PMT 2017-008 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I have been presenting the postmillennial understanding of the millennial hope in this five-part series. Hopefully this series will be useful as an introduction to postmillennialism for those unfamiliar with it or, as yet, unpersuaded by its argument.
In this article we will very briefly consider one of the key texts in Paul’s writing, from the vitally important fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Continue reading
“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (3)
PMT 2015-0144 by Benjamin B. Warfield
[Gentry note: This is part 3 of an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]
The Meaning of “Propitiation”
The expedient made use of by many commentators in their endeavor to escape from this maze of contradictions is to distinguish between Christ as our “Advocate” and Christ as our “Propitiation,” and to connect actual salvation with him only in the former function. Thus Richard Rothe tells us that “the propitiation in Christ concerns the whole world,” but “only those in Christ have an advocate in Christ,” with the intimation that it is Christ’s advocacy which “makes the efficacy of his propitiation effective before God.” In this view the propitiation is conceived as merely laying a basis for actual forgiveness of sins, and is spoken of therefore rather as “sufficient” than efficacious—becoming efficacious only through the act of faith on the part of the believer by which he secures Christ as his Advocate. This is the view presented by B. F. Westcott also, according to whom Christ is advocate exclusively for Christians, while he is a propitiation for the whole world. His propitiatory death on earth was for all men; his advocacy in heaven is for those only who believe in him. Here, there is a universal atonement taught, with a limited application, contingent on actual faith: “the efficacy of his work for the individual depends upon fellowship with him.” Continue reading
“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (2)
PMT 2015-0143 by Benjamin B. Warfield
[Gentry note: This is part 2 of an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]
“And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”
(1 John 2:2)
The Problem of “the World”
The search for John’s meaning naturally begins with an attempt to ascertain what he intends by “the world.” He sets it in contrast with an “our” by which primarily his readers and himself are designated: “And he is himself a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world.” John’s readers apparently are immediately certain Christian communities in Asia Minor; and it is possible to confine the “our” strictly to them. In that case it is not impossible to interpret “the whole world,” which is brought into contrast with the Christians specifically of Asia Minor, as referring to the whole body of Christians extended throughout the world. Continue reading
PMT 2015-141 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As we enter the New Testament record Christ’s birth immediately confronts us. The birth of “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1) gloriously echoes the Old Testament victory theme, showing that his first coming begins the fruition of the promises (Lk 1:46–55, 68–79). The fullness of time comes in the first century through Christ’s incarnation (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10; Tit 1:2–3).
Christ’s covenanted kingdom comes near in his early ministry because the “time was fulfilled” for it to come (Mk 1:14–15; Mt 3:2). Thus, John Baptist is something of a marker separating the fading Old Testament era from the dawning kingdom era (Mt 11:11–14; Mk 1:14–15; Jn 3:26–30). Continue reading
PMT 2015-123 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In this article I am continuing a response to a reader who wonders if the NT teaches a gradualistic development of Christ’s kingdom to victory. He was especially curious since Rom 8 appears to speak of the fulfillment of Isa 11, with Rom 8 speaking of the consummation rather than history. I recommend reading my previous article to get his particular question before you. Continue reading
PMT 2015-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader has sent me a very perceptive email that well deserves my attention. And I think answering it will prove valuable to you in your postmillennial study as I engage the question it presents. He writes:
“Reflecting on Isaiah 11 —— ‘The Peaceable Kingdom.’ If we take that to be a portrait of the ‘post-millennial’ millennium, then I would find its New Testament counterpart in Romans 8 (redemption of all creation).
But — here’s the question — apart from 1 Corinthians 15 (‘and he must reign…’) and The Parable of the Mustard Seed and leaven in the lump, I see very little in the New Testament itself which seems to envision the slow growth of the kingdom resulting in a victorious display within an historic millennium. Continue reading
PMT 2015-079 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Postmillennialism differs from the other evangelical eschatologies in a very important respect: Postmillennialism is optimistic about the progress of the gospel in history. We believe that Christ’s victory on the cross will exercise a tremendous influence in history — before the end, before the return of Christ.
We see this throughout the Scriptural record. Some amillennialists charge that postmillennialism is built solely on Old Testament texts, and that its optimistic outlook cannot be found in the New Testament. But that is absolutely mistaken. Let us consider one text in Paul as an example of Christ’s victory in history before his return: 1 Corinthians 15. Continue reading