Thursday, 7 January 2016
God's Plan for Victory, by Rousas Rushdoony
Postmillennialism is the view that the thousand year reign of Christ in Revelation 20 is fulfilled before Christ's Second Coming. It sees a progressive establishment of the Kingdom of God over the world through the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the Church. Rushdoony advocates the Theonomic form of Postmillennialism, which adds to this Gospel optimist a belief that Biblical law is the blueprint for the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the world.
This is one of a number of Postmillennial books that I have been reading lately. I am attracted to Postmillennialism because of it's optimism. I am weary of the pessismistic tone of so many Christian bloggers who predict either World War Three, secular totalitarianism or the conquest of Europe by Islam. I see little faith in the power of the Gospel to win souls in the Christian blogsphere, particularly the High Church (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican) blogsphere.
Postmilliennialism is a Protestant theory, but I don't think it is contrary to Catholic teaching. One can find Postmillennial tendencies in Catholicism, such as predictions of an 'age of peace' following the conversion of Russia, according to Our Lady of Fatima and the concept of Christ's Social Kingship. Some Catholics dismiss Postmillennialism as a form of 'Millennarianism,' but it must be remembered that Augustinian Amillennialism is itself a form of Amillennialism. Most Postmillennialists agree with Amillennialists that the Kingdom of God came and began with the work and exaltation of Christ. Where they differ is in seeing a more concrete manifestation of that Kingdom on Earth prior to the Second Coming. I think a Catholic Postmillennialism would have a slightly different flavour to Protestant Postmillennialism. It would place a big emphasis on the Social Kingship of Christ, the heavenly rule and intercession of the saints and the role of Blessed Mary as Queen of the Universe.
Rushdoony's book is very short. It is not a theological treatise on Postmillennialism, but a sort of manifesto. It does not provide Scriptural argumentation for this position, but explains the implications of this theory for the Christian life and the role of Christians in society. It should be read alongside a more exegetical book on this subject, such as Keith Mathison's Postmillennialism.