It is interesting how God draws us to certain of our theological commitments. On my Facebook page I asked friends to tell me either how they became postmillennialists or what verses were instrumental in their conversion. This blog post will be much longer than normal. But I thought readers might find it informative. And I hope others will post their testimonies in Comments to this article. Here we go!
Strange as it may seem, my journey to Postmillennialism all began with Presuppositional Apologetics. I was introduced through the film How to Answer the Fool featuring Sye Ten Bruggencate. Such a dynamic shift in thinking affected how I read the Bible so much that I quickly gave up Dispensationalism from merely reading through Romans 9 and Ephesians 2.
In search for what I believed on the subject, I began reading eschatological literature, starting with Historic Premillennialism, then to Amillennialism, and finally to Postmillennialism. Though I would disagree with them on some details, my current view has been tempered by the works of Amillennials that I’ve read along my journey to Postmillennialism such as G. K. Beale, Kim Riddlebarger, Sam Storms, and Sam Waldron. Sermons, books, debates, and articles by people such as you, Gary DeMar, Douglas Wilson, and Jeff Durbin pushed me over the edge.
Understanding the covenantal nature of the dominion mandate starting in Genesis and continuing through the successive covenants leading up to Christ was key for me. Whereas Adam failed to take dominion, turning the rest of the planet into one giant Eden, Christ has dominion and is taking dominion until all his enemies be destroyed, planting gospel seed by means of His helper and wife, the Church, watering it, growing it, and producing 30, 60, and 100 times come harvest. His Great Commission is nothing less than the spiritual reality behind the original command/blessing in Genesis, and since the basis of that command is His absolute authority, we can expect a progression of success in history unto the consummation.
Redemption and Dominion (2 CDs)
Two sermons emphasizing the Christian’s cultural hope through cosmic redemption.
Expositions of John 12:31-32 and Psalm 8.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Rom.11 had a lot to do with converting my position to post-millenialism. If all Israel will be saved, meaning the same way the Jewish nation rejected him, one day they will accept him. That happens on this earth before the Lord returns. Paul says it will be like life from the dead. One day the “knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the water covers the sea.”
Vinícius Santos Albuquerque
I was dispensationalist (Left Behind style), what is really common here (Brazil). What made me change my mind about it was a friend (Frank Brito), who explained to me things like Matthew 16.28, a verse that didn’t make any sense to me in my eschatological view. Long story short, what made me change my mind is this: I realized it was much easier believe in what he told me. How can a Christian read Proverbs, for example, without hope? It states, clearly, that the righteous is blessed by God and the wicked is punished. It was far more logical to me and I needed much more faith to still believing in Dispensationalism than in Postmillennialism. Postmillennialism makes sense (at least when we are trying to put things together reading the Bible, and not only seeing it as separated blocks).
My favorite books are too many to number. The authors besides yourself are R. J. Rushdoony, J. Marcellus Kik, Gary North, Greg Bahnsen and Steve Schlissel. One more book was the Puritan Hope by Iain H. Murray. David Chilton’s 2 books. I almost forgot all about him. His Days of Vengeance is still one of the best commentaries I’ve ever read on the book of Revelation.
I grew up a Baptist, raised in classic Dispensationalism and then spent 6 years in Calvary Chapel. So when I left Dispensationalism as a hermeneutical system in favor of Covenant Theology by default I became an Amillennialist as that was the most common position and Postmillennialism was rarely discussed in the CRC circles. But when I prayed, “…Thy Kingdom, Thy will be done, on EARTH as it is in heaven…” and asked myself, “Will this prayer be answered in history?” I could not answer “yes” as an Amillennialist. It became even clearer that only the Postmil position could have a real expectation of saying “yes”. Second, Psalm 110 ” “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet…” indicated to me not only a sequence to the eschataological progression of the Kingdom, but the outcome as well.
David Chilton’s Days of Vengeance and your book on the dating of revelation plus all the wrong predictions by dispy’s led me to a different view.
