Friday, March 07, 2003

Why the postmillennial binge?

No heavyweight content today—substantive posts should resume Monday.

I wanted to let you know why I am posting on postmillennialism. My pastor has tentatively agreed to let me teach an adult Sunday school class next fall on the four major eschatological views, so I am using you as guinea pigs, just as I did last fall when I taught on God’s Sovereignty. That worked out really well, as I would take my posts, weigh the comments that had been posted, and refine the content for my class notes. Preparation was still a bear, but not nearly as onerous as it could have been.

This means that after I am done with postmillennialism, I will probably start posting on the other viewpoints.

This should be interesting, even though I vowed never to teach and end-times class. Fortunately that vow was made to myself and not to God. When I taught on Sovereignty I spent a great deal of time on Calvinism vs. Arminianism. I would guess that our church is about 70% Arminian and 30% Reformed/Calvinistic, so it made for a really fun and interactive Sunday school class. A few were annoyed enough to stay away, but most just came with questions and we challenged (graciously, I hope) one another. Regardless of whether the students agreed with me, I think the class caused them to look into the Word, if only to bolster their arguments against my position, and that has to be a good thing.

Our wonderful pastor has a Reformed viewpoint, which helped to diffuse the "shock" of my position. However, things will be different in the eschatology class. I suspect that there is almost uniformly a premill-pretrib viewpoint, including the pastor and elders. My own viewpoint has varied. When I first became a Christian I was premill. When I first studied eschatology, I was confused but mostly identified myself as in the amillennial camp. Now I finally sense my position solidifying in the postmillennial camp (with partial preterist leanings.)

So I am going to be in a more extreme position than when I taught the Sovereignty class. On the other hand, people are not as passionate about eschatology as they are about the Calvinsm-Arminianism debate.

Oh, did I mention that my Sovereignty class was extended and I discussed science and Christianity. There I held another minority position, namely that the earth and universe are old. It some ways it is amazing that they haven't excommunicated me yet, let alone seem willing to let me teach again.

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