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Featured What does Amillennialism /Postmillenial offer compared to what premillenialism offers?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Iconoclast, Dec 26, 2017.

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  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    JoJ had asked this in another thread

    I have no doubt that JOJ lives his life to the glory of God. He asks a serious question of those of us who are no longer living in the premillenial mode...How would you respond to his concern?

    I have met many a premill brother who suggests wrongly that we are in the last days, so why bother polishing the brass on the Titanic kind of mentality in reference to the world around us. Have you seen this also?
     
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  2. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Assuming that the "Titanic" is the world, then it is without rescue. It is merely time until the end when it is replaced by a new heaven and earth.

    That understood, it is also necessary to care for the "Titanic" in the sense of attempting to keeping it afloat until all on board are saved, or give the opportunity to be told of the reconciliation.

    That more lost then saved will occur, just as that of the Titanic.

    That the demise did will occur, just as that of the Titanic.

    That it is fatal and not recoverable, just as that of the Titanic.

    So, what then is the effort?

    We are compelled to go, for that is our responsibility as seamen to rescue and care and provide even to the point that some may have to endure to the very end.

    Is this what you had in mind?
     
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  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Amill isn’t nuts
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Well as an amillennialist, I certainly seek to live for the glory of God-- to what extent I do so is possibly another question :Redface--and under Amil there is nothing that stops the Lord Jesus from returning at any moment.
    So I'm not quite sure what JoJ is driving at.
     
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  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    The problem I see with these end times, is prophecy of the end times, have been flying off the bookshelves... Prophecy of the end times is big business... Everyone seems to have their own personal interpretation to titillate the masses... You millennial brethren leave Brother Glen alone... When Christ comes I'm going home!... I guess I'll have to wait 1,000 years for the rest of you to show up... Brother Glen:Biggrin
     
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  6. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Here is a book review that gets at it a bit:

    In this enlightening work, Dr. Keith Mathison sets forth a wealth of biblical, historical, and theological evidence for an optimistic eschatology. Unlike end-time forecasts that see modest growth in the church before Christ’s return, postmillennialism expects the Spirit-blessed Gospel to have overwhelming success in bringing the world to Christ. Dr. Mathison explains why, and he calls us to renewed faith and expectation as we serve the reigning Kings of kings.

    First, Dr. Mathison examines Reformed presuppositions and reviews the history of the church’s end times statements. Next, he discusses the major eschatological passages from Scripture. He then critiques both premillennialism and amillennialism and responds to the most significant objections to postmillennialism. Appendixes include lengthy discussions of the 70 weeks of Daniel and 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and a critique of full preterism.
     
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    And here is an amill attack on that very view point;


    In no way does this volume on eschatology establish post-millennialism as a doctrine of hope. What it does establish is that the doctrine of the last things condemned by the Second Helvetic Confession as "Jewish dreams" is alive and well among reputedly conservative Presbyterian publishers and theologians. The publisher is P&R. The author is a recent graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary.

    In the main, the book is a cursory explanation of carefully selected texts of Scripture that are susceptible to a postmillennial interpretation and the consignment of all contrary passages to A.D. 70.

    The handling of Scripture leaves much to be desired. Against the objection to postmillennialism that Romans 8:17ff. teaches the persecution of the church throughout the present age, and thus exposes the postmillennial "hope" of earthly victory as false,

    Mathison replies that the passage refers only to the Christian's struggle with sin (p. 184). In fact, Romans 8:35 ("tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword") clearly teaches the persecution of the New Testament church, just as the Old Testament text quoted in verse 36 taught the persecution of the saints in the time of the old covenant.

    Mathison is cavalier in his dismissal of the certainty of persecution: "Suffering by persecution is not a sine qua non of the church. If it is, there are few if any true churches in North America today" (p. 185). He ignoresII Timothy 3:12: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." He ought to take seriously his own standard of judging true churches. The number of true churches in North America may very well be far fewer than comfortable Reformed and Presbyterian church members suppose. If Mathison will investigate, he will discover that there are Reformed churches in North American that are hated, slandered, and mocked for their confession of the truth and for their walk of holiness.

    Instead of dismissing persecution, Mathison should be warning the churches in North America of overt persecution that is about to break out against them.

    But this author of a work on biblical eschatology is blind to the impending great persecution. The reason is his dream of an earthly victory of the kingdom of Christ in history.

    To preserve this dream, he explains all the New Testament prophecies of apostasy, tribulation, and Antichrist as having been fulfilled in A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 5, II Thessalonians, II Timothy 3, and all of Revelation up to chapter 20, among many other passages, refer exclusively to the events of A.D. 70. "The vast majority of [passages that teach a gradual worsening of conditions on earth prior to the Second Coming] refer specifically to first-century conditions at the time of Christ's coming in judgment upon Jerusalem" (p. 183).

