LARRY R. MCQUEEN Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology

LARRY R. MCQUEEN Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology

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LARRY R. MCQUEEN. McQueen in his work Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology47 provides the most comprehensive study of the eschatology of the early Pentecostals in light of their publications. McQueen examines a great variety of periodicals from both the Wesleyan Holiness stream and the Finished Work stream. Given the overlap between his study and the research questions of this dissertation, I will interact with McQueen on a number of issues.

At this point, I will summarise his views on the relationship between early Pentecostalism and dispensationalism. With respect to the Finished Work stream, McQueen concludes that ‘classical dispensationalism was the only model of eschatology articulated in the early Finished Work stream of the movement.’48 In regard to the Wesleyan Holiness stream, McQueen concludes that ‘no single model or system dominated the articulations of eschatology in this stream.’ In addition, he highlights an approach within the periodicals that incorporates a ‘discerning process’ led by the Spirit’s work within the community.49 In his view, a tendency may be observed within this stream: those positions which emphasise the ‘discerning process’ tend away from classical


45
French L. Arrington, ‘Dispensationalism’, in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed.  Stanley  M.  Burgess  and  Ed  M.  van  der  Maas,  rev.  ed.  (Grand  Rapids,  MI: Zondervan, 2002).

46 Oliverio, L. William, Jr., Theological Hermeneutics, 115.

47 Larry  R.  McQueen,  Toward a  Pentecostal  Eschatology: Discerning the  Way  Forward,  Journal  of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 39 (Blandford Forum, UK: Deo Publishing, 2012).

48 McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology, 293.

49 McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology, 141.

 

dispensationalism, whereas those which focus on ‘reasoned principles of interpretation’

move towards it.50

McQueen, in another publication, examines The Apostolic Faith from 1906 to 1908 to  ascertain  ‘how  influential  dispensationalism  was  during  the  earliest  period  of  the movement.’51 McQueen gives three reasons for which he believes that ‘The eschatology of early   Pentecostalism   is   not   a   non-critical   assimilation   of   classical   dispensational categories’. These reasons include the ‘Latter Rain’ concept, in which spiritual gifts were restored. According to McQueen, this idea does not combine well with the dispensational system. He also finds difficulties with the differences in the number of dispensations (e.g. three or seven). Finally, he believes that Pentecostals applied certain passages directly to the Church, which cessationist dispensationalists believed applied only to Israel. 52

McQueen’s   writings   provide   a   nuanced   view   of   the   relationship   of   early Pentecostalism to dispensationalism.  Nonetheless, McQueen orients his thinking in line with   the   contours   suggested   by   Sheppard. 53  With   respect   to   the   ‘latecomer   to dispensationalism’  view,  he  suggests  the  importance  of  investigating  ‘beyond  the  early 1920s  to  discover  the  reasons  why  classical  dispensationalism  finally  became  the  single model  of  eschatology  in  those  groups  in  which  the  discernment  process  was  still ongoing.’54 This comment indicates that for McQueen dispensationalism is directly linked to  a  certain  instantiation  of  the  system.  He  does  not  entertain  the  possibility  that dispensationalism   could   be   a   broader   eschatological   position   within   which   both Pentecostals and cessationists lived and moved and had their being.

 

 

 

 

 

50 McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology, 142.

51 Larry R. McQueen, ‘Early Pentecostal Eschatology in the Light of The Apostolic Faith, 1906–1908’, in Althouse; Waddell, Perspectives in Pentecostal Eschatologies, 139.

52 Larry R. McQueen, ‘Early Pentecostal Eschatology’, 154n69.

53 The section on Sheppard opens the final section of his literature review, providing a framework

for evaluating ‘constructive contributions’. McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology, 33–35.

