General Thoughts on Eschatology

At Trinity Talk, we have had a few guests discuss eschatology with us. Yesterday we had Gary Demar discussing his book Last Days Madness. The book was a paradigm shifter for me some years ago. It was a sort of eschatological wake-up call. Orthodox Preterism combined with an optimistic eschatology solved my gnostic dilemmas and shattered my “to be or not to be active” questions. In light of my current re-reading of Mathison’s Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope, my recent interviews with Gary Demar and Joel McDurmon and a three part series I presented at Providence Church, my mind is naturally consumed with this topic. As a result, here are some random thoughts:

a) A natural outworking of the kingdom of God means that one day all Christians will be Postmillennialists.

b) Passages of suffering in the Bible seem to have a more first century orientation, if we allow the context to speak for itself. Nevertheless, we are not immune from suffering. Suffering for a Christian leads to victory and not defeat.

c) Martin Salbrede once said that the law of God in the Bible is always tied to some statement about government. Thus, Postmillennialism must have a theonomic vision at its root.

d) Satan works to give the Church an unrealistic vision. He works very hard to persuade us to view the world through human sight and not by faith.

e) We already live in a theocracy, as Jim Jordan puts it. Our goal is to tell people they are insane for not believing in a Theocracy (God’s rule).

f) Postmillennialism virtually founded these United States through the Puritans. If there had been no vision, we would still be under British rule.

g) The Dutch Reformed turned the Dispensational tide by teaching us to apply our Calvinism.

h) Worship is at the center of true Biblical revival.

i) You forsake the Church you forsake dominion.

j) Not all Presuppositionalists are Postmillennial, but all Postmillennialists must be Presuppositional if they are consistent.

k) There is no other alternative for the covenant family, then to give their children covenant education.

l) Modern Postmillennialists are the only ones I am aware of addressing issues of family and church and state from a Biblical perspective and not from the theory of natural law.

m) Convince a man of Postmillennialism and you have convinced him to be a student of theology for life.

n) Postmils strive for true catholicity.

o) We actually believe in the Lord’s Prayer.

p) As I mentioned in my series, we do not look to the past, but to the future. Though our heritage is great, our future will be greater.

q) Wealth is not evil…in fact, apart from wealthy Christians the gospel will not have gone as far as it has.

r) We believe in the effectiveness of the Great Commission.

s) Technology used properly is good, not bad. The gospel has gone farther in this generation than any other generation due to the advances of technology.

t) Paul seems to place “unity” at the center of Christ’s mission to bring all things together in heaven and on earth. The only eschatology that makes sense out of this mission is postmillennialism. Amils and Premils–with exceptions–see no interest in such endeavor.

to be continued…

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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17 Responses to General Thoughts on Eschatology

  1. Nathan says:

    The United States is not Christianity nor Christian. Moreover, it was founded on capitalism and deism; if the Puritans contributed to that, so much to their detriment. If America were Christian, she would have converted the natives. She did not and she is not.

  2. Uri Brito says:

    Wrong, Nathan. Deistic influence was minimal in the founding of these United States. Furthermore, I take America’s history much earlier than 1776…the early colonies, which was distinctly Christian and theocratic. Have you ever read individual state’s constitutions? They will not sound deistic; that I can guarantee. See Gary Demar’s excellent book: American’s Christian History. It sounds like you’ve been reading Noll.

  3. Uri Brito says:

    Further, what comment led you to focus on the US’s history?

  4. Nathan says:

    Actually, I haven’t read Noll on that topic yet, but now I will – thanks for the tip. You act as though Demar’s work is uncontroverted, which of course you are free to believe. I remain unconvinced that principles of rebellion and self-determination are even biblical, much less Christian. Getting out from “under British rule” would be the comment, because I have to wonder – a vision for what?

    There is a critical piece of evidence being ignored: the systematic plunder and extermination of the natives was thoroughly un-Christian. How many people cared in the slightest? Even the slaves had abolitionist voices on their side. Aside from that, I find no place in the New Testament for nationalism. Jesus is Lord, not the Constitution.

  5. Nathan says:

    I read a sampling of DeMar and I must say I’m unimpressed. To be a Christian, one must believe the Gospel, correct? I would also guess that you would expect belief in atonement to be essential, right? So the best criteria for determining which founders were Christian would be statements by them affirming the atonement. Maybe paper-DeMar has better evidence than internet-DeMar, so I will have to hit up the library.

  6. low5point says:

    One may want to look to the 1500′s and 1600′s to find a clearer picture of the “founding” of this country. Long before Jefferson, Franklin and the like wrote on paper that which the colonies were practicing for hundreds of years, the colonies embraced a gospel-centric optimistic faith of the plan and purpose of the Kingdom of God.

    This is also true of the great evangelistic efforts of the early settlers through Edwards and Whitefield who were committed Postmillenialist.

