Recently a very fine television preacher who should know better dismissed postmillennialism as a product of a Darwinian and evolutionary perspective, and he also equated it with the social gospel. This falsehood has been so often repeated that few stop to consider how obviously false it is.
First of all, postmillennialism long pre-dates Darwin and was an important force in the age of discovery and exploration. Hakluyt’s Voyages tell us plainly how many of the navigators and explorers were governed by this faith. It was also a part of the Reformation, was shared by many of the Westminister Assembly divines, and it appears in the Larger catechism. Darwinism came very much later, and, in fact, undermined the post-millennial position.
Second, the reason why evolution undermined the prevailing post-millennial perspective was because it replaced the world of God’s total providence with Darwin’s world of total chance. Postmillennialism stresses the reality of Romans 8:28 that God makes all things work together for good for them who love Him, for all who are called according to His purpose. The world is God’s creation and moves to fulfill His goals. Evolution sees the universe as “red in tooth and claw;” if anything develops, it is by chance or accident. chance replaces predestination, and total meaninglessness replaces God’s total meaning. The churches which accepted Darwin dropped postmillennialism.
Third, because with Darwin the world was now without meaning, and because there was no God with His government and meaning, the believers in evolution replaced God and His providence with the state and the social gospel. The social gospel is the antithesis of postmillennialism. It sees the state as the only true providence of man, whereas the rise of postmillennialism in every era has meant a renewed awareness of the providence of God.
To equate evolutionary faith with postmillennialism is like identifying good and evil. It involves a radical confusion of meaning, and it reduces history and logic to nonsense.
As creationism has revived, so too has postmillennialism because the more closely God’s creating hand and government are linked to this world, the more men will understand the force of Romans 8:28, and the more literally they will take such promises as Isaiah 60:12, “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” The Scripture declares of our Lord, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Ps. 72:8). This is postmillennialism, not Darwinism!
Postmillennialism believes that the God who created heaven and earth cannot be defeated, either by man or by Satan. His declared purpose from the beginning to the end shall be accomplished, and nothing can stay His hand. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’s and he is the governor among the nations” (Ps. 22:27-28). “Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him” (Ps. 72:11). Can a Christian believe anything less? Ours is the God of victory and salvation.
- R. J. Rushdoony
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.