Postmillennialism Explained, Defended and Applied (6 CDs by Ken Gentry)
These five lectures explain the biblical foundations to postmillennialism,
while providing practical applications for the modern Christian.
Some of the leading objections are dealt with a clear and succinct fashion.
Includes Q&A after each session and a downloadable syllabus.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
When I was in seminary with you, and the amillennialist Dr. Kistemaker preached in chapel on the parable of the leaven, the postmil position became clear to me. I doubt that was Dr. K’s intent!!!
Psalm 110, Daniel 2, 1 Corinthians 15. He Shall Have Dominion did the rest.
David Chilton’s PARADISE RESTORED did it for me.
Gary Demar’s debate with Tommy Ice on the topic of eschatology as well as his book Last Days Madness is what converted me from the Futurist Dispensationalist Premil position. Ken, your book, The Book of Revelation Made Easy reinforced the position as well as helped me to understand that there really is no break between Revelation 3 and the rest of the book. The original audience was the same for the whole book!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Liberty University. The class I had on hermenutics was excellent. It was so excellent that I saw the inconsistency between what the Bible actually says in context and the eschatological view they were teaching me in my Daniel/Revelation class. I had some pretty interesting disagreements with my professor. I would even say that I feel that Ed Hindson blatantly lied about the Postmillenial position in a portion of my textbook that he wrote.
Those things coupled with hearing Gary constantly hammer on the “time” text/phrases of the prophetic passages helped guide me to the Postmillenial (partial) Preterist position. If words like “soon” and “this generation” and “shortly come to pass” do not mean what they clearly mean in context, then what other words in the Bible could mean other things? Did God not want us to understand what He was saying? Is he not powerful enough to write exactly what He means us to understand? Is it possible that Jesus actually meant what he said in the Olivet Discourse? Jesus is not coming to reign. He is reigning now! I am still a fan of C.S. Lewis and probably always will be. In one of the Narnia books Aslan says he will meet the kids again soon. Lucy asks what he means by soon. Aslan says, “I call all times soon”….I cringe every time
Loraine Boettner – The Millenium back in the day, then Rushdoony and Bahnsen.
Dr. Greg Bahnsen taught my pastor theonomy, presuppositional ethics and post-millenialism. He later met Dr. VanTil and R.J. Rushdoony. Fortunately, I got to meet all three who are now with the Lord.
Carlos Doctrynal Gonzalez
The parables, 1 Cor 15 and psalm 110.
Ps. 110:1 is the most quoted O.T. verse in all of the N.T. If you take that verse literally, and I don’t see how else you can take it, it is very clear that the Lord will remain in heaven until all his enemies are made his footstool. End of debate!
Jeffrey M Jones
My conversion the post millennial I read David Chilton Days of Vengeance and attended one of your classes in Lynchburg Virginia on the subject. Jeffrey m. Jones
Ge 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Heb. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 15:25 challenged my historic pre-mil mindset. Christ is not to happen until all His enemies are under His feet. I was also double-minded since I was an activist, fighting the battles against the wickedness of our day when my eschatology said that all of the wickedness in our culture was prophesy unfolding. If it was supposed to happen, why was I trying to change it?
Mine started with the Y2K Crisis (around 1998). Being convinced that the popular prophecy “experts” simply didn’t know what they were talking about, I was led to wonder just what was the Bible talking about. After a little internet research, I came across David Chilton’s “Days Of Vengeance” as was thoroughly convinced that he got it right. It was like a breath of fresh air (I finished the entire volume in less than two months.) Got some of your books as well, and the rest is history (just like the Great Tribulation).
In 1970, a brother and I led a dissolute young man to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1980, he returned the favor by giving me a stack of RJ Rushdoony’s smaller books. I’d been yearning for a perspective that applied God’s Word to real-world issues, and even subscribed to the Plain Truth magazine for that reason! Discovering the existence of a Christian worldview transformed my world. No matter how much you overclock, turbocharge, or feague it, a navel view will never suffice when a worldview is called for.
