Again, it is hard to be certain about Lindsey's exact meaning here. If he simply means that postmillennialists reject the idea that all of Scripture is to be interpreted "literally," we must plead guilty; but then, we're in safe company. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not "literalists," to judge by the way they interpreted prophecy. They recognized the symbolic character of this passage in Isaiah:
A voice is calling,
Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isa. 40:3-5)
A strictly "literalist" interpretation would have to under stand this as a prophecy of a massive road-building project in Palestine. Yet each of the four Gospels declares that Isaiah's words were fulfilled by the preaching and baptizing ministry of John (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23). The fact is that both literal and symbolic forms of speech are in the Bible, and we must be careful to interpret Biblical statements in terms of Biblical guidelines.
Of course, Hal Lindsey himself is not a "literalist," either. Where the Book of Revelation speaks of falling stars, Lindsey can only see thermonuclear weapons; where it mentions locusts, he beholds Cobra helicopters instead (There's a New World Coming [Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1973], pp. 132, 138f.). Whatever else may be said about Lindsey's unique interpretations, they are anything but "literal."
As I noted above, however, Lindsey's accusation against postmillennialists is somewhat confusing. According to him, "These people rejected much of the Scripture as being literal." This may just be imprecise language, but it strongly implies that the eschatology of dominion is a liberal position which rejects Scripture. Nothing could be farther from the truth (as I trust the present book has demonstrated). Indeed, postmillennialist throughout history have been outstanding defenders of the inspiration and final authority of Scripture. Most of the members of the historic Westminster Assembly were staunch postmillen-and in the very first chapter of their influential 1646 document, The Westminster Confession ofFaith, they declared that all sixty-six books of the Bible "are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. . .. "
The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not on the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the Author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. . . .
The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself. . . .
The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other than the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
Perhaps the most outstanding exponent of the Hope in the early part of this century was Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, whose writings have influenced many toward an understanding of the of dominion. He is perhaps best known, however, for his writings collected in the volume titled The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, which has become a recognized classic of conservative scholarship. Examples could be multiplied, but perhaps it is enough to point out that postmillennial-have been such forthright defenders of the Bible's inerrancy that in recent years some opponents have actually accused them of "Bibliolatry!"
5 . . . . and believed in the inherent goodness of man.
Unfortunately, this charge does not seem to be merely "imprecise" or sloppy language. Lindsey is directly accusing the postmillennial school of thought of believing in the false doctrine of man's "inherent goodness." I would simply answer: Name one. I would not accuse Lindsey of deliberately lying, but he is at least guilty of very poor research and baseless, inflammatory rhetoric. In any case, the fact remains that no postmil-lennialist has ever taught the heresy that man is inherently good. We can refute this with a representative statement from the Reformer John Calvin:
The mind of man has been so completely estranged from God's righteousness that it conceives, desires, and undertakes, only that which is impious, perverted, foul, impure, and infamous. The heart is so steeped in the poison of sin, that it can breathe out nothing but a loathsome stench. But if some men occasionally make a show of good, their minds nevertheless ever remain enveloped in hypocrisy and deceitful craft, and their hearts bound by inner perversity (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2:5:19).
That is perhaps putting it somewhat stronger than even Mr. Lindsey would wish. But Calvin's statement certainly does not reflect any doctrine of man's "inherent goodness." And the same could be said of all other postmillennialists throughout the history of the Church, for the eschatology of victory is simply the orthodox Hope of historic Christianity.
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Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.