Friday, October 10, 2008

Essay on Chiliasm

I am very sorry I have not posted lately, but I do not have very much spare time these days! And what's more, the spare time I do have I have been devoting to a special project. A week or so ago I mentioned that I was in a debate with a Protestant friend of mine regarding the Millennium and the heresy known as "chiliasm," or belief that Christ will reign literally for a thousand years over a political kingdom centered in Jerusalem. He made the claim that all of the Fathers believed chiliasm, that it was Augustine and Constantine who changed it, and that chiliasm is taught by the Bible (and that we ought not to use allegory in exgeting Scripture). I have spent the last week here and there working on an essay response, which I am going to link up here. It is the most systematic and thorough patristic and biblical refutation of chiliasm that I have seen, much more complete than a lot of the things I found on the net. If you print it, it is about 25 pages long.
Even though I am done with it, I appreciate any further comments, insight or patristic quotes on the matter.


Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Wow. I'm skimmed it, and when I have a good chunk of time, I'll give it the attention it deserves.

joannis said...

good heavens man - it is no heresy! st irenaeus teaches it, justin martyr, papias, hypolytus, indeed a strong majority of the apostolic fathers! it only changes with the allegorizing method of origen and he WAS condemned by the fathers following. last, just take a look at the catholic encycopedia article on it - no heresy, but apostolic!

Boniface said...


"[Decree of the Holy Office, July 21, 1944]

DEenzinger 2296: "In recent times on several occasions this Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has been asked what must be thought of the system of mitigated Millenarianism, which teaches, for example, that Christ the Lord before the final judgment, whether or not preceded by the resurrection of the many just, will come visibly to rule over this world. The answer is: The system of mitigated Millenarianism cannot be taught safely."

If Pius XII says it cannot be safely taught, it is not sound Catholic teaching.

Unknown said...

I think it is telling that it was not even condemned as an error let alone heresy. A Catholic can hold to it without ceasing to be Catholic. This almost sounds more disciplinary.

Anonymous said...

Yeah this does not seem to be definitive teaching to me . It just may have meant that they currently did not know how to safely teach it. I don’t think it would happen In This human history in mortal bodies