PMW 2021-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The basic evangelical eschatological positions may be broken down into two classes: optimistic or pessimistic. Only postmillennialism is characterized as optimistic. In fact, this is the distinctive feature of postmillennialism, which resembles amillennialism in most other respects.
Amillennialists do not like being deemed pessimistic. And they will often complain that postmillennialists wrongly designate them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself, and (2) it overlooks the fact that they argue that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.” Continue reading
PMW 2021-116 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
From time-to-time, I am try to answer questions that readers send in. Here is one that I have received in a few different forms. I thought PMW readers might appreciate this brief Question and Answer.
I have a question for you. I recently heard a postmill/amill debate. The amill gave a criticism against postmill that I am really stuck on. Maybe you can help.
He said that postmills apply the restoration Psalms and prophecies like dispensationalists do, in a literalistic, types and shadows fashion. For example, regarding Psalm 2:8 the amill said that postmills apply the terms “nations” and “earth” in a way that Jesus and the apostles never intended (political entities, etc.). From his perspective, the NT teaches that for Christ to make the nations and earth His footstool refers to the salvation of the Gentiles from every tribe tongue and nation, not Christ’s influence on political structures, etc. Continue reading
PMW 2021-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Amillennialists often complain that postmillennialists wrongly categorize them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself. And (2) it overlooks the fact that they believe that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.”
What do postmillennialists mean by categorizing amillennialism as “pessimistic”? Is the charge legitimate. I believe it is.
Obviously all evangelical eschatological perspectives are ultimately optimistic — even dispensationalists who make a very nice living from books on cultural decline, despair, and doom. After all, Christ does lead his people to victory in saving them from their sins in history, resurrecting them from the dead at the end of history, and establishing them in righteousness in eternity. Continue reading
PMW 2021-031 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I became a postmillennialist after becoming dismayed with dispensationalism, while studying at Grace Theological seminary. But I did not leap from dispensational despair to postmillennial progress in a single bound. Nor was my move faster than a speeding bullet. Nor did I deem it necessary to wear a red cape to do this. (I’ll see how many of you watched Superman on TV in the 1950s.)
I was converted in a dispensational ministry: my dispensationalist uncle’s church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Then I enrolled in Tennessee Temple College, a fundamentalist Baptist operated school, where I secured a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Now armed-and-dangerous with dispensational proof-texts, I set sail to Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. There I was being trained in a higher level, more scholarly version of dispensationalism. Continue reading
PMW 2020-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I have just received an email from a postmillennial reader who does not live in America. He has two questions that probably are on the minds of other postmillennialists. So I thought I would briefly respond to his questions and post my answers for other readers to consider. (I will slightly tweak his comments to remove personal information).
My reader writes
“Where I live it seemed to me that the interest in end times faded a bit over the last couple of years. However more and more videos and links are now reaching my digital shores and it seems caused by the newest crises to hit the world — the doom and gloom prophesied re Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus provides ample fertile ground for faded premils to get their motor started one more time, but also providing a gateway for younger people to adopt what seems to them an easy escapist argument. I am sensing some animosity from some people because of this basic optimism and my Christian dominion approach. This is at odds with the current pessimistic view prevalent among friends.
I have therefore dusted the old books and started reading your Perilous Times again. As I am reading I was wondering why the premill and amill views are the more popular approach to a view of end times.
In relation to the above have you ever considered whether an incorrect understanding of the foundational teaching of original sin could add to the pessimistic approach to end times?
Example: why do we deserve a better future as humans when we are unworthy in the eyes of an exclusive judgmental God?
The example is not my view but could be stuck in a psychological part of the thinking process of many people causing them to believe that they (and humanity) must suffer for their sins.”
PMW 2019-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I was recently interviewed for a documentary on postmillennialism. Here are a few of the questions and a summary of my answers. Hopefully these succinct statements will prove helpful to you!
1) How would you define Postmillennialism
Postmillennialism is the view of biblical eschatology that understands that Christ established the prophesied Messianic kingdom when he came to the earth in the first century. He established his kingdom then commissioned his disciples to promote it through evangelism and discipleship. Since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, we expect his kingdom to gradually grow as history unfolds in the long run. There will be many ups-and-downs (just as in our own personal sanctification). But eventually the vast majority of men and nations will become Christians and will promote a biblical worldview that will apply all the Bible to all of life. This era of the dominance of the Christian faith will last a long period of time, after which Christ will return to end history and establish the consummate state. Continue reading
The technical theological term that describes the study of Bible prophecy is: “eschatology.” It is based on two Greek words: eschatos, which means “end, last”; logos, which means “word or study.” Thus, “eschatology” is technically “the study of the last things.”
Another technical theological term that has become so popular in modern discussions is: “millennium.” It is based on the Latin: mille, “thousand”; and annum, “year.” Thus, the term means “thousand years.” It is derived from Rev. 20:1–6, the only place in Scripture which associates 1000 years with Christ’s rule.
In attaching prefixes to the term “millennium” we link the second coming of Christ to the millennium that is mentioned in Rev. 20: amillennial, premillennial, and postmillennial. These three most basic positions may be briefly defined in terms of their chronology as follows: Continue reading