Category Archives: Interpretation

GOSPEL CONFUSION (2)

PMW 2021-049 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part series on the proper presentation of the gospel. This is an important consideration for the truly biblical postmillennial hope. If the gospel is not understood, the method of presentation will be deficient, and the results of preaching will be skewed.

The Nature of Salvation

As A. W. Pink rightly stated: “Salvation is a supernatural work which produces supernatural effects.” [1] The dog returns to his vomit and the swine to the mud, but the believer stands in a new relationship to God (2 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Of the believer the Scriptures teach that he is chosen to be holy (Ephesians 1:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:2), and to bear fruit (John 15:16). He is ordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). He follows Christ (John 10:27). Christ died for him in order to redeem him from iniquity (Titus 2:14), to move him to live in righteousness (1 Peter 2:24), and to cause him to serve without fear in holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:74-75). He is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This begins with the new birth and is ultimately and perfectly realized in heaven. He is described as a called, chosen, and faithful person (Revelation 17:14). Continue reading

REVELATION’S JUDAIC IMAGES

PMW 2021-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.exodus

Revelation has an extremely Judaic character. This peculiar characteristic underscores John’s theme of God’s judgment on Israel in AD 70.

John’s style is such that “the reader unfamiliar with the OT is hard pressed to make any sense of Revelation” (Beale and Carson). This is because “when reading the book of Revelation one is plunged fully into the atmosphere of the Old Testament. No book of the New Testament is as saturated with the Old as is the Apocalypse” (McKelvey). Continue reading

HISTORICISM, REVELATION, AND THE REFORMATION

Historicism and RevelationPMW 2021-041 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

My computer is getting lighter as I remove more of the questions that have been sent to me by readers. Today’s question regarding the Book of Revelation, one of my favorite pastimes!

Reader’s question:

You are committed to the Reformed faith, yet you don’t take the historicist approach to eschatology which was widely held among the Reformers. Why do you not follow the Reformers in this part of their theology.

My response:

Thank you for your inquiry. You are correct that I am committed to Reformed theology. However, I differ from the Reformers in that I take a preterist approach to Revelation rather than an historicist approach. I do so for the following reasons: Continue reading

DISPENSATIONALISM, JERUSALEM, AND SACRIFICES

Lamb sacrificePMW 2021-040 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I try to keep up with correspondence as best I can. So in this posting, I am answering a question sent to me from a reader.

Reader question:

I have two questions on how you might respond to some Dispensational explanations of Ezekiel 40-48. (1) Some dispensationalists argue that the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple are not a problem because the topography of the land will be radically changed in the millennium. They cite Zechariah 14 in defense of this topographical reconfiguration. They also cite the following passages to argue that Jerusalem will be much larger than what it is today: Jer. 31:38-40; Ezk. 48:30-35; Zech. 14;10-11. (2) The other thing relates to Ezekiel’s sacrificial system. They state that since the apostles did not have a problem with sacrifice in the New Testament, then why should we see it as problematic in the millennium? They cite Acts 21:17-26 in support of the idea that the apostles did not have a problem with sacrifice as a memorial and that Ezekiel’s sacrifices will have some efficacy for the unregenerate who are present in the millennium.

I have noticed that recently many Dispensationalists have felt the pressure of Covenant Theologians and have started an attempt to go on the offensive with their system via the internet and find ways to get around Covenant objections. Continue reading

LITERALISM AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

LiteralPMW 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.

Reader question:

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

THE GRADUALISM PRINCIPLE

slow down 1PMW 2021-032 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The principle of gradualism has long been the method of God and the experience of God’s people in Scripture. I will be showing below that if we are to properly understand Scripture’s eschatological victory, we must recognize this important redemptive-historical means of divine operation. In short, this principle expects the kingdom’s developmental unfolding and incremental expansion to grow slowly over time in the historical long run.

Contrary to postmillennialism, though, the dispensational and premillennial views operate on the basis of the principle of catastrophism. Continue reading

MY FAVORITE POSTMILLENNIAL VERSES

Bible pointingPMW 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.)

Eschatological journey

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