“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

WAS LUKE A LITERALIST?

LieralismPMW 2021-131 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Populist dispensationalism is heavily committed to a literalistic hermeneutic. (I do not mean that literally, however: how could an intellectual commitment to a hermeneutic construct be “heavy”? Unless, of course, it is presented in a big book containing either a large number of pages or a small number of extraordinarily thick sheets of paper. But I digress.).

Many dispensationalists argue for a literalistic hermeneutic based on Christ’s first coming. They state that since his first coming was a literal fulfillment of OT prophesy it serves as evidence that all OT prophecy should be interpreted literally. Continue reading

AD 70: POINTER TO SECOND ADVENT

AD 70 anticipates Second AdventPMT 2014:026 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

AD 70 prefigures the Second Advent; it is theologically linked to it. But this does not imply any concept of double-fulfillment. There is a fundamental difference between prolepsis and double-fulfillment. Let me explain.

In the OT we have several “Day of the Lord” events: against Babylon (Isa 13:9), Jerusalem (Joel 2:1), and others. Each of these is a pointer to the final Day of the Lord (2 Pet 3:10), though each OT version is spoken of as THE (singular) Day of the Lord. This is much like our spiritual resurrection in salvation (John 5:24-25; 1 John 3:14) pointing to our final resurrection at the end of history. Or like the Christian’s being a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), which is a picture of the consummate new creation (2 Pet 3:10). Continue reading

AMILL OBJECTIONS TO PSALM 2 USE

VictoryPMW 2021-084 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

An important postmillennial text is Psalm 2. Psalm 2:8 states:

Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, / And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

An Amillennial Objection

Amillennialists often object to postmillennialism’s use of this verse. They complain that postmillennialists apply the terms ‘nations’ and ‘earth’ in a way that Jesus and the apostles never intended: as political entities. The amillennialist argues that the NT teaches that Christ’s making the nations and the earth his footstool simply refers to the salvation of scattered Gentiles from every tribe tongue and nation, not Christ’s influence on political structures, etc. 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