupt denominations let's get ready let's meet together let's break bread let's be brothers and sisters let's be brethren.
00:32:06.180 --> 00:32:09.600
C Gribben: Yes, and let's wait for Jesus, and that is what we do.
00:32:10.200 --> 00:32:18.030
Andy Miller III: wow that is a great summary, thank you for taking time to work through that and honestly I connecting it to the political history.
00:32:18.270 --> 00:32:30.060
Andy Miller III: is so important because this is how we end up being in place where we bring our lens to scripture and we interpret it then in light of what's happening in our world, and so, then what ends up happening I.
00:32:30.660 --> 00:32:41.640
Andy Miller III: decades later the scofield reference Bible, then, would you say that's a moment that where these ideas are popular lies pop popular eyes globally.
00:32:42.870 --> 00:32:49.350
C Gribben: yeah exactly, and so, by the end of the 19th century, the Bible conference movement takes off most famously, I suppose, and they agra.
00:32:49.860 --> 00:33:00.210
C Gribben: And, and a lot of ways lillian's Baptist presbyterians begin to absorb some of these ideas so darby and others begin to transmit these ideas across.
00:33:00.510 --> 00:33:08.700
C Gribben: into knighted states and evangelical publishing of course takes off in this period, and what publishers love to do is publish anything that's out of copyright.
00:33:09.060 --> 00:33:19.350
C Gribben: And they discovered that all of these brethren who were developing these ideas in Ireland and England, because they expected the Second Coming to continuously hadn't bothered to copyright their works.
00:33:19.710 --> 00:33:36.960
C Gribben: So all of these all of these American evangelical publishers began to pick up all of this material publish it to distributor and and, of course, the inevitable happens and doom has its profits, the profits of doom and especially for evangelical publishers who published books about them.
00:33:37.290 --> 00:33:42.960
C Gribben: yeah eschatology and and you know these ideas spread and spread, but the spread.
00:33:43.500 --> 00:33:51.660
C Gribben: in such a way that a lot of the really radical claims made by this group in Ireland about the church are dismissed and ignored.
00:33:52.050 --> 00:34:00.780
C Gribben: And for comes to prominence is simply their views of the end times so 19 or name scofield reference Bible comes out.
00:34:01.170 --> 00:34:15.960
C Gribben: schofield was a congregation list is a friend of muddy that's April be DL Moody and he absorbs a lot of the arby's ideas via Moody darby and really did not get on darby was a very strict Calvinist sorry to break it to you, but Moody wasn't.
00:34:16.020 --> 00:34:16.500
00:34:18.030 --> 00:34:26.400
C Gribben: And and scofield picks up in this, but scofield packs a lot of this into a Bible edits it simplifies it contracts it.
00:34:26.790 --> 00:34:42.060
C Gribben: And changes dispensation ISM in fundamental ways from the ways in which are being the breadwinner taught it, but that scofield reference Bible gets published in 1909 and Republican 1917 1817 as a great year to republish an apocalyptic escada.
00:34:46.560 --> 00:34:55.710
C Gribben: invaluable because no is the First World War, striking you know millions of European government saints of Balfour Declaration.
00:34:56.130 --> 00:35:04.950
C Gribben: which commits them to a home for the Jewish people in the promised land which an extraordinary moment history of Zionism 1917 is also the year of the Russian revolution.
00:35:05.370 --> 00:35:17.820
C Gribben: And so the universe this the scofield Bible is revised, is a unit which so much of its expectations about conflict, the Middle East, about God, may God, all of this stuff all seems to come together.
00:35:18.210 --> 00:35:19.080
C Gribben: hmm and so.
00:35:19.440 --> 00:35:24.480
C Gribben: yeah it just sales with 10s of millions of copies and continues to sell know.
00:35:24.900 --> 00:35:34.380
Andy Miller III: In Oxford University press is the one who published that Bible and i'm sure that even if there's not many people there who might agree with it they're sure thankful for that that those bright.
00:35:34.860 --> 00:35:44.940
C Gribben: Well, there was one man in 1909 who did agree with it because the the actual publisher of Oxford University press was a member of the exclusive brethren and that seems to have been home.