    Basic to Mathison's eschatology is the preterism of J. Marcellus Kik and of Christian Reconstruction. It is no surprise that the book comes highly recommended by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. and R.C. Sproul. With good reason, Mathison finds it necessary to distinguish his own very nearly full preterism from "full preterism" in an appendix.

    There is candid acknowledgment of the purpose of the preterist interpretation of all the New Testament warnings of apostasy and persecution.

    If these things [foretold by Christ in

    Matthew 24

    ] have already occurred in connection with the coming of Christ in judgment on Jerusalem in A.D. 70, then they have no bearing on the repeated promises of victory for the gospel in this age (p. 115).

    What Presbyterian defenders of Christian Reconstruction's theology of carnal dominion must do is demonstrate from Scripture and the Reformed confessions that the Messianic kingdom is earthly in nature and that its victory in history is physical and political.

    To no purpose do Mathison and his colleagues exert themselves to show, with a great display of accomplishment, that the Bible teaches that Christ has established His kingdom in this world and that His kingdom progressively triumphs.

    Reformed amillennialism has always confessed this. Christian Reconstruction postmillennialism, incidentally, teaches that Christ and His kingdom have been defeated up to the present. But Reformed amillennialism holds that the kingdom is a heavenly kingdom in this world and that its victory in history is spiritual. The issue is Christ's spiritual kingdom.

    Although most of the book is a restatement of Christian Reconstruction teachings on the golden age and dominion, Mathison adds a new ground for the expectation of a future conversion of a majority of mankind: God's common grace (pp. 164, 165).

    If common grace is understood as Abraham Kuyper intended, Mathison is guilty of a gross logical fallacy. Common grace is to be distinguished from saving grace. Common grace is merely favor in this life. It gives rain and sunshine. From a common grace of God, nothing follows for the salvation of men.

    But if common grace is understood as a loving will of God for the salvation of all men without exception, as Mathison and most Reformed and Presbyterian theologians today indeed understand it, the argument from common grace proves too much. Common grace does not merely prove that a majority of humans will be saved in the future. It proves that all without exception will be saved in the future. Indeed, it proves that all who have ever lived will be saved in the future. Does not God love and sincerely desire to save all?

    At least one leading Christian Reconstruction postmillennialist has proposed that in the coming millennium every single human will be converted and saved, although his reason for thinking so is not common grace, but the victory of Christ.

    What is going on in the most conservative Presbyterian churches and seminaries as regards eschatology? What is going on in the face of the clear, forceful, urgent, abundant warnings of Scripture that in the last days the church of Christ must contend with rampant lawlessness, wholesale apostasy, and fierce persecution? What is going on in the face of the rapid development in North America and the world of these very realities?

    The postmillennialism of Christian Reconstruction and Keith Mathison is not an eschatology of hope. It is an eschatology of delusion, of "Jewish dreams." And it is a grievous threat to the welfare of the church and the saints.

    I do not think this critique is accurate, but it does need to be answered...it was from David Englesma, as it sounds just like his book a reformed defense of Amillennialism.
     
    #7 Iconoclast, Dec 26, 2017
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  8. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    7 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

    28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.

    29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

    30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

    31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

    verse 28 is in the present tense...very comforting.

     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    What I was driving at is that the glory of God is the very foundation of dispensational premillennialism. However, I do not see that in other eschatologies. One big reason I serve God is to glorify Him, as per my theology. What is there in other eschatologies (not just the Bible, but the theologies) that encourages their adherents to live for God's glory?
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I know that view is out there, but not in the circles I run in. I believe that great revivals are still possible right up to the Rapture, and the greatest revival in history will occur during the Tribulation Period, when 144,000 Jewish evangelists will cover the earth with truth.
     
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  11. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    I endorse that - with the same personal reservation.

    I find that extraordinary logic, John. The glory of God , sola Deo gloria, IS one of the great Reformation truths also held by baptists, & other evangelicals, that is in no way denied by whatever interpretation we make of eschatology.

    God is glorified in creation, revelation, the coming & saving work of the LORD Jesus Christ, by the proclamation of the Gospel, the salvation of sinners & the fulfilment of Old Covenant prophecy in the New Covenant Church. As redeemed sinners, we seek to live to the glory of God, & look for the return of the LORD Jesus Christ in glory to bring into being the NH&NE.

    If you don't see that, you haven't begun to understand amil eschaology.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You are missing the point. The glory of God in dispensationalism is the very foundation of the theology.

