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PRETERIST POSTMILLENNIALISM

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  June 16, 2014 — 4 Comments
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No eschatological school is enjoys full acceptance of all the various details of a system. But what are some key distinctions within postmillennialism? One of those distinctives is almost getting more discussion than postmillennialism itself.

Another feature of theonomic postmillennialism (though not essential to it) is its preterist approach to a number of the great judgment passages of the New Testament. The preterist (the Latin means “gone by”) approach to certain prophecies holds that: the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21) occurs in the generation living when Christ speaks (Matt. 24:34); the book of Revelation expects its events to transpire “soon” (Rev. 1:1; 22:7, 12), because in John’s day “the time is at hand” (Rev. 1:3; 22:10); and the Antichrist is a first century phenomenon (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7).


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Preterism places the prophecies of intense evil and foreboding gloom in the first century, focusing on the events surrounding the forty-two month long Neronic Persecution (A.D. 64-68, cf. Rev. 13:5), the forty-two month long Jewish War with Rome (A.D.67-70, cf. Rev. 11:1-2), and the destruction of the Temple (A.D. 70, cf. Matt. 23:36-24:34). The preterist viewpoint is not unique to theonomic postmillennialism; it is held, for instance, by ancient church father Eusebius, seventeenth century Puritan Talmudic scholar John Lightfoot, nineteenth century Methodist theologian and hermeneutics authority Milton S. Terry, modern reformed writers, J. Marcellus Kik and Jay E. Adams. Nevertheless, this view is greatly emphasized by the theonomic strain of postmillennialism.

Published advocates of theonomic postmillennialism include: Greg L. Bahnsen (1948-1995), Gary North, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, Gary DeMar, George Grant, Steve Schlissel, Douglas Jones, Reuben Alvarado, Curtis Crenshaw, Grover E. Gunn, Douglas Wilson, Kenneth G. Talbot, Stephen C. Perks, Jack Van Deventer, Stephen J. Hayhow, Andrew Sandlin,, Colin Wright, and Joel McDurmon.


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the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

4 responses to PRETERIST POSTMILLENNIALISM

  1. i enjoyed the article but was rather surprised not to see R.J. Rushdoony’s name in your list of published advocates of theonomic postmillennialism. I was a dyed in the wool Hal Lindsey styled pre mill for years until I started reading Rushdoony books about 12 years ago. He was the first author I had ever read that presented a law-based theology in the context of a postmillennial eschatology.

    While I am on this topic I think he also should be included in your other article, “Modern Postmillennialism” since he wrote the book(s) (literally!) concerning how Yahweh’s Law and the Postmillennial hope work in tandem.

    Well, that concludes my thoughts for now. Have a blessed day!

    Dr. Alan

    • Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. June 27, 2014 at 6:30

      Thanks for reading and interacting with this blog. Much appreciated.

      I too love and admire Rushdoony. However, the article is about preterism. And Rushdoony was an Idealist rather than a preterist. He was certainly an important theonomist.

      I note that the paragraph in question focuses on theonomy and postmillennialism. I should have made it clear that it was focusing on theonomy and postmillennialism from the perspective of preterism. That is a lack of clarity on my part. But praise God for Rushdoony’s important work in theonomic ethics!

  2. Ken, I didn’t see James Jordan listed under modern theonomists. I have greatly admired his approach to reading the Bible and have both listened and read his works on eschatology. I know you differ with him on some things (as everyone does), but would definitely put him on this list, as well.

    Thanks for the blog. I rediscovered it today as I was looking up some information. I will check back often!

    • Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. July 7, 2014 at 6:30

      Jim and I were classmates and good friends at Reformed Seminary in the 1970s. Later Jim rejected theonomy and complained that Greg Bahnsen’s theonomic argument showed no sign of maturity and growth in understanding. He no longer calls himself a “theonomist.” http://biblicalhorizons.wordpress.com/about/

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