54 McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology, 296.

 

Assessment

This  select  literature  review  gives  evidence  of  the  influence  of  the  ‘latecomer  to dispensationalism’ view  amongst  leading Pentecostal  scholars who have  interacted with the relationship of early Pentecostals to dispensationalism. Whilst not all scholars accept this   view   completely,   its   influence   continues   to   be   felt.   Sheppard’s   views   have overshadowed the conversation since 1984, obscuring for many the possibility that early Pentecostals were dispensationalists, albeit not of the cessationist school.55

Thus,  in  spite  of  some  dissenting  voices,  the  majority  view  amongst  Pentecostal scholars  today  may  be  outlined  along  the  following  lines:  1)  Pentecostals  were  not originally  dispensationalists;  2) The  influence  of fundamentalism in the  1920s  led to an infiltration   of   Pentecostalism   with   dispensationalist   ideas;   3)   The   result   was   a fundamentalised, dispensationalist Pentecostalism.

 

Methodology and Scope

The second research question of this dissertation is whether this portrayal of the history and theology of early Pentecostals conforms to the historical data. Are these points confirmed by an examination of the primary sources of the movement? Does the ‘latecomer to dispensationalism’ perspective faithfully narrate the history of the movement?

The scope of this study must be limited to a manageable set of historical data. I will limit my research especially to the North American, classical Pentecostal context, and following McQueen’s lead, I will focus especially on classical Pentecostal periodicals in the first two decades of the 20th century. Of the many periodicals surveyed by McQueen, I will examine the three that provided the strongest evidence for the ‘latecomer to dispensationalism’ view: The Apostolic Faith, The Bridegroom’s Messenger and The Church of God Evangel. I will also discuss The Christian Evangel, the official periodical of the AOG, due to the importance of this denomination in Sheppard’s argument.

55   The    ‘latecomer    to    dispensationalism’    view    is    also    accepted    by    some    cessationist dispensationalists. E.g. Thomas D. Ice, ‘The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism’, Liberty University, accessed September 8, 2018, http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/pretrib_arch/11, 8.

 

Outline of the Dissertation

In chapter one, I will provide a brief discussion of competing eschatological systems of the early 20th century. This section will allow us to place the Pentecostal approach within the theological context of competing visions. Once the contrasting systems are examined, the ‘family resemblances’ of Pentecostal eschatologies to other systems may be evaluated. In chapter two, I will examine the four periodicals mentioned above in light of the ‘latecomer to dispensationalism’ view. In chapter three, I will bring out some implications from this research in assessing the relationship of early Pentecostalism to dispensationalism. My hypothesis is that if we read the primary sources in light of a ‘broader dispensationalism’, we may see substantial ‘family resemblance’ to other dispensationalists of the early 20th century without negating the differences amongst them. On this reading, the changes seen in Pentecostal eschatology after the first two decades may be understood as adjustments rather than major changes.

26 Comments

  • Reply January 13, 2023

    Anonymous

    THANK you for posting this Oscar Valdez Stanley M. Horton of the Assemblies of God produced a volume on eschatology that takes a modified dispensational approach. Horton introduces this study by explaining the relationship of eschatology to the gospel: the good news includes the promise of final salvation. The earlier covenant of the Law is contrasted with the new covenant based on faith in Jesus on which the hope of his return is founded. In turn, this hope motivates toward a godly life. Horton points out that Christ’s resurrection was foreseen in the Old Testament and, through the Holy Spirit, becomes the guarantee of the believer’s bodily resurrection. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within that prepares the believer for the resurrection or rapture at Christ’s coming, described in 1 Thess. 4:16-18 and 1 Cor. 15:52-54.
    Horton describes future events in terms of the standard dispensational script: rapture of the Church, seven-year tribulation period, rebuilt Jewish temple, rise of the Antichrist, literal battle of Armageddon, thousand-year reign of Christ centered on the fulfillment of the promises to Israel, eternal torment for the wicked and eternal life for the righteous in the new heaven and new earth. The various millennialist visions are described in chapter 5, largely through a historical review.
    *Adopting a revised or progressive dispensational premillennialism, Horton the strict limitation of OT prophecies to Israel, stressing especially the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 on the day of Pentecost. He emphasizes that both Israel and the Church now participate in the one NT covenant, although they will not be fully unified until the final state in the New Jerusalem.
    Toward a PENTECOSTAL ESCHATOLOGY Discerning the Way Forward. Larry R. McQueen (Page 40)

