Like a horse and carriage

Postmillennialism and preterism


“It’s been a very long time since I looked at Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. But when I was flicking through it today I noticed a section called “Objections to Postmillennialism”. This is in his first paragraph:

There are some very serious objections to the Postmillennial theory.

The fundamental idea of the doctrine – that the whole world will gradually be won for Christ, that the life of all nations will in course of time be transformed by the gospel, that righteousness and peace will reign supreme, and that the blessings of the Spirit will be poured out in richer abundance than before, so that the Church will experience a season of unexampled prosperity just before the coming of the Lord - is not in harmony with the picture of the end of the ages found in Scripture. The Bible teaches indeed that the gospel will spread throughout the world and will exercise a beneficent influence, but does not lead us to expect the conversion of the world, either in this or in a coming age. It stresses the fact that the time immediately preceding the end will be a time of great apostasy, of tribulation and persecution, a time when the faith of many will wax cold, and when they who are loyal to Christ will be subjected to bitter sufferings, and will in some cases even sealed their confession with their blood, Matt. 24:6-14, 21, 22; Luke 18.8; 21.25-28; II Thess. 2:3-12; II Tim. 3:1-6; Rev. 13.

I don’t know about “just” before the coming of the Lord but what I found most striking was that, in my view, every one of the six passages he cites in defence of his objection to postmillennialism has reference to first century events.

There are other things to say about the relationship between postmillennialism and preterism but I thought this remarkable.”

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