By Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
Postmillennialism is an eschatology of The Book. Postmillennialism depends for its proof, not on newspaper reports, contemporary statistics, and psychological states, but upon on the Word of God. Elsewhere on this site I defend postmillennialism from within Scripture. Sadly too many will not listen to the postmillennial argument from Scripture, but will point to troubles in the world today to discount its hope-filled optimism. But we cannot discount God’s word.
God’s word is creative, providential, prophetic, and restorative. History truly genuinely “his story.” God creates the world and man for his own glory (Ro 11:36; Rev 4:11).
The Scriptures teach that God controls history by the exercise of his almighty wisdom and power. In fact, the whole idea of predictive prophecy depends on this view of history, in that for any prophesied events to occur requires that all preceding and concurrently related events throughout the world and history must fall into place according to plan. Almost always (Christ and John Baptist being notable exceptions) the individual involved in the fulfillment of prophecy is unaware that his free action is fulfilling God’s prophecy.
Our sovereign God’s word is creatively constructive. That is, it brings reality into existence (Ge 1; Heb 11:3) and it directs all historical processes (Isa 46:10; 55:11). This two-fold reality of the creative and providential word links the authority of God’s word into human experience. The psalmist notes that the word of the Lord both sovereignly makes and providentially governs the heavens and the earth (Ps 33:6–11). He also notes that it is his creative and sovereign word that reveals to man righteousness and justice: “For the word of the Lord is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice” (Ps 33:4–5a). God’s word/command is the standard of right and wrong obligations, as it was in the garden of Eden.
Even Adam’s unfallen nature was not an ultimate moral standard, but a derivative one. As Cornelius Van Til teaches, Adam was receptively reconstructive of God’s word, rather than creatively constructive. He was to think God’s thoughts after him on the creaturely level. Even in his unfallen state, he knew that he was created to live by supernatural, positive revelation, not by autonomous self-direction. The method by which Adam knows good and evil is by obedience to God’s revelatory word.
Thus, as evangelical Christians we must hold firmly to the truthfulness of God’s word. We need to be like the first grade girl dealing with her unbelieving teacher: The little girl was in art period drawing a picture of Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Her teacher looked at the drawing and said: “Jonah could not have been swallowed by a whale and lived, it would have killed him.” The little girl insisted he was swallowed by a whale because the Bible said so. But the teacher gently kept informing the little girl of her error. In exasperation the little girl finally complained: “When I get to heaven I am going to ask Jonah if he was swallowed by a whale.” The teacher responded: “What if Jonah didn’t go to heaven?” The little girl quickly replied: “Well then you can ask him.”