I actually have had some angst over this issue (see my last post), I am really not comfortable with the dispensational framework (progressive or otherwise) as a viable hermeneutic. And as my last post indicates I have been toying with the idea of becoming an amillenialist; primarily because I think scripture emphasizes, according to Jesus Himself:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me. ~John 5:39
a Christocentric hermeneutic. I think “amillers” provide a better framework for this hermeneutic, while dispensationalism inevitably ends up emphasizing the Nation of Israel as coordinate with Christ as the point of scripture–and thus as a key component of its interpretive scheme. So without going into the particulars of the amil hermeneutic, this definitely is the trend I have come to favor. Having said that, one key “hurdle” needed to be jumped before I claimed to be a full-fledged amillenialist; and that is to deal with the crux interpretum or difficult text of Revelation 20:1-6 (the only passage of scripture that explicitly talks about 1,000 yrs relative to Christ’s kingdom). It is the Greek construction and language of this context that has determined my path in this regard, in other words the Greek argues for a temporal linear interpretation versus the recapitulation offered by the amil interpretation. Robert Mounce argues this point:
1. The angel that descends from heaven has in his hand the key to the Abyss and a great chain. The angel is probably the one who in chapter 9 released the demonic locusts by opening the shaft leading to the Abyss. The Abyss was thought of as a vast subterranean cavern that served as a place of confinement for disobedient spirits awaiting judgment (Jude 6; Jub. 5:6; Luke 8:31). With the great chain he is about to bind Satan. There is no specific indication in v. 1 as to when this event takes place, although it should be noted that the recurring, “and I saw” of 19:11, 17, 19; 20:1, 4, 12; and 21:1 strongly implies a sequence of visions that carries through from the appearance of the Rider on the white horse (19:11) to the establishment of the new heaven and new earth (21:1ff). The interpretation that discovers recapitulation for the segment 20:1-6 must at least bear the burden of proof. (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation NICNT, 360-61)
In other words there is sequential, successive linkage between the context of 19 all the way through 21 that argues against the cyclical recapitulation theory offered by the amil camp on this all important passage. I think this is very significant, and actually undercuts the amil interpretation of this passage (to the protest of G. K. Beale and others). Nevertheless as an Historic Premilleniarian (I will explain what that is further, later), I can say amen to the Christocentric hermeneutic offered by the amil lens–and thus I have come to a sort of compromise here.
I will unpack more later . . .