Postmillenialists and Isaiah

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Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm in a small Reformed church of about 15 people. The Pastor and 3 men of the congregation including myself often talk about eschatology.
The pastor is postmill, the two guys are premill and I'm leaning towards Amill.
Our Pastor is quite strong in his postmill and a few people have been annoyed at him preaching and teaching from a postmill viewpoint. He's preaching through Revelation and spoke on chapter 13 today.
He's starting Isaiah at bible study and I can't help but think he'll push a postmill viewpoint. I know he has books by Rushdoony.
Are there any lists of scripture references that I could bring up to challenge or discuss with him and the other two men on postmill and premill. Or even a comparison chart of how the three views differ?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The Bible and the Future by Anthony Hoekema or anything by Kim Riddlebarger would be a good place to start.
I am not sure how you could make them
change their paradigms if that is your aim since it comes down to their presuppositions. Such interpretations become unfalsifible when anything viewed as unfulfilled or a hard saying can just be tossed into a heap for the future.
 

Wonderkins

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm in a small Reformed church of about 15 people. The Pastor and 3 men of the congregation including myself often talk about eschatology.
The pastor is postmill, the two guys are premill and I'm leaning towards Amill.
Our Pastor is quite strong in his postmill and a few people have been annoyed at him preaching and teaching from a postmill viewpoint. He's preaching through Revelation and spoke on chapter 13 today.
He's starting Isaiah at bible study and I can't help but think he'll push a postmill viewpoint. I know he has books by Rushdoony.
Are there any lists of scripture references that I could bring up to challenge or discuss with him and the other two men on postmill and premill. Or even a comparison chart of how the three views differ?
It sounds like he hasn't even started the study on Isaiah yet? Why plan ahead how you can challenge him? Why not hear him out first and then see if it's true? Do you know Isaiah well enough to know he'll be wrong? Seems like an ambush to me.

Reading Isaiah before the study begins or as it moves along might be your best move.
 
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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
A more popular level read would also be "the end times according to Jesus" by rc Sproul. There is a chapter that gives a quick overview of all 3 views.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Postmil is correct. And you shouldn’t be challenging your pastor. He’s ordained of God. You should be humbly submitting to his teaching…with discernment.
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
No he starts the study Tuesday evening. I won't ambush him. I respect him as a called by God devoted minister of The Word. I just think it's healthy to be able to respond to an interpretation of Revelation that not everyone agrees with and that's not definitely certain.
I will look up RC's book because I could do with a simple book like that. Thanks
 

Wonderkins

Puritan Board Freshman
No he starts the study Tuesday evening. I won't ambush him. I respect him as a called by God devoted minister of The Word. I just think it's healthy to be able to respond to an interpretation of Revelation that not everyone agrees with and that's not definitely certain.
I will look up RC's book because I could do with a simple book like that. Thanks
I thought you were talking about the Isaiah study. I didn't realize it still involved revelation 13.
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
Postmil is correct. And you shouldn’t be challenging your pastor. He’s ordained of God. You should be humbly submitting to his teaching…with discernment.
I posted my last post before I'd read yours so now you know where I'm coming from better.
Your wrong in saying I shouldn't challenge a Pastor. Iron sharpens iron. Yes a Pastor is called by God and so is the congregation.
Your wrong to say so assuredly that postmill is correct.
As Lloyd Jones said, his view could be wrong as more saintly, Godly men than him had different views.
I say this with respect.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
While I agree that there are times when pastors ought to be challenged, in a small Reformed church of about fifteen people in a society that is as godless as the UK, this issue is really not a hill on which to die. If you do have to disagree with your pastor, respectfully agree to differ with him on this one.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
Postmil is correct. And you shouldn’t be challenging your pastor. He’s ordained of God. You should be humbly submitting to his teaching…with discernment.
And a faithful pastor should call on his congregation to be Bereans, not just submit to whatever he teaches.

And while I disagree about postmil, it sounds like this pastor might be a Reconstruction/preterist postmil, which most of our reformed forebears would disagree with.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
My dear hub was amil for almost 40 years of marriage until he read all the major postmils and went postmil. It was a real blow, lol. I argued a lot for two years; he is a patient man.

