All Articles For Engelsma, David

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2013, p. 325. Introduction In our critical examination of the biblical proof put forward by postmillennialism for its erroneous under­standing of the last things, one passage remains to be considered. We have already considered three passages of Scripture to which postmillennialism appeals in sup­port of its doctrine of the end. One was Isaiah 65 with its prophecy of the coming of a glorious kingdom of the Christ. The other two were Matthew 24 and Romans 11:25, 26. The passage that remains is Revelation 20. I have commented on this passage earlier in this...

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Previous article in this series: February 15, 2013, p. 226. Introduction One of the passages of Scripture that are especially important to postmillennialism is Romans 11:25, 26. This passage is explained by the advocates of postmil­lennialism as promising a dramatic conversion of large numbers of Jews in the future. According to the post­millennialists, this conversion of the Jews will occasion a similar conversion of large numbers of Gentiles, indeed a majority of the population of the world. Thus, the conversion of the Jews will both signal and actually bring about the onset of the thousand-year reign of Christ—the “golden age”...

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Michael G. Brown and Zach Keele, Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored (Grandville, MI: Re­formed Fellowship, 2012). Pp. 165. $12.00 (paper). [Reviewed by David J. Engelsma.] The purpose of this book is commendable: an overview of the biblical doctrine of the covenant that will introduce this essential truth to Reformed and Presbyterian believers. Sacred Bond gives brief explanations of all the important aspects of the covenant, from the source of the covenant in the “covenant of redemption” to the new covenant, including also the covenant with Adam in Paradise, the covenant with Noah, the Abrahamic covenant, the Sinaitic covenant, and the...

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Previous article in this series: January 1, 2013, p. 151.   In my critique of postmillennialism, I am examin­ing the alleged biblical basis of the doctrinal error. I have considered the Old Testament prophecies, especially Isaiah 65 and Matthew 24. Romans 11:25, 26 Yet another passage of Scripture that is important to the postmillennial doctrine is Romans 11, especially verses 25 and 26: Verse 25: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Is­rael, until the fulness of the...

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Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, by John Guy (New York: Random House, 2012). Pp. 424. $35.00 (cloth). Reviewed by David J. Engelsma. For the laymen, as well as the clergy, who enjoy riveting history told by a first-rate historian in superb prose, John Guy’s new biography of Thomas Becket is a delight. From the original sources and with critical judgment of later, usually hagiographic, accounts, biographer Guy relates the fascinating life and famed death of the twelfth century archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. Lifted from lowly origins to the secular and political heights of chancellor of England by King Henry...

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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2012, p. 56. In the preceding article in this series on postmillen­nialism, I began a critical examination of one of the texts of Scripture that are most important to the postmillennial doctrine of the last things. This text is Matthew 24:34: “Verily I [Jesus Christ] say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Many postmillennialists explain the text as teaching that all the events prophesied by Jesus in Mat­thew 24:4-31 would be fulfilled, completely and finally, in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70....

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Previous article in this series: August 2012, p. 442.   Having noted the fundamental elements of postmillennial eschatology (doctrine of the last things), I now subject this false doctrine concerning the second coming of Christ to criticism. The criticism is that leveled by Reformed amillennialism, which doctrine I have explained earlier in this series. I have already criticized the leading doctrinal errors of postmillennialism, centering on its conception of the Messianic kingdom as a temporal, carnal kingdom that must have an earthly victory within history. At present, I am refuting the main biblical argu­ments put forward on behalf of postmillennialism...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2012, p. 346.   As is true of all doctrinal error, postmillennial­ism stems from culpable misunderstanding, or deliberate corruption, of Holy Scripture. The “Millennial Glories” of Old Testament Prophecy The basic exegetical error of postmillennialism is its interpretation of Old Testament prophecy concerning the coming Messianic kingdom. Postmillennialism gets its doctrine of a future “golden age” from Old Testament prophecy of the glories of the coming Mes­sianic kingdom. With its prominent, consistent teach­ing of abounding lawlessness, appalling apostasy, and great tribulation in the days leading up to the return of Christ, the New...

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Sermon preached on Pentecost Sunday 2011. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39 Introduction When the Lord stood and cried these words, He was observing with the rest of Israel...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2012, p. 276. An Earthly Conception of the Kingdom Closely related to postmillennialism’s error of conceiving the victory of the Messianic kingdom as an earthly victory, within history, is its erroneous con­ception of the very nature of the kingdom of Christ. Postmillennialism views the Messianic kingdom as an earthly reign of Jesus Christ. Granted, the postmillen­nial theologians in the Reformed tradition acknowledge the spiritual power that must establish the kingdom of Christ and bring it to victory during the millennium. Especially the Puritans, the Reformed theologians who were influenced by the Puritans, and...

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