Dr. Couch, I'm convinced. From much that you've been writing I see the error of amillennialism and covenant theology.
Where can I read more on how all that heresy began?
ANSWER: I suggest three sources, or study the teaching of three individuals in church history. (1) Philo, (2) Origen, and (3) Augustine. They are the ones who influenced the church the most by their writings on allegorical interpretation.
The sources would be Bernard Ramm in his book Protestant Biblical Interpretation. Read pages 24-38. Read also on Catholic Allegorism (pp. 38-45). Also study the section on the Syrian School of Antioch (pp. 48-50). Antioch was most influenced by the early prophets and probably Paul as mentioned in the book of Acts. They maintained and taught the literal approach to Scripture for generations. Ramm writes "The result of these principles [developed in Antioch] was some of the finest exegetical literature of ancient times." And the literal interpretative school at Antioch, especially in "The commentary of Theodore [of Mopsuestia] on the minor epistles of Paul is the first and almost the last exegetical work produced in the ancient Church which will bear any comparison with modern commentaries."
Check out the three names of the men mentioned above in my Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Kregel). I also wrote a chapter on the Antiochian School as well.
Read also what I wrote on these men in my interpretation book Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics (Kregel). The allegory and destructive hermeneutics of these men greatly influenced Catholic and then Reformation thinking in their spiritualizing especially biblical prophecy. I really do not think most allegory and amillennial guys know the origin of their own system. They are great quoters but terrible interpreters. They are unable to think textually and biblically.
I quote Trigg who shows the foolishness of Origen in his interpretation on Matthew 24 and the issue of the return of Christ. Trigg points out that Origen, on the two men laboring in the field, believes this "represents good and bad influences on a person's will." How dumb!
And I quote on Origen the great church historian and Lutheran amillennialist, Philip Schaff, when he has to admit that "His allegorical interpretation is ingenious, but often runs far away from the text and degenerates into the merest caprice." I conclude in my book, "amillennialists continue to utilize a system of interpretation that is textually and historically at odds with the normal reading [even] understood by the early church."
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch