Postmillennialism and the Law

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pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
I very much lean toward a postmillennial view of eschatology, however I just can't swallow the theonomic or Covenanter views of the law and its place in the millennium. I hold to the usual Reformed view of the threefold division of the law, with only the moral law being binding. I also definitely believe that the millennium will be ushered in by the preaching of the gospel not through cultural transformation or the influence of the law on politics.

I am unable to find much online about non-theonomic postmillennialism and have at least found some evidence that older postmils held similar beliefs to mine ("pietistic postmillennialism?"). I was wondering if anyone has some resources that are based on a non-theonomic view of postmillennialism and possibly book recommendations. Also, any authors or theologians who held this view would be helpful. Thanks!
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Patrick,
Don't be too quick to lump the Covenanters and the Reconstructionists together. The Recons do this themselves, but I suspect that it had much more to do with finding historic precedent for their views than with real agreement. The Covenanters embraced the whole doctrine of the WCF, including the threefold division of the law, and the passing away of the judicial law (except insofar as the general equity thereof may require).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
There is no one brand of postmil. I can identify roughly three:

Pietistic postmil: Jonathan Edwards and some Southern Presbyterians
Theonomic postmil: Gary North
Covenanter postmil: strong Reformed pedigree.

So no, there isn't one single brand of postmillennialism and there is no reason why theonomy would be in place in the millennium. On the flip side, the regenerate would want to live under God's commands, so that really won't be a problem.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
There is no one brand of postmil. I can identify roughly three:

Pietistic postmil: Jonathan Edwards and some Southern Presbyterians
Theonomic postmil: Gary North
Covenanter postmil: strong Reformed pedigree.

So no, there isn't one single brand of postmillennialism and there is no reason why theonomy would be in place in the millennium. On the flip side, the regenerate would want to live under God's commands, so that really won't be a problem.
Would there be any of the so called Kingdom Now in those listings? As when in Pentecostal circles, that was a vocal group that was big time pushing for the church converting and reclaiming the culture for Jesus, as Jesus was just waiting on us to take over before He could come back.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Would there be any of the so called Kingdom Now in those listings? As when in Pentecostal circles, that was a vocal group that was big time pushing for the church converting and reclaiming the culture for Jesus, as Jesus was just waiting on us to take over before He could come back.

Given that all three groups mentioned above hold to a strong Reformed soteriology, I doubt they think Jesus is just waiting on us to act before he can do anything.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Given that all three groups mentioned above hold to a strong Reformed soteriology, I doubt they think Jesus is just waiting on us to act before he can do anything.
Not so much that the Kingdom Now teaches that Jesus cannot act, they do see Him acting through His church here to affect/transform and convert culture over to Him, so that he can then return to what was set up for Him. They seem to add Pentecostal power by signs and wonders to reconstructionism, and that becomes now Dominion theology. Strange bedfellows.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Not so much that the Kingdom Now teaches that Jesus cannot act, they do see Him acting through His church here to affect/transform and convert culture over to Him, so that he can then return to what was set up for Him. They seem to add Pentecostal power by signs and wonders to reconstructionism, and that becomes now Dominion theology. Strange bedfellows.

Well, that's not Reformed postmillennialism. I see the gospel triumping in history and the Jews being brought in, and I believe that a larger Christian population would want to see God's statutes, applied in the proper sense.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, that's not Reformed postmillennialism. I see the gospel triumping in history and the Jews being brought in, and I believe that a larger Christian population would want to see God's statutes, applied in the proper sense.
The Sermon on the Mount gives to us a picture of how we ought to live in the Kingdom, but we will need to be glorified in order to have that fully applied.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The Sermon on the Mount gives to us a picture of how we ought to live in the Kingdom, but we will need to be glorified in order to have that fully applied.

What does that have to do with the gospel triumphing through the Sword of the Word and the in-calling of the Jews?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Patrick Fairbairn, one of the great biblical theologians, from the old pre-1900 Free Church of Scotland, was postmil. See his "The Interpretation of Prophecy". But he wasn't theonomic. See his "Revelation of Law in Scripture".

Also see "The Puritan Hope" by Iain Murray.

Also see "The Restoration of Israel" by Errol Hulse where he lists a lot of postmils, few if any who were theonomic.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Restoration-Israel-Erroll-Hulse/dp/0854790004
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
What does that have to do with the gospel triumphing through the Sword of the Word and the in-calling of the Jews?
My point was that the postmil viewpoint seems to be requiring for those who are saved under the gospel to be able to live as Jesus outlined to us in the Sermon, and to do that perfectly, would require us to be in our glorified states.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
My point was that the postmil viewpoint seems to be requiring for those who are saved under the gospel to be able to live as Jesus outlined to us in the Sermon, and to do that perfectly, would require us to be in our glorified states.

Fair enough, I'm just not sure how that is relevant to the post. I'm not in my glorified state now, yet I presume I am supposed to live out hte sermon on the mount.
 

Doulos McKenzie

Puritan Board Freshman
My point was that the postmil viewpoint seems to be requiring for those who are saved under the gospel to be able to live as Jesus outlined to us in the Sermon, and to do that perfectly, would require us to be in our glorified states.

