Yesterday, I talked about some different observations I have made of Christians’ differing attitudes of how we should relate to culture. Another thing I have observed is that their attitude many times stems from their eschatology (study of end times). I attended Dallas Theological Seminary, and they are known for a specific view of the end times that is referred to as a premillennial pretribulational view of the end times. The chart above shows a simple diagram of it. This post is not about what I believe will happen at the end of time, so I won’t go much into my personal beliefs about the topic (maybe a topic for another post). One thing I have observed, however, about Christians who hold this view is that they tend to approach culture form the separatist point of view. It really makes sense if you think about it. The basic belief behind the view is that the world will progressively get worse until the return of Christ. If a person believes that, separatism makes sense. Why should we try to impact culture when its fate is already sealed. Dallas Seminary does not take it this far, they are far more balanced. However, I was taught growing up that it was hopeless to try to change the world because the only thing that would fix it is the return of Christ. The only thing we could do was to get as many people saved as possible before the end. So, no attempt was made to impact culture; we were told to stay away from it- it would corrupt us. Not everyone who believes in a premillennial pretribulational rapture has this attitude, but in my observation many do, and so their separatist attitude can be traced back to their eschatology.
There are many alternative eschatologies that result in different attitudes toward culture. Personally, I am a what is called a partial preterist, and I am currently undecided about my view of the millennium. I know to most people I am speaking a foreign language, but suffice it to say that the doomsday approach to the end times is not something I believe. I believe there is hope for the world before it ends, and I want to be involved in affecting the change. Like I said, this is not a post about explaining my views of the end times, but it seems clear to me that what a person believes about it does have an effect on how they interact with culture today.