I used be a historicist Amillennialist and, politically, an anarcho-pacifist (Leon Tostoi). I began to suspect that Postmillennialism was possibly true because of Romans 11. I began to suspect it taught the conversion of all nations and also of Israel. The final blow was when I read Gary North’s commentary of Isaiah 65. As an Amillennialist, I considered it the most difficult Eschatological verse in the Bible. That is how when I became convinced. Then came your books and Chiltons to put the rest of the pieces together.
Timothy Ray Jupin
Micah 4 is the one that did it for me!
I had NEVER heard the true doctrine of Post-Millennialism taught. I was in a Fundamental Baptist Church which taught Dispensationalism. It was in Seminary I began to study for a class exercise and I came across Loraine Boettner’s book, “The Millennium”. For the first time I was forced to read the Bible for myself without a filter. I began to study for myself and found out a great many things I was taught were not so.
Charles Connelly Murphree
My first doubts with dispensationalism were while I was listening to Hank Hanegraaff back in 2006(?) when he said something to the effect of, if this is the rapture (concerning Matt 24:36-41) then I’d rather be “left behind.” Later on while study Romans, I came to believe that Israel was the elect, not the ethnic group of Jews (Romans 9:1-13). After that it just seemed logical to hold the postmillennial view (Matt 23:24ff; Rev 1:1,3, 2:15).
My eschatology got a slow, progressive but extreme makeover once I began reading Rushdoony’s Institutes, Gary North, your books, Dr. Gentry, selected Puritan writings, Ian Murray, Chalcedon Report, ICE newsletters, various Recon authors, etc., back in the 90s. First I became Reformed, then postmil. Then terminally theonomic. No turning back now!
POST-MILLENNIALISM VERSUS PREMILLENNIALISM
While I was a Bible College Rector I recall teaching Premillennialism and my spirit rebelling against everything I was saying. In fact I used to dread the Eschatology classes because of how weakened I became after each class session. After a while it was horrifying to realize that I had virtually no scripture for most of my points. The ones I thought I had scripture for, were taken out of context.
Inevitably I eventually moved from Pessimistic Premil to optimistic Premil (if such a thing actually exists!). It was not until I became Postmil that I really knew what the problem was. I was schizophrenic all the while I was Premil – I was simultaneously teaching individual Christian victory, but also teaching the growing impotence of the Church! During my Premil days, one scripture I couldn’t ignore was, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat 16:18). Then it became even more interesting to see that the allusion was the defeat of Jericho by the Israelites under Joshua. Why any Christian should be Eschatological-anything other than Postmil amazes me.
I grew up in the Dispensationalism Belt (read: Dallas); in fact I grew up in a private elementary school and church named Scofield Memorial Church and Scofield School. So I always imagined that we were all “gonna get raptured” at any minute.
Many years later in life, when I was just starting to turn the corner into Reformed theology, a friend gave me a copy of The Standard Bearer whereupon I read your essay. Blew. My. Mind.
I wrestled with everything you wrote, both in prayer and by seeking out the Scriptures, and I came away convinced. One might say that my Pre-millenialism was…left behind? Thanks for writing such a thorough, yet accessible piece. God bless you sir!
I was delivered from dispensationalism by William Hendriksen. However, I found that my convictions about the nature of the kingdom, and my positive outlook of the future never aligned with that view well. A friend of mine also was a preterist and seemed to always have a better explanation of things, especially the Great Tribulation. (I held Augustine’s view at that time, i.e. the entire Gospel age).
I began to Google how I actually saw things to see if there was such a view, as I was ignorant of what Postmillennialism/ Preterism actually taught. That led me to the Preterist Archive and Dee Dee Warren’s site. That’s where I learned about you, Gary DeMar, and downloaded Days of Vengeance, and I also read a debate between Dee Dee and Tony Warren, and she pummled him lol. I also got your Revelation lecture series from Christ College (? I think). Anyway, I found this view more accurately aligned with what was in my heart.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was Daniel 2. Whereas Amillennialism explained the expansion of the kingdom as taking place at the second advent, I always felt that was silly and always believed the expanding mountain imagery described a gradual expansion of the kingdom. Since I could not reconcile this expansion with a dwindling and failing Church, I changed my position entirely.
