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Postmillennialism: Clearing Up Misunderstandings

Before proceeding further with the interpretive keys to unlock the exciting, yet often neglected truth about Christ’s victorious kingdom, we first need to clear up some common misunderstandings and misconceptions concerning the position of postmillennialism.

Here we will briefly define “what postmillennialism is not.”

Postmillennialism is not …

1. (Postmillennialism is not) Evolutionary Optimism – or secular progress through man’s efforts.

It should always be remembered that this optimistic eschatology was articulated in the early centuries by Athanasius and Augustine and later emerged in full force with the Puritan movement. This was of course long before Charles Darwin proposed his Theory of Evolution.

2. (Postmillennialism is not) The Social Gospel – or any form of liberalism that would compromise or abandon the Gospel of salvation.

Ironically, the social gospel of the liberal churches in the 1800s is what caused conservatives to begin to abandon the emphasis on the Reformation of society in the first place. This full-orbed proclamation the Gospel that would make disciples of all nations in all spheres of society was soon replaced by a pietistic message of personal salvation only. However, as it will be shown, some of the most notable postmillennialists of the 19th century were conservative evangelicals such as Charles and A.A. Hodge, Robert L. Dabney and Benjamin Warfield.

3. (Postmillennialism is not) Universalism – or the doctrine that all will eventually be saved.

Although postmillennialism is optimistic, forecasting unprecedented growth of both the Kingdom of God and the total number of people truly converted to Christ, its proponents recognize that there will always be a reprobate element in the world. At no time in history prior to the Lord’s return will all sin be eliminated nor will all be saved. That being said, postmillennialists do look forward to a day when Christianity will be the world’s most dominant religion and the most influential moral and intellectual force in human society the world over.

4. (Postmillennialism is not) Manifest Destiny – or the idea that the United States is God’s chosen “redeemer nation” above all others.

Although America’s founding by Christians of all denominations was striking and unprecedented, and although the Great Awakenings of the past have marked the United States as having a great Christian heritage, we should never forget that just as God judged Israel for her disobedience and harlotry, and raised up the Gentile nations to provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 10:19) – America has no special place in this sense. In fact, it is possible that God could bring an unprecedented revival in the United States or we could see colossal judgment. But if so, God will certainly raise up other nations, perhaps in the third world, to be the beacons of light that will fulfill the Great Commission.

5. (Postmillennialism is not) Kingdom Now Theology – or the doctrine that the church through its own initiative must work to “usher in the kingdom.”

It is Jesus’ finished work on the cross that brought the kingdom of God on earth 2000 years ago, it has nothing to do with man’s works. Although the church is destined to reign and rule with Christ as His Bride, the call to make disciples of the nations is a call to a patient gradualism. In other words, we should not expect a cataclysmic revival or a new generation of latter day Apostles to suddenly usher in the Second Coming of Jesus. Rather it is the role of the church to take the role of humble service. The kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom to be brought into power by political domination. As Chris Ortiz aptly stated:

Dominion remains one of the most misconstrued terms in Christendom; and the confusion is found both within and without the ranks of the “dominionists.” Both paranoid secularists and power-hungry Protestants mishandle the concept of dominion to their own setback. The over-suspicious secularist is inspiring anxiety amongst his ill-informed constituency by grossly exaggerating the so-called theocratic threat. At the same time, the politically inebriated Protestant is blinded to the threat of statism due to his indoctrination in American exceptionalism and his misinterpretation of godly rule – a rule that has more to do with service than control (Chris Ortiz, Chalcedon Blog).

6. (Postmillennialism is not) The doctrine of Hymanaeism – or any heresy that would deny the bodily return of Christ as a real historical event.

This heresy is named for the first century heretic, Hymanaeus, who is named in Paul’s writings as one of those “who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past” (1 Tim. 2:17,18). Hymanaeus and Philetus made the error of denying the physical nature of resurrection and the bodily return of Jesus. Postmillennialists as orthodox Christians teach that Christ will come again to judge the earth after which time He will live and reign with the saints forever. We should never diminish the blessed hope in the second coming of our Lord. At the same time we recognize that this hope in already within us, as the scripture says, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

“God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27).

Your comments are welcome!

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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