He vacillates and sometimes says he is still quasi amil. I finally listened to Bahnsen and realized how sensible and biblical these post mils are ( although I remain amil) . You do realize the Puritans were Post Mil, right?

When it comes to eschatology, I don't think anything is more annoying than die hard Dispensationalists waiting for the rapture and focusing on geographic Israel. Thank God you don't have that in your debates. Bahnsen really nails it when he talks about the modern church and "newspaper theology" based not on scripture but on the news. A lot of older post mils after WW1 drifted, not from scriptural conviction but from looking at this evil world.

I think you are starting out wrong to want to discuss and challenge a view that you haven't read original sources for, that has been part of the Reformed tradition for centuries. John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, Hodge, Warfield. If you actually read and listen to some good post mil you might relax about this, even if you don't adopt the view. If you listen to sermons while driving you could try Bahnsen.

The fact is there are problems with every view- verses that don't fit, scripture that seems to say otherwise. I remain amil because I believe Jesus bound Satan/ the strong man 2000 years ago, but even so I can understand some of the criticisms.

Maybe the pastor has a real problem grasping that other views have some merit, in which case he'll be the same on other subjects too, and it'll be a continual problem. Maybe what is bothering you so much is not actually his post mil, but a rigid approach to debatable doctrine in general? I've no idea and don't want to jump to any conclusion. May God grant you wisdom.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
A robust eschatology is derived from a continuous, thorough reading of the scriptures and a life-long contemplation of the history of redemption. Eschatology is likely the worst branch of theology to approach with a list of verses to "prove" your point.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
And a faithful pastor should call on his congregation to be Bereans, not just submit to whatever he teaches.

And while I disagree about postmil, it sounds like this pastor might be a Reconstruction/preterist postmil, which most of our reformed forebears would disagree with.
I want to add, though, that I am not advocating you “challenge” your pastor. I will echo what others have said: 1) this is not a hill to die on, 2) postmillennialism broadly speaking has a strong reformed pedigree, and 3) any questioning should be done with much humility and a posture of learning and understanding.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
And a faithful pastor should call on his congregation to be Bereans, not just submit to whatever he teaches.

And while I disagree about postmil, it sounds like this pastor might be a Reconstruction/preterist postmil, which most of our reformed forebears would disagree with.
Hence, the word I used…discernment.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Hence, the word I used…discernment.
Discernment sometimes requires challenging. For example, if a pastor said we aren't doing church disciple anymore, what is your option if you cannot challenge him? Just leave the church? If it is done in respect and love, it should be fine. The Bible calls us to correct each other in love if needed.
 

Polanus1561

Puritan Board Junior
Discernment sometimes requires challenging. For example, if a pastor said we aren't doing church disciple anymore, what is your option if you cannot challenge him? Just leave the church? If it is done in respect and love, it should be fine. The Bible calls us to correct each other in love if needed.
Where are the elders in your example?
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
I appreciate all the responses and they've all been helpful. Thanks.
If anything I've tried to be a peacemaker. One premill chap who recently came to faith and I think gives to much attention to conspiracy videos ect said he was ready to get up and walk out during a sermon. I encouraged him not to and explained that we can use our different viewpoints on this subject to our advantage and God's glory rather than fall out and leave churches.
I will choose the right time to gently try and help the Pastor be wise and sensible about it.
Another concern is the Rushdoony and reconstructionist influence on our Pastor.
He has said to me something along the lines of all the areas of society should obey God's law and submit to His rule.
I responded that Christians can't force non Christians to live like Christians or bow to a God they don't believe in or don't want. Besides the fact they are spiritually blind and dead.
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
Just like to add I read all posts thoughtfully.
And I do have sympathy for my Pastor and appreciate he is called by God and that it certainly can't be easy being a Pastor.
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
He has said to me something along the lines of all the areas of society should obey God's law and submit to His rule.
That isn't the part of recon that is wrong. That is the clear testimony of scripture echoed by the entire reformed tradition.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Where are the elders in your example?
I agree that you would hope they would be the first line of defense. Some churches only have 1 elder though in addition to the pastor and there are situations where they will go along with the pastor because he is a strong personality. You could also go to the presbytery, but that would still be challenging the pastor. Going to the elders (if they didn't do anything on their own) would still be challenging to pastor.

