ISLAM VERSUS POSTMILLENNIALISM?

Islam swordPMT 2014-129 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I receive many email, blog, Facebook, and conference questions on various eschatological issues. From time-to-time I plan on running a question in PostmillennialismToday. Here is one I received very recently, wondering how about a difficulty postmillennialism faces today.

Dr Gentry. With the threat of Islam around the world particularly it’s growth and infiltration into western society, how do we rationalize the teaching of Christian postmillennialism? Will they continue to grow and threaten western society or will they come to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour?

This is an excellent question. A question that needs to be gotten out front, because I can imagine it is on many Christians’ minds when they hear of the optimism of postmillennialism. The dominant eschatology today is dispensationalism, which is pessimistic to the core regarding the future until Christ raptures the church. How can a postmillennialist have hope in the light of such a widespread problem in the world today?


Van Til Conference on Eschatology (3 CDs)
Three formal lectures on various aspects of postmillennialsm.
An excellent introduction to postmillennialism from a distinctly Reformed perspective.
Includes discussion of the leading objections to the postmillennial hope
as well as an application of Van Til’s apologetic method to the postmillennial argument.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


I would offer several responses.

First, such a concern overlooks the growing tendency in Islam. I would not be surprised to see Islam crashing and burning before too many more years. I am not a prophet, nor the son of prophet, not even the grandson of one. And frequently I do not even show a profit. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine Islam lasting for another century.

The world is seeing the horror of Islam on a daily basis. Even Muslims are seeing the destructive nature of their religion. On one hand, the simple passing of time should work the numbers of Islam down to one, eventually. And he will probably be grievously wounded. On the other hand, I would not be surprised to see a steadily growing number of converts to Christianity as horrified Muslims prefer the Prince of Peace to the Prophet of Destruction. In fact, in my next article I will provide some news reports suggesting this is already happening.

Second, such a concern employs a wrong method of historical evaluation. The problem with this concern is that it selects too narrow a sample of history. We must be aware that when we consider the wider, historical long run, world circumstances and particularly conditions for the Christian Church have greatly improved since Christianity’s inception in the first century. We must recall the continuing Jewish persecution of the Church and the wider, more destructive Roman persecutions of the first three centuries.

That is, taking into account the big picture, we must ask: Are Christians as a class today generally better off than were Christians as a class of the first two or three centuries? Are world conditions worse today in Christian-influenced areas than they were in the first century under Nero? Anyone who is aware of the Roman persecutions against the early Church should understand that Christians are in a much better situation in wider swaths of the earth today.


Theological Analysis of Tongues (6 CDs)
This six part sermon series covers the key issues for understanding t
ongues-speaking as intended by Scripture.

Very helpful even for eschatology, given tongues-speaking serving as
a sign of covenant curse upon Israel.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Third, such a concern involves an erroneous definition of postmillennialism. We must note that nothing in the postmillennial definition requires either relentlessly forward progress or the kingdom’s reaching its highest advance by any particular date. Postmillennialism is gradualistic. It teaches that before the end the kingdom of God will reach world-dominating proportions. Thus, until history ends this concern cannot undermine the postmillennial hope. Glorious revivals may yet occur — as the postmillennialist expects.

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One thought on “ISLAM VERSUS POSTMILLENNIALISM?

  1. Blaine K. Newton October 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I was recently talking to a missionary friend of mine who ministers in Turkey to Iranians. He told me there’s a revival among Iranians that may yet come to rival that of South Korea. As we continued, he shared with me a story of a former terrorist with Hezbollah, who came to know the Lord. My friend told me he’d never seen a man more fervent in his worship for the one and only true God than that man.

    Why must we continue to question God’s ability to change their hearts of men?

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