What Has 2020 Done to Your Postmill Ebullience?
In the next couple weeks, as we enter a new year of craziness, would you write something about how postmil thinking can help give us hope & direction in times of strife & uncertainty?
Thanks so much for you & your ministry. Blessings to you & yours.
Z, I will throw that in the hopper. In the meantime, just two quick thoughts. First, the postmill view is not that the kingdom of God takes off like a rocket ship, with each second representing a higher altitude. It is more like walking up the slope of a huge mountain range, and sometimes you go down into gullies and crevices in order to go further. Look at the last two thousand years in five-year increments and you will frequently be bewildered. If you look at it in 500 year increments, the picture becomes clearer. And second, remember that God frequently uses creative destruction to further His purposes in history. A lot of comfortable things got destroyed in 2020. But a number of ungodly things also took a hit.
Uhm yeah, pretty much agree, you nailed it. But I just can’t resist noticing how this post-millennium program may not be doing so well. One could be excused for having some doubts about it’s veracity.
Dave, see the previous answer. But I will add one other thing. Before I was Reformed, or postmill, one of the things that used to puzzle me was how it was that the most trenchant analysis of how screwed up everything happened to be was coming from postmillennialists. I think there is a connection.
What Shall We Name This Thing?
Mablog has offered no evidence of vote fraud in election 2020, and yet DW suggests we begin to pray because, hey, maybe voter fraud changed the election.
DW’s problem is that he was heavily invested in predicting a Trump win, and he hasn’t quite come to grips with the fact that he couldn’t take the measure of a man that 170 million Americans knew was simply a bad apple.
Fred, your inability to read what I write correctly makes me dubious about your abilities in reading what is going on in Pennsylvania, say. Everything boils down to what we are going to call this thing in the future. Shall we call it the Coup of 2020, or shall we call it the Attempted Coup of 2020? And when your grandchildren ask what you did during those tumultuous times, it would be ideal if you had an answer other than “I carried a lot of water for the bad guys.”
So I’ve clicked on and read every article you’ve posted that questions the medical establishment stances, from asymptomatic transmission, to the effectiveness of masks, to how the election was stolen. As someone who works in the sciences, I know how data can be presented to say almost anything. It all depends how honest the presenter is with background assumptions, methods of presentation, scaling of the charts, etc. You have to assume integrity the presenter if the data is to be believed. And I can’t find an honest actor out there. You say that you’ve been disappointed by the how the left (medical establishment / media) has acted, and I agree. But I’ve been equally disappointed in the integrity of the right. Every theory that has been posited about the election being stolen has been retracted. (and I might add that you are much more vigorous when linking to such articles than you are when admitting they were frauds). Sidney Powel and Rudy Giuliani are dishonest people, yet Christians keep latching their hopes onto them. I see no reason why I should trust the data that RedState presents more than the medical establishment when it comes to masks. The Trump-loving side of this country has lost my trust just as much as the godless-left.
You might assume people like me are cowardly mask-wearers who believe this was a fair election. But really we just don’t know who to believe.
Roger, I do think I feel your pain. In times of uncertainty, crazy rumors abound on every hand. So do not put your foundational trust in anyone. But here is a provisional approach. I think you can give more credence to the voices that are being censored and shouted down.
Masks in Worship
Have you laid out in one place your argument for not wearing masks in worship? I follow this blog and have put together your argument from the many articles you have written on the mask issue but I cannot provide people with a link to a straight up argument on why masks in worship are a violation of your conscience.
Arnold, I address it in a number of places, but here is one of them.
How Masks Became the Flag of An Arrogant Ignorance
I’ve been a long time reader of this blog. No idea how I found my way here but I spent a decade or so in the Piper bandwagon and assume it was some hyperlink along the way. I have since found myself cherishing the minds of a wider net of Christendom. There are so many folks out there dedicating their lives to Truth and love the Lord I’m sure more completely than I. So I find myself drawing wisdom from multiple camps these days and you’re kinda my source of . . . how would I put it . . . crazy but maybe onto something? But you’ve gone off the deep end with this whole election fraud and mask crap.
“To review: the mask covers the face, the principal place where we reflect the image of God.”
