Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why I'm Provisionally a Postmillennialist Succinctly Stated

I've been a Christian for nearly 30 years and the more I study eschatology the less certain I become regarding which position is true.

In a Christian Facebook group someone asked everyone what their eschatological position was and why. Here's my response in blue. My additional comments which I didn't post on Facebook will be in black.

1. It seems to me that God has intentionally inspired Scripture so that we cannot certainly determine which eschatological position is true. But broadly speaking we can have choices based on two issues: a) the timing of Christ's Return in relationship to the Millennium; b) to what degree the Gospel will succeed during the interadventual period. So, it seems to me that the most important and basic issue would seem to be the three general millennial positions.

2. If Premillennialism is true, yet I provisionally held to and lived as if Postmillennialism were true, at least I "expected great things and attempted great things for God" (as the saying goes). I tried to fulfill what I thought were the Cultural Mandate and the Redemptive Mandate of the Great Commission. Spreading the Gospel and its benefits to all parts of the world in hopes of converting humanity to Christianity. Proclaiming the Kingship and Lordship of Jesus to "whom all authority has been given" and who had already sat at the right hand of God.

3. If Postmillennialism is true, yet I provisionally held to and lived as if Premillennialism were true, I'll most likely end up expecting too little and attempting too little for God (even if I tried not to fall into that psychological trap). I think Postmillers rightly label ***some*** Premillennialists as really being "Pessimillennialists". Pessimillennialism of course being a portmanteau of "pessimism" and "millennialism". I think therefore, that of the two, it's better to provisionally hold to Postmillennialism.

4. Since *most* brands of Amillennialism are usually not as optimistic as **any** brand of Postmillennialism, then when a comparison between the two are done, the result will be similar to the comparison between Postmillennialism and Premillennialism. In which case, it's better to hold (at least provisionally/tentatively) Postmillennialism.

5. The truth is that God often does things counter-intuitively. So what makes most sense to us echatologically might in fact be wrong. Universalism is probably the best example of this, and historically speaking, there have always been a very small minority of "Calvinistic" Universalists. Nevertheless, having said that, it seems to me (from my admittedly finite and subjective perspective) that Postmillennialism would bring most glory to God were it true, than if the other two options were true. As I hinted to above, I think Postmillennialism is also the position that best encourages people to attempt to bring God most glory in every area of life, family, theology, culture et cetera. Postmillennialism also seems to have a more glorious vision of Redemptive History. Premillennialism and Amillennialism seem to make God look like a failure. Whereas Postmillennialism seems to be most consistent with a Calvinistic view of God's power to save and redeem (though I emphatically reject Universalism). Postmillennialism doesn't limit salvation to individuals, but also emcompasses the redemption of the whole human race (but not in a Universalistic sense).

I really like the following quote. Though, I'm not sure how accurate it is because I got it from a meme, and meme quotations are notoriously inaccurate.

"Postmillennialists do not believe in the inherent goodness of man. But non-Postmillennialists seem to believe in the inherent weakness of the Gospel." - Ken Gentry

Having written the above, I don't mean to imply that I don't think a Biblical case can be made for Postmillennialism. I think one can. Just as one can make a Biblical case for the other two millennial positions. They all look so plausible to me. Though, Premillennialism seems the least plausible of the three despite the fact that I started out a Premillennialist nearly 30 years ago.

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