Postmill and infant baptism

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mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m new to Westminster Federalism, but is postmillenialism related to the idea that the elect are usually and providentially born into believing families?
In other words, does the fact that covenant children and the promises to them tie into the idea of postmillenial eschatology?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I’m new to Westminster Federalism, but is postmillenialism related to the idea that the elect are usually and providentially born into believing families?
In other words, does the fact that covenant children and the promises to them tie into the idea of postmillenial eschatology?
There have been some reformed who have held that God promise to save in election extends into the saved household, but do not think is is a dominant viewpoint.
I also do not see this as being dependent on ones eschatological viewpoint.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In other words, does the fact that covenant children and the promises to them tie into the idea of postmillenial eschatology?
Since a large number, perhaps a majority, of presbyterians are amil, not post mil, I'd answer that question 'no'.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
No, the two subjects are logically distinct. That is why there are Baptist postmillennialists and paedo-baptist pre- and amillennialists.
 

Mason

Puritan Board Freshman
As stated already- there's no necessary correlation with postmillennialism.

I will, however, say this as a mopey and pessimistic amillennialist Eeyore: The trajectory of redemptive history follows families and the nature of covenant is familial. Children, let alone covenant children, are evidence of God's continued mercy in that they signify there are still elect to be born- even from the children of the reprobate there will come, by the promise of our covenant-keeping God, saints from every tongue, tribe, and nation to attend the wedding feast of the all-victorious Lamb.

We know that our children are altogether blessed and providentially privileged to have been born into a Christian home. Some on account of this will never know a time when they did not confess Christ as Lord or pray in Jesus' name (even in Baptist families!)- that is not an insignificant grace.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It was in the early 20th century, but that's because many didn't know what to make of dispensationalism.
I was surprised to read that there is even a group of Presbyterian churches that hold to the Premil view position, as thought many saw that view just for those holding to Dispensational views.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I was surprised to read that there is even a group of Presbyterian churches that hold to the Premil view position, as thought many saw that view just for those holding to Dispensational views.
It's been a while since I looked at the Bible Presbyterian Church, but their original founders didn't have much in common with historic Reformed thought. The denomination has abandoned some of its more Baptistic fundy elements from the Carl McIntyre days.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I’m new to Westminster Federalism, but is postmillenialism related to the idea that the elect are usually and providentially born into believing families?
In other words, does the fact that covenant children and the promises to them tie into the idea of postmillenial eschatology?
I recently got a postmil book, Israel and the New Covenant, which WTS Books has on sale. I flipped through it and put it on the "to read" pile. The author, Roderick Campbell, does mention infant baptism several times and it seems that he does tie the two together. Hopefully I'll get to this book in the next few weeks. (This is an older book that P&R reprinted in 2010.)

Of course, amils, premils, and Baptists of any eschatological persuasion will disagree that there is any tie between the two ideas.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I’m new to Westminster Federalism, but is postmillenialism related to the idea that the elect are usually and providentially born into believing families?
In other words, does the fact that covenant children and the promises to them tie into the idea of postmillenial eschatology?
I agree with the other brethren that the ideas are logically distinct. However when both are embraced, they work together. God ordinarily draws the lines of election down family lines, and growth of the church to cover the entire earth includes children being raised up in the faith.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I recently got a postmil book, Israel and the New Covenant, which WTS Books has on sale. I flipped through it and put it on the "to read" pile. The author, Roderick Campbell, does mention infant baptism several times and it seems that he does tie the two together. Hopefully I'll get to this book in the next few weeks. (This is an older book that P&R reprinted in 2010.)

Of course, amils, premils, and Baptists of any eschatological persuasion will disagree that there is any tie between the two ideas.
Do Postmils usually see then a future for national Israel?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with the other brethren that the ideas are logically distinct. However when both are embraced, they work together. God ordinarily draws the lines of election down family lines, and growth of the church to cover the entire earth includes children being raised up in the faith.
That’s exactly what I was thinking! Thanks for your feedback.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Do Postmils usually see then a future for national Israel?
Today? Generally not, assuming you're referring to a return to the land, etc. But it seems to have been somewhat common if not universal among the older type of postmil that was more common before the turn of the 20th Century. See Iain Murray's "Puritan Hope" and Erroll Hulse's "Restoration of Israel" for examples of the earlier view.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Today? Generally not, assuming you're referring to a return to the land, etc. But it seems to have been somewhat common if not universal among the older type of postmil that was more common before the turn of the 20th Century. See Iain Murray's "Puritan Hope" and Erroll Hulse's "Restoration of Israel" for examples of the earlier view.
I see israel, the nation itself, as being reborn by Jesus at His Second Coming, in that all of the Jews still alive at that time will be saved and redeemed, that was the position of Spurgeon also, would Postmil hold to something like that also?
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Since a large number, perhaps a majority, of presbyterians are amil, not post mil, I'd answer that question 'no'.
Is there any reliable data on this? I'd think if the above statement is true it must be a fairly recent development, as postmillenialism has been the dominant eschatological position in reformed circles at least from the Reformation to the 20th Century (perhaps outside the Netherlands). Iain Murray's excellent book "The Puritan Hope" traces Reformed eschatological thought in the UK from the Reformation through to quite recent times and shows how dominant postmillenialism has been throughout that period.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Is there any reliable data on this? I'd think if the above statement is true it must be a fairly recent development, as postmillenialism has been the dominant eschatological position in reformed circles at least from the Reformation to the 20th Century (perhaps outside the Netherlands). Iain Murray's excellent book "The Puritan Hope" traces Reformed eschatological thought in the UK from the Reformation through to quite recent times and shows how dominant postmillenialism has been throughout that period.
There is no official survey, if that is what you are asking. But the major Reformed authors today tend towards Amil. Further, postmil sort of got tied to theonomy, which cast a negative shadow over it among the seminaries and publishers.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
I see israel, the nation itself, as being reborn by Jesus at His Second Coming, in that all of the Jews still alive at that time will be saved and redeemed, that was the position of Spurgeon also, would Postmil hold to something like that also?
I'm not quite sure what this means, or what exactly Spurgeon's view was, but the view that anyone will be saved AT the Second Coming (i.e. who have not rested in Christ beforehand) seems somewhat odd and of dubious scriptural authority - I'd be surprised to learn Spurgeon held that view, but interested in seeing any references to show that he did.

