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#50334 Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:51 AM
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Is the resurgence in Postmillenialism coming from a newer take on the doctrine or a rediscovering of it back in the 1600s-1700s? Writers such as Keith Matheison makes post-mill sound somewhat like a-mill, except with the distinction of post-mill being optimistic and a-mill being pessimistic. They do not emphasize the 'golden era' before the rapture. Can we say they have introduce a new doctrine on post-millenialism and should be referred to with a new name (not just post-mill), such as the dispensationalist did with pre-mill. We have the historic pre-mill and the dispensational pre-mill doctrines.


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John_C #50339 Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:28 PM
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Originally Posted by John_C
Is the resurgence in Postmillennialism coming from a newer take on the doctrine or a rediscovering of it back in the 1600s-1700s? Writers such as Keith Matheison makes post-mill sound somewhat like a-mill, except with the distinction of post-mill being optimistic and a-mill being pessimistic. They do not emphasize the 'golden era' before the rapture. Can we say they have introduce a new doctrine on post-millennialism and should be referred to with a new name (not just post-mill), such as the dispensationalist did with pre-mill. We have the historic pre-mill and the dispensational pre-mill doctrines.
Amillennialism is no less optimistic than Postmillennialism. We Amils hold that Christ will be 100% victorious in securing His elect and establishing the New Heaven and New Earth as God has eternally decreed. And, all that transpires on this earth; the gradual and eventual apostasy of the majority of churches and the reign of paganism all serves to glorify God in His judgment and exalt Christ in His supremacy as Savior and Lord of God's chosen people.

Secondly, the "Golden Age" is one of the main tenets of Postmillennialism and that which most certainly distinguishes it from Amillennialism. That alleged Golden Age is the culmination of their optimism, for without it, they believe Christ would be deemed a failure.

Lastly, I am not familiar with Matheison's eschatology and thus I cannot comment on whether it deviates from historic Postmillennialism as held by Edwards, Warfield, Boettner, et al... sorry.


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Optimistic / Pessimistic kinda depends on your point of view though. While the truth of the Election may be "pessimistic" to those who hate God, it is optimistic to those who love Him.

I think the same sort of thing applies to Amillennialism. From my point of view it is optimistic because the Lord never abandons the people but preserves them and even causes them to multiply even when the whole planet hates them and tries to vanquish them! And to my mind, the Postmil "golden age" is less optimistic because the righteousness achieved suddenly falls apart, and when the King comes to take the throne of "the place we have prepared for Him" (kinda sounds opposite of His promise to do that for us, huh?), suddenly there's this huge army to oppose Him! Man's righteousness fails again.


John_C #50373 Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:47 PM
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Well for my part I think that there should be a qualifier on Postmillenialism mainly to make a distinction of historic (aka pre-Rushdoony) versus Theonomic Postmillenialism. I've read Matheison's book and I wouldn't say that he doesn't emphasize the "golden era" more like he assumes that the reader knows about it and goes on.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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Thanks for your reply. I fall more in the line of Pilgrim and Robin on this. I am familiar with Matheison, but have not read his book. My thread question comes from an article he wrote in Tabletalk titled "The millennial Maze" In it he explains the 4 positions (Historical pre-mill, Dispensational pre-mill, Amill, & Post-mill). I'm beginning to think the the Post-Mill camp needs to be divided as the Pre-Mill, but how and who? Here is what Matheison wrote in the article:

Quote
Postmillennialism teaches that the 'thousand years' of Revelation 20 occur prior to the second coming of Christ. Until recently, most postmillennialists taught that the millennium would be the last thousand years of the present age. Today, many postmillialists teach that the millennial age is the entire period of time between Christ's first and second advents. As we will see, this means that contemporary versions of postmillennialism are very close in many ways to comptemporary amillennialism. The main difference between the two is not so much the timing of the millennium as the nature of the millennium. In general, postmillennialism teaches that in the present age, the Holy Spirit will draw unprecedented multitudes to Christ through the faithful preaching of the gospel. Among the multitudes who will be converted are the ethnic Israelites who have thus far rejected the Messiah. After the end of the present age, Christ will return, there will be a general resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgement will take place.


Matheison claimes to be a post-mill, but that statement is hard to distinquish between the two.

Here are my questions. Does contemporary eschatology positions vary from the first centuries of the Reformation? If so, then how can anyone claim to take the original view of any position? I'm pretty confident that Matheison is not a Rushdooney Theonomic post-mill, but is Matheison position the same as what Edwards, Hodge, Thornwell, Warfield taught? So, is there actually 3 camps of Post-mills? Did the latter bunch (in last sentence) ascribed to a golden age. Though it might have gotten corrupted by the liberals who taught that we (soceity) were getting better.

Does anyone want to clear this maze, or does the maze continue into a bigger one.

Last edited by John_C; Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:45 AM.

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You know before I make a fool out of myself (I'm turning over a new leaf Pilgrim) I need to read what Warfield, Hodge, Thornwell, and Edwards wrote. Since I mainly have read Boettner's postmillenial writings and Matheison's writtings I really need to read up a little.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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Peter,

Are there any distinguishable difference between Boettner and Matheison? I sense today's conservative post-mills, not the Reconstuction, Theonomy camp, vary from the post-mills in centuries past.

What do both men say about partial preterist?


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John_C #50400 Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:43 PM
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Matheison is definitely partial preterist he quotes Gentry through out his book with regards to the fall of Jerusalem and how it applies to Revelation. And Boettner also has what appears to be partial preterist statements regarding the antichrist." A careful reading of Paul’s words should convince an open-minded Bible student that the Antichrist and the apostasy are long since past." Identifying the Antichrist So both holds to some sort of partial preterism.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
John_C #50411 Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:53 PM
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For me, Eschatology is the final plank in the bridge to Covenant Theology. I am very close now to being counted as one with the Amill camp. Most of the reading I have done seems to have the live and let live attitude toward the Postmill folks."Not something to break fellowship over" was the statement one author used.
Then, While reading an article by Professor David Engelsma I came across this:" There are three main rival views of evangelical eschatology — four, considering dispensationalism. Either all are in error, or all but one is. It is always the task of Trinitarian theologians to discover what is biblically correct. When a theologian has concluded that a particular view is correct, he should seek to make his discovery a test of orthodoxy — if not in his own era, if that is premature, then someday. The goal of the Church should always be an increase in confessional precision. A large part of the Church’s confession deals with eschatology. Orthodoxy means straight speaking. One cannot speak straight with a four-way tongue.

It is time to stop believing in theological pluralism as anything more than a temporary stopgap. It is time to reject the idea of the equal ultimacy of incompatible theological positions. Premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism are theologically incompatible. God cannot be pleased with all three. At least two of them should be discarded as heretical, if not today, then before Christ comes in final judgment."
This was offered by Gary North, a Postmill Reconstructionist.My question is, are just some of the Postmill group ready to "man the battle stations" are do these men being noted in this thread have the same feelings as North?
Secondly, are there those in the Amill camp that feel this strongly?


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I'll only speak for myself on this particular issue.

1. I am Amil but will not break fellowship with someone in the Postmil camp (excluding Theonomic Reconstructions), which I think is annexed to Postmillennialism.

2. Historic Premillennialism is an 'odd duck' eschatology which I reject but generally I don't break fellowship with those who embrace it.

I have no time for Classic Dispensationalists, giggle

What would be helpful is the definition being used for "breaking fellowship".
a. If breaking fellowship means relegating someone to being outside the camp, i.e., they are not genuinely saved...

b. If breaking fellowship means not allowing an individual to be received as a communicate member in a local church or excommunicating someone...

c. If breaking fellowship means not socializing with an individual...

d. Other...


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I didn't ask the author but I interpreted "not breaking fellowship" to mean that two or more Christians with differing eschatology views could coexist in the same local fellowship.The more I learn about this subject the less likely I am to agree.You know the old adage about "birds of a feather.....".
I would think our presuppositions would tend to create a divide when it comes to Matthew 24 or Rev.20 or other such passages.Am I wrong?
John, I apologize for being off subject here.


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Much like Pilgrim I have a hard time breaking fellowship over the issue of eschatology. Although I believe it is an important issue, I also know just how hard it was for me to decide which view I thought was biblical.
I came to an A-Mill understanding after years of understanding and even now it is not an issue I would die for.
For the majority of my Christian walk I was a Dispensationalist, mainly because it was the only position I knew.
I would also state that if I broke fellowship over this issue, I doubt I would find a Church.

Tom

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Eschatology does matter! One's eschatology defines his view of the nature of the Kingdom of God.

A post-millennialist, for example, is more likely to view the kingdom in a physical and political sense, achieving it's apex in a great "Jewish-style golden age" before the Lord's return.

An amillennialist sees the kingdom as spiritual sense, as the Lord described it, "My kingdom is not of this world." The Lord's return finds a Church gloriously purified through trial, perhaps driven underground and almost out of sight by persecution. The true remnant of the Elect, having refused the kool-aid of compromise, they have triumphed spiritually. The number of the Elect is counted throughout history rather than "at any given moment in time," so that they are more numerous than the stars.

As a Dispensationalist I was taught to fear Man rather than God! To hurry up and grab as many people as I could to sign up for the great "med-evac escape flight" before the big bad antichrist comes... my view of the kingdom at that time was that it was a desperate attempt by God to try and cut His losses, and that the kingdom depends as much on people as it did on the King. The kingdom is far away for now, but eventually destined to reconquer the earth - as a rebuilt Jewish-like theocracy.

Because eschatology defines the nature of the kingdom, it matters a great deal! And it has always disappointed me that the Reformed camp has been contect, for the most part, to treat it as "nonessential," allowing the completely unbiblical "Left Behind" scenario to become the majority report in the evangelical world.


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Originally Posted by Tom
Much like Pilgrim I have a hard time breaking fellowship over the issue of eschatology.
Well, that's not 100% accurate. grin I would break fellowship when Dispensationalism is involved. MacArthur's "Progressive Dispensationalism" is bad enough, but "Classic Dispensationalism", Scofield and worse is an immediate deal breaker for me. Not only, as Robin correctly pointed out, is the nature of the Kingdom affected, but one's worship, sanctification, the doctrine of the atonement, the nature of the Church, world politics, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam... even the very nature of God is twisted, distorted and blasphemed in 'classic' Dispensationalism.

For a God who is said to be no respecter of persons, Dispensationalism of all stripes tread all over that truth with their zealous over-emphasis upon the Jews. They make Gentiles into secondary 'citizens' who serve only to fill in the "gap; parenthesis" while God wrestles with His favorite but obstinate chosen/favorite people.

So, no... I do not have a difficult time breaking fellowship with those who hold to Dispensationalism. evilgrin


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Robin
I never said eschatology is not important, it is. However, it is my experience that most people do not even understand eschatology.
Unfortunately this includes those who hold to the doctrines of grace. They may be able to wax elegant concerning the doctrines of grace and tell all about law and grace.
However, they don't understand that their Dispensationalism is in-consistent with their soteriology.
Unfortunately I didn't find out these kind of things until long after I embraced the doctrines of grace. This is the basis of why I said those things.
Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:47 PM.
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