A Biblical Theology of Dominion
© 1st 1985 & 6th 1999
"It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdom of this world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Indeed, many in the Church are giving up the idea of it except on the occasion of the advent of Christ, which, as it chimes in with our own idleness, is likely to be a popular doctrine. I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and the idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will still continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would never suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world."
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon
David Chilton is the author of several pioneering works on biblical prophesy including The Days of Vengeance, a massive and highly acclaimed commentary on the Book of Revelation. Other titles include The Great Tribulation, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt-Manipulators, and Power in the Blood: A Christian Response to AIDS. He died in 1997 at the age of 45.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE
Part One: AN ESCHATOLOGY OF DOMINION
Part Two: PARADISE: THE PATTERN FOR PROPHECY
Part Three: THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
Part Four: STUDIES IN REVELATION
Part Five: TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
APPENDIX A — T he Eschatology of Dominion: A Summary
APPENDIX B — Josephus on the Fall of Jerusalem
This book was written as a general introduction to both a Biblical eschatology and a way of reading the Bible; the former, I believe, grows naturally out of the latter. It also serves as a prologue to my larger work (in progress), a commentary on the Book of Revelation.
For this reason, the present book does not claim to answer every conceivable question about prophecy. Those who wish to find out more about the perspective presented here should consult the bibliography. In addition to my commentary, several other works on eschatology are in various stages of preparation, most notably by the Rev. James B. Jordan (Matthew 24) and the Rev. Ray Sutton (Daniel).
Many readers will (I hope) find the material on the Garden of Eden fascinating, as I did when I first heard Jim Jordan's lectures on the subject in 1977. They will be happy to hear that his book Trees and Thorns, a comprehensive survey of the Edenic patterns, is nearing publication. I highly recommend this work. Another scholar whose studies have influenced mine is Dr. Meredith Kline; his book Images of the Spirit is a masterpiece of Biblical Theology. (I hasten to point out, of course, that he should not be held responsible for any of my conclusions.)
The Bible quotations are generally from the New American Standard Version, including its marginal notes; on occasion I have altered the quotations slightly in favor of a more literal rendering.
I am very grateful to a number of good friends who gave me their counsel and assistance during the writing of this book. First among these is my publisher, Dr. Gary North, who originally asked me to write it, and whose suggestions were consistently fruitful and challenging. The manuscript was read by the pastors of Westminster Presbyterian Church (Tyler, Texas): the Rev. Lewis Bulkeley, the Rev. Robert Dwelle, the Rev. James B. Jordan, and the Rev. Ray Sutton; their theological insights have influenced virtually every page of the book.
Others who read the manuscript and gave valuable comments are the Rev. Mark House, pastor of First Presbyterian Church (Manhattan Beach, California); Spencer Roundtree, a ruling elder of the Church of the Redeemer (Placerville, California); James Whitacre, a fellow member of Westminster Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. George Grant, pastor of Believers' Fellowship (Humble, Texas). In addition to his helpful criticisms (which he offered with reckless, prodigal abandon), George designed the book cover; the artwork was done by Randy Rogers, also of Believers' Fellowship. I would also like to thank Oakton Reformed Fellowship (Oakton, Virginia) for their help in the publication of this book.
In ways too numerous to mention, I am indebted to the patient and dedicated work of two efficient secretaries at the Institute for Christian Economics: Mrs. Maureen Peters and Mrs. Brenda West. At every stage of production their aid has been invaluable, and is deeply appreciated.
Finally, I am grateful to my wife, Darlene, who graciously assisted me throughout the project. Because her love is a continuing token of Paradise Restored, this book is dedicated to her.