Feb 1 2012
Question: I wonder why you mix amillennialism with reconstructionists? Reconstructionists are Postmillennial. It is the reconstructionist post mils who have the “golden age” ideas and who share the worldview of the dominionists. Amils share your view that in this evil age, evil men will wax worse and worse. We do believe that the gospel will advance, not as do the golden agers but after the pattern of our Lord: living by dying, being poor yet making many rich, winning by losing, etc. Anyway, a little more research is needed—I’ve noticed most pre-mils equate the two views (amil & postmil) and they are VERY far apart.
Response: Generally, “Amillennialism teaches that the thousand year reign of Christ in Revelation:20:1–6 is symbolic of the current church age, rather than a literal future 1000 year reign. It contends that the period described in Revelation 20 began at Christ’s resurrection and will continue until His Second Coming”
“The postmillennialist believes that the millennium is an era (not necessarily a literal thousand years) during which Christ will reign over the earth, not from a literal and earthly throne, but through the gradual increase of the Gospel and its power to change lives. After this gradual Christianization [dominion] of the world, Christ will return and immediately usher the church into their eternal state after judging the wicked” (http://www.theopedia.com/Postmillennialism).
You say that the two views are “very far apart”? In both theologies, the passage in Revelation 20 is spiritualized, supposing that it is not necessary to view it as a literal thousand-year reign of Christ. Reformed amillennialist David Engelsma states: “The New Testament instructs us to interpret Old Testament prophecy spiritually.” The Postmillennialist does the very same thing. That’s why reconstructionist Kenneth Gentry asks, “Why cannot there be a spiritual Israel” that replaces physical Israel (Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion , p. 167)? Their conclusions may vary in small details, but the principle is the same. Since both theologies teach forms of Replacement Theology, all the promises God gave to Israel must be fulfilled spiritually. As John Walvoord observes, “In order to find fulfillment of millennial promises in the present age it is necessary for [postmillennialism] to follow an allegorical or figurative system of interpretation in great areas of Biblical prophecy ( Millennial Series: Part 2: Postmillennialism , Study by John F. Walvoord).
Consequently, the term “spiritual Israelites” and the teaching of Replacement Theology is something seen in both postmillennialism and amillennialism. Professed disagreements do not prevent agreements in several key areas. Consequently, it is difficult to sustain your point that “the two views (amil and postmil) are very far apart.”
As Ron Merryman reminded us in the October 2011 TBC Extra, “We can thank Augustine of Hippo for spiritualizing Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom, then medieval Romanism for popularizing Augustine’s amillennialism, and the Reformers for not correcting the error.”