“I have no problem changing my opinion in mid-air” – Rousas Rushdoony on the possibility of being wrong about postmillennialism.
Postmillennialism has seen a rise in recent years due to the up and coming Calvinists that are reforming at an alarming rate. While theology has its trends, eschatology requires more than an intellectual acceptance. You could argue that certain eschatologies leave man completely out of the equation, such as ahistoric premillennialism that has had a strange affect on believers of the position.
Now, just because a belief can cause some negative traits does not make the belief false. Just as Calvinism is accused of making people jerks, ahistoric premillennialism has made people lethargic about the kingdom work. This is anecdotal, however, I’ve met some of these people, who say things along the lines of “Why fight against abortion? Jesus will be coming soon and he will end it.”
While I agree that ultimately only if the Lord wills will abortion ever become a chapter in a history book that we frown upon, this isn’t the right mindset. Before an Arminian who comes to read my blog solely to find something to object to states “But Calvinists believe in Determinism!” let me remind the reader that Orthodox Calvinism has never denied human responsibility.
Postmillennialism can logically entail several actions that benefit everyone. Including but not limited to:
Preservation of the Environment against Climate Change.
We are commanded to be good stewards of creation, this includes honestly looking at the data given by climate scientists and seeking to address the anthropogenic Co2 increases accordingly. To advance God’s kingdom, humans have to still exist.
We should be the first objectors to Abortion
There are two specific annoying mindsets when it comes to this issue. There is the previously mentioned lethargic position, where the person recognizes that abortion is morally wrong, yet does nothing about it. The second mindset is those who would refuse to work with anyone who is ideologically opposed to them to work together.
It’s controversial in Protestant Christian circles to say you work with Roman Catholics, Mormons or even Atheists against Abortion. Not realizing that you don’t have to compromise your faith to work together on a common issue. If anything, working together bridges a gap that you would have needed anyway to talk and get to really know that person. This is assuming you aren’t sharing your faith just to get tally points with God.
Many of my fellow Postmillennialists are either Christian Reconstructionists or Covenanters. What usually follows is an adherence to Neo-Ussherianism time tables on the age of the Earth. What comes along with Neo-Ussherianism is the idea that the flood covered the entirety of the earth. I’ve covered this in detail, but I will give a summary here.
This does assume a partial preterist Postmillennialism rather than a futurist view. The logical entailment seems obvious. Though at first, you may ask, what does the flood have to do with eschatology?
In Matthew chapter 24 verse 21 the Bible states:
“And at that time there will be a Great Tribulation, such as has never occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall”
If we are to take this passage to mean that the Great Tribulation is worse than anything that has happened to the beginning, the question becomes, is the Great Tribulation worst than the flood in which everyone but the select few die?
Jesus saw the Great Tribulation as greater than any other event in covenant history since the beginning of the world.
What category was Jesus using? Did he mean that the Great Tribulation was greater in destruction or judgment? These are questions we all need to ask ourselves.
It seems that if we follow the Geological scholarship on this issue, we have a reference point to understand the prophetic and highly poetic passages of one of the hardest books to understand.
[i] Botkin & Saxe et al. “Forecasting The Effects of Global Warming on Biodiversity” BioScience Vol 63 Issue 12 published in The American Institute of Biological Science.
[iii] B.D. Santer et.al., “A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere,” Nature vol 382, 4 July 1996, 39-46
[iv] Gabriele C. Hegerl, “Detecting Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climate Change with an Optimal Fingerprint Method,” Journal of Climate, v. 9, October 1996, 2281-2306
[v] B.D. Santer et.al., “Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes,” Science vol. 301 (25 July 2003), 479-483.
[i] Rose, J. (2004). New Evidence for the Expansion of an Upper Pleistocene Population out of East Africa, from the Site of Station One, Northern Sudan. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 14(2), 205-216.
[ii] Parker A.G. (2010) Pleistocene Climate Change in Arabia: Developing a Framework for Hominin Dispersal over the Last 350 ka. In: Petraglia M., Rose J. (eds) The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology. Springer, Dordrecht
Austin, Steven A., John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman and Kurt P. Wise. 1994. “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History.” In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, edited by R.E. Walsh, 609–621. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.
Baumgardner, John R. 1994a. “Computer Modeling of the Large-Scale Tectonics Associated with the Genesis Flood.” In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, edited by R.E. Walsh, 49–62. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.
Brand, Leonard. 2007. “Wholistic Geology: Geology Before, During, and After the Biblical Flood.” Origins 61: 7–34.
Baumgardner, John, Numerical Modeling of the Large-Scale Erosion, Sediment Transport, and Deposition Processes of the Genesis Flood, Answers Research Journal. Volume 11 (pg.149-170)
R. Fowler White, “Agony, Irony, And Victory In Inaugurated Eschatology: Reflections On The Current Amillennial-Postmillennial Debate,” Westminster Theological Seminary 62.2 (2000): 161- 176.
J.M Curry-Roper, Contemporary Christian Eschatologies And Their Relation to Environmental Stewardship. The Professional Geographer: Volume 42, Issue 2. 157-169
J.R. Estep, Eschatological Foundations of Christian Education: How our Beliefs about Christ’s Return Impact our Educational Ministry Efforts. Volume 12, Issue 2.
B. Stanley, The Future In The Past: Eschatological Vision in British and American Protestant Missionary History. Tyndale Bulletin 51.1 (2000) 101-120.
For your own reading pleasure
Eriksen, Tim. “Old Folks’ Singing and Utopia: How Abolitionist Musical Antiquarianism and Calvinist Eschatology Gave Birth to Science Fiction on the Banks of the Connecticut River.” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 57 no. 4, 2016, pp. 773-781. Project MUSE,