00:35:45.420 --> 00:35:46.800
C Gribben: These ideas were taken on board.
00:35:46.950 --> 00:35:53.790
C Gribben: But I mean quite apart from the ideological content of the volume has been a huge commercial success for that publisher.
00:35:54.120 --> 00:35:57.570
Andy Miller III: yeah man there's so many ways, I like to go, we.
00:35:57.870 --> 00:36:07.440
Andy Miller III: Have a short time left and you've trained some of this through, I i'm just going to direct people to some of the other books that you haven't just you know, Google your name i'll maybe provide some links here as well.
00:36:07.740 --> 00:36:21.120
Andy Miller III: But, looking at the re emergence or the popularization of post millennial thought in the northwest of the United States and some of these things that have come through I want I selfishly I want to get in here some of my.
00:36:21.720 --> 00:36:27.660
Andy Miller III: thoughts about the Salvation Army I i'm one when you think about eschatology being.
00:36:27.990 --> 00:36:32.250
Andy Miller III: What it was he taught how we talked about the end and classically it's not just the.
00:36:32.520 --> 00:36:40.860
Andy Miller III: The end of the cosmos or the universe, but also the end of individuals i've suggested that that's the primary way theologically to understand.
00:36:41.100 --> 00:36:49.410
Andy Miller III: William booth the founder of the Salvation Army, because so connected to a doctrine of hell, and heaven for that matter, but he likes hell, I talked about held the most.
00:36:50.130 --> 00:37:02.370
Andy Miller III: and on top of that, then there also is this movement toward post millennial ISM now I found and I started my research, just as with the assumption that he's a post millennial us.
00:37:03.360 --> 00:37:09.930
Andy Miller III: And because he has this one article it's called the millennium or the ultimate triumph of Salvation Army principles.
00:37:10.890 --> 00:37:24.930
Andy Miller III: And, and he walked through an image of of what of Jesus raining from London and all these type of principles and everybody in the world being in a Salvation Army uniform and these type of ideas well.
00:37:26.100 --> 00:37:39.660
Andy Miller III: i've been shocked to find like often he's talking about the millennium in general, but only one time, and all of his writing, can I find where he says that Jesus is will return will come after that millennium.
00:37:39.960 --> 00:37:48.480
Andy Miller III: interest and, just like we've talked about are ready, I found where he's as a result of global events like war, a war in Russia.
00:37:49.050 --> 00:37:57.360
Andy Miller III: In the 1880s he's he makes statements, where he indicates jesus's return will come before the millennium so he's inconsistent.
00:37:57.810 --> 00:38:15.960
Andy Miller III: And I, and I wonder if it's just better and he often offered him the millennium and the conversion of the world, saving the world but i'm not sure this so this My first question is that the idea of conversion of the world, or a salvation of the world is that a post millennial idea.
00:38:18.570 --> 00:38:23.280
C Gribben: was a really funny context and yeah i'd love to know more about.
00:38:23.340 --> 00:38:25.440
C Gribben: All you can do this present moment.
00:38:26.490 --> 00:38:29.370
C Gribben: If you can fix a year in which he moves from one to the other.
00:38:29.670 --> 00:38:31.560
C Gribben: Or whether he's consistently.
00:38:31.800 --> 00:38:33.600
C Gribben: inconsistent if that makes sense.
00:38:34.590 --> 00:38:38.220
Andy Miller III: yeah I would think to his article, the millennium come down 1890.
00:38:38.520 --> 00:38:45.930
Andy Miller III: Right and then the other stuff but there's other points are where he talks about conversion of the world, throughout his ministry from the.
00:38:45.930 --> 00:38:50.100
Andy Miller III: 1850s on so that's what my little my challenge is.
00:38:50.520 --> 00:38:53.070
Andy Miller III: He talking about commercial world, but the millennium is different.
00:38:53.610 --> 00:39:04.020
C Gribben: yeah yeah yeah yeah I mean if you go back into the 18th century you get pre millennials historic pre millennials obviously and post millennials who all expect the conversion of the world.
00:39:04.380 --> 00:39:15.270
C Gribben: The only question, I suppose, is bill Christ return before that happens, or after that happens that seems to be the pivot here between the pre and post millennial options that point.
