Week 17 in the year of our Lord 2022

Eschatology has implications

8 minutes to read

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Passion and theology may sound odd put into the same sentence. But…if theology does not lead to passion about and for God it is useless. —J.I. Packer

Theonomic post-millennials get a lot of grief from other Christians. But it’s worth considering that liberals, too, are theonomic and post-millennial.

  • They have every intent to legislate the law of their false gods;
  • They truly believe in establishing their false kingdom over all spheres of life.

Moreover, they are good at this stuff. They aggressively pursue real-world action that reflects their beliefs.

Meanwhile, most Christians are content to consume a slightly cleaner version of the culture being produced by the liberals.

This is why we are losing the “culture war.”

We consume, but we don’t produce.

If it is true that out of the heart, the mouth speaks, how much more, out of the heart, the body acts. What do our actions say, then, about our heart beliefs?

Theology has consequences for practice. But practice also has consequences for theology. When a nation of professed Christians are largely engaged in consuming and defending paganism against those who would see Christ’s kingdom replace it in the public square…it is reasonable to make some inferences about what they truly belief, and where their loyalties really lie.

We don’t often talk about eschatology, but this is a good opportunity.

You may have noticed that post-mil Christians relate dominion to eschatology. But we have a lot of readers who are pre-mil (or just a-mil) and don’t understand why. What’s the connection between the kind of dominion we talk about, and post-millennialism? After all, our pre-mil readers also believe that productive dominion is their duty.

First, a very quick primer on definitions.

  • Post-millennial = Christ will return after the millennium, once He has worked through his body, the Church, to make every earthly enemy a footstool, so that His kingdom puts an end to all others. Modern post-millennialism takes the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 as a symbolic number indicating the church age we are currently living in.
  • Pre-millennial = Christ will return before the millennium, in order to personally make every earthly enemy a footstool, and establish His kingdom over the earth. Usually the 1,000 years are considered the literal length of His reign on earth before His final war with Satan, and the last judgment.

The reason that post-mil theology produces the bulk of ministries like ours is that pre-mil eschatology rubs against the grain of a dominion mindset. It is essentially a theology of defeat for the Church: it that says that the task given to Adam and republished by Christ of expanding God’s rule into the world is going to fail so hard that Jesus will have to come down here to rescue us and do it Himself.

Put another way, Christ will not succeed in fulfilling the Great Commission through His body on earth. The nations will not be discipled. The gates of Hades will prevail against us. Our prayer that His kingdom come on earth, as in heaven, is essentially in vain, since that isn’t going to happen through our work; our dominion is going to fail, and only the direct intervention of Christ Himself, at an hour no one knows, will achieve it.

This being the case, you can understand why many pre-mil Christians see no point in trying to exercise dominion, and instead just keep their heads down and hope for Jesus to rapture them outta here. You can understand why this view doesn’t naturally lead to ministries that focus on expanding God’s rule into the world, with a positive and optimistic view of eventual success.

Eschatology is just a fancy way of talking about what Christ is going to do in the world through His gospel, His Spirit, and His Church. It is about the telos of the gospel. What does the gospel do? Does it actually end up transforming the world in the same way that it transforms individuals? Is it powerful to fulfill and achieve our Great Commission of discipling nations as much as persons? Does sanctification happen to peoples as well as to people? Is Christ reigning in heaven—and if so, will he really reign until all of his enemies are made a footstool for his feet, returning only when it is time to defeat the final enemy, death, by resurrecting the dead (1 Cor 15)?

Post-millennialism believes that God gave us an achievable task in exercising dominion on his behalf, and that He will help us to achieve it through His Spirit. While we love our pre-mil brothers, and we’re glad to have them fighting alongside us, we really do find the implications of their eschatology disturbing—and their fighting spirit confusing in light of those implications.

You don’t have to be convinced of post-millennialism to benefit from our work, nor to work with us—but this might help you understand where we’re coming from.

A few helpful resources:

A few other things to consider:

Even if you think we’re supposed to lose the culture war, do you think you are supposed to lose the culture war in your own home, with your own children?

Or how about in your church? Is your pastor supposed to lose the culture war in his own church?

What about Christian business owners? Should they lose the culture war in the businesses they run?

Work out the implications for yourself. You can see both the problems and benefits of your particular theology when you scale it down to a personal, household, and vocational level.

Control the controllables

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Here are a few choice quotes to whet your appetite:

Nothing can multiply a man’s mission like a good wife. And nothing consume it like a bad one.

You cannot build a household without a good woman at your side.

Sex is the most powerful and constant drive in our lives precisely because it is engineered to propel us toward the most valuable and worthwhile blessing for our mission: a woman, a helpmeet, a marriage.

Since a wife is a complement to your mission, she cannot be the mission itself. A wife is not your mission, but a support to it.

Men should generally have a mission before they seek a wife to magnify it. A woman will generally desire a man who is already on a mission—a man who can carry her along because he is already going somewhere.

It is good to be a husband. But it is good to be a man first. Chase excellence, not women.

You will have far better odds of attracting a good wife if you have first taken time to develop yourself into the kind of man that every good Christian woman wants.

Any man can get a woman. But if you want a Proverbs 31 woman, you are going to have to work a lot harder on yourself.

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Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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