POSTMILLENNIAL FAILURE TO ENGAGE CULTURE?

Christian educationPMT 2015-087 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A PostmillennialismToday reader is concerned that he sees postmillennialists withdrawing from culture rather than engaging it. Here is his question:

J.W. writes:

“I appreciate and have enjoyed much of your work. In fact, it was largely due to Edwards, you, and a few others that I saw postmillennialism as the midst rationally biblical option. That actually drove me into one of the most liberal cities in the US, but I find many PMers to be fleeing cultural engagement and implantation as much if not more than others. Why do you suppose that is a characteristic of many PMers but that I seem to be understanding it differently?”

Gentry replies:

I don’t know if this is actually the case. And if it is, I don’t know why it would be thus. All I could figure is that this would be an example of what Rushdoony called “intellectual schizophrenia”: the holding of one view and the operating in terms of an opposing view. What is your specific evidence of postmill retreat from cultural engagement?


Teaching for a Change
(by Norman De Jong)

Calls Christians to a biblical philosophy of education that deals with human nature, revealed truth,
and a child’s need to be transformed.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


J.W. responds:

“Thanks! I need to read a little more Rushdoony because many I know that are followers of his work seem to be some of the same ones that advocate for and practically work toward creating a parallel Christian society rather than going in and influencing current systems. An example is the public school system. It seems many pressure for Christian disengagement while bemoaning the fruit of a system we’re disengaging from.

It just seems that postmillennialism is the only fire fighter equipped to run into the burning building of culture, and instead we simply busy ourselves with attempting to just build a new building while the current culture building burns to the ground. I don’t know, I could be way off with the practical realty of it all….”

Gentry concludes:

Now I see what leads you to surmise a postmillennial retreat from culture. Actually I believe you are mistaken in your reading of the situation. And your focus on Christian schooling exposes what I believe to be your error. Let me just briefly respond to that particular concern.

The idea of establishing Christian schools is not an example of cultural disinterest or disengagement. Rather it is specific focus on the enormous problem that faces us in education. I believe that establishing and promoting Christian schools is in fact an important and necessary response to rebellious human culture.

I would like to provide two reasons why I believe many Christians promote Christian schools, and why all Christians should do so.

First, many Christians promote Christian schools in order to provide a Christian education for their children right now. We only have young children for a brief time, and since we only have a short time to educate them and the education system is getting radically worse, Christians want to seek the best for their children.


Wall of Misconception: Separation of Church and State
(by Peter Lillback)

Examines our nation’s historic understanding of and the founding fathers
intention in the relationship of our Constitution to matters of faith, ethics, and morals,
taking into account the historical and biblical context as well as
the concept s relation to today’s culture.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Second, those supporting Christian schooling are not attempting merely to establish a parallel system of education, in order to provide more options. Rather, serious Christian-school advocates are seeking to establish a system with the long term goal of displacing the government funded, secularistic system. We need to be training our future leaders (our children) now. And we need to be training them in terms of the Christian worldview.

Thus, the Christian school movement has postmillennial implications (even if most of them are premillennial!) Christian schooling is a long-term strategy to renew our culture, with near-term responsibility for our children.
000 Conference Ministry 2

 

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2 thoughts on “POSTMILLENNIAL FAILURE TO ENGAGE CULTURE?

  1. B. Newton August 12, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Ken, I’m glad you and J.W. brought up this subject of Christian education. Christian education is a topic that you almost never hear expounded from our pulpits. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that most pastors seem to either underestimate the importance of it or they don’t really know how to preach on this topic, despite its necessity in the spiritual development of children and to the unity and spiritual growth of the family as a whole.

    Ken, I was wondering if you might name a few books that you think might be particularly helpful in the area of Christian education. I think there’s some clarity out there as to what Christian education is NOT, but at the same time, I think there is much confusion out there as to what Christian education actually IS. If you can help in this regard, I think many of us would benefit, including maybe J.W.

  2. Kenneth Gentry August 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    An important work on the subject is R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education. Folks have to see the danger before the leave the burning building.

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