My original post was also preached from the pulpit as the pastor does not think anyone if above error and all Christians have some level of responsibility in maintaining the integrity of the church. This does not mean there are not proper channels and a progression of steps to take though. As a lay-person, you don't want to fall into the ditch one the other side and become a trouble maker and start calling out every little thing, all the time.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I probably wouldn't fight it. I personally believe postmil is in error, yet I grant that it is a historically recognized position (partial preterist postmil is not). One of my pastors is probably postmil, yet it's not the biggest issue in our church.

Unless he is promoting the wackier forms of Christian Recon, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

Barney

Puritan Board Freshman
That isn't the part of recon that is wrong. That is the clear testimony of scripture echoed by the entire reformed tradition.
Ok. I trust you are right. Thanks.
I would hope I'm teachable.
Please can you expand on what is wrong with recon? And Van Till/Rushdoony?
The confusion I have is I get the impression some reconstructionists and possibly some postmillenialists believe that the Church should and can dominate, for want of a better word, the government, education, law, ect.
Is that in line with Reformed beliefs?
I'm not sure how they think this can happen.
Do they believe the church should be stronger? More militant?
In the UK church attendance has dwindled and buildings have been demolished to make way for housing and shops. So save for a revival I don't understand how the situation is going to reverse?
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Ok. I trust you are right. Thanks.
I would hope I'm teachable.
Please can you expand on what is wrong with recon? And Van Till/Rushdoony?
The confusion I have is I get the impression some reconstructionists and possibly some postmillenialists believe that the Church should and can dominate, for want of a better word, the government, education, law, ect.
Is that in line with Reformed beliefs?
I'm not sure how they think this can happen.
Do they believe the church should be stronger? More militant?
In the UK church attendance has dwindled and buildings have been demolished to make way for housing and shops. So save for a revival I don't understand how the situation is going to reverse?
I understand now why you feel so strongly against postmil! I hope you get some helpful replies and pointers to good resources on biblical postmillenialism.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm in a small Reformed church of about 15 people. The Pastor and 3 men of the congregation including myself often talk about eschatology.
The pastor is postmill, the two guys are premill and I'm leaning towards Amill.
Our Pastor is quite strong in his postmill and a few people have been annoyed at him preaching and teaching from a postmill viewpoint. He's preaching through Revelation and spoke on chapter 13 today.
He's starting Isaiah at bible study and I can't help but think he'll push a postmill viewpoint. I know he has books by Rushdoony.
Are there any lists of scripture references that I could bring up to challenge or discuss with him and the other two men on postmill and premill. Or even a comparison chart of how the three views differ?
Hi- I was going through a stack of papers cleaning up around here, and saw one that made me think of you. Martin Selbrede writes for Chalcedon; he is a Rushdoony fan. Anyway, it has lots of reference to Isaiah. I would think your pastor must subscribe to Chalcedon, and I'd bet he is using this as one of his references. I can't say I'm post mil, but I really like Selbrede and many of the Chalcedon articles. You can use this to prepare yourself, lol.

 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I appreciate all the responses and they've all been helpful. Thanks.
If anything I've tried to be a peacemaker. One premill chap who recently came to faith and I think gives to much attention to conspiracy videos ect said he was ready to get up and walk out during a sermon. I encouraged him not to and explained that we can use our different viewpoints on this subject to our advantage and God's glory rather than fall out and leave churches.
I will choose the right time to gently try and help the Pastor be wise and sensible about it.
Another concern is the Rushdoony and reconstructionist influence on our Pastor.
He has said to me something along the lines of all the areas of society should obey God's law and submit to His rule.
I responded that Christians can't force non Christians to live like Christians or bow to a God they don't believe in or don't want. Besides the fact they are spiritually blind and dead.
Reconstructionism/Rushdoony would not require people bow to a God they don't believe in. Reconstructionism/Rushdoony upholds the civil and moral law as good for all men, Christian or not. For example, "Thou shalt not murder," that is a commandment we should all keep whether we are atheist, Hindu or Reformed.
 
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