“There is a linear aspect to history, and there is a cyclic aspect to it. The linear aspect is fundamental, and the cycles are subordinate to that line. The line, overall, is going up, which means that each repeated cycle represents a new advance—we are better off at the end of the tenth cycle than we were at the end of the third one. To put it in tangible terms, we were far better off at the conclusion of Whitefield’s awakenings than we were at the end of King Josiah’s reformation. Postmillennial thinking does not require us to believe that the kingdom improves every day in every way, or that the whole thing takes off like the space shuttle. It is more like five steps forward, three steps back, seven steps forward, six back, three steps forward, one step forward, and then two steps back” (Empires of Dirt, pp. 243-244).
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