In this series we are discussing this simple question:
Are current events or the Bible driving my theology?
I am calling it Reactionary Theology when we let current events drive our theology. I want to look specifically at the affect of current events on our Eschatology. We will glance over each view and discuss its potential danger for reactionary theology and the reactionary theology contained within its history. In this post we will talk about Postmillennialism. It is not very popular, but it was about 100 years ago. Why?
Postmillennialism is very unpopular today, but gained much popularity coming out of the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s. It basically says that Jesus will return after (post) the millennium. The Millennium will be a time that the world will get better and better until everyone follows God and has what they need. Once that happens Jesus will return.
Postmillennialism is a utopian understanding of the world and was very popular during the Industrial Revolution. Could this have been because people saw the potential allowed by new machinery and industry to provide everyone with basic necessities for a reasonable price? The Industrial Revolution also created opportunity to travel via cars, trains, or airplanes all over the world to share the Gospel with people who hadn’t heard it before. It seems that this view was heavily influenced by events of the time and if there is any doubt about it then we should ask why it suddenly faded away after the World Wars and Depression.
This view lends itself heavily to Reactionary Theology because it sees the world improving until Jesus returns. It generally holds that the Millennium is a literal 1,000 years so the big questions are whether or not that time has started and where within it we are right now. The only way to answer those questions is to impose current events into the prophecy of Scripture.