IRVING, Tex.—RBP authors Mike Stallard and Gary Gromacki took part in the 30th Annual Pre-Trib Study Group Conference near Dallas, sponsored by the Pre-Trib Research Center. The center is dedicated to studying, proclaiming, teaching, and defending the pre-tribulation rapture and related end-time prophecy. This year’s conference theme was “Globalism and the End Times.”
Dr. Gromacki attended the conference as an exhibitor for Calvary University in Kansas City, Mo., where he is department chair, professor, and director of the PhD program in Bible and Theology. Dr. Gromacki wrote “Preaching and Teaching the Word of God” in The Pastor: A Guide for God’s Faithful Servant, published by Regular Baptist Press. He reported from the conference that he enjoyed “meeting some new people coming to see me at the Calvary University booth as well as seeing old friends who continue to preach the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 1 Corinthians 15:51–58).”
At the conference, Dr. Stallard presented his paper “An Analysis of John Calvin’s Criticism of Premillennialism in The Institutes,” instructing on Calvin’s disdain for premillennialism, his guilt-by-association argument, and his view that premillennialists limit the kingdom to a thousand years. Stallard concluded that “at best, Calvin deals with a small minority of teachers in his critique who are often vague. At worst, the Genevan Reformer borders on wild caricature. It is hoped that modern followers of Calvin’s teaching would not read his words and assume that he has given a valid critique of today’s premillennialism.”
In summary, Dr. Stallard said,
Calvin should be greatly revered for his Reformation stance on biblical authority and justification by faith. However, the exercise of studying Calvin’s critique of premillennialism in this section of The Institutes was somewhat of a disappointment. But one issue that came to my mind as I studied was the fact that many dispensational premillennialists speak and write as if the millennium is the fulfillment of the covenant (Abrahamic, Davidic, and New) and kingdom promises. But how can a thousand years fulfill a forever promise? That is why I speak of the millennium as the “kick-off party” of God’s forever kingdom. Eternity is the fulfillment of the promises. The millennium is merely the beginning. We must not forget that Calvin is basically correct when he says that God’s kingdom lasts forever even if his view of that kingdom is not fully biblical. (Link added.)
Dr. Stallard is the director of international ministries for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. He taught theology for 22 years at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pa., where he also served as academic dean, professor, and director of PhD studies. He contributes to the Baptist Bulletin magazine and edited Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant, published by Regular Baptist Books.