Review of Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison

Then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. –I Corinthians 15:24-25

Keith Mathison’s introduction to Postmillennialism remains–in my estimation–one of the three best introductions to an optimistic eschatology in the last 50 years (Marcellus Kik’s An Eschatology of Victory and Kenneth Gentry’s He Shall Have Dominion being the other two). Mathison is well read and his research reveals a breadth of knowledge of both Amillennial and Premillennial thinking. His interaction with both camps validate his scholarship.

postmil bookmagesThe book surveys the progress of redemptive history and reveals the conquering power of the gospel from Genesis and its climactic fulfillment in the Messiah. The reader will be particularly encouraged by the detailed exposition of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and a helpful overview of the Book of Revelation.

Matthison has done a great service to the church in presenting the historical, theological and exegetical insights that confirm an optimistic view of history under the victorious rule of King Jesus.

The writer also provides a helpful and needful critique of the internet phenomenon of full-preterism. Full or unorthodox Preterism teaches that all things have been fulfilled in the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. Mathison analyzes and debunks such dangerous and a-historical teaching.

Personal Note

Mathison mentored me through an independent study I did at Reformed Seminary in Orlando. We spent many mornings together discussing various issues concerning eschatology and sacramentology. Since the writing of this book, Mathison has undergone some theological changes; though he may view it as “theological maturation.” In a imagesmathisonpicrecent interview he observed that both Amil and Postmil could be applied to his current eschatological position. Though I understand his underlying motivation and his desire for a certain skepticism about these long-debated issues, the reality is that either one believes in the gospel-success prior to the second coming (postmil) or one denies this progress (amil).

Mathison’s latest work is a much larger outworking of his research in this area. Nevertheless, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope remains an outstanding summary of the eschatology of Athanasius and B.B. Warfield.

About these ads

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Eschatology. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review of Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison

  1. Postmil site; please visit us, comment.

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

    JLof@aol.com

  2. Keith Mathison says:

    Hi Uri,

    Thanks for the kind words about my book. I don’t know that I would say of myself that I’ve “undergone some theological changes.” My interpretation of some individual texts has changed, but it hasn’t resulted in a major overhaul of my eschatology. I would consider it more of a refinement of some details. Regarding the terms “Amillennialism” and “Postmillennialism,” it is true that I’m far less concerned now about which of those terms people use to label my views. If that’s a major theological change, so be it :-) I recall something that Donald Bloesch wrote, where he said (and I’m paraphrasing from memory here) that his view could be defined as postmillennialism within an amillennial framework. I’ve always thought that statement pretty well summed up my own position. I see the views as ranging along a spectrum. My understanding of postmillennialism is in that blurry part of the spectrum where some versions of amillennialism and some versions of postmillennialism overlap. That’s why it doesn’t concern me which label one uses to describe my views. The key point that seems to determine where one stands concerns how much visible manifestation in history there will be of the growth of the kingdom (which all sides grant). I’m a bit more optimistic about that question than someone like, say, Cornelis Venema, with whom I agree on a number of points. I still like the D-Day and V-Day analogy. The growth of the kingdom is comparable to the time between D-Day and V-Day. There’s progress towards victory, but it is a bloody and hardfought battle all the way until the end.

  3. Uri Brito says:

    Thank you, Keith. I have always appreciated your sincerity and deep commitment to study the Scriptures no matter where that may lead. We hope to have you on the show in the months ahead. Please let me know your availability. I would like to give you a break with all the eschatology talk and delve into another one of my favorites: The Shape of Sola Scriptura. I look forward hearing from you. E-mail: uriesou@gmail.com

  4. Pingback: Economic freedom = let the slaves have slaves

  5. Pingback: Belief of the End Times? | Blue Django

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s