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Postmillennialism and the Reformed Faith

By Editorial Staff
Published September 2008

Editor’s note: The following is a synopsis of the evangelical postmillennial position by the late Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen. The accompanying video interviews are from The Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD) with Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.

There is enough misunderstanding of evangelical, Bible-believing postmillennialism abroad today that it would be worthwhile to make note of the kind of constituative doctrinal convictions which have been set forth by its representatives.

1. Evangelical postmillennialists {referred to as EPs from here on} champion the inspiration, infallibility, and sole doctrinal authority of the Bible.

2. EPs believe that fallen man is totally unable to do any saving good, cannot atone for his sins, and can become a member of the kingdom of God only through the redemptive work of the Savior and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

3. EPs teach the glorious, personal return of Jesus Christ at the end of history to judge the world.

4. EPs insist that at his first advent Jesus, the Son of God, came as the Messianic or Mediatorial King and established His saving Kingdom among men on earth. Citing Philippians 2, Acts 2, Ephesians 1, Hebrews 1, and a host of other Biblical texts, William Symington wrote these Words in his study, Messiah the Prince, or, The Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ: “Christ’s appointment [to the kingly office] was still farther intimated by his actual investiture with regal power at and after his resurrection . . . . Christ’s appointment gives him rightful claim to the implicit and conscientious obedience of every moral creature . . . . This appointment affords ample security for the overthrow of all Christ’s enemies, and the ultimate establishment of his kingdom in the world.” David Brown could hardly be clearer: “Christ’s proper kingdom is already in being; commencing formally on His ascension to the right hand of God, and continuing unchanged, both in character and form, till the final judgment.”

5. EPs are painfully aware that those who belong to Christ — the church — are appointed to suffering in this world, and will inevitably undergo persecution and affliction, in following their Savior and King. Listen again to Symington: “The members of the church have many enemies. The devil, the world, and the flesh, are in league against them. They wrestle not only against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickednesses in high places. They are required to assume the character, equipments, and attitude of soldiers….. Satan, the chief and leader of these enemies, exasperated at his overthrow, makes a desperate effort to regain his lost dominion over them; and although he cannot succeed, he does much to annoy such as have been rescued from his grasp.” Charles Hodge commented upon 2 Corinthians 4 that Paul there “compares himself to a combatant, first hardly pressed, then hemmed in, then pursued, then actually cast down. This was not an occasional experience, but his life was like that of Christ, an uninterrupted succession of indignities and suffering…. We constantly illustrate in our person the sufferings of Christ. We are treated as he was treated; neglected, defamed, despised, maltreated….”

6. EPs believe that the gospel is to be preached to all nations by the church prior to the second advent of Christ, eventually bringing worldwide conversion, and that this is the church’s calling from God. Charles Hodge taught: “The first great event which is to precede the second coming of Christ, is the universal proclamation of the Gospel…. The conversion of the Gentile world is the work assigned the Church under the present dispensation.” B. B. Warfield argued that “precisely what the risen Lord, who has been made head over all things for his church, is doing through these years that stretch between his first and second comings, is conquering the world to himself; and the world is to be nothing less than a converted world…. All conflict, then, will be over, the conquest of the world will be complete, before Jesus returns to earth.”

7. EPism maintains that the victorious advance of Christ’s kingdom in the world will take place in terms of the present, peaceful and Spiritual power of the gospel rather than through a radically different principle of operation, namely Christ’s physical presence on earth using violence to subdue opposition. A. A. Hodge put it this way: “The Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, clearly reveal that the gospel is to exercise an influence over all branches of the human family, immeasurably more extensive and more thoroughly transforming than any it has ever realized in time past. This end is to be gradually attained through the spiritual presence of Christ in the ordinary dispensation of Providence, and ministrations of the church.” Charles Hodge insisted that “There is no intimation in the New Testament that the work of converting the world is to be effected by any other means than those now in use…. It is to dishounour [sic, sl] the Gospel, and the power of the Holy Spirit, to suppose that they are inadequate to the accomplishment of this work.”

8. EPism believes that with the power of the Holy Spirit working through the church’s preaching of the gospel, in gradual stages of growth, the preponderance of men and nations will submit to Christ at some time in the future. B. B. Warfield drew this generalization: “the nature of the whole dispensation in which we are living, and which stretches from the First to the Second Advent, [is] a period of advancing conquest on the part of Christ…. The prophecy [of Romans 11] promises the universal Christianization of the world.” Elsewhere he wrote: “If you wish, as you lift your eyes to the far horizon of the future, to see looming on the edge of time the glory of a saved world, you can find warrant for so great a vision only in the high principles that it is God and God alone who saves men, that all their salvation is from him, and that in his own good time and way he will bring the world in its entirety to the feet of him whom he has not hesitated to present to our adoring love not merely as Savior of our souls, but as the Savior of the world…. The redemption of the world is similarly a process. It, too, has stages; it, too, advances only gradually to its completion….”

9. EPists do not hold that each and every individual on earth will someday be saved, but that at some future time the vast majority will; in Christ’s wheat field there will always be found some tares, up until the final harvest in judgement. Charles Hodge taught that “it is not to be inferred from this [Biblical promise of Gentile and Jewish conversion] that either all the heathen or all the Jews are to become true Christians. In many cases the conversion may be merely nominal. There will probably enough remain unchanged in heart to be the germ of that persecuting power which shall bring about those days of tribulation which the Bible seems to teach are to immediately precede the coming of the Lord.”

10. EPism teaches that there will be a final apostasy or falling away just prior to the return of Christ in judgment on the world. Interpreting Revelation 20, A. A. Hodge wrote: “Christ has in reserve for his church a period of universal expansion and of pre-eminent spiritual prosperity, when the spirit and character of the “nobel army of martyrs” shall be reproduced again in the great body of God’s people in an unprecedented triumph of their cause, and in the overthrow of that of their enemies, receive judgment over their foes and reign in the earth; while the party of Satan, ‘the rest of the dead,’ shall not flourish again until the thousand years be ended, when it shall prevail again for a little season.” Charles Hodge held that “The great truth set forth in these prophesies is, that there was future … a great apostasy in the Church; that this apostasy would be Anti-christian (or Antichrist), ally itself with the world and become a great persecuting power… [which will] be over taken with a final destruction when the Lord comes.”


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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Forerunner - Home » The Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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