EXILE THEOLOGY v. DOMINION THEOLOGY

Christian dominionPMT 2014-135 By Larry E. Ball (author: Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation)

The battle between Exile Theology and Dominion Theology is important to understand. It is vital to notice that both sides quote the Bible. It’s just a matter of which passages are quoted.

For example, the exile crowd reminds us that the faithful are like Abraham who was a stranger and an alien (exile) upon the earth (Heb. 11:13). Christians must set their affections on the things above and not on the things on the earth (Col. 3:2). We are to pass our time as sojourners here on the earth (1 Pet. 1:17). “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rms. 8:18).

The dominion crowd quotes texts like Hab. 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” God’s Kingdom is like a mustard seed which is small when it is planted, but grows into a tree so that “the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Mat. 13:32). Leaven is very small but it multiplies with phenomenal power (Mat. 13:33). We are to occupy until He comes (Lk.19:13). We are to pray that God’s kingdom will come, and the evidence of the presence of his kingdom is that God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt. 6:10). The kingdom is greater than the church. Christians are to be busy destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). We should expect success in our endeavors (Mt. 28: 18-20).


Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective.
It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.
For more studies: KennethGentry.com


America was once Christian (imperfect, but rooted in Christian principles), but we lost it. Actually, we gave it away. Now the political neo-conservatives misconstrue the past as “American exceptionalism” without the influence of Christianity. A nation that was once a sign of the conquering Jesus has become the fodder of many in the church to capitalize on our persecution and suffering. Exile Theology is presently preeminent in the church although that has not always been the case.

Theologically, the exile crowd accuses the dominion crowd of being unrealistic. Dreamers they are! The dominion crowd accuses the exile crowd of being neo-Platonists (the spirit is good and the physical is not so good). In Reformed circles both sides have their patron saints. The exile crowd claims Geerhardus Vos. The dominion crowd claims Benjamin Warfield. Both sides claim Spurgeon.

In my mind, a yet unexplored area is what paradigm from the Scriptures is to be the norm for the relationship between the Christian and the world around him. The New Testament was the church in seed form under persecution. Is that to be the norm for a mature Kingdom of God on earth? Or is the typology of a weak Israel in the promise land living under the Law of God to be the paradigm for a mature Kingdom of God in the age of the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

To continue reading: http://theaquilareport.com/the-battle-between-between-exile-theology-and-dominion-theology/

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6 thoughts on “EXILE THEOLOGY v. DOMINION THEOLOGY

  1. John Edwards November 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Exile v Dominion is too exclusive a way of understanding the Gospel. There is both a present and a future aspect to the Kingdom. The Kingdom is within you, and one day it will be seen; all power is given to Jesus in heaven and on earth, and He has appointed a day of judgement; He patiently tolerates tares as well as wheat, and there will come a day when He will separate them; we have the promise of His coming, and one day we shall see Him.

  2. Hubert of England November 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I’ve been reading the bible for so long and If we will just read the verses plainly in context. It clearly implies in favor of EXILE theology. Paul longs for it and he knows that while on earth, our vile mortal bodies are still under the influence of sin and weakness, even if a person is regenerated and accepted the Lords gift of salvation thru faith. He can still be tempted or fall into sin unless there is a change of the old order which will only happen upon the return of Christ and the glorification of our bodies.

    That’s why it is evident in Paul’s post conversion ramblings in Romans 7:15 -19 – ” For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” a constant struggle to do what is right, further admitting that “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” – It just shows us that even one of the greatest apostle/Evangelist struggles in this flesh but his hope is that he will be included with those “we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds and so shall ever be with the Lord” only then we including Paul can confidently say: “Death is swallowed up in Victory!”

    The Bible is very clear to preach the Gospel “In season or out of season” but nowhere it directly imply to take arms to dominate the earth “PHYSICALLY” for Christ.

    All the context of the verses used by the Dominion Theology camp refers or allude to “SPIRITUAL” Domination of the Hearts and minds of men. Hab. 2:14 – The earth will be filled with the “KNOWLEDGE of the glory of the Lord……… while Mat. 13:32/ Mat. 13:33 Mustard Seed and Leaven analogy reflects the “GROWTH” and “EXPANSION” of Christianity upon the Earth coming from humble beginnings.

    Lastly Luke 19:13 – “Occupy till he comes” Gk translation is contrary to the meaning our Dominionist friends are implying.
    The Greek verb rendered “occupy” (pragmateusasye) occurs here only in the New Testament: a compound form of it is rendered (ver. 15) which by context means “ENGAGE in Business till I come” – It means doing the fathers business of teaching and evangelizing. But in No way does it says Christians should take arms by force to dominate Physically and Politically.

    Ask any ancient Greek scholar, and he will say exactly what I’m saying.

    Lastly a quote from the esteemed writer and theologian C.S Lewis sums it up well: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

    Ask a lot of pastors and they would be honest enough to say that The only driving force for them to live a joyful Christian life amidst struggles and suffering is the blessed hope of Christ return to “RESCUE” his saints not only from sin but also from our corrupt nature. It’s still by his grace that we will Overcome when he transformed our Very nature from something pure and perfect like his.

    The only good thing about DOMINION theology is that it’s a good Idealism for the protection of the next generation. But we should leave it in God’s hands. The Bible does not command us to worry about the next generation if we are doing his business. The Bible emphatically says “Set our affection on the things above, for we are just sojourners here on Earth, for all things that are seen have an end, but things unseen are ETERNAL, Amen.”

  3. Kenneth Gentry November 10, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Reply from author of article, Larry Ball:

    In response to Hubert of England it might be well to clarify a few points.

    1. Dominion theology is not so easily dismissed by simply reading more clearly the verses of the Bible in context. If this were true then we would have to disregard the conclusions of great men such as John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge, James Henley Thornwell, and as I mentioned Benjamin B. Warfield. All these men have been identified with post-millennialism.

    2. Dominion Theology does not deny the danger of sin and the necessity of sanctification in the life of the individual. Neither does it deny that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Certainly we rejoice in the consummation of all things and the eventual reality of “a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Sanctification is a daily battle for every Christian, but this does not negate the corporate promises that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the water covers the sea” (Hab. 2:14). Notice the “earth” will be filled with this knowledge and not just “hearts.”

    3. I have never met a Dominionist who believes that Christians should take up arms to dominate the earth both physically and politically. Sadly, this is a common mistake that misrepresents what we believe. It is a false stawman. The success of the kingdom on earth comes by way of the preaching of the gospel and the transforming of lives. It comes in no other way. It is a bottoms-up transformation of society, and not a top-down tyranny. This earth belongs to God and not only did Christ come to change individuals but also the nations. The gospel has a corporate impact as well as an individual impact. One only needs to study the history of western civilization to see that.

    4. I do believe that the Bible teaches us to be concerned about the generations that follow us. God promises to bless not only us but also our children “unto a thousand generations” (Ex. 20:6). The promise of salvation is to us and “to our children” (Acts 2:39). If God is concerned about the generations that follow us, then we should be also. I am thankful that my forefathers were concerned about me, as I will remain concerned about the future of my own children and grandchildren.

  4. Kenneth Gentry November 10, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Exile v Dominion is just one of many ways to focus on redemptive historical issues. However, it is one legitimate way. Unfortunately, I am not sure of your point, given its brevity.

  5. Roy Miller November 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Has anyone noticed that exile theology seems to be rooted in the Dutch Reformed experience and theology? While dominion theology seems to be rooted in the British Reformed experience and theology?

    If that observation is accurate, then the question becomes, why?

  6. Kenneth Gentry November 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Apparently it is due to the Dutch having their finger in the leaking dikes!

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