Dispelling Dominionism and Postmillennialism #2
In the previous article we pointed out just a tiny fraction of the inherent self-contradictions in Dominionism and Postmillennialism. We pointed out that on the one hand Keith Mathison emphasizes the temporal imminence of Hebrews, but on the other hand he mitigates it. He affirms that the OT worthies received what was promised – because of approaching Zion. But he then affirms that the church timelessly is still awaiting the fulfillment of the promises linked to Zion. This kind of self-contradiction in regard to Zion and resurrection is common among the Dominionists / Postmillennialists. Keith Mathison is not alone in the world of Dominionism and Postmillennialism that is guilty of gross self-contradictions.
Dominionism and Postmillennialism Against Itself– Joel McDurmon on Zion
Joel McDurmon wrote and article in response to the claims that we are still waiting on the fulfillment of the Zion promises, and that those promises speak of a future literal fulfillment in a physical kingdom on earth. McDurmon said:
“When the argument of faith and pilgrimage in Hebrews 11 finally does turn to “us” it notes a complete change of status. While all of those Old Testament pilgrims died and “did not receive what was promised,” New Testament believers are different: “God had provided something better for us” (Heb. 11:40). So, we are categorically not like them. We are in a better position than they. The promised Kingdom has indeed come, it is given to us. We are not exiles waiting to receive the promise. Indeed, the author tells the first-century believing Jews in the very next chapter, as a continuation of the argument in Hebrews 11, “you have come to Mount Zion” (Heb. 12:22). They were no longer exiles; they had arrived!
This arrival verse is very important. Horton refers to the Christians as pilgrims. He denies we have arrived, or downplays it in any meaningful sense. He constantly refers to Zion as a future destination: the “path to Zion,” “this journey to Zion,” “Marching to Zion.” But Hebrews makes it absolutely clear that New Testament believers “have come to Zion.” This is in the past tense. Horton says nothing about this verse, and yet it is the culmination of the argument the author began in Hebrews 11.”
One would certainly think from reading McDurmon’s critique of the futurist view of Zion, that he believes that those OT promises of Zion are fulfilled, right? Well, he even adds to that impression in his book Jesus V Jerusalem. McDurmon wrote: Zion has been “spiritualized,” if you will, and revealed to be fulfilled in the person of the ascended Christ: ‘But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the innumerable angels in festal gathering…” (Jesus V Jerusalem, Powder Springs., GA, American Vision Press, 2011)178). (For a study of the parables, I recommend McDurmon’s book. It really is quite good in this regard, and, I have had many people tell me that this book actually helped them to become full preterists!)
So, there you have it! The Zion promises, the promises made to the OT saints, has been fulfilled! Oh, but wait!
In 2012, I had a formal debate with McDurmon. In that debate, he affirmed that we are still waiting for the fulfillment of the Zion promises found in the OT! He affirmed that Abraham and the OT worthies are still waiting to receive those physical promises of a physical land in a physical kingdom! You can order a book of that debate here. You will be amazed at McDurmon’s claims, and even his admissions!
So, like Mathison (By the way, Gentry agrees with Mathison and McDurmon on the past fulfillment of Hebrews 11 and 12, Dominion, 2009, 259)!
To say that Mathison, McDurmon, Gentry and DeMar have entrapped themselves in regard to God’s OT promises to Israel, in regard to resurrection, in regard to the “land promises” is a huge understatement! You cannot affirm – as these men do – the past fulfillment of the Zion promises, the fulfillment of all OT promises made to Israel, and still affirm a futurist eschatology.
If the OT worthies have received what was promised, as these men affirm