| Charles Hodge, the great old Princeton scholar, was an amillennialist, but one who partially saw the light in regard to dispensationalism and premillennialism. He believed in the dispensations, all except one. Having said that, it is interesting to note that he came right up the edge of taking the Bible with a literal, normal hermeneutic. He was inconsistent in that he admitted that there would be a millennial kingdom, which many of his fellow amillennialists were not. Or certainly it is a fact that he saw clearly in Scripture a return of the Jews to the land, and as well, the conversion of the nation of Israel as a special people.|
I appreciate most of what Hodge wrote. The summer after my first year in graduate school, I read through all of the volumes in his systematic theology. And, I have all of his commentaries on various New Testament books. I love what he writes but he usually becomes so inconsistent and confusing when it comes to eschatology.
For example, a few amillennial scholars in their Roman commentaries say that, when Paul writes that "The Deliverer will come from Zion" (11:26-27), he is only speaking of the first coming of Christ and not His second coming to reign and rule in Jerusalem. Can you imagine destroying the context of a passage that way? But Hodge sees the light, and he cannot deny the plain fact that these verses are speaking about Christ restoring the Jews to salvation and bringing them back to their Promised Land! This is enough to make present day allegorists and amillennialists weep! And, it warms the cockles of my heart!
Hodge writes about these verses:
All that can be safely inferred from [these verses] is, that the Gentiles, as a body, the mass of the Gentile world, will be converted before the restoration of the Jews, as a nation. Much will remain to be accomplished after that event; and in the accomplishment of what shall then remain to be done, the Jews are to have a prominent position. … It is in this retrospect that the foreshadowing of the future is seen to be miraculous and divine.
Israel, here, from the context, must mean the Jewish people, and all Israel, the whole nation. The Jews, as a people, are now rejected; as a people, they are to be restored. … Their restoration in like manner is national. … The general idea expressed in these passages is, "God, [is] the deliverer, He shall come for the salvation of Jacob [Israel]," i.e. the Jews. And this is all that Paul desired to establish by these ancient prophecies. The apostle teaches, that the deliverance promised of old, and to which the prophet Isaiah referred in the passage cited, included much more than the conversion of the comparatively few Jews who believed in Christ at the [first] advent. The full accomplishment of the promise, that he should turn away ungodliness from Israel, contemplated the conversion of the whole nation, as such, to the Lord.
All the apostle intended to prove, is proved, by the language of the prophets. The covenant of God with His ancient people secured, after their apostasy and consequent banishment in Babylon, and their dispersion over the earth, and their rejection of Christ, the ultimate purging away of their sins, and their restoration, as a nation, to the Messiah's kingdom. This national conversion is also predicted in Zech. 12:10, and in many other passages of the Old Testament.
The Jews, he says, were now, as far as the gospel was concerned regarded and treated as enemies, for the benefit of the Gentiles; but, in reference to the election [of the Lord], they were still regarded as the peculiar people of God, on account of their connection with the patriarchs. … God foresaw and predicted their temporary defection and rejection from His kingdom, but never contemplated their being forever excluded.
Well, that last statement destroys the idea of Replacement Theology! Thank you, Dr. Hodge. You are close to what the true premillennialists have been teaching all along! You are almost there!
--Dr. Mal Couch