The scriptures….sorry to be so dull.
I was converted, but backslid into historic premil!
Note from Ken Gentry: Dr. Groothuis is an historic premill. But since he took time to read my post in Facebook, we will let him through. He proves: you can’t win them all! 🙂
Reading Loraine Boettner, J. Marcellus Kik and Ken Gentry.
I read Doug Wilson’s Heaven Misplaced. Then he recommended He Shall Have Dominion to me.
I can say without a doubt that He Shall Have Dominion was THE book that taught me postmillennialism in his full account. Their exegetical and theological notes are if I may say, conquering the darkness of my ignorance.
I’m an Amill, but the reason I left premill is because I believe I lied to during Y2k
(Ken Gentry: We will let Christopher slid through! I do this because I believe that Amillennialism is a parking lot for premillennialists whose engines have overheated. When he gets back out on the eschatological freeway, he will probably do so in a fine, new Postmillennialmobile.)
Emilio Del Toro
The funny thing is i started learning about eschatology due to some heretics. They were full or hyper Preterists. Some of the things they were saying challenged me. So i picked up a book from my Pastor (Don Fry) at Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. The book was called “An Eschatology of Victory” by J. Marcellous Kik. Wow, such great expositions on Matthew 24 and Revelation 20!
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Also, some friends of mine like Seni Adeyemi challenged my Amillenial views. Colin Pearson also helped me understand The Postmillennial view. Believe it or not, Dr. Ken Gentry and Gary DeMar, Ph.D. helped me embrace this view as well! Now I want to check out Rushdoony’s “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” and Bahnsen’s “Theonomy in Christian Ethics.” Praise God for teachers!
George A Crocker
The Bible? Read “House Divided” and your book “He Shall Have Dominion”. All this after coming out of a dispen”sensationalist” college and going on to Covenant Seminary. Interestingly, or perhaps not, my using Hendriksen’s “More Than Conquerors” showed me that he did not believe the Church was or was ever going to be such. I thought then he was wrong and he ought to have changed his title at least..either Christ accomplished what He set out to do or..He did not.
I started out Amill thanks to Hendriksen’s “More than Conquerors” and was wary of reading anything else. Then after a debate on Matt. 24 (in which i was not able to answer the arguments from the other side) I read Marcellus Kik’s “Matt. 24” and it just made so much sense. I also read his “Rev. 20” and was not as impressed but that led me to read Boettner’s “Postmillennialism” and was finally able to understand how to fit all the pieces together. The wonderful thing was that all Boettner made me do was read in context. After his book I was convinced and have never hesitated to read any books on eschatology since.
The best I have read recently is “A Biblical Study of Eschatology” by GI Williamson, who confirmed my view that eschatology is a part of the interpretative approach we take to prophecy as a whole. It needs to be consistent with our general hermeneutic, interpreting the unclear from the clear.
Herold Green I spent 30 years in a church steeped in newspaper eschatology with some British Israel-ism and legalism thrown in for good measure. Every flood, tornado, earthquake, political scandal, disease outbreak, financial downturn, papal utterance, and skirmish was a sure sign we were close to the end. By the time Y2K came along, It finally dawned on me that these “profits” are delusional and schitzo.
After being convinced that there actually is a New Covenant, I began to realize those words like “near” and “soon” and “generation” could not be glossed over and redefined. And, “sovereign” means “sovereign.” Thanks to RC Sproul, Hank Hanegraff, Gary Demar, Doug Wilson, James Jordan, Ken Gentry and other like minded brothers, my eschatology is now consistent with my other “ologys.”
Louis A. Melendez
Luke 20:43 “until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Brother Ken… I moved from being a Total Futurist and pessimistic A-Millennarian… I’m almost there… I can say that I am very close… I am a Partial Preterist, being “A-Mil” with a “post-Mill” hope… I credit that to you Bro…!