What the heck does that even mean? Does God have similar ears to me? Is it the lips? I’m white so maybe that’s it? Cause the pictures I see of him are a blue eyed white guy.
Nobody that I can think of would discuss the actual face in the same conversation about what it means to be created in the image of God.
This is just one of the many examples of you saying things that are so off the wall that you’re just starting to loose credibility. And yes I know you’re not worried about that. blah blah blah.
Jimmy, this is actually a major biblical theme. In Genesis 3:8, this issue first surfaces when our first parents hide from the presence (lit. face) of the Lord. I highly recommend a book I am currently reading—Shining Like the Sun by David Wenkel.
I wonder would you be so kind as to elaborate on the statement in “How Masks Became the Flag of An Arrogant Ignorance” where you said “the mask covers the face, the principal place where we reflect the image of God”. My initial reaction to reading that was “yes, I agree”, followed by “but how would I defend that statement?”
What I understand by our being made in the image of God is that we share some characteristics of our Maker that the animals do not : we can reason, think abstractly, are self-aware, have fellowship with one another and so on. But WSC Q4 tells us that “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth”, or in the words of the children’s catechism I am teaching my kids, “God is a spirit and does not have a body like men”.
So I’m left wondering how do our physical faces reflect the image of God ? I’m thinking perhaps it relates to how central our faces are in how we communicate and how that is hampered when we cover them.
If you could elaborate or point to some resources that would help, I’d appreciate it.
Thomas, thanks. See my response to Jimmy above, and I would again recommend Wenkel’s book. To reassure you (and perhaps Jimmy) I believe that God the Father is a Spirit, and does not have a literal, material face. But He does have a visible image of Himself in Christ, and if we have seen Christ, we have seen the Father. And the Scriptures describe our salvation in these terms. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Our faces are very much an important part of this.
I just listened to “Spiritual Quarantine”. I have a couple points that were not brought up. First, the most obvious, COVID was a test by our Father. “Non-essential” were to close down. When in the history of Christendom did Christians not nurse the sick? When did God say His church was non-essential? There was one pastor I heard of who realized his church was essential and applied to be labeled essential. The state granted that. He passed the test. He knew Christ and His church as essential.
Two, your point on quarantine. Yes in God’s word individuals and individual houses that were diseased were quarantined. The only time cities were, was when they were surrounded during a time of war to be starved. (Which shows that we are under war without even knowing it. )
Separate from these points I had wanted to ask you earlier about the public psalm sing. You said you were breaking the law, by a group sing. When clearly it is the government breaking the law to not allow the freedom of assembly. And even the higher law to not forsake the assembly of the Saints. You were not breaking the law, but standing for it.
Thank you for your time.
Kenli, thanks. And I agree. We were not breaking the law. We were breaking what some misinformed people thought was the law.
I wanted to drop a note of personal thanks for your ministry. I actually found you through doing some investigation of biblical passages on YouTube . . . I will pause for a clearing of throat and short chuckle . . . I became enthralled with Jeff Durbin and also with your ministry. I love both of your teaching styles, but I much prefer the (I apologize, as I can’t come up with a better adjective here) “smartassery” of your talks. I pray this is accepted as a high compliment—because that is my intent. I love the Plodcast and Mablog podcasts and subscribe to both. Thanks for what you do and God bless. Sincerely,
Greg, how could that not be taken as a compliment?
The Wasteland of Secularism
In recent times we have seen a great tide carrying untethered boats further and further “leftward” into insane waters. I have been interested to see a few “classic liberals” begin to take notice and attempt to drop anchor at a certain point. Douglas Murray (UK), Brendan O’Neill (UK) and Dave Rubin (US) are examples that come to mind. I also think of James Lindsay & Helen Pluckrose with their recent book “Cynical Theories.” Whilst I find a lot to like about the work that the above names do I also wonder about what exactly it is they are trying to hold on to. They are all non-Christians trying to defend Western liberalism on it’s own merit. They want two guys to be able to marry BUT they don’t want those guys to be able to announce they are now girls and force the rest of us to agree.
They all wanted the liberal train to stop but as Esther O’Reilly recently wrote of Douglas Murray: “Murray fails to persuade the socially conservative reader that this train was designed with a brakes system in the first place. He writes as if there is, or was, a moderate middle ground in this culture war. But what if it’s been a zero-sum game all along?