    Sticking to eschatology (not denying what you have said about other areas of theology), the amil and postmil positions do not depend on the glory of God for how God works in history.
    If you want to go there :rolleyes:, you haven't begun to understand dispensational eschatology.
     
  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I think you'll find they do. :) Or at least Amil does; the Postmils must answer for themselves.
    I find that far too many Dispensationalists take their eschatology from the latest news. Amil takes seriously the words of Christ in Matthew 23:36-39.
     
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  14. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    So do Pre-Mils. :)
     
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  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I'm delighted to hear it. :)
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    John of Japan
    Hello John,
    Yes....thankfully not all have such an attitude and many do understand the need to serve here and now regardless.Jesus taught a principle here that speaks to this;
    40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master......

    Sometimes the followers need extra time to try and work through the faith once delivered to the saints...sometime they are not quite up to the task.

    So do I. I just have a different view of when that occurs.

    Could you clarify this with an example..or two...just so this statement is not misunderstood.

    Here is where it is a watershed issue....I have been reading mostly postmill writers the last few years and they call that whole system into question and claim it is just the opposite.....each dispensation ending in failure...until the new heaven and new earth..
    Postmill writers see the gospel being victorious in the world, overcoming the evil by sinners being regenerated in massive numbers worldwide.

    In a recent book ;
    [​IMG]
    Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope
    byKeith A. Mathison

    1]The author sets out to support this title by showing biblical evidence....It might be helpful to scan some of the reviews for a sketch at what is attempted;
    In "Postmillennialism", Keith Mathison looks to make a case for an optimistic eschatology, where the Great Commission will be successfully accomplished and all nations will be successfully discipled to Christianity. In carrying out this end, Mathison surveys the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and notes those texts where the hope of the world and the goal of the family of Abraham is the conversion of all the nations- not merely a godly remnant from the nations. In this project, Mathison is successful. The Bible is so full of passages which promise the conversion of all the nations that it's not a particularly difficult task. The nations, as nations, will stream to Zion and learn the law. The families of the Earth- all of them- will be blessed by the Abrahamic covenant. My problem with the book is not that Mathison fails to quote enough texts. Instead, it's that Mathison doesn't build much more than a collection of prooftexts for the postmillennial position. In reality, however, I think postmillennialism is a whole way of reading the Bible, and the most compelling case one can make for such a position is by noting the theological structure of biblical history.

    When God made the world, He made it very good, but not complete. Adam was a spiritual infant, a naked baby, who was meant to learn wisdom by guarding and cultivating the world, and eventually eat of the Tree of Knowledge- the language of "knowledge of good and evil" in Scripture refers to kingship, and Adam was meant, as Psalm 8 tells us, to eventually be elevated over the angels and crowned king of the world. Dominion over the world means much more than simply converting people. Instead, it means taking the raw material of the world and transfiguring it to the glory of God. Hence, biblical postmillennialism is far more than simply proclaiming that the nations will be converted. Instead, it proclaims that Jesus Christ has set the Adamic task back on track. God will not only convert the nations, but will, through man, glorify the world with art, technology, science, and culture. This is the great human task, and the Bible becomes infinitely richer when one realizes that it speaks to all of human life


    2]Keith Mathison exposes the biblical basis for the hope of post-millennial eschatology, refutes the objections of other eschatologies and reflects on the real implications of post-millennialism in Christian life. An excellent defense post-millennialism is what I found in this book, and after thinking about these exhibitions, I abandoned the amillennialism, because I realized that is the most unbiblical and pessimistic eschatology, and that it can be worse than premillennialism and dispensationalism.

    3]Mathison has given us the clearest explanation of postmillennialism that I know, and yet I was not convinced, however it did convince me that the gospel will reach every nation, tribe and peoples and languages (Rev 7:9).

    Postmillennialism expects that the gospel will be successful in winning a majority of people to faith in Christ, such that righteousness will triumph over evil.

    4]My first conclusion after evaluating the claims of postmillennialism is how clear scripture is about the extent, scope and indeed the success of the great commission. God sent Jesus to save the world, who in turn commanded his disciples to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. Scripture makes it clear that the gospel will penetrate not only all nations but all languages, tribes and peoples as well. It also shows these same people groups in heaven (Rev 7:9), thus fulfilling God's covenant with Abraham that "all peoples on earth will be blessed" through him (Gen 12:3). Ethnic Jews will be converted and usher in a period of great blessing for the church (Rom 11:12). Satan was defeated at the cross and his kingdom is being progressively plundered. The New Testament parables make it clear that the kingdom of heaven will be fully distributed among the nations like yeast in dough (Mat 13:33) and that although, with small beginnings, it will become large (Mat 13:32). Scripture is also clear that Jesus reigns and has authority on earth now and that the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power (1 Cor 15:24).
     
