Category Archives: Pessimism

OBAMA, SIN, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

Obama antichristPMT 2015:017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Most evangelical Christians recognize and lament the widescale cultural collapse America is witnessing. This seems to better fit the dispensationalist’s gloomy outlook on the future. How can one hold to the postmillennial hope while witnessing the demise of the Christian influence in America?

But this question has a deeper significance. A leading objection against the postmillennial hope of gospel conquest is the fact of man’s inborn total depravity. In this blog posting I will explain how postmillennialism may offer an optimistic outlook on history even though we live in a world of depraved sinners. Continue reading

Advertisements

WILL THE SON OF MAN FIND FAITH?

seekingPMT 2015-078 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

IS AMILLENNIALISM PESSIMISTIC?

GloomPMT 2015-021 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

PRETERISM JUSTIFICATIONS (4)

Prophets killedPMT 2015-057 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my final argument for the preterism approach to Revelation. In this blog posting I will be focusing on Revelation’s Thematic Indicators.

As mentioned previously, the theme of divine judgment on Israel fits perfectly with the Olivet Discourse. Virtually all commentators note the remarkable parallels between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. These parallels are sufficient alone to suggest the same theme. But other correspondences exist.

In Matthew 23 Christ scathingly denounces Israel’s leadership as he approaches the dramatic conclusion of his earthly ministry. He notes that Israel’s present failure is not an isolated event, but the culmination of a lengthy historical pattern: Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 16): UNIVERSAL SCRIPTURE V. SPECIFIC HERESIES

Weak linkPMT 2015-021 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

With this article I am closing this series responding to Dr. James White’s rebuttal of my views on 2 Tim 3. In his October 16, 2014 webcast he rejected my argument that Paul’s statements should be understood as applying to the first-century heretics Timothy was facing in Ephesus. He sees Paul’s warnings as more general, applying to all the future. As a result, he sees Paul as undermining postmillennialism.

In my response, I have been pointing out that Paul’s letters to Timothy are occasional epistles dealing with occasions in the first century. I noted that Paul mentions the names of specific first-century heretics (Hymenaeus, Alexander, Phygelus, Hermogenes, and Philetus, 1 Tim 1:15, 20; 2:17) and criticizes their particular deeds (e.g., 2 Tim 3:5–9) and doctrines (e.g., 2 Tim 2:16–18). And consequently, in the very context in question, Paul specifically warns Timothy: “Avoid such men as these (2 Tim 3:5b).

I think it is quite clear that Paul is confronting issues in his own day. Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 15): UNIVERSAL SCRIPTURE V. SPECIFIC HERESIES

Bible lightPMT-2015-020 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The end is near. The end of this series, that is. But the end is not yet. This is the second to last article in my reply to Dr. James White’s critique of my understanding of 2 Tim 3.[1] I have dealt with his webcast critique in two series of articles, the current one being the longest. But it will soon be time to move on to other things. Only this and one more article remains.

White is an amillennialist. And as an amill he expects history to descend into chaos as time moves on toward the second coming of Christ. As an adherent to a pessimistic eschatology, he sees 2 Tim 3 as a key biblical problem for postmillennialism. My March 2014 study of 2 Tim 3 caught his attention, leading him to devote a webcast to rebutting my argument on this passage.

In my earlier article, I explained that Paul’s statements in 2 Tim 3 were not prophesying the future flow of history, but were commenting on what Timothy was to experience in his own day. I argued that 2 Timothy was an “occasional epistle,” dealing with first-century issues. Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 14): PROCEEDING FROM BAD TO WORSE?

OrgyPMT-2015-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Here we go again! I am continuing a survey of 2 Tim 3 and its possible negative impact on the postmillennial hope. This is one of the key passages brought against our optimism for the future. As such, it deserves a careful analysis — which I am engaging in this series.

This series of studies arose in response to a webcast by amillennialist scholar Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. In his webcast he critiqued my earlier (March 2014) brief (eight paragraphs) article on this passage.

White sees Paul’s teaching in this chapter as undermining postmillennialism. And he deems my understanding of the passage as undermining good exegetical principles. Continue reading