I am keen to hear your thoughts on this. Can you point me to a video, blog post etc of yours that digs into the idea of liberalism unlinked from Jesus does not “hold” ?
Andrew, I have written a good bit on this. My best suggestion would be to type secularism in the search bar and browse.
Your post about mistaken, faithful prayer hit me hard, but in a good way. I had just been lamenting to the Lord about how I haven’t seen any answers to prayer in recent months, in spite of praying and fasting more than I ever have before, both alone and with others. I have seen God do some visibly astonishing things in my life in the past, such as providing a home for us when our landlord needed us out and there were no rentals available and only one decent home we could afford to buy in our area; a house that someone else had under contract. God gave us that home! Another time, when we hit a large cow driving in the dark (we’re blessed to live in Wyoming) and totaled our truck, some Christians from another town called us up and offered us a free truck because they felt God wanted them to help us. We used that free truck for a few years while saving up for another vehicle. The sheriff said we should’ve died . . . I often wonder if an angel folded the hood in half to keep that cow out of our laps…
He’s answered so many bold petitions that I must confess I am feeling weary and numb from the seeming silence in the last 6 months. Your words were the message that I needed to hear today; the proof that He still cares and an answer will come in His perfect timing. I have been so blessed by your podcasts, books, sermons, and posts in 2020. This year had a way of revealing what folks are truly made of, and while I’ve been sorely disappointed in some of my evangelical mentors this year, I am grateful for you, your wife, daughters, your church group, the To the Word group, John MacArthur, etc. for demonstrating how to be courageous in these trying times. Soli Deo Gloria!
Lindsey, thank you, and thank the Lord.
I nearly always agree with you and most of my variances with you are minor nits. But you really surprised me here; I think you missed the mark badly. While even this post has much I agree with, the premise is wrong. The Lord does not “want us to be obediently and faithfully mistaken.” In these matters I think He wants us to understand His timing is ALWAYS PERFECT, He is never late nor early, but ALWAYS perfectly on time. He expects us to know and remember that at the time we are praying. Do we think today would be a good time for His action? Yes, in a sense. But we temper that with the knowledge He will act if and when it is best.
So I respectfully ask you reconsider your premise. Perhaps it is I who am wrong and if so, I wish to be so informed and corrected. That’s what people who value being correct and right do, they want to know when they are wrong.
I respect and value your wisdom and ministry, please take this in the spirit rendered.
Dave, yes, taken absolutely in the spirit it is offered. Those were sermon notes, and so you might want to check out the full sermon because I think we agree at the root. There is to be no moaning, complaining, murmuring, and so on. We are to constantly depend upon God in that sense. But our model of submission is Gethsemane, and Jesus did not arrive there with the matter settled.
Thanks for all you do.
In your recent post you refer to your principle that religious freedom is a religious value. I want to hear you defend this. The Bible never teaches Christians to observe religious freedom for other people. On the contrary, in OT Israel, any man who attempted to worship another god would be executed. The closest we get to religious freedom in the Bible is the fact that the alien in OT Israel was not required to worship Yahweh. At best, the Bible teaches religious freedom from worshiping the real God; but it never teaches religious freedom to worship false gods. It teaches that men who commit idolatry should be put to death. Can you clarify how the Bible teaches religious freedom? Thanks again; very grateful for you.
Dave, I will try to get to that soon. It is true that idolaters who attempted to recruit Israelites into idolatry were to be treated that way. Granted. But I don’t believe that a Moabite who was traveling through would have been subject to that penalty if he kept to himself. But I do need to develop this argument further.
The Other Holiday
I’ve really been enjoying your book ‘God Rest Ye Merry’ for the past couple of years! I have gained much insight from it and have been blessed much. So thank you!
Here is my question: Do you have a similar book for Easter? If so, what is the title? If not, will you please consider compiling what you have written over the years and putting it together in a similar book? You may even be able to get it out well before this coming Easter! And, I would be very thankful to you for your labor!
Jon, actually, I do have a rough manuscript of just such a companion volume. It is not named yet, but it is in my pile.