John Walvoord

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John Walvoord

He was the Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological
Seminary for over fifty years. He also served as the President of the
seminary from 1953 to1986. He then became Chancellor until 2001 when he
retired, becoming Chancellor emeritus.

Flipse Walvoord, writer, professor, theologian, apologist, seminary
president, and definer of contemporary pretribulational
premillenialism, was born on May 1, 1910 and raised in Sheboygan,
Wisconsin. John’s father, John Garrett Walvoord, was a schoolteacher as
well as an elder and Sunday School Superintendent at the First
Presbyterian Church. Both of Walvoord’s parents valued education and
placed supreme importance on maintaining a Christian home.

John F. Walvoord died on December 20, 2002, at the age of 92. No
doubt, as one of America’s foremost theologians and prophecy experts,
Walvoord had hoped to see Jesus descend with the sound of a trumpet to
gather His faithful unto Himself, in the rapture. For John F. Walvoord,
however, that was not to be the case. He joined his son Timothy, who
died in a tragic car accident, on June 22, 1979, in the glorious
presence of His Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

His education afforded him a vast array of degrees and
accomplishments. Among them are A.B. and D.D. degrees from Wheaton
College; an A.M. degree, in Philosophy, from Texas Christian
University; a Th.B., Th.M, and a Th.D., from Dallas Theological
Seminary; and an Litt.D. from Liberty Baptist Seminary. He excelled in
academics and athletics—football, baseball and track—and was a
distinguished member of a state championship debate team. He was also
the president of Dallas Theological Seminary’s Christian Endeavor
because of his strong commitment to foreign missions.

Walvoord was the Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas
Theological Seminary for over fifty years. He also served as the
President of the seminary from 1953 to1986. He then became Chancellor
until 2001 when he retired, becoming Chancellor emeritus. Under his
leadership, the Seminary more than quadrupled in students and doubled
in degree programs. Among his other leadership achievements were
balancing the budget, relieving the debt, and embarking on building
programs and property acquisitions that helped launch the seminary into
contemporary society.

During this time, Walvoord also became one of this country’s
leading conservative theologians, helping to define the contemporary
study of the end-times. However, it is necessary to note that as his
studies progressed, at times his thinking changed. For example, in
Walvoord’s early writings, it is apparent that he viewed Israel and the
church as being two separate and distinct peoples of God, each
requiring separate covenants. More recently, however, he came to accept
that while the peoples are separate and completely distinct, there is
only one covenant with two fulfillments.

The two men who most influenced Walvoord, as he developed as a
thinker, were Lewis Sperry Chafer, the first President of Dallas
Theological Seminary, and C.I. Scofield of the Scofield Reference
Bible. Walvoord actually served on the committee to produce the New
Scofield Reference Bible (1967). While he respected and valued the
thinking of both of these men, Walvoord differed with them at times and
developed his own ideas.

Walvoord wrote and published more than thirty books with more
than three million copies in print. His New York Times bestseller,
“Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis”, sold over 1.5 million
copies. Originally written in 1973, it was revised in January of
1991—before the Gulf war. When Desert Storm was still in its infancy,
John received a request from the White House for a copy of the book.
Members of President Bush’s staff were reading it together and
apparently grasping the importance of Biblical prophecy and how it
relates to this present day.

It is interesting to note that the revision of the book, “Armageddon,
Oil and the Middle East Crisis” was mainly due to the rapidly changing
global landscape. The first edition quickly became outdated as the
prophetic timeline continued to advance. Some of the topical additions
made in the revision include: Changing Alignment of Europe and the End
of the Cold War, Revival of Roman Empire, Camp David Accords, Invasion
of Lebanon, New Islamic Republic of Iran, Saddam Hussein Seizes Power
in Iraq, Iraq’s move to absorb Kuwait…and so much more. I am sure that,
were Walvoord still alive, he would be ready to revise once again!

Another well-known book in Walvoord’s repertoire is “The
Rapture Question.” This book is also a re-edition. It thoroughly
examines the four main views of the church's role in the tribulation:
partial rapturism, pre-tribulationism, mid-tribulationism, and
post-tribulationism. He places most of his emphasis on the debate
between pre-tribulationism and post-tribulationism with himself
obviously in agreement with pre-tribulationists. He finishes the book
with 50 poignant arguments supporting the pre-tribulational viewpoint.

Most recently, Walvoord authored a new analysis of prophecy and
current events, titled, Prophecy in the New Millennium: A Fresh Look at
Future Events (2001). In this book, he discusses the prophecies that
were fulfilled in the Twentieth Century, the coming Rapture, the
prophecies to be fulfilled in the new millennium, the United States of
Europe and its role in the coming days, Israel and her millennial role,
the Antichrist, the Day of the Lord and the new Heaven and Earth.

Also included in Walvoord’s cache of writings are: The Doctrine
of the Holy Spirit (1943, 1954, 1958); The Return of the Lord (1955);
The Thessalonian Epistles (1956); The Rapture Question (1957, 1979);
The Millennial Kingdom (1959); To Live is Christ: An Exposition of the
Epistle of Paul to the Philippians (1961, 1971); Israel in Prophecy
(1962); Truth for Today (1963); The Church in Prophecy (1964); The
Nations in Prophecy (1967, three were then published together as
Israel, the Nations and the Church in Prophecy, in 1988); The
Revelation of Jesus Christ (1966); Jesus Christ our Lord (1969);
Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation (1971); The Holy Spirit at Work
Today (1973); Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come (1974); Armageddon, Oil and the
Middle East Crisis (1974, 1990); The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation
(1976); The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook (1990—retitled in 1999 as Every
Prophecy of the Bible); Major Bible Prophecies (1991); The Final
Drama,14 Keys to Understanding the Prophetic Scriptures (1993, 1997);
End Times, An Explanation of World Events in Biblical Prophecy (1998);
and Prophecy in the New Millennium: A Fresh Look at Future Events

It seems appropriate to quote some of Walvoord’s own words, from his book, “Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis.”

The world today is like a stage being set for a great drama. The
major actors are already in the wings waiting for their moment in
history. The main stage props are already in place. The prophetic play
is about to begin…All the necessary historical developments have
already taken place…Since the stage is set for this dramatic climax of
the age, it must mean that Christ’s coming for His own is very near. If
there ever was an hour when men should consider their personal
relationship to Jesus Christ, it is today. God is saying to this
generation: “Prepare for the coming of the Lord.”

Found on the Internet Written By: Nicole Balnius

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