Category Archives: History

THE MILLENNIAL MAZE

MazePMT 2016-052 by Keith Mathison (Ligonier)

I once heard someone define the millennium as a thousand-year period of time during which Christians fight over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation. While amusing, that definition is obviously incorrect. Christians have been fighting over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation for two thousand years. In all seriousness, however, all of the fighting has led some Christians to adopt despairingly a position they call panmillennialism (we don’t know which view of the millennium is correct, but we know it will all pan out in the end).

The word millennium refers to the “thousand years” mentioned in Revelation 20. Because this chapter is found in one of the most difficult books of the New Testament, its proper interpretation is disputed. As a result, there are four main views of the millennium held within the church today: historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. Continue reading

CHRISTIANITY: AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST SHAPER

PMT 2016-035 by Robert Ward

Should the influence of Christian values be consigned to the history books? This was the question posed to former Prime Minister John Howard by Eternity recently.

In a wide-ranging response, Howard stood firm on his credentials as a person of faith himself, while recognising that arguments today had to be made that appealed to the whole community, not just to those who shared a Christian worldview.

Identifying Judaeo-Christian values as the “greatest shaper, morally and ethically, of today’s Australia”, Howard argued that while we owe much to such institutions as the United Nations and documents like our constitution, we can trace much of what we value back to the teachings of Jesus. For instance, the appropriate separation of church and state, where he made it clear: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIAL BEGINNINGS

Ancient writerPMT 2016-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my second installment on the question about the origins of postmillennialism. Many dispensationalists dismiss postmillennialism as a modern novelty. In my last article I pointed out that all eschatological development is only gradually understood over time. In this article I will show the seed beginnings of postmillennialism in antiquity.

As far as our preserved writings go, premillennialism finds slightly earlier development (especially in Irenaeus, A.D. 130-202). Yet theologian Donald G. Bloesch notes that “postmillennialism was already anticipated in the church father Eusebius of Caesarea” (A.D. 260-340) (Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979], 2:192). Continue reading

ESCHATOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Gradual buildingPMT 2016-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Many Christians, particularly dispensationalists, write-off postmillennialism as a modern theological construct. Nothing could be further from the truth. Multi-million-selling dispensationalist populist Hal Lindsey confidently declares: “There is no evidence of the distinctive teachings of Postmillennialism earlier than the seventeenth century” (Lindsey, Road to Holocaust [New York: Bantam, 1989], 29). Dispensational theologian Charles F. Baker agrees: “Its advocates admit that it was first taught in the seventeenth century” (Baker, Dispensational Theology [Grand Rapids: Grace Bible College, 1971], 623). Continue reading

WHITBY AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

WhitbyPMT 2015-136 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Most dispensationalists are quite confused regarding the origins of postmillennialism. Hal Lindsey as confidently declares its modern origins as he does the latest date for the Rapture: “There is no evidence of the distinctive teachings of Postmillennialism earlier than the seventeenth century.”

Charles Baker states: “Its advocates admit that it was first taught in the seventeenth century.” Many wrongly assume that we may trace postmillennialism back only as far as Daniel Whitby in 1703. Continue reading

“MUSLIMS ARE JUST SICK OF ISLAM”

Muslim convertsby Hazel Torres
in Christianity Today  (11/1/2015)

More and more Muslim refugees in UN camps in Iraq are embracing Jesus Christ and expressing repugnance of their former religion, Christian Aid Mission workers have disclosed.

“They’re just sick of Islam,” a Christian ministry leader in the Kurdish Region of Iraq recently told the Christian Aid Mission.

“People are very hungry to know about Christ, especially when they hear about miracles, healing, mercy and love,” he said, as reported in the Gospel Herald. Continue reading

PROTOLOGY AND ESCHATOLOGY

creationPMT 2015-068 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Creation is an important aspect of the Christ worldview. And creation appears, appropriately, in the Bible’s first book, Genesis. The historical nature of the creation narrative in Genesis sets in motion the forces that will issue in eschatology. Genesis sets the stage for the unfolding eschatological revelation of Scripture.

Genesis was written by Moses, a well-educated Jew in ancient Israel. As the New Testament notes: “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Ancient Jews had a strong interest in history because it was created by God in the beginning and is in the process of being redeemed by him in the present. Thus, in their worldview, the God of Israel was not only the transcendent Creator over history, but also the immanent Redeemer within history. He is the providential Judge and redemptive Savior who acts in history to do his will. Continue reading