Category Archives: Pessimism

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

WHAT ABOUT SUFFERING?

PMW 2021-087 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism is distinguished from the pessimistic eschatologies of amillennialism, premillennialism, and dispensationalism as being optimistic. In the long run, mind you. Nevertheless, the Bible seems to develop a suffering-church motif.

Oftentimes the (historically) pessimistic eschatologies employ the suffering-church motif against the optimistic hope of postmillennialism. But the postmillennial system can handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and can take arms against the sea of troubles. Let us see how postmillennialism recognizes the fact of suffering and yet remains optimistic regarding the global prospects of the gospel.

Postmillennialists can affirm suffering-with-Christ as a basic element of our Christian experience even up to the end — if we carefully reflect on the biblical requirements of the suffering argument. Continue reading

IS AMILLENNIALISM PESSIMISTIC?

GloomPMW 2021-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The basic evangelical eschatological positions may be broken down into two classes: optimistic or pessimistic. Only postmillennialism is characterized as optimistic. In fact, this is the distinctive feature of postmillennialism, which resembles amillennialism in most other respects.

Amillennialists do not like being deemed pessimistic. And they will often complain that postmillennialists wrongly designate them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself, and (2) it overlooks the fact that they argue that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.” Continue reading

AMILLENNIAL PESSIMISM

FearfulPMW 2021-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Amillennialists often complain that postmillennialists wrongly categorize them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself. And (2) it overlooks the fact that they believe that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.”

What do postmillennialists mean by categorizing amillennialism as “pessimistic”? Is the charge legitimate. I believe it is.

Obviously all evangelical eschatological perspectives are ultimately optimistic — even dispensationalists who make a very nice living from books on cultural decline, despair, and doom. After all, Christ does lead his people to victory in saving them from their sins in history, resurrecting them from the dead at the end of history, and establishing them in righteousness in eternity. Continue reading

THE POPULARITY OF NEGATIVITY

PMW 2020-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I have just received an email from a postmillennial reader who does not live in America. He has two questions that probably are on the minds of other postmillennialists. So I thought I would briefly respond to his questions and post my answers for other readers to consider. (I will slightly tweak his comments to remove personal information).

My reader writes

“Where I live it seemed to me that the interest in end times faded a bit over the last couple of years. However more and more videos and links are now reaching my digital shores and it seems caused by the newest crises to hit the world — the doom and gloom prophesied re Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus provides ample fertile ground for faded premils to get their motor started one more time, but also providing a gateway for younger people to adopt what seems to them an easy escapist argument. I am sensing some animosity from some people because of this basic optimism and my Christian dominion approach. This is at odds with the current pessimistic view prevalent among friends.

I have therefore dusted the old books and started reading your Perilous Times again. As I am reading I was wondering why the premill and amill views are the more popular approach to a view of end times.

In relation to the above have you ever considered whether an incorrect understanding of the foundational teaching of original sin could add to the pessimistic approach to end times?

Example: why do we deserve a better future as humans when we are unworthy in the eyes of an exclusive judgmental God?

The example is not my view but could be stuck in a psychological part of the thinking process of many people causing them to believe that they (and humanity) must suffer for their sins.”

Continue reading

EVOLUTION: A MESSAGE OF HOPE?

PMW 2019-014 by Philip Bell (Creation Ministries, Intl.)

The hope of the Christian faith is inextricably linked with a belief in purpose. The Apostle Paul famously waxed lyrical with the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). By virtue of His incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, the Universe’s Creator and Sustainer (John 1:1–3, Colossians 1:16–17) became the Saviour. Having a personal relationship with God—through repentance and faith (e.g. Mark 1:14–15)—guarantees us a place in heaven. We have a confident, certain hope of eternal glory. But can this message be sustained if, as a consistent belief in evolution requires, humankind’s special creation by God is overturned?

“We are the one creature to whom natural selection has bequeathed a brain complex enough to comprehend the laws that govern the universe. And we should be proud that we are the only species that has figured out how we came to be.”1 So concludes evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne in his book Why Evolution is True. Continue reading