Tenney goes on to say:
...“or else if he makes the events literal in accordance with the language of the text he is compelled to acknowledge that no comparable events in history have happened.”
Firstly, Historicists have correctly steered a middle course between the symbolical extremes of the 'spiritualist' methodology, and the literalist extremes of most modern Futurists, by coming to a robust hermeneutic which acknowledged that Divine prophecy contains both elements which are to be understood literally, and elements which are to be understood as symbolic. Historicists have never faced the false dilemma invented by Tenney.
Secondly, not only have Historicists insisted
that 'comparable events in history have happened', they have predicted successfully
these events, well ahead of time. This is a fact which both Ice and Tenney fail to mention, and one wonders if they are even aware of it.
Now back to Ice:
The demise of historicism has resulted in less date-setting in our own day than had occurred during the era when historicism was popular.
This is patently fase. Ironically, what Ice calls 'the demise of Historicism' has resulted in 'less date-setting in our own day' by Historicists
, whereas date setting by Futurists
has increased in leaps and bounds.
Here's Hal Lindsay, one of the most popular modern Futurists:
"What a way to live! With optimism, with anticipation, with excitement. We should be living like persons who don’t expect to be around much longer" (The Late Great Planet Earth [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970], p. 145).]
"Obstacle or no obstacle, it is certain that the Temple will be rebuilt. Prophecy demands it." (The Late Great Planet Earth [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970], p. 56).
"I don’t like cliches but I’ve heard it said, ‘God didn’t send me to clean the fish bowl, he sent me to fish.’ In a way there’s a truth to that" ("The Great Cosmic Countdown," Eternity, Jan. 1977, p. 21 )
"We are the generation that will see the end times... and the return of Jesus." (The 1980's: Countdown to Armageddon (New York, Bantam, 1980), back cover.
"The decade of the 1980’s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it." (The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon, p. 8 (emphasis is his); cf. pp. 12, 15.)
Each time he made these statements, he was utterly certain
that 'This was it!'. He was convinced that the tribulation was about to start, or even that it had started.
Other Futurists have been convinced that it was equally obvious in their time:
Hal Lindsey (of Late Great Planet Earth fame) recently said, "The Battle of America has begun! So be it!"
Evangelist John Hagee told his congregation in San Antonio, Texas, "You can hear the Four Horsemen riding to Armageddon."
New York minister David Wilkerson preached on September 16, "One network anchor declared, "Think of it, our two symbols of power and prosperity have been smitten in one hour.' Little did he know, he was quoting Revelations 18:10: "Alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.'"
"By the year 2001, there will be global chaos. (It will) usher in international chaos such as we've never seen in our history.. drought, war, malaria, and hunger afflicting entire populations throughout the [African] continent..." ("On the Edge of Eternity")
Louis S. Bauman (1950), "A whole world in a very frenzy of preparation for the greatest of all wars! Such is the divine revelation of the days immediately preceding the Armageddon. No human being need be told that exactly that describes our day! (The King’s Business, 1950)
Dan Gilbert (1944), "A study of Soviet diplomacy indicates that Stalin is now in the process of building the very Empire outlined in Ezekiel 38-39." (Russia’s Next Move: In /he Light of Prophecy, pp. 9-10.)
Billy Graham (1984), "Anybody who's anybody believes that global war is imminent" (Charisma 4/84).
D. P. Holloway (1949), "That we are nearing the great battle of Armageddon there can be very little doubt." (The Pentecostal Evangel, 1949).
Dave Hunt (1990), "Somewhere, at this very moment, on planet Earth, the Antichrist is almost certainly alive - biding his time, awaiting his cue. That likelihood is based upon a sober evaluation of current events in relation to Bible prophecy. Already a mature man, he is probably active in politics, perhaps even an admired world leader whose name is almost daily on everyone's lips." [Global peace and the rise of the Antichrist, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1990), 5.]
William T. James (1997), "..the indicators strongly suggest than we stand at the very precipice of that horrific period that Jesus called the great tribulation.." [Foreshocks of Antichrist (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1997).
Salem Kirban (1977), "We are already living in the AGE OF ANTICHRIST! The world is on the threshold of catastrophe. Scientific advances are really scientific tragedies that will spell chaos, confusion and terror. Within the next 5 years . . . DESIGN YOUR OWN CHILD by going to the "genetic supermarket." YOUR MIND WILL BE PROGRAMMED without your knowing it! Within the next 10 years . . . YOUR BRAIN WILL BE CONTROLLED by outside sources! YOUR MEMORY WILL BE TRANSFERRED into a live embryo. (The Rise of the Anti-Christ, Back Cover)
"Based on these observations, it is my considered opinion, that the time clock is now at 11:59. When is that Midnight hour . . . the hour of the Rapture? I do not know!" (Countdown to Rapture (1977). p. 188)
"if the coming of Jesus is as imminent as most of us think, it would seem reasonable to assume that the Anti-Christ is here.. It cannot be denied that a 'wild beast' has arisen up out of the sea of turbulent humanity and captured world attention and the admiration of revolutionaries. He is closer to the biblical pattern of the Antichrist than anyone who has appeared upon the world scene in the last decade. While we would not go so far as to call Kaddafi the Anti-Christ, he could well play some very important role in the windup of the ages." (Christ for the Nations, Oct. 1981)
Peter and Paul Lalonde, "The return of Christ is very near… this faith and this great hope are not built on a few random and isolated prophecies… It is built simply on readin the Word of God and then looking at all of the major news events of our day. You don’t need a handful of ph.D.s to do that." (The Mark of the Beast, 186)
David Allen Lewis (1966), "This is it! We are living in the final era of earth’s history. Soon will come the visible, manifest Kingdom of God" ("Creation and the End Times" Prophecy Watch International, 1996, 3)
"The Rapture will be a spiritual shock-quake producing almost unimaghinable trauma in the terrified minds of those who are left on earth. The fear of the great unwahsed massed will drive many to indanity, and many more to suicide" (Signs of his coming, ’97, 43)
Christabel Pankhurst (1923), "Current international events are assuredly finger posts to Armageddon." (The Lord Cometh, 1923)
Edgar Wheisnant (1988), on the rapture), "it’s going to be this September.. These events were never restricted from our knowledge, but only the day and hour of our Lord's return for the Church, and that event was limited only to the day and hour, and not the week, month or year." (88 Reasons why the Rapture will be in 1988, p. 2)
"Only if the bible is in error and I wrong, and I say that unequivocally. There is no way biblically that I can be wrong and I say that to every preacher in town." (88 Reasons why the Rapture will be in 1988, p. 2)
"I forgot about the extra year in zero A.D. It’s going to be in September, 1989."
The Weekly Evangel:
"We are not yet in the Armageddon struggle proper, but at its commencement, and it may be, if students of prophecy read the signs aright, that Christ will come before the present war closes, and before Armageddon ...The war preliminary to Armageddon, it seems, has commenced.’ (April 10, 1917)
"The Third Temple as outlined by Ezekiel will assuredly be rebuilt in our own generation." (Evangel, March 26, 1949, P. 10.)
"With so much military activity in and around Palestine it seems that the nations are hastening on to their last great conflict at Armageddon." (March 9, 1940, p. 11.)
"Nine countries of Eastern Europe are already united. The stage is setting for the great battle of Armageddon." ("God and the World Crisis," April, 1948)
"Atomic war will start on, before, or at least by January 1953." (Evangel, May 21, 1949, p. 2.)
Date setting continues, therefore, and it continues under the Futurist flag. There is no doubt that the greatest date setters of the 20th century have been the Futurists, and their date setting ways continue to this very day. Predictably, Ice says nothing of this.