00:39:15.840 --> 00:39:27.090
C Gribben: And some groups like the particular Baptist they've got a really curious combination of pre and post millennial ideas so they believe that Christ will convert the world.
00:39:27.720 --> 00:39:36.660
C Gribben: Before the millennium, but then, but then he comes back and there's ammonium as well, so they have this idea of whether it's both a latter day glory the conversion of the world.
00:39:37.170 --> 00:39:46.710
C Gribben: And the millennium that follows it and typically people combine the two and but, but some groups to tease them and dissent distinguish them so it'd be fascinating to know if.
00:39:47.130 --> 00:39:58.980
C Gribben: A fast Internet who booth is reading or who may have been formative in his thinking about some of these ideas and the extent to which he was actually developing with something that was distinctive for the Salvation Army.
00:39:59.460 --> 00:40:12.030
Andy Miller III: yeah that's interesting I think what ends up happening is, as you indicated the the holiest movement in the UK seems to be very connected to what's going on in the United States.
00:40:12.180 --> 00:40:12.870
Andy Miller III: Right so.
00:40:13.080 --> 00:40:27.810
Andy Miller III: The the early leaders phoebe Palmer primarily there is a huge influence on Charles finney who's often noted for his idea that if we could just do these tasks, like the millennium would come.
00:40:28.110 --> 00:40:39.450
Andy Miller III: So that's a part of that tradition, I mean in that that statement, often pulled up to indicate that Charles thinly finney is a post millennial list, do you think that's the case you think Charles finney is.
00:40:39.510 --> 00:40:46.530
C Gribben: yeah honestly I don't know Andy but I mean what I think what is obvious about funny is that he has a kind of automated.
00:40:47.040 --> 00:40:49.860
C Gribben: idea of spirituality so that if you do these things.
00:40:50.430 --> 00:40:57.600
C Gribben: This happens, which you know from someone from outside that tradition looks a little bit like magical thinking, if you pull this lever, and this lever.
00:40:57.930 --> 00:41:09.930
C Gribben: You know that this is what's going to happen not quite sure that the vein activity is just quite as mechanized as that so you know famously he argues that local Churches can experience revival, if you do this this and this.
00:41:10.080 --> 00:41:15.720
C Gribben: Right right and it sounds like from what you're seeing and he sort of expands that cosmically.
00:41:16.170 --> 00:41:25.710
C Gribben: yeah to see that all these leavers cosmically and you're going to get the millennium as result and not not totally sure that's right.
00:41:25.980 --> 00:41:37.290
Andy Miller III: yeah no, I think that that's that's the same spirit, like that and it's helpful for you to like set the context for what's going on in the broader tradition, I think it's just easy to label somebody like in this.
00:41:37.920 --> 00:41:44.910
Andy Miller III: With these ideas and so like William booth language is so connected to the new measures.
00:41:45.180 --> 00:41:59.100
Andy Miller III: Of benny and there's an even the holiness theology of phoebe Palmer is a similar sort of perspective if you do this if you consecrate on this altar it is sanctified and so, then you are sanctified as opposed to being like a.
00:41:59.640 --> 00:42:09.540
Andy Miller III: Wesley an idea of the witness of the spirit, like something that comes from outside of us, and that certainly is a problem, and I think William booth wants definite results he wants.
00:42:10.080 --> 00:42:21.600
Andy Miller III: He people are going to hell all over the world, so we need to do something about it and, as a result, we do these things that will happen, so I think he fits into that that train of thought for sure.
00:42:22.380 --> 00:42:23.760
C Gribben: Okay right, but the Sunday and.
00:42:24.810 --> 00:42:35.820
Andy Miller III: i'm sorry I will thank you for I doubt very often I get to talk to somebody who is working, the similar ideas, so I will let me about I got one more I can bounce back to the one other idea and.
00:42:36.240 --> 00:42:38.760
Andy Miller III: You have written a book called writing the rapture talking about this.
00:42:39.510 --> 00:42:51.930
Andy Miller III: Give me a brief summary of like what there's a whole genre like as you indicated with these publishers who picked up dispensation on pre millennials and tell us it's more than just left behind, I mean left behind comes into context right.
