Category Archives: Optimism

AUGUSTINE’S POSTMILL OPTIMISM

AugustinePMW 2021-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Modern postmillennialism is the result of a growing understanding of biblical eschatology. And though it undergoes much systematization from its nascent beginnings to the present, in its most basic form, clear adumbrations of it appear in antiquity.

Scholarly Analysis

Most scholars would agree with Millard J. Erickson that “all three millennial positions have been held virtually throughout church history” (he collapses dispensationalism into premillennialism in mentioning only three basic views) (Erickson, Christian Theology, 1212). Robert G. Clouse writes: “Whereas the other strains of millennialism all have deep roots in the history of the church, the dispensational variety is of recent origin” (Clouse, et al. New Millennial Manual, 56). Donald G. Bloesch goes even farther: “Postmillennialism has been present throughout Christian history” (Bloesch, Last Things, 102). Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIAL EXPECTATIONS IN CREATION FOUNDATIONS

sunrise-4PMW 2021-067 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Does the “Cultural Mandate” in Gen 1:26-28 help the postmillennial argument? Or is it “forced” evidence? One PMT reader expressed doubt that this has anything to do with the postmillennial hope. So I ask:

Does this passage speak to the postmillennial program? I believe it does. And powerfully so. Continue reading

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (5)

feetPMW 2021-065 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 2021-063 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

CREATION, EDEN, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

EdenPMW 2021-059 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The God of creation is a God of covenant. Scripture structures God’s relationship to and rule over both man and creation in covenantal terms.

Creation Covenant

Though the term “covenant” (Heb.: berith) does not appear in Genesis 1, the constitutive elements of a covenant are there. Jeremiah, however, uses the word “covenant” of creation. In Jeremiah 33:24-25 the creation covenant that secures the regularity of the days and seasons serves as a ground of hope in God’s covenantal faithfulness to his people in the world: “This is what the Lord says: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’” Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM’S “SIN PROBLEM” (1)

PMW 2021-043 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the most frequent, forceful, and compelling objections against the postmillennial hope of world conversion is based on the problem of sin. Like me, many Christians are committed to Calvinistic doctrine regarding man’s total depravity. Total depravity teaches that man is a fallen sinner and depraved in every aspect of being. How can we have any hope for a better world governed by sinful men? 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