Tag Archives: Gradualism

A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE IN ESCHATOLOGY

PMW 2019-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Since Hal Lindsey originally burst on the scene in 1970, biblical prophecy has become a fun game that the whole family can play. Biblical prophecy has thus become a toy and has led many game winners (who have sold in excess of 100 million books to qualify) to be excitedly declared “Prophecy Experts.” But as for me and my house, once I hear the term “prophecy expert,” I turn the channel. Even if I do not have the TV on. I don’t take chances.

When I was first converted in 1966, I got caught up in prophecy rage, especially when The Late Great Planet Earth was published in 1970. I longed to watch new Olympic sports events, such as “Pin the Horns on the Antichrist” or “Guess the Date of Rapture.” Or even to see a new TV game show: “I’ve Got a Secret (Rapture). Eventually I even received a B.S. degree in Biblical Studies from a college committed to such dispensational activities. “Those were the days, my friend, / I thought they’d never end.” But fortunately I grew up and walked away from such. And have not looked back (though, admittedly, I like salt).

One of the most important principles for understanding biblical prophecy is known as the “Now but Not Yet Principle,” also known as the “Already/Not Yet Principle” (it is never called the “See You Later Alligator Principle” or “Take It Easy Greasy Principle”). If Christians would take this interpretive principle to heart (or better: to mind), a lot of embarrassment from failed prophetic expectations could be avoided. And a lot of money saved on books that give the latest Rapture predictions. Continue reading

“FIRST THE BLADE”

PMW-2017-090 by R. J. Rushdoony (Chalcedon Foundation)

One of the very important and much neglected verses of Scripture is Mark 4:28: “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Our Lord tells us (Mark 4:26-29) that the Kingdom of God, as it develops in history, has a necessary growth and development. No more than we can plant grain and then expect the harvest at once, can we expect quick or immediate results in the growth of God’s Kingdom. If we plant grain, we must cultivate it, often water it, tend to the field, and, only after much labor, reap a harvest. To expect otherwise is stupidity and foolishness, whether in farming or in the work of the Kingdom. In fact, our Lord describes quick growth as false (Matt. 13:5-6, 20-21). Continue reading

THE GRADUALISM PRINCIPLE

slow down 1PMT 2015-038 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The principle of gradualism has long been the method of God and the experience of God’s people in Scripture. I will be showing below that if we are to properly understand Scripture’s eschatological victory, we must recognize this important redemptive-historical means of divine operation. In short, this principle expects the kingdom’s developmental unfolding and incremental expansion to grow slowly over time in the historical long run.

Contrary to postmillennialism, though, the dispensational and premillennial views operate on the basis of the principle of catastrophism. Continue reading

ISLAM VERSUS POSTMILLENNIALISM?

Islam swordPMT 2014-129 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I receive many email, blog, Facebook, and conference questions on various eschatological issues. From time-to-time I plan on running a question in PostmillennialismToday. Here is one I received very recently, wondering how about a difficulty postmillennialism faces today.

Dr Gentry. With the threat of Islam around the world particularly it’s growth and infiltration into western society, how do we rationalize the teaching of Christian postmillennialism? Will they continue to grow and threaten western society or will they come to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour?

This is an excellent question. A question that needs to be gotten out front, because I can imagine it is on many Christians’ minds when they hear of the optimism of postmillennialism. The dominant eschatology today is dispensationalism, which is pessimistic to the core regarding the future until Christ raptures the church. How can a postmillennialist have hope in the light of such a widespread problem in the world today? Continue reading