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WARFIELD: POSTMILLENNIALIST

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  August 9, 2012 — 1 Comment

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (November 5, 1851 — February 16, 1921) was the principal of Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. He is considered the last great Princeton theologian before the split in 1929 that formed Westminster Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In fact, he was one of the greatest Reformed theologians in the history of America. As professor of didactic and polemic theology at Princeton University, he wrote extensively in defense of fundamental Christian doctrines.

Unfortunately, Warfield is oftentimes classified as an amillennialist. For instance, historic premillennialist Sung Wook Chung classifies him as an amillennialist (in Blomberg and Chung, Historic Premillennialism, 133). But Warfield sees himself quite differently. In his article “The Millennium and the Apocalypse” Warfield wrote:

The earth — the whole world — must be won to Christ before He comes: and that is precisely this conquest of it that He is accomplishing during the progress of this inter-adventual period.

Whether [these verses] go so far as to say that this winning of the world implies the complete elimination of evil from it may be more doubtful. . . . Perhaps it may be affirmed that what is thus true of each individual must be true of the congeries of these individuals which we call the world. Perhaps it may be maintained on such grounds as these that as the perfecting of the individual waits for the next life, so the perfecting of the world must wait until the conquest is over — the last assize is held — and the New Jerusalem descends from heaven. . . . There is a ‘golden age’ before the Church — at least an age relatively golden gradually ripening to higher and higher glories as the Church more and more fully conquers the world and all the evil of the world; and ultimately an age absolutely golden when the perfected Church is filled with the glory of the Lord in the new earth and under the new heavens.”

This is only one quotation, but it is a powerful one that clearly presents his postmillennial optimism.

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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 80 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.

One response to WARFIELD: POSTMILLENNIALIST

  1. Charles E. Miller, BA, MAR January 7, 2014 at 6:30

    I must say that I like the Postmillennialism of Warfield. He was a brilliant scholar and man of God. We need more like him.

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