    D lo

    http://low5point.wordpress.com/

  7. Uri Brito says:

    Yes, low5point…good point.
    Nathan, Trinitarianism is essential. There are different theories of atonement. Though I hold to The Substitutionary View, this does not mean that others who disagree are unbelievers. The history of atonement is fairly diverse within Christian history.
    I have a fairly broad view of the gospel. In other words, I do not believe that one has to agree with points A – Z of confessionalism in order to be a Christian. For instance, I do not believe that only until Luther did we begin to grasp the gospel…many who did not hold to Luther’s understanding are within the bounds of Orthodoxy. if you are basing Christianity on a very strict definition, then I would agree with your conclusions, but if you have a broader definition, such as a Christian is anyone who has been baptized into the Name of the Triune God, then my conclusion stands. You are still not addressing my general comments.

  8. Uri Brito says:

    Nathan, you write:
    There is a critical piece of evidence being ignored: the systematic plunder and extermination of the natives was thoroughly un-Christian. How many people cared in the slightest? Even the slaves had abolitionist voices on their side. Aside from that, I find no place in the New Testament for nationalism. Jesus is Lord, not the Constitution.

    The Systematic plunder of natives does not negate a Christian foundation anymore than the disobedience of Israel negates their covenantal, elect status, which involved much violence.
    I do not believe in nationalism. Jesus is Lord…I am not denying that. I am the postmillennialist here, after all. The Constitution is fine as a procedural document, but it needs some revision.

  9. Uri Brito says:

    Are you Nathan Chang?

  10. Uri Brito says:

    David, what are your thoughts on James Jordan’s Revelation material? Or David Chilton for that matter?

  11. low5point says:

    I like Chilton within some bounds. I hold to a more plain reading of the final chapters and align myself closer to the recent release by Dr. Bass. I love Jordan’s passion for the Gospel and succinct writing, but I am no expert on Jordan. My primary influences have been Chilton, Bahnsen, Gentry, DeMar, Boettner and Mathison.

    Hopefully you have a chance to check out the blog beofre it becomes the two books i am planning.

    • Uri Brito says:

      David, is Bass the methodist commentator?

      • low5point says:

        No, I don’t think so. He went to Greeneville Pres. Seminary and, I believe, works as a counselor and has Pastored in the past.

        The book is about three years old and covers most of the same ground as DeMar, Chilton and Gentry.

  12. Nathan says:

    Uri, I was intentionally vague on atonement because I am aware that there are differing views (I do not hold to substitutionary ideas, but that is irrelevant for this discussion). However, I don’t think the concept is negotiable, even if the doctrinal specifics are. Baptism without attendant confession or praxis hardly makes one a Christian in any meaningful sense. I have a fairly broad view, but it is fully Trinitarian.

    Regarding the natives, I don’t think we can make headway because you’re assuming an irrevocable covenant election status. One can therefore found a “Christian” institution while being systematically un-Christian both in terms of violence and the great commandment and in regards to the gospel and great commission. For my part, I am skeptical that institutions not the Church can be called Christian in the sense you’re presenting.

    Suffering is the inverse of conquest (in its traditional meaning). In the new covenant, God’s kingdom advances through righteous suffering, not through political power. I am not clear how the law of the new covenant, the Law of Christ, is governmental, though I believe it is ecclesial. I believe there can be one undivided Church in the midst of many divided political powers.

    I am highly skeptical of “biblical perspectives” on family and law for a lot of reasons. For one, most perspectives say far more about the beholder than the bible. The church should look to saints of the new covenant and emulate them, though that does not diminish the value of old covenant examples. I look to the past, because I need examples to follow. I look over 1000 years into the past, because if I’m going to sow seeds of destruction I’d like them to take longer than a few centuries to bear fruit.

    If all that rambling (I tried to cut it short) is not enough to answer your last question, then no: my last name isn’t Chang. But if you’re ever in Kansas City, you might bump into me.

  13. Uri Brito says:

    Hmmm… I have a friend from Kansas City that thinks very much like you. I wonder…well… you are espousing a traditional 2 kingdom Amillennial position, which as you have noticed, I strongly deny.
    I have answered these questions you raise in my previous posts, particularly on this latest one. These posts are very basic, but we can go in greater depth in any exegetical point you would be interested in discussing.
    I deny the authority of natural law, as 2K’ers are fond of. In this sense, we are talking past each other. I believe the whole Bible is for the whole people of God. In this sense, I cannot escape theocratic implications.
    If your concern is that evangelicals are too pro-Republican, pro-war, pro-America…then I agree. But we do not do away with something because of the abuse of it, as Luther puts it.
    I too place great emphasis on the significance of the church and the means of grace as renewing the people of God and the church at large. I agree with Schmemann that worship is for the sake of the world; and I agree with James Jordan that worship is warfare. The Church does not exist for itself, but it exists for the sake of the world; as a means for cosmic renewal. that’s where I stand…what say ye? Where do you attend church?
    I pastor here in lovely and currently cloudy Pensacola.

  14. Uri Brito says:

    One more thing, I am assuming Trinitarian baptism calls you to orthopraxis. I believe the founding fathers were virtually all, though not perfectly, good churchmen, who at least respected the moral trumpet call of the church.

  15. Nathan says:

    In all honesty, I haven’t picked a millennial position yet, and I’m not in a hurry to either. You’re probably right about the direction I’m leaning. Your latest post was good, and I like the succinctness of the series. Right now I’m at a church called Jacob’s Well. Thanks for making time for me.

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