Category Archives: Optimism

“FIRST THE BLADE”

PMW-2017-090 by R. J. Rushdoony (Chalcedon Foundation)

One of the very important and much neglected verses of Scripture is Mark 4:28: “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Our Lord tells us (Mark 4:26-29) that the Kingdom of God, as it develops in history, has a necessary growth and development. No more than we can plant grain and then expect the harvest at once, can we expect quick or immediate results in the growth of God’s Kingdom. If we plant grain, we must cultivate it, often water it, tend to the field, and, only after much labor, reap a harvest. To expect otherwise is stupidity and foolishness, whether in farming or in the work of the Kingdom. In fact, our Lord describes quick growth as false (Matt. 13:5-6, 20-21). Continue reading

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HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?

PMT 2017-089 by Mark R. Rushdoony (Chalcedon Foundation)

A very brief encounter with a pastor nearly forty years ago is still vivid. We were hurrying in opposite directions, so our encounter was very brief, and we both just slowed as he realized who I was, greeted me, and expressed his admiration for my father’s writing. “I really like what he has to say,” he commented as he passed by. Then he turned back and added, “Except the postmillennialism. I just don’t see that happening in today’s world.”

He was already past me and looking back, and I never saw him again, but his words surprised me. His frankness betrayed the error in this pastor’s thinking—that his personal perception of what was possible was relevant to what God says about the progress of His Kingdom. Continue reading

CALVIN, PUBLIC TRAGEDY, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMT 2017-081 by John Calvin

Note by Ken Gentry:
This citation of John Calvin was posted by American Vision on their website after the Las Vegas mass murder on October 1, 2017. Calvin was strongly committed to God’s sovereignty and held positions that aligned with postmillennialism. We must always keep our eyes heavenward, even in times of trial and tragedy. We must not be like Peter when walking on the water. When he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink and cried out for help (Matt. 14:28–31). We must not be numbered among those “of little faith” who “doubt” (Matt. 14:31). Continue reading

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD NEWS

PMT 2017-079 by Eric Metaxas & G. Shane Morris (Breakpoint)

It’s been a summer of rough news for America. Racism, riots, and political violence. Communities on the Gulf Coast continue wading through the devastation of hurricane Harvey, and now another storm is bearing down on Florida. We have plenty of reasons to be praying and doing all we can to alleviate suffering. There’s cause for grief about the news—but not for pessimism.

Writing at The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman suggests that despite a dragging civil war in Syria, heart-rending photos of drowned refugees, North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling, disasters, terrorist attacks, and racial violence, the world is objectively better now than it’s ever been. Continue reading

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (5)

feetPMT 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

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (3)

isaiah-preachingPMT 2017-006 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third in a series of studies on the “millennium” from Rev. 20 and how postmillennialists understand it, especially over against amillennialists.

Prophecy and the Postmillennial Hope

The Old Testament is, of course, full of eschatological pronouncements. Israel was blessed with many writing prophets who have left us a record of their inspired insights into the future. I could profitably survey a number of the Messianic Psalms.

For instance, I could highlight Psalm 2, taking special note of the promise: “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, / And the very ends of the earth as Your possession” (Psa 2:8). Did Jesus ask for the nations from the father? Yes, he did as we see in his Great Commission: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’” (Matt 28:18–29). Continue reading

INCREDIBLE INDIAN CHRISTIANITY

indiaPMT 2016-090 by Jeremy Weber in Christianity Today

Gentry note: Christianity is experiencing growth in many unexpected parts of the world. Let’s pray for its continued growth and its growth into Reformed maturity.

The world’s most unexpected megachurch pastor might be an illiterate, barefoot father of five.

Bhagwana Lal grows maize and raises goats on a hilltop in Rajasthan, India’s largest state, famous for its supply of marble that graces the Taj Mahal. He belongs to the tribals: the cultural group below the Dalits, whose members are literally outcasts from India’s caste system (and often called “thumb signers” because of how they vote).

Yet every Sunday, his one-room church, with cheerful blue windows and ceiling fans barely six feet off the ground, pulls in 2,000 people. His indigenous congregation draws from local farmers, whose families’ members take turns attending so that someone is tending the family’s animals. The cracks in the church’s white outer walls are a source of pride: They mark the three times the building has been expanded. Continue reading