Category Archives: Amillennialism

FAVORITE POSTMILLENNIAL VERSES?

Bible pointingPMT 2015-029 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I became a postmillennialist after becoming dismayed with dispensationalism. 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.)

Eschatological journey

I was converted in a dispensational ministry: my dispensationalist uncle’s church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Then I enrolled in Tennessee Temple College (which just closed down this week!) 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

Advertisements

2 TIM 3 (# 2): PAUL v POSTMILLENNIALISM?

Ancient debatePMT 2015-007 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the key negative passages brought against postmillennial optimism in history is Paul’s third chapter in 2 Timothy. Probably second only to the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States, these verses are deemed to present us with a dark and bleak outlook on history.

In 2 Tim 3 Paul speaks of “difficult times” and “evil men and imposters,” even warning that “all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Do these statements undermine the postmillennial hope? This is an important question to consider in the eschatological debate. Pessimistic eschatologies see these statements as normative for the flow of church history to the end. But do they declare the normative expectation for Christianity throughout the future?

I am continuing a reply to James White’s October 16, 2014 webcast, where he challenged my postmillennial understanding of 2 Timothy 3. You should consult my preceding articles for proper context and even check out my original article to which he is replying (“Postmillennialism and Perilous Times,” PMT 2014-029, March 7, 2014). But I am taking a new turn in my response, now engaging a careful presentation of the postmillennial understanding of 2 Timothy 3. Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 1) PAUL v POSTMILLENNIALISM

Calendar 67PMT 2015-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Do Paul’s statements in 2 Tim 3 regarding “difficult times,” “evil men and imposters,” and “all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” undermine the postmillennial hope for history? These are important questions to consider in the eschatological debate.

Postmillennialism is an optimistic eschatology. But it is surrounded by the various pessimistic eschatologies: amillennialism, premillennialism, and dispensationalism (in all its varieties, including classic dispensationalism, revised dispensationalism, progressive dispensationalism, pre-wrath rapture dispensationalism, mid-Acts dispensationalism, Acts 28 dispensationalism, hyper-dispensationalism, ultra-dispensationalism, and the several dozen other forms of this eschatology founded on the plain-and-simple hermeneutic of literalism).

The pessimistic eschatological systems see Paul’s statements in 2 Timothy 3 as prophetic and normative for all of church history. And as such, these verses would be counter-indicative to postmillennial expectations. But do Paul’s comments in 2 Tim 3 declare the normative expectation for Christianity throughout all of history? Continue reading

JAMES WHITE’S ANALYSIS OF 2 TIMOTHY 3 (6)

White James booksPMT 2014-153 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my sixth article replying to White’s October 16, 2014 webcast, where he challenged my postmillennial understanding of 2 Timothy 3. Please see my preceding articles for context and consult my original article to which he replies (“Postmillennialism and Perilous Times,” PMT 2014-029, March 7, 2014).

Just as you hear dispensationalists declare: “The end is near,” so have you heard me declare: “The end of my reply to Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries is near.” But in proof that I am not a prophet (in fact, I seldom even show a profit), I must confess: this article will not be the last one in the series.

I know what you are thinking: “An article series with Gentry is as a thousand entries.” Or: “Of the making of blog articles there is no end.” But no! There was a unmentioned gap in my previous prophecy declaring only six articles. Not really; just kidding. You know I am not a gap theorist, either in the Creation account on in Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. So what has happened? Continue reading

JAMES WHITE’S AND 2 TIMOTHY 3 (5)

PMT 2014-152 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.White laughing Gentry 2

This is my fifth article replying to Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. On his October 16 webcast, he challenged my postmillennial analysis of 2 Timothy 3. See my preceding articles for context and consult my original article to which he replies (“Postmillennialism and Perilous Times,” PMT 2014-029, March 7, 2014).

White’s Objections on the Last Days

White rejects my understanding of 2 Tim 3:1 which records Paul’s statement: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” He mentions that we have been living in the “last days” for a long time, since the first century (Acts 2:16–17; Heb 1:1–2; 9:26). Once again, my postmillennialism agrees with his amillennialism on this understanding of the “last days.”

White, however, believes that Paul is effectively prophesying that the last times will always be characterized by difficult times wherein the majority of men act in depraved ways (2 Tim 3:1-8). And on this understanding, he argues that this cannot fit into the postmillennial expectation of the universal progress and dominance of the gospel in world affairs. And if he were correct in his understanding of Paul, I would agree with him. Continue reading

JAMES WHITE’S AND 2 TIMOTHY 3 (4)

PMT 2014-151 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.White James Ken EDIT

This is my fourth article in my reply to Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. On his October 16 webcast, he challenged my analysis of 2 Timothy 3 in my PostmillennialismToday article titled: “Perilous Times.” Please see my preceding articles in this series by way of introduction. Unless you are weary. And if you are weary, try “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest” (Prov 6:10), for this is biblical.

White countered my observation that 2 Tim 3 is written to Timothy and was speaking only of his own day. I pointed out in my original article that we should note the occasional nature of most of the NT epistles. That is, we must understand that they were written to deal with specific occasions within in the first century. I illustrated this by pointing to 1 Cor 5:1. But White rejects my paralleling 1 Cor 5:1 to Paul’s statement to Timothy. Nevertheless: Continue reading

JAMES WHITE AND 2 TIMOTHY 3 (3)

PMT 2014-150 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.White warfield gun

This is my third article in my reply to Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. On his October 16 webcast, he challenged my analysis of 2 Timothy 3. Please see my two preceding articles by way of introduction (PMT 2014-148 and PMT 2014-149). [1]

Introduction

As I begin, I must summarily remind my reader of the two key concerns that appear in White’s discussion. He complains against me that: (1) Hermeneutically, I limit Paul’s concern in 2 Timothy 3 to the first century only. (2) Theologically, I cannot account for Paul’s normative statement in 2 Timothy 3:12 wherein he warns all Christians in all times to expect persecution.

In this article I will begin answering White’s first objection, i.e., that I erroneously reduce Paul’s statement in 2 Tim 3:1ff to Timothy’s day. This complaint arises in that I wrote: Paul “is dealing with a particular historical matter in the first century. He is speaking of things that Timothy will be facing and enduring (2Ti 3:10, 14). He is not prophesying about the constant, long-term, unyielding prospects for all of history.” Continue reading