One-on-One with Greg Strand on Premillenialism and the EFCA

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Ed: What was the EFCA’s history with premillenialism? It seems that premillenialism was disproportionally important to the Evangelical Free Church. Why?

Greg - View - Free - Church - View

Greg: An exclusive premillennial view had not been the Free Church view historically. However, in our more recent history, the merger between the Swedish Free Church and the Norwegian-Danish Free Church occurred between 1946-1950. The emphasis on a pretribulational and premillennial view of Scripture, specifically in the EFCA, was connected to Israel being reborn as a nation, which happened in 1948.

Arnold T. Olson, who served as the merger chairman of the Committee in Unity and the EFCA’s second president (1951-1976), said a number of times that the EFCA came into being “for such a time as this.” In other words, this is, at least according to Olson, the primary reason for and unique role of the EFCA denomination.

Interest - Possibility - Israel - Palestine - Signs

There was seemingly no interest in the possibility of Israel’s being reborn and restored in Palestine and such other signs as might indicate that the return of Christ was nearer than ever. It is only in recent years that the renewed cry, ‘Behold, He Cometh’ has been heard in the land. Therefore it does not fall in the same traditional category as the rest. [Those issues in our Statement of Faith (SOF) in which we are silent, those doctrines which through the centuries have divided Christians of equal dedication, biblical knowledge, spiritual maturity, and love for Christ.]. The Free Church was born in this revived interest and assurance. It has been convinced that these are the last days and that it was brought into existence ‘for such a time as this.’ The view reflects the time in which it was started and the attitudes of evangelical leaders during the years of its existence. While...
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