Category Archives: History

ESCHATOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Gradual buildingPMT 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

“MUSLIMS ARE JUST SICK OF ISLAM”

Muslim convertsby 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

PROTOLOGY AND ESCHATOLOGY

creationPMT 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

POSTMILLENNIALISM AND POST-CHRISTIAN AMERICA

Post Christian AmericaPMT 2015-065

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).
Continue reading

ESCHATOLOGY IN THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY (2)

Philosophy History 2PMT 2015-043 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism involves the whole system of biblical doctrine. In the basic Christian philosophy of history, eschatology is a key plank. In my last blog article I began a brief overview of the basic elements of the Christian view of history. In that article I focused on the basic doctrine of God. I will now complete my overview by considering the remaining elements.

Creation

All of reality derives from a personal, moral, sovereign being. The Christian’s creational viewpoint puts man under God and over nature (Ge 1:26–27; Ps 8). It imparts transcendent meaning to temporal history and sets before man a high calling. Continue reading

ESCHATOLOGY IN THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY (1)

Philosophy History 1PMT 2015-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Eschatology is a greatly abused feature of systematic theology. The modern evangelical world is filled with Rapture-theorists, Armageddon-fearers, and Antichrist-identifiers. The integrity of the Christian faith has taken a powerful hit due to the naivete of so many publications by “prophecy experts.”

Yet, eschatology is an important element within a full-orbed systematic theology. Despite its abuse by televangelists and novelists, we must be careful not to avoid it as an embarrassment to our holy faith. Indeed, we need to reclaim it as a fundamental feature of a Christian philosophy of history.

In this two-part study, I will outline some key elements of a biblical, Christian philosophy of history. At the end of this brief overview we will see how eschatology is one of those key elements that help define the faith. Continue reading

LIGHTFOOT, REV 22, AND TONGUES (2)

Lightfoot JohnPMT 2014-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this article I conclude the citation of John Lightfoot’s notes on Revelation 22, wherein he discusses miraculous gifts and tongues-speaking as apostolic signs that were not to continue after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Except that those gifted with these phenomena before the fall would continue until they themselves died, and so would end such gifts.

Here is the conclusion to Lightfoot’s comments begun in PMT 2014-101:

At the first dispersing of the gospel, it was absolutely needful, that the first planters should be furnished with such extraordinary gifts; or else, it was not possible it should be planted. As this may appear by a plain instance: — Paul comes to a place, where the gospel had come never come; he stays a month or two, and begets a church; and then he is to go his way, and to leave them. Who now, in this church, is fit to be their minister? they being alike but very children in the gospel: but Paul is directed by the Holy Ghost, to lay his hands upon such and such them; and that bestows upon them the gift of tongues and prophesying; and now they are able to be ministers and to teach the congregation. Continue reading