    • Reply January 13, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day But it is absolutely clear that Horton rejects in his book on eschatology classical dispensationalism and embraces a modified or progressive dispensationalism by rejecting the idea of two covenants, and gives more continuity to the idea that certain new covenant features apply to the church as do the revised and progressive dispensationalists, and maintains the end time dispensational timeline, that is clear in the book, I don’t need to be an scholar to discover that

    • Reply January 13, 2023

      Anonymous

      Oscar Valdez have I not made it more than clear all these months that EARLY PENTECOSTALS Did not adhere to classical baptistic dispensationalism? Just ask Philip Williams who knows what his grandmother said

    • Reply January 13, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day And that I mentioned in my previous comment that Horton rejected classical dispensationalism, that is not clear to you either, the Pentecostals have adopted moderate forms of dispensationalism, I don’t understand why you keep denying this.

    • Reply January 13, 2023

      Anonymous

      Oscar Valdez and now you will have the time of your life explaining to Link Hudson what Horton meant by

      the resurrection or rapture at Christ’s coming, described in 1 Thess. 4:16-18 and 1 Cor. 15:52-54.

      🙂

  • Reply January 13, 2023

    Anonymous

    this is NOT the first time we’ve discussed Larry in our group Oscar Valdez ALL I can say for starters is THAT this 3 passages does not prove or disprove anything about what we have been talking about There are 3 Pentecostal generations speaking of eschatology between Larry and Dr HORTON – once again proves nothing for you

    this is the latest time we discuss this ONE whole year ago You may have forgotten it but I have not 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/pentecostaltheologygroup/posts/4930918543629788/

    you was then searching for balance, between pentecostal eschatology and dispensationalism trying to marry and merge baptist eschatology with us
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/pentecostaltheologygroup/posts/4812779098777067/

    that did not work out too well 🙂 ONE David Mau called your search NOT too scholarly 🙂 we are talking LARRY R. MCQUEEN here I then referred you to THE 3 DISPENSATIONS OF JOACHIM OF FIORE https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-3-dispensations-of-joachim-of-fiore/

    AND produced just for your a FINE series of my talks with Dr. Dayton on disp. and others – you may have forgotten those FINE quotes. I do not mind reminding them for you when I find them over the weekend https://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-3-blessing-teaching-dynamite-lyddite-oxidite-baptism-and-dispensations-as-defined-by-dr-donald-dayton/

    ONCE hit with actual Pentecostal theology you run saying you were busy with going to school. I love when my students actually start going to school so they can learn I welcome that I have long encouraged Philip Williams to get a church history 101 course and Link Hudson some even basic NT greek – dont have to be with me @ HDS Emory or Duke near them will do just fine – they have FINE liberal scholars there 🙂

    David Mau then told you before he left the group alike
    You have Larry McQueen’s book!!!
    We need to start an Eschatological library!

    he was making fun of you of course but I did very seriously recommended
    THIS => missing Pentecost and Ladd 🙂 + a few more good ones

    I also recommended for you to consult

    45 French L. Arrington, ‘Dispensationalism’, in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed. Stanley M. Burgess and Ed M. van der Maas, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002).

    46 Oliverio, L. William, Jr., Theological Hermeneutics, 115.

    47 Larry R. McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology: Discerning the Way Forward, Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 39 (Blandford Forum, UK: Deo Publishing, 2012).

