PMT 2016-035 by Robert Ward
Should the influence of Christian values be consigned to the history books? This was the question posed to former Prime Minister John Howard by Eternity recently.
In a wide-ranging response, Howard stood firm on his credentials as a person of faith himself, while recognising that arguments today had to be made that appealed to the whole community, not just to those who shared a Christian worldview.
Identifying Judaeo-Christian values as the “greatest shaper, morally and ethically, of today’s Australia”, Howard argued that while we owe much to such institutions as the United Nations and documents like our constitution, we can trace much of what we value back to the teachings of Jesus. For instance, the appropriate separation of church and state, where he made it clear: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Continue reading
PMT 2016-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is my second installment on the question about the origins of postmillennialism. Many dispensationalists dismiss postmillennialism as a modern novelty. In my last article I pointed out that all eschatological development is only gradually understood over time. In this article I will show the seed beginnings of postmillennialism in antiquity.
As far as our preserved writings go, premillennialism finds slightly earlier development (especially in Irenaeus, A.D. 130-202). Yet theologian Donald G. Bloesch notes that “postmillennialism was already anticipated in the church father Eusebius of Caesarea” (A.D. 260-340) (Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979], 2:192). Continue reading
PMT 2016-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Many Christians, particularly dispensationalists, write-off postmillennialism as a modern theological construct. Nothing could be further from the truth. Multi-million-selling dispensationalist populist Hal Lindsey confidently declares: “There is no evidence of the distinctive teachings of Postmillennialism earlier than the seventeenth century” (Lindsey, Road to Holocaust [New York: Bantam, 1989], 29). Dispensational theologian Charles F. Baker agrees: “Its advocates admit that it was first taught in the seventeenth century” (Baker, Dispensational Theology [Grand Rapids: Grace Bible College, 1971], 623). Continue reading
PMT 2015-136 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Most dispensationalists are quite confused regarding the origins of postmillennialism. Hal Lindsey as confidently declares its modern origins as he does the latest date for the Rapture: “There is no evidence of the distinctive teachings of Postmillennialism earlier than the seventeenth century.”
Charles Baker states: “Its advocates admit that it was first taught in the seventeenth century.” Many wrongly assume that we may trace postmillennialism back only as far as Daniel Whitby in 1703. Continue reading
by Hazel Torres
in Christianity Today (11/1/2015)
More and more Muslim refugees in UN camps in Iraq are embracing Jesus Christ and expressing repugnance of their former religion, Christian Aid Mission workers have disclosed.
“They’re just sick of Islam,” a Christian ministry leader in the Kurdish Region of Iraq recently told the Christian Aid Mission.
“People are very hungry to know about Christ, especially when they hear about miracles, healing, mercy and love,” he said, as reported in the Gospel Herald. Continue reading
PMT 2015-068 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Creation is an important aspect of the Christ worldview. And creation appears, appropriately, in the Bible’s first book, Genesis. The historical nature of the creation narrative in Genesis sets in motion the forces that will issue in eschatology. Genesis sets the stage for the unfolding eschatological revelation of Scripture.
Genesis was written by Moses, a well-educated Jew in ancient Israel. As the New Testament notes: “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Ancient Jews had a strong interest in history because it was created by God in the beginning and is in the process of being redeemed by him in the present. Thus, in their worldview, the God of Israel was not only the transcendent Creator over history, but also the immanent Redeemer within history. He is the providential Judge and redemptive Savior who acts in history to do his will. Continue reading
Introductory note by Ken Gentry:
In the article below you will find an analysis of the decline of Christianity in America and a proposal for engaging the post-Christian culture we now face. As a postmillennialist I believe Christ’s gospel will one day dominate the world as the major personal, social, and cultural influence among men. We have seen its power in the past, but we are witnessing its decline in the present. This is a tragedy that needs to be reversed, and will be reversed — according to Scripture.
In this regard postmillennialists must take heart by remembering three things:
(1) The postmillenial hope unfolds gradually over time, with fits-and-starts, like the individual’s personal sanctification. We should not look at the crisis of the moment and despair regarding the future. After all, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants” (Matt 13:31-32). We must not be newspaper exegetes; but good-news exegetes. That is, we must look to Scripture for our hope, for in it is the good news of the gospel.
(2) The prophetic hope of Scripture promises that before the end, Christ will win the victory. And we do not know when the end will be. We have no Hal Lindsey in our camp who can accurately predict it. We have no one who can write a 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon or Planet Earth 2000 AD: Will Mankind Survive? So we must keep laboring for the Master while understanding that he holds the future in his hands. After all, “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Cor 15:25).
(3) God does not need America; America needs God. It may be that God is setting aside America and will let her collapse to show that . . . in fact, America does need God. We are not interested in civil religion, but biblical religion. We are seeking true revival in the churches that will overflow into the wider culture. After all, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron 7:14).