Tag Archives: ancient postmillennialism

ANCIENT POSTMILLENNIAL BEGINNINGS

PMW 2019-097 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The early creedal formulations of Christianity provide only the most rudimentary elements of eschatology. For instance, the Apostle’s Creed simply affirms:

“He ascended into heaven; and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead,” and a belief “in the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.” The eschatology of the Nicene Creed makes only very slight advances, asserting that he “ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.” Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIAL BEGINNINGS

Ancient writerPMT 2016-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my second installment on the question about the origins of postmillennialism. Many dispensationalists dismiss postmillennialism as a modern novelty. In my last article I pointed out that all eschatological development is only gradually understood over time. In this article I will show the seed beginnings of postmillennialism in antiquity.

As far as our preserved writings go, premillennialism finds slightly earlier development (especially in Irenaeus, A.D. 130-202). Yet theologian Donald G. Bloesch notes that “postmillennialism was already anticipated in the church father Eusebius of Caesarea” (A.D. 260-340) (Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979], 2:192). Continue reading

ESCHATOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Gradual buildingPMT 2016-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Many Christians, particularly dispensationalists, write-off postmillennialism as a modern theological construct. Nothing could be further from the truth. Multi-million-selling dispensationalist populist Hal Lindsey confidently declares: “There is no evidence of the distinctive teachings of Postmillennialism earlier than the seventeenth century” (Lindsey, Road to Holocaust [New York: Bantam, 1989], 29). Dispensational theologian Charles F. Baker agrees: “Its advocates admit that it was first taught in the seventeenth century” (Baker, Dispensational Theology [Grand Rapids: Grace Bible College, 1971], 623). Continue reading