PMW 2019-081 by Gary DeMar (American Vision)
Al Mohler has written “Evolving Standards of Decency? How Progressivism Reshapes Society.” My question: “Where were Christians when the Supreme Court codified “evolving standards of decency”? Mohler writes that we share with progressives a belief “in a linear view of history…. We also believe that history doesn’t go forward and backward in time. But we do not believe as Christians that the world is always getting better and better. That’s actually a deformation of Christian doctrine. The reality is that the biblical worldview is so honest about the power of sin that we come to understand that societies do move forward in some terms economically, politically, certainly technologically, but they don’t move forward uniformly certainly when it comes to morality.”
Mohler admits that there has been some “moral progress,” but in the end, “The kingdom of God is coming in its consummation only by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He then takes a stab at postmillennialism:
“Many mainline, more liberal Protestants in Europe and in the United States, but particularly in Europe were tempted by a postmillennialism. That is a theological form of progressivism, but eschatology comes with consequences, and the consequences of reality meant that World War I and all of its carnage brought catastrophe to that kind of mainline Protestant postmillennialism by the early 20th century.”
What Mohler does not deal with is biblical postmillennialism. It is biblical postmillennialism that led to the greatness of what is, in remnant form, the United States of America. Mohler mistakenly associates postmillennialism with Darwinism and theological liberalism. If he had read Greg L. Bahnsen’s “The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism, he would not have made this mistake.
An Eschatology of Victory
by J. Marcellus Kik
This book presents a strong, succinct case for both optimistic postmillennialism and for orthodox preterism. An early proponent in the late Twentieth-century revival of postmillennialism. One of the better non-technical studies of Matt. 24. It even includes a strong argument for a division between AD 70 and the Second Advent beginning at Matt. 24:36.
For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com
Prior to the rise of dispensationalism, there was a realistic optimism even when persecution was all around them. They followed Paul’s comforting words: “But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all… Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:9, 12). Paul wrote this to Timothy nearly 2000 years ago. Christians didn’t give in to the evils of the day and claim that they would be rescued by something called a “rapture.”
It’s important to keep in mind that during a period of persecution, the Reformers did not outline a prophetic system that predicted the near end of the world. Martin Luther was something of an exception. For example, he “did not believe that the kingdom would triumph on earth and in history. In fact, he expected the world to end soon…. In contrast to Luther, John Calvin believed that the kingdom would ‘have a yet greater triumph in history prior to the consummation [the Second Coming],’”1 so much so that “the kingdom of God . . . [will] be extended to the utmost boundaries of the earth . . . so as to occupy the whole world from one end to the other.”2
It was Calvin’s shared optimistic eschatology that found its way into the notes of the Geneva Bible. To cite just one of scores of examples, the note on Zechariah 9:11 in the Geneva Bible reads, “God showeth that he will deliver his Church out of all dangers, seem they ever so great.” But if the church doesn’t believe this, then the church acquiesces to the advance of evil as normative this side of the Second Coming.
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
(ed. by Darrell Bock)
Presents three views on the millennium: progressive dispensationalist, amillennialist, and reconstructionist postmillennialist viewpoints. Includes separate responses to each view. Ken Gentry provides the postmillennial contribution.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
There is no reference to an escape hatch for the Church but only the promised claim that God will sustain and maintain His Church even when persecuted, and that includes Christians being burned at the stake for attempting to do something as logical as translating the Bible into English.
Biblical postmillennialists believe in the progress of the gospel and its effect on culture over the course of history when Christians apply the Bible to every area of life. If they don’t do this, it’s a cop-out to appeal to “only by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ” can make things morally right.
With two world wars, the rise of atheistic communism, and a general evangelical disinterest in culture, it’s not surprising that . . . .
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