If you are assuming a dispensational interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. I think by the points you make and by the questions you ask, it is more than apparent that you are more of a Progressive Dispensationalist than Reformed Baptist.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If you are assuming a dispensational interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. I think by the points you make and by the questions you ask, it is more than apparent that you are more of a Progressive Dispensationalist than Reformed Baptist.
No, for I am just suggesting that the Lord Jesus was telling us just how demanding the Law is in having its condition really met, and so we need to fully trust in Him to save us, and not trust in us keeping the law in order to be saved.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
No, for I am just suggesting that the Lord Jesus was telling us just how demanding the Law is in having its condition really met, and so we need to fully trust in Him to save us, and not trust in us keeping the law in order to be saved.

No one is arguing that we should keep the law to be saved. Theonomists are very clear on that.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
My point was that the postmil viewpoint seems to be requiring for those who are saved under the gospel to be able to live as Jesus outlined to us in the Sermon, and to do that perfectly, would require us to be in our glorified states.
No, for I am just suggesting that the Lord Jesus was telling us just how demanding the Law is in having its condition really met, and so we need to fully trust in Him to save us, and not trust in us keeping the law in order to be saved.
David,
What postmillennialist have you read that said either (a) that Christians can keep the law perfectly, or, (b) that we can be saved by keeping the law?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David,
What postmillennialist have you read that said either (a) that Christians can keep the law perfectly, or, (b) that we can be saved by keeping the law?
none of them would state that, as far as I know, but my point would be that how would we be able to transform society and culture apart from Jesus ushering the Kingdom in himself?
I think that I am getting confused over those who try to reconstruct society for God , causing a cultural take over, and those who want to have us put back under the law of God directly as Israel was, and those that want Kingdom now dominion?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
They do wish to impose the law that was given to Israel upon governments though, correct?

Not all of it. And "impose" has negative connotations. But in any case, all law, if it has any kind of penal sanction, is be definition "imposed" law.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Not all of it. And "impose" has negative connotations. But in any case, all law, if it has any kind of penal sanction, is be definition "imposed" law.
Would those advocating to be back and governed under the OT law agree to having those such as homosexuals, adulterers, and other religions stoned then?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Would those advocating to be back and governed under the OT law agree to having those such as homosexuals, adulterers, and other religions stoned then?

Stoning can be an application of general equity. Most theocrats hold that capital punishment is the maximum allowable penalty.

Those of other religions wouldn't be executed. The Law understood that foreigners would come to Israel, but it didn't say kill them. It's only a capital crime when false religions, like Satanism in the Oklahoma City courthouse, are practiced.

But is execution unjust in those cases?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Stoning can be an application of general equity. Most theocrats hold that capital punishment is the maximum allowable penalty.

Those of other religions wouldn't be executed. The Law understood that foreigners would come to Israel, but it didn't say kill them. It's only a capital crime when false religions, like Satanism in the Oklahoma City courthouse, are practiced.

But is execution unjust in those cases?
I think that the Law was in operation for national Israel, as their nation was really under the government of God through the King, but no other nation was ever placed under that same circumstance. This will not work under our system of government, or anyone else, as under the new Covenant era since Calvary, there is no more direct governing under OT Law going on. I think John Calvin tried to do that in his New geneva, but was a failed attempt.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I think that the Law was in operation for national Israel, as their nation was really under the government of God through the King, but no other nation was ever placed under that same circumstance.

The law as a body politic has expired. The general equity of the moral case laws is still binding.
I think John Calvin tried to do that in his New geneva, but was a failed attempt.

That's not true.
 

Doulos McKenzie

Puritan Board Freshman
I think that the Law was in operation for national Israel, as their nation was really under the government of God through the King, but no other nation was ever placed under that same circumstance. This will not work under our system of government, or anyone else, as under the new Covenant era since Calvary, there is no more direct governing under OT Law going on. I think John Calvin tried to do that in his New geneva, but was a failed attempt.

You say "I think" but you never back up your claims with scripture.
 

Edm

Puritan Board Freshman
God doesn't change His mind. His law is just. So if his Civil law was just before why is it not just now?
 

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no one brand of postmil. I can identify roughly three:

Pietistic postmil: Jonathan Edwards and some Southern Presbyterians
Theonomic postmil: Gary North
Covenanter postmil: strong Reformed pedigree.

So no, there isn't one single brand of postmillennialism and there is no reason why theonomy would be in place in the millennium. On the flip side, the regenerate would want to live under God's commands, so that really won't be a problem.

Any idea where I can find resources on Pietistic Postmillennialism? Can't find much online.
 

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
Patrick,
Don't be too quick to lump the Covenanters and the Reconstructionists together. The Recons do this themselves, but I suspect that it had much more to do with finding historic precedent for their views than with real agreement. The Covenanters embraced the whole doctrine of the WCF, including the threefold division of the law, and the passing away of the judicial law (except insofar as the general equity thereof may require).

Thanks for the information. Do you know where I could go to learn about the basics of the Covenanters, especially in contrast to Theonomy?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
God doesn't change His mind. His law is just. So if his Civil law was just before why is it not just now?
The Law as a way to govern was just given to Israel, as that was under the economy of the Old Covenant, and that is not a Dispensational view, as the Law as to its moral aspect is indeed still binding on us, but the civil and ceremonial aspects was just intended to be used in Israel of that time.
 
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