PMT 2014-074 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I was not born a postmillennialist. I was born an American, therefore, I was born a dispensationalist. Dispensationalism was the evangelical atmosphere which I breathed, even before I knew what it was. In fact, when I would read the newspaper, I couldn’t help but end each news item by thinking, “According to biblical prophecy!”
I was converted to Christ in 1966 at a dispensationalist youth camp in Boca Raton, Florida. I was there because my dispensationalist uncle (Rev. John S. Lanham) longed to see me converted. He paid my way to the camp where I heard the gospel preached with clarity for the first time in my life (even though I had been in regular attendance in a Methodist church all my life).
My educational wandering
Upon my conversion I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life. So I began my college career at Middle Tennessee State University majoring in Art, which I enjoyed engaging in during high school. One of my first cousins was a commercial artist, which impressed me. Though I was a decent artist at the high school level, when I got to college the other students were drawing circles around me. So I began to consider another academic quest.
My father was an aeronautical engineer, so I thought I might like to try my hand at that. For two years I studied engineering at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. But that did not interest me either. I really had a deep yearning to study the Bible. I tell people that while I was in a class on calculus the Lord called me to ministry. (I never could figure out what calculus was all about. I initially thought it was teaching you how to use an abacus, and since I had owned one since I was five, I thought this might be fun.)
“Studies in Eschatology” (4 CDs) Four lectures by Ken Gentry
This four lecture series was given in Vancouver, Washington.
It provides both a critique of dispensationalism, as well as
positive studies of postmillennialism in the Psalms and Revelation.
This provides helpful comparative insights into eschatological pessimism and optimism.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
So I finally transferred to a dispensationalist college: Tennessee Temple College, also in Chattanooga. At last I had discovered what I wanted to do with my life. And more importantly, what God wanted me to do with the life he had given me. I eagerly engaged the courses, securing a B.A. in Biblical Studies.
Upon graduating from Tennessee Temple, I enrolled in a dispensationalist seminary, Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, Ind.). There I was able to engage much deeper study of the Bible and theology. I was quite happy with the depth of my theological studies and the strength of the Christian fellowship there at GTS.
My dispensational rapture
However, while late in my second year at Grace Theological Seminary, two influences converged in causing me to reject dispensationalism. The first was my researching a paper on the Lordship Controversy. This led to my discovery of the significance of Peter’s Acts 2 enthronement passage, which shook my dispensationalism to its very foundation. Peter’s sermon had Christ enthroned at his resurrection, rather than at the beginning of the millennium. The second was the discovery at about the same time of O. T. Allis’ Prophecy and the Church. This work bulldozed the residue of my collapsed dispensationalism.
As a result, a couple of friends of mine (Rev. Alan McCall and Mr. Barry Bostrom, Esq.) and I not only soon departed dispensationalism but transferred from Grace Seminary to Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Previously we had been partial Calvinists, now we had become fully reformed, hence non-dispensational.
At Reformed Seminary I took two courses that initially seemed implausible and misguided extravagance. The courses were “History and Eschatology” (in which postmillennialism was presented and defended ) and “Christian Theistic Ethics” (in which was set forth theonomic ethics). Both of these courses were taught by Greg L. Bahnsen.
Regarding the eschatological question, even though I was no longer a dispensationalist, I did not know what I was, eschatologically-speaking. I had assumed Pentecost, Lindsey, and other dispensationalists were correct in affirming “postmillennialism finds no defenders or advocates in the present chiliastic discussions within the theological world.” 
My postmillennial conversion
Unfortunately, I still had dispensational blinders on my eyes, for in the very era in which Pentecost’s book was published (1958) there were at least four notable works in defense of postmillennialism — one of them endorsed by the famed, orthodox Old Testament scholar, Oswald T. Allis: J. Marcellus Kik’s, Matthew Twenty-Four (1948) and Revelation Twenty (1955), Roderick Campbell’s Israel and the New Covenant (Introduction by O. T. Allis, 1954), and Loraine Boettner’s The Millennium (1957).
And how could anyone believe in the applicability of Old Testament law to modern culture? The notion was even more far-fetched to me than the idea of victory of the gospel in history. Dispensational constructs still haunted my mind.
In both of the aforementioned courses I continued in steadfast opposition to the professor through almost half of each course. You might say that I “kicked against the pricks.” But in both courses I was eventually swayed by the sheer force of biblical exegesis and consistent theological analysis. I went into these courses as an anti-theonomic amillennialist; I came out as theonomic, postmillennialist.
Revelation, God and Man (24 CDs)
Formal Christ College course on the doctrines of revelation, God, and man.
Opens with introduction to the study of systematic theology.
Excellent material for personal study or group Bible study.
Strongly Reformed and covenantal in orientation.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
I date the final stage of my full theological transformation to 1977, the year I graduated from RTS. My reformed theology was now complete; with the Westminster Divines I could cite Old Testament case laws alongside of New Testament passages for divine insight into the resolution of moral issues. And I could turn to the Old and New Testament prophetic hope for a proper understanding of the Gospel Victory Theme of eschatology. In short, I could apply the whole of Scripture to the whole of life in confident anticipation of all glory being Christ’s in His world.
How did you become a postmillennialist? What biblical passages persuaded you? I would be interested to know.
 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), p. 387; cp. Hal Lindsey, Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970), 176.
Tagged: postmillennial testimony