Postmillennialism: Introduction by Loraine Boettner

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Loraine Boettner
Broadly speaking there are three general systems which profess to set forth the teaching of Scripture regarding the Second Coming of Christ and the future course of the Kingdom. They are: Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, and Premillennialism.

The essential presuppositions of the three systems are similar. Each holds that the Scriptures are the word of God and authoritative. Each holds to the same general concept of the death of Christ as a sacrifice to satisfy Divine justice and as the only ground for the salvation of souls. Each holds that there will be a future, visible, personal Coming of Christ. Each holds that every individual is to receive a resurrection body, that all are to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that the righteous are to be rewarded in heaven, and that the wicked are to be punished in hell. Each of the systems is, therefore, consistently evangelical, and each has been held by many able and sincere men. The differences arise, not because of any conscious or intended disloyalty to Scripture, but primarily because of the distinctive method employed by each system in its interpretation of Scripture, and they relate primarily to the time and purpose of Christ’s coming and to the kind of kingdom that is to be set up at His coming.

It should be helpful at the beginning of this study to define each of the systems as clearly as possible. Exact definitions cannot be given since numerous variations are found within each system. However, we submit the following as essentially correct. The first is our own. The latter three, including that of Dispensationalism, which is a radical form of Premillennialism, are given by Dr. J. G. Vos, a recent writer and son of Dr. Geerhardus Vos who for many years was a professor in Princeton Theological Seminary. These definitions are presented as the most accurate and comprehensive that we have found.

POSTMILLENNIALISM

Postmillennialism is that view of the last things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the saving work of the Holy Spirit, that the world eventually will be Christianized, and that the return of Christ will occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the Millennium.

This view is, of course, to be distinguished from that optimistic but false view of human betterment and progress held by Modernists and Liberals which teaches that the Kingdom of God on earth will be achieved through a natural process by which mankind will be improved and social institutions will be reformed and brought to a higher level of culture and efficiency. This latter view presents a spurious or pseudo Postmillennialism, and regards the Kingdom of God as the product of natural laws in an evolutionary process, whereas orthodox Postmillennialism regards the Kingdom of God as the product of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in connection with the preaching of the Gospel.

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