  17. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    ibid;
    5]Some of the clearest passages on the size of the kingdom come from the Old Testament

    "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession" (Psa 2:8).

    "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him" (Psa 22:27).

    "The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted " (Psa 47:9).

    "All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him" (Psa 72:11).

    "But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth." (Dan 2:35).

    "It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever" (Dan 2:44).

    Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end (Isa 9:7).


    "for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isa 11:9).

    "all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD " (Isa 66:23)

    6]Until I undertook a study of Eschatology this past year, I was a Pre-Millennialist with a leaning towards a pre-trib rapture. However, this book presents a compelling case for Post-Millennialism. Mathison does a survey of the subject from Genesis through Revelation as well as a history of the church's view on the subject.

    Mathison provides solid Biblical exegesis for his assertion of a post-millennial return of Christ. He deals with difficult passages and objections. If someone is wanting to understand post-Millennialism, this book is an outstanding resource.

    Personally, I do not know if post-millennialism is right or not.

    But, I would rather live my life with the positive view of the expansion of the Kingdom of God in this world as opposed to the negative view of this world as held by Pre-Millennialists.
     
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  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    pt3;
    7]Mr. Mathison's work is a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief for the many perplexed minds today who have been bombarded with prophecies of a coming tribulation and Christianity's supposedly utter failure to convert the world in the face of a growing "Antichrist" power.
    After reading Mathison's book, it is easy to see why Postmillenialism gives the only correct view of God's plans and purposes as revealed in Scriptures.
    Indeed, victory over sin and Satan and not the rise of evil and Antichrist, is the true message of the Bible. This theme fits remarkably well with the rest of Scripture and when viewed in this light, the many seemingly difficult passages suddenly fit together and the harmony between the various accounts in the old and new testaments render the entire Bible a very interesting, awe-inspiring story ever written.
    Read this book. And then read Kenneth Gentry's "He Shall Have Dominion" and "Before Jerusalem Fell". Then you will have a complete dose of the Eschatology of Hope, and a renewed appetite for Bible reading.
    I'm confident Mathison's work will have great positive impact on the thinking of many Christians as it attracts more and more people to its clear, logical and sensible arguments for an eschatology of hope.

    8]The second biggest weakness of this book is that Mathison regularly lumps both historic and dispensational premillenialism into one bucket. Mathison clearly knows the difference between the two, but by lumping historic premil into dispensationalism, it allowed Mathison to avoid having to deal with the most articulate modern advocate of historic premil, George Eldon Ladd. Throughout the book, and especially in Mathison's critique of premillenialism, I was waiting for Mathison to meaningfully interact with Ladd. But for the most part, he doesn't.

    This is problematic to say the least, since Mathison himself acknowledges Ladd as being the best defender of the historic premil view, but then doesn't interact with him hardly at all.
    So while this is a solid articulation of postmillenialism and voices many views and theological methods that I sympathize with, the book has enough substantive weaknesses in it to make less than a slam dunk case.
     
  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    On the Glory of God; 1689 confession
    2._____God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself,

    is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient,

    not standing in need of any creature which he hath made,

    nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth; in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain; he is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands; to him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them.
    ( John 5:26; Psalms 148:13; Psalms 119:68; Job 22:2, 3; Romans 11:34-36; Daniel 4:25, 34, 35; Hebrews 4:13; Ezekiel 11:5; Acts 15:18; Psalms 145:17; Revelation 5:12-14 )
     
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    In post 17....the view offered is what the postmill see as a long term purpose that God has been unfolding.

    All views have in common the eternal victory that every believer will enjoy .
    How we get there is the obvious dispute.
    The postmill view got trashed big time during the first and second world wars.....people looking at current events determined that it could not be viable.
    The same happens in our day.
    Some see the demonic growth of Islam and say it is not possible that the gospel can overcome the evil heathen ideologies.
    One or two postmill teachers asked this question. ...
    What if we are still the early church?
    People scoff at this however he was not joking....
    View the verses in post 17 and consider that it speaks of earthly kings bowing to King Jesus....while they rule in earthly realms.
    I think this would be to Gods glory as they all pay homage to The real King of Kings.
    I believe Hebrews 2 teaches a restored dominion mandate given to redeemed man that would bring glory to God.2:4-8
    This is ongoing....
    There is no need to rebuild physical temples with animal sacrifice that have already come and gone.
    There is no need to re- enact what already took place in mt 23:36-39...
    The only thing still to happen is the gospel being victorious worldwide then the events leading up to the final judgment at the last day.
     
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