00:42:52.260 --> 00:43:03.720
C Gribben: It does yeah left brain comes in the context first novel what 1995 I think yeah expanding over what 16 volumes plus movies Nicolas cage.
00:43:04.020 --> 00:43:15.900
C Gribben: you name it and it's all in there, but but left yeah left behind me is the most famous example of this rapture novel jonah but that actionable john actually goes back rate the beginning of the 19th.
00:43:15.900 --> 00:43:18.930
C Gribben: century i've known as an example from the 1880s.
00:43:19.050 --> 00:43:25.320
C Gribben: We have a rapture novel yeah produced by a member of the Plymouth brethren which is kind of ironic, because they didn't believe in fiction.
00:43:25.650 --> 00:43:43.350
C Gribben: And they're trying to sanctify fiction, so if people are going to read fiction let's get them something edifying to read and his idea was let's get a 20 2030 page little track fictional tracked a short story suppose we would see imagining the rapture well Funnily enough, and the.
00:43:45.090 --> 00:43:55.710
C Gribben: 20th century and it's American Wesley and to begin to pick up in this and some some of the key American am rapture novelists or methodists.
00:43:56.160 --> 00:44:01.710
C Gribben: And, which is kind of interesting and Baptists then pick up and it just becomes one of these.
00:44:02.640 --> 00:44:12.660
C Gribben: One of these novel genre that never really goes anywhere, the same tropes get picked up from one to the next door there's always there's always declared you and he gets left behind.
00:44:13.440 --> 00:44:15.750
C Gribben: realizes he realizes he was a liberal.
00:44:15.840 --> 00:44:16.830
C Gribben: But but it's too late.
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C Gribben: And there's always interesting references to reese they're very conscious of race, by suppose there are period pieces, in that sense.
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C Gribben: That you know they're reflecting the kinds of concerns of the people who wrote and consumed them and who tended to be white people with a particular kind of background European background.
00:44:35.010 --> 00:44:47.640
C Gribben: So on the goalposts really left behind that that takes off, and if you can use that kind of language and becomes incredibly successful, and so you know, good for GDP Jenkins and Timothy.
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Andy Miller III: yeah sure it's for them.
00:44:49.470 --> 00:45:01.200
Andy Miller III: Well, thanks so much for giving a little summary that Crawford it's such a blessing for me to be able to talk with you and it's like helping me think through my own my own questions that i'm trying to answer, through my own writing so I appreciate the work.
00:45:01.680 --> 00:45:12.870
Andy Miller III: That you've done, I always ask this question is there, more to the story of Crawford gribbon than we normally here I mean we i've indicated you're writing but is there, something you like to do, do you like to hike the like to scuba dive what what is it about.
00:45:12.870 --> 00:45:14.130
Andy Miller III: Proper that's not on my toes.
00:45:14.700 --> 00:45:15.930
C Gribben: yeah and.
00:45:17.010 --> 00:45:17.760
C Gribben: Nothing.
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C Gribben: i've got a dog.
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Andy Miller III: what's your dog's name.
00:45:24.300 --> 00:45:28.050
C Gribben: dog my dog is cold JC she's very she's very foreign to me and i'm very fun before.
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Andy Miller III: There you go.
00:45:29.490 --> 00:45:30.000
C Gribben: There you go.
00:45:31.140 --> 00:45:31.860
Andy Miller III: Well coffered thanks.
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C Gribben: A lot, but the big question is the big question is, will my dog be in heaven.
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Andy Miller III: Oh, this is now, you can check out the more to story podcast where I answered that last summer, so I would.
00:45:42.150 --> 00:45:43.320
Andy Miller III: tentative answer.
00:45:44.520 --> 00:45:45.810
Andy Miller III: To this this question.
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Andy Miller III: So much for your work, and we appreciate your I appreciate your scholarship and the way that it's a I believe it's serving the church and it's been a great help to me so thanks so much for your time today.
00:45:59.130 --> 00:46:03.090
C Gribben: Well, fine sandy and all the best, your research and look forward to staying in touch about it to.
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Andy Miller III: Thank you.