In any case it is not a feature of the postmillenial view. Generally we believe that there will be a national conversion of the Jewish people (not of every individual, but of a great number so that they would be a Christian race generally) as well as of all the nation's in a similar way, but BEFORE the Second Coming. Romans 11 seems to teach this quite clearly. Some believe the conversion of the Jews will be the trigger or signal of more widespread spiritual blessing throughout the earth, while some believe that there will be an outpouring of the Spirit throughout the earth so that the fullness of the gentiles come in, and then the Jews will be turned to Christ. Neither view necessitates any kind of return to the land views, but do not exclude it either - the eschatological position really relates to spiritual blessings not temporal ones.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no official survey, if that is what you are asking. But the major Reformed authors today tend towards Amil. Further, postmil sort of got tied to theonomy, which cast a negative shadow over it among the seminaries and publishers.
Hmm, yes there are some unusual mixes of views among modern theologians. I'm aware of some modern day postmillenialists who also subscribe to Theonomy, but don't think Theonomy is a significant or dominant view within postmillenialism generally (certainly not in the circles I move in).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Hmm, yes there are some unusual mixes of views among modern theologians. I'm aware of some modern day postmillenialists who also subscribe to Theonomy, but don't think Theonomy is a significant or dominant view within postmillenialism generally (certainly not in the circles I move in).
Perhaps, but off the top of my head, outside of the theonomic camp, I can only think of two postmillennialist books published in the past few decades:

Mathison, Keith. Postmillennialism.
Davis, John Jefferson.
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Is there any reliable data on this? I'd think if the above statement is true it must be a fairly recent development, as postmillenialism has been the dominant eschatological position in reformed circles at least from the Reformation to the 20th Century (perhaps outside the Netherlands). Iain Murray's excellent book "The Puritan Hope" traces Reformed eschatological thought in the UK from the Reformation through to quite recent times and shows how dominant postmillenialism has been throughout that period.
This is spot on
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no official survey, if that is what you are asking. But the major Reformed authors today tend towards Amil. Further, postmil sort of got tied to theonomy, which cast a negative shadow over it among the seminaries and publishers.
I wasn't looking for a formal survey as I was sure there wouldn't be one - your reply regarding published contemporary authors is informative and answers my question (and indirectly confirms my supposition that it is a recent development).

That said, for interest's sake it would be useful to have such a survey on this site - I think it would be good to know how the site generally leans on this question.

For my part I am unashamedly post-millennial, and hope and pray for the day which is promised, when "All ends of the earth remember shall // and turn the Lord unto // all kindreds of the nations // to Him shall homage do" (Psalm 22:27 Metrical)
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, interesting read.

Can you name some of the best books and articles on postmill eschatology?
I admit I'm not particularly well read in extra - scriptural material on the subject. Boettner, in his work "The millennium" treats the classic postmillenial position fairly accurately as I recall (read it quite a while ago), and Iain Murray's "The Puritan Hope" is the best I've read. Not read much else on the postmillenial position.

I hold it mainly because I see overwhelming evidence in Scripture to support it, very little to support amillenialism and nothing at all to support premillenialism. Also in the denomination I have been in since childhood the Scottish Reformed tradition is ubiquitous, so from the pulpit the postmillenial position is occasionally taught and usually assumed (eschatology isn't a common pulpit subject but obviously has a bearing on many areas of Christian life).
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Is there any reliable data on this? I'd think if the above statement is true it must be a fairly recent development, as postmillenialism has been the dominant eschatological position in reformed circles at least from the Reformation to the 20th Century (perhaps outside the Netherlands). Iain Murray's excellent book "The Puritan Hope" traces Reformed eschatological thought in the UK from the Reformation through to quite recent times and shows how dominant postmillenialism has been throughout that period.
The authors that I have read among Reformed seemed to be a majority holding to some variation of A Mil eschatology.Some were postmil, especially among Reconstructionists ad theonomists, a few premil, but most seemed to be A Mil.
 
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