Thursday, 21 January 2016

Postmillennialism Today: Postmillennial Beginnings

Postmillennialism Today: Postmillennial Beginnings

"This is my second installment on the question about the origins of postmillennialism. Many dispensationalists dismiss postmillennialism as a modern novelty. In my last article I pointed out that all eschatological development is only gradually understood over time. In this article I will show the seed beginnings of postmillennialism in antiquity.

As far as our preserved writings go, premillennialism finds slightly earlier development (especially in Irenaeus, A.D. 130-202). Yet theologian Donald G. Bloesch notes that “postmillennialism was already anticipated in the church father Eusebius of Caesarea” (A.D. 260-340) (Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979], 2:192). Renowned historian Philip Schaff traces it back even farther, observing that Origen (A.D. 185-254) “expected that Christianity, by continual growth, would gain the dominion over the world.” (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 5th ed. [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, rep. 1910], 2:591, cp. 122. )"

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