Category Archives: Objections

MISTAKEN DISMISSALS OF POSTMILLENNIALISM (1)

NewspaperPMT 2016-001 by Greg L. Bahnsen (edited by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.)

Introduction by Ken Gentry

Postmillennialism is perhaps the easiest eschatological system to misunderstand. And misunderstanding leads to rejection. This is the first in a four-part series on “Misguided Grounds for Rejecting Postmillennialism.” This article was originally written by Greg L. Bahnsen, but is presented here as edited by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. In this article, Bahnsen considers the problem of “Newspaper Exegesis.”

Newspaper Exegesis

It must be observed that postmillennialism lost favor (and today remains held in disfavor) with conservative theologians for manifestly unorthodox and insufficient reasons. Extra-biblical reasoning, as well as lazy or poor scholarship, has intruded itself into Christian discussions of eschatology. I will highlight four misguided grounds often used for rejecting this hope-filled eschatology. In this article I will focus on: Newspaper Exegesis. Continue reading

WILL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?

seekingPMW 2021-090 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Luke 18:8 Jesus makes a statement that seems to undermine any notion of the postmillennial hope. There we read:

“I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Dispensationalists employ this verse with great confidence against postmillennialism. And we can certainly see why. Consider the following comments by dispensationalists. Continue reading

“YOU WILL BE HATED BY ALL MEN”?

Hated by allPMW 202-088 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Oftentimes critics of postmillennialism will go to NT passages such as Matt 10:22 to discredit postmillennialism’s long-term optimism. That passage reads:

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”

Since postmillennialism expects a future in which Christianity reigns supreme, and in which righteousness and peace will prevail throughout the world, texts such as this one must be explained. Postmillennialism cannot be true if Christians will always be hated and the only hope we have is our bare endurance. Continue reading

1 JOHN 2:2 BY B. B. WARFIELD (3)

Cross and world“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (3)
PMW 2021-083 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

1 JOHN 2:2 BY B. B. WARFIELD (2)

Savior of world“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (2)
PMT 2021-082 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

1 JOHN 2:2 BY B. B. WARFIELD (1)

Cross all men“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (1)
PMW 2021-083 by Benjamin B. Warfield

[Gentry note: This is 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)

As a means of comforting Christians distressed by their continued lapses into sin, John, in the opening words of the second chapter of his first Epistle, is led to assure them that “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, a Righteous One”; and by way of showing how prevailing his advocacy is, to add, “And he is himself a propitiation for our sins.” There he might well have stopped. Continue reading

CAN A LIBERAL BE POSTMILLENNIAL?

BlindPMW 2021-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I note on my “Definition” page on this blogsite, postmillennialism confidently anticipates a time in earth history (continuous with the present) in which the very gospel already operating will win the victory throughout the earth, fulfilling the Great Commission. “The thing that distinguishes the biblical postmillennialist, then, from amillennialists and premillennialists is his belief that the Scripture teaches the success of the great commission in this age of the church” (Greg L. Bahnsen, Victory in Jesus, 74).

Thus, we hold that the overwhelming majority of men and nations will be Christianized, righteousness will abound, wars will cease, and prosperity and safety will flourish. “It will be marked by the universal reception of the true religion, and unlimited subjection to the sceptre of Christ.” “It shall be a time of universal peace.” “It will be characterised by great temporal prosperity” (David Brown, Christ’s Second Coming, 399, 401). This causes us to “look forward to a great ‘golden age’ of spiritual prosperity continuing for centuries, or even for millenniums, during which time Christianity shall be triumphant over all the earth” (Lorraine Boettner, The Millennium, 29). Continue reading