I went from Pre-Tribulation Rapture Premillennialism to Amillennialism once i gained an understanding of Reformed Theology and how to properly interpret Scripture. My shift from Amillennialism to Postmillennialism turned on the hinge of Ken Gentry’s book, “He Shall Have Dominion.” Prayerfully reading that book along with Scripture convinced me of the Postmillennial eschatological framework. Then as I studied the Puritans I became more firm in seeing that framework as the best interpretation of Scripture as a whole. The passage that most clarified the Postmillennial hope for me was Isaiah 65:17-25. – Larry Bray
Keith Mathisons Book, which led me to your book, He Shall Have Dominion. Those are the books that led me out of hyper preterism.
I am still in between post and Amill…….I believe the postmill view deals with HEBREWS 2:4-8 …More Than The Amill .God fulfills this through us in this world as we occupy until He comes. hendricksen was helpful but general….post mill desire to be more specific in what the teaching means to each believer now. has anyone debated prof. Englesma on this as he sort to respond to the postmill teaching?
he first postmil book I read was “Theonomy: An Informed Response” and shortly thereafter Gary North’s “Dominion and Common Grace.” Somewhere in there I followed up with North’s “Millenialism and Social Theory.” I think it was North’s consistent application of the biblical (i.e. Reformed) doctrine of sanctification that initially struck home with me. When sanctification is understood alongside of, or in terms of historical sanctions (God judging in history in terms of his law) it’s hard to believe that He will bless the unrighteous more than the righteous. Someone above mentioned North’s exposition of Isaiah 65…bingo!
I finally purchased “He Shall Have Dominion” (the hardbacks were $10 at Christian Liberty Press!!!! and I bought & passed them out like candy) and of course, that really help put the whole picture together wonderfully. But wait! There’s more!!!
As good as North’s and your (Gentry’s) books were for showing the biblical basis for kingdom progress, it was actually the Dutch-Reformed Amil guys, almost more than all y’all Christian Reconstructionists who really put the last nail in the coffin for me. Thank the Lord for Gary North’s footnotes! I picked up Henry Van Til’s “The Calvinistic Concept of Culture” and (later) Anthony Hoekema’s “The Bible and the Future.” I seriously don’t know how anyone can read Van Til’s book and remain pessimistic about the future. Well, unless you actually believe that even though we’re called to this remarkable task of cultural renewal in Christ it’s doomed to failure because after all “the preaching of the Gospel will not bring in the kingdom of peace and righteousness imperceptibly and gradually, but, on the contrary, the apostasy of the last times will be great, and Christ will introduce his kingdom of glory with cataclysmic events of cosmic proportions” (p. 215). One of Hoekema’s points is that history, being controlled by the sovereign God, and Christ its center and meaning, is moving towards the New Heavens and New Earth, but we’re somehow to believe that it has very little effectiveness in the here and now before the return of Christ. Nah! Thankfully, he argued too much already.
The Dutch Reformed approach to anthropology (and therefore creation’s TELOS) when tied consistently to the Incarnation and cosmic redemption (corporate sanctification) got me thinking in terms of the historical implications of redemption. Grace restoring nature is the constant theme of Dutch Reformed approaches and I found that not only exhilarating but biblical. There’s a piece of my postmillenial puzzle. Thank you, Ken, for all your work. It’s been a real blessing. I can’t wait to read your Revelation commentary…well apparently I can. I’ve been waiting for years.
Little by little. I know, I know.
I was saved from atheistic thought in 2011 into a seeker sensitive new Calvinist church, though the first theologian that caught my attention was Norman Geisler. Being a former atheist I have always been interested in apologetics. I met Jeff Durbin online who interdicted me to Greg Bahnsen. Bahnsen converted me to Presuppositionalism. I realized I had to be consistent and converted to Calvinism. Which Lead me to postmillennialism and Theonomic ethics. I was converted to postmil from understanding Presuppositionalism and the need to be consistent with this truth in the scriptures. Not sure if this is abnormal, but hey, that’s how God has worked in my life.