    There is ONE final larry quote you posted than I am missing just now but I will find it – in brief about your quote above THIS IS what Larry says Stanley M. Horton of the Assemblies of God said in his volume on eschatology – Dr. Stanley M. Horton of the Assemblies of God NEVER actually said any of this in his volume on eschatology. This is what Larry wanted him to say; may have been said in private Dr. Stanley has told me many things in private too 🙂 BUT Dr. Stanley M. Horton of the Assemblies of God NEVER actually said in his book ANY of what Larry wanted him to say

  • Reply January 13, 2023

    Anonymous

    Link Hudson our friend Oscar Valdez posted this and run away – he is too busy taking 2 classes. I am not too busy teaching 2 classes – letS crank this one over the weekend since you are not gonna be that busy either

  • Reply January 16, 2023

    Anonymous

    A brief review of The Apostolic Faith publications has highlighted the holistic nature of Pentecostal spirituality as a starting point for the study of eschatology within early Pentecostalism. Escatology, along with many other issues, was enveloped in an intense process of discernment in light of the effusion of the Spirit.
    Eschatology became essential to his philosophy of history, as followers considered the early twentieth-century effusion to be “the late rain,” which established the temporary limits of a “dispensation of the Holy Spirit.” More than anything, the spillway of Azusa Street pointed to the soon return of Jesus. Within this broad framework, it was discerned that baptism in the Holy Spirit was the mark that defined belonging to Christ’s wife. Using the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13) and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Apoc. 19:9) as controlling metaphors, the early Pentecostal witnesses intertwined eschatology in their daily experience of the Spirit imagining continuous spiritual advancement: justification, sanctification, baptism of the Spirit, Wedding Supper s of the Lamb, reigning with Christ at the millennium and beyond for eternity.
    The secondary metaphor of baptism in the Spirit as God’s seal on the forehead (Ap 7:1-3) and the consequent identification of Christ’s wife with the seal of the 144,000 (Ap 14:1-5) supported the primary vision by providing an image supplementary coherent with the first: the experience of the baptism in the Spirit had a personal eschatological significance. Furthermore, the apocalyptic nature of baptism in the Spirit had multiple ramifications. Being seen as a preview of the future, it also meant that the future was near. Therefore, there was little time left to carry out the work of global evangelization.
    Toward PENTECOSTAL ESChatOLOGY Discerning the W a and Forward. Larry R. McQueen (Towards a Pentecostal Escatology Discerning the Way to Go).

    • Reply January 16, 2023

      Anonymous

      unfortunately Oscar Valdez there is a broad brash here that is not exactly accurate. I appreciate the input HOWEVER

      “the late rain,” which established the temporary limits of a “dispensation of the Holy Spirit.”

      first off it is the latter rain and we can almost certain Bishop Bernie L Wade has established in his latest book that NO “dispensation of the Holy Spirit.” was set anywhere in the The Apostolic Faith publications

      AS a matter of fact (sweet little fact) Philip Williams once tried to prove there was no PRE-trib in early Pentecostalism. He failed greatly of course because his own Pentecostal granny was pre-trib but he had a point about pre-disp being all baptist and catholic and all

      I DO AGREE Using the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13) and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Apoc. 19:9) as controlling metaphors, the early Pentecostal witnesses intertwined eschatology in their daily experience of the Spirit imagining continuous spiritual advancement: justification, sanctification, baptism of the Spirit, Wedding Supper s of the Lamb, reigning with Christ at the millennium and beyond for eternity. though Larry needs to remember our lectures on Biblical Criticism where you cannot use ParableS as controlling metaphors which they are not…

      ANYHOW identification of Christ’s wife with the seal of the 144,000 (Ap 14:1-5) was later admitted to be questionable AND actually does NOT fit your pre-trib but Link Hudson post-trib millennial juxtaposition Its just so TerryandNita Wiles

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day but the Bible teaches the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the rapture of the church, and the lawless one all oxcur at the coming of the Lord.

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson which coming? The one in the air or the on on earth? You see the BIBLE teaches clearly they are NOT one and the same – you may wonder what the difference of context is

      Well, it is very simple – one is in the air
      the other one is on earth

      Neil Steven Lawrence TerryandNita Wiles Michael Chauncey

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day the Bible does NOT teach that these are different comings. If I am wrong show me the scriptures that teach this. Chapter and verse.

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day
      “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”
      2 Tim.2:23

      We have shown Scripture after Scripture, and made argument after argument, proving the point of the Rapture as Pre-TRIB.

      “Ephraim is joined idols, leave them alone…” 🫥

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      no no Neil Steven Lawrence it is about time Link Hudson listens to his own advice and look @ the context OR listen to mine and learn some greek to see that the BIBLE namely teaches return in the air AND return on earth are 2 different things – it is really not far from the mind…

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day You would have to show something about the context that leads to a pretrib conclusion. Assuming a pretrib rapture… with no scripture to support it… and trying to make verses fix

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson I’ve provided plenty in this sub-post to Oscar Valdez What precisely in the 3 points I made namely that

      disp., 144K and a LATE rain – were all not in the APOSTOLIC FAITH publication as prescribed you need context for? Bishop Bernie L Wade has researched the AF topic too and can help you as well, but best is just read through AF for plenty of context that you need to establish your faith in the Pentecostal way

  • Reply January 16, 2023

    Anonymous

    We can’t win the world for Christ if we are instead expecting the antiChrist!

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Philip Williams We can’t? NAR-Bethel says YES we can

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day then, let’s cheer them on.

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Philip Williams never been the cheer-leader type, bit you go ahead

  • Reply January 17, 2023

    Anonymous

    non-pre-tribbers are funny people TerryandNita Wiles Neil Steven Lawrence they cannot present a single piece of evidence but would doubt any srtuctured theology that is not theirs. When you present theology they ask for BIBLE like theology goes wihtout BIBLE

    when presented the BIBLE ALONE – THAT simple:

    ἀποστασία – going
    παρουσίαν – coming

    they want context. When presented with context of the TEXT as a very simple expression

    in the clouds
    on earth

    They want a teahching. When the doctrine is built and presented, they want BIBLE 🙂

    I remember years ago when hyper calvinist forums Kyle Williams participates in were not a thing just yet and we did email list via composserve and other pre-internet emailers the hyper calvinators did the same dumb trick. They would run a non-Biblical strawman argument and once engaged they start de-cousntricting your view whout even listening to it – the funniest – pre-Trib was not until 1800s 🙂 When asked when exactly in the 1800s they had no clue of course

    but the big and MAJOR Problem with pre-trib is the simple BIBLE teaching of non-expected appearance of Christ – – – everyone knows you have a Tribulation you are 7×360 days away – no secret no anything

    you miss the 7 you will certainly know the 3.5 x 360

    JUST for this postrib is NOT a Biblical teaching – just for this
    then when split in their camp they had half pos-trib or half-trib
    which basically has 0 Bible to back it
    then Ricky Grimsley joined with 3/4 trib or post-wrtah which did not existed until the early 1980s The post-trib camp is split and shall remain so until thei start paying attention to the BIBLE

    AGAIN very simple

    ἀποστασία – going
    παρουσίαν – coming

    in the clouds – on earth
    ALL in the BIBLE they claim to read 🙂 John Mushenhouse Skip Pauley

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day when did I become a “hyper Calvinist”?

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Kyle Williams where did I say you became “hyper Calvinist”?
      I referred to “hyper Calvinist” forums didnt I?

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day sorry I must have read that wrong. What hyper Calvinist forums do you have in mind?

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Kyle Williams but you do tell us if you are hyper now

    • Reply January 17, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day depends on how you define that. Most dyed-in-the-wool Calvinists would probably tell you that I’m not a Calvinists. Why most of the Non Calvinist SBC elites would call me a hyper-Calvinist.

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