Pragmatic Objections

From He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry

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The average evangelical Christian is more likely to respond to postmillennialism with pragmatic objections than with either theological or biblical objections. After all, we live in a highly pragmatic age. What dispensational author Thomas Ice has said of premillennialists is also true of amillennialists: “Premillennialists have always been involved in the present world. And basically, they have picked up on the ethical positions of their contemporaries.”[1] But when these pragmatic objections are carefully considered in terms of what the Bible says and what postmillennialists say, they quickly fade away. These objections are rooted in either a misunderstanding of the postmillennial system itself or a misreading of the historical evidence. When postmillennialism is analyzed in terms of its systemic unity and its insistence on the long-term glory of God’s work of salvation in history, it should at least be appreciated as a valid eschatological option. But it is more than that. As I have been arguing throughout this book, postmillennialism is the eschatology of Scripture.

[1] Comment during a 1988 debate: Gary North and Gary DeMar vs. Thomas Ice and Dave Hunt. Quoted by DeMar, Debate Over Christian Reconstruction, p. 185.

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Gentry, being hardcore, has chapters addressing theological and biblical objections to postmillenialism, as well as pragmatic views.

Being rather more pragmatic and Darwinian comfortable with Natural Selection, I am not as hardcore as he is.

I just want to

  • Win, and
  • have a stable, predictable legal system

“Well, if you wanted to win, why not side with the successful and powerful?”

“I prefer to win than lose. But I’d rather lose than become as morally repulsive and ethically diseased as Our Masters are.”

“So, not so pragmatic after all. Maybe God can still find a place to put you to work then.”

“I pray so!”

And there are several pragmatic reasons to support Postmillennialism — and especially the glorious postmil/theonomic combo — in comparison to premillenialism and amillennialism.

FIRST, Premil and Amil positions are pragmatically proven losers.

  • The Rapture will save us! – Premil
  • Evil will usually win, and Good will usually lose – Amil

The Rapture isn’t going to happen – how escapist can you get? – and having such confidence in the triumph of Satan in the real world stinks of defeatism and faithlessness at best, and raw treason at worst.

A refusal to commit to victory, to have faith in Christ’s Kingship, Authority and Power today merely condemns us to being just another faithless generation, to die in the wilderness. And some other generation — Mexicans in the 2050s? The Chinese of 2030? Africans in the 2070s? Arabians in 2100? — being the tool willing to be infused with the Holy Spirit, and drive forward the Kingdom of God to new heights.

That could be us, today – yes, TODAY! — instead of them, in some future point in time.

SECOND, after gaining the first level of victory, you need to know what to do with it.

Q: How do you disciple the nations – the government and the culture, as well as the people?
A: You teach them to follow the laws, commandments, and direction of their King, Jesus.

Q: And how do you know what He wants?
A: By the laws He laid down, in the Old and New Testaments.

There was a brief, flawed welcoming of God’s Will in Puritan New England and – even more imperfectly – in Cromwell’s England. Which lasted just long enough for God’s financial blessings to kick in, and then the Puritans in both nations dumped the Commandments as fast as they could, while still keeping the money and a sense of moral superiority (equals “self-confidence and the right to rule”) over outsiders.

From Calvinists, to Armenians, to Unitarians, to Progressives.
“So long as the money and the power and the control stays with us, The Right Sort.”)

Ever since the fall of the English Protectorate and the Restoration in 1660, Christian intellectuals, theologians and leaders have been fleeing the commandments of God…

…and losing, and losing, and losing. Just as God promised.

I don’t like being cursed.

I prefer to be blessed.

I prefer to win, and win, and win, filled with the Holy Spirit – and thus, with the ability to obey the commandments placed in my heart.

And reap the rewards of obedience to Christ, in time and on earth.

As well as in eternity.

THIRD: Only armies that have the goal of victory has a chance of victory.

“There is no substitute for victory” a famous soldier once said.

And the preachers for the last two hundred years (three hundred?) have been pushing pie-in-the-sky victory, instead of on-this-earth-over-time victory.

One kind of victory – the kind beloved of lazy servants – just involves hopes and dreams.

The other kind of victory makes hopes real, and bring dreams into this world, where we can see and touch them.

Christ’s Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Right into the face of wealthy, powerful, well-spoken, and intensely anti-Christian men. However pious or secular, regardless of their business, intelletual or religious attire.

If God’s people are going to win, we will have to assume that God is greater than Satan, and that Christ rules and will expand His Kingdom in time and on earth, not just in some far away distant future.

I believe in the future. But to build a future worthy of fighting for, we need to work today, and tomorrow, and the day after, for years and centuries forward. For the entirety of our lives.

Why should God be satisfied with anything less?

That will take perseverance, commitment, self-sacrifice, and a refusal to yield to the satanists – in or out of the camp.

And there you have it: three pragmatic reasons for Christians to become postmillennial, theonomic Christian Reconstructionists.

There are others – becoming serious scholars, for example, or an increased willingness to take on the burden of local leadership, in your town or neighbourhood or church. Your ‘second best’ or ‘good enough’ level of effort no longer satisfies, not when excellence can be achieved… and you know God wants excellence.

With obedience in Christ and confidence in His victory, you’ll find additional reasons to be faithful to Him.

That’s how blessings work, after all!

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