I think that you have given a good explanation of that very difficult passage, Rev. 20:7-10. That is a section of Scripture that has been puzzling to me, as on the surface it seems to indicate a future final apostasy of the Church; and yet that seemed so contrary to what I believed would actually take place no apostasy but rather a smooth transfer or merger into the heavenly Kingdom….
Dr. Warfield did not believe that there would be a final apostasy. You have given a good explanation that there is no actual apostasy, no real danger ever faces the saints, and that the Devil and his followers are merely exposed before the righteous shortly before their final expulsion into hell. Thank you for it.
Evidently the book will be a very thorough and comprehensive treatment of the subject…. I do welcome the fact that you are preparing such a book.
Loraine Boettner, Rock Port, Missouri 66482, May 20th 1978."
Explanation of Commendation
My Onward Christian Soldiers! was all too slowly being written and mailed piece by piece to the great Prof. Dr. Loraine Boettner famous author of the World-renowned works Immortality, Roman Catholicism, Studies in Theology, The Millennium, and The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. To spur me on, he wrote to me about my Onward Christian Soldiers! seven times. That he did on October 26th, 1973; November 13th, 1973; January 9th, 1974; April 24th, 1974; September 9th, 1975; February 26th, 1977; and May 20th, 1978.
On February 26th, 1977, he wrote: "If excerpts from any of my letters will serve as even a partial Introduction to your book, I much prefer that you use them rather than for me to try to write anything else. With Best Wishes, Sincerely, Loraine Boettner."
I moved from the U.S.A. to Australia at the end of 1980, in order to teach Systematic Theology at the Queensland Presbyterian Theological College in Brisbane. On September 7th 1984, Dr. Boettner wrote to me: "I remember with real appreciation your visit here at my home about nine years ago. And now I suppose you are still in Australia, about half-way around the World from here! I am writing primarily to say that in the recent [revised 1984] edition of The Millennium, I have added a chapter, 'The Millennium of Revelation Twenty.'
"This presents a new interpretation of chapter 19:11-21 which carries over into the 20th chapter and, I believe, gives a truly logical basis for the postmillennial position. I have never been fully satisfied with the view there is to be a fearful apostasy just before the end of the Church Age, in which the saints would be all but annihilated just before Christ returns…. I believe that this [my new] interpretation solves that problem; that it firmly establishes the postmillennial system. I am sending you a copy of this book….
"I shall be glad to have your reaction to this…interpretation. I highly respect your position as a Reformed Theologian and a Postmillennialist, and I shall await with interest your evaluation. Loraine Boettner."
Since writing that last letter to me, Dr. Boettner has gone on to Heaven to be with Jesus. All my subsequent teaching tasks have till now prevented my completion and revision of the manuscript to my satisfaction. But now this has been achieved, out of gratitude to Dr. Boettner I can think of no better way of honouring him than to follow his suggestion of using excerpts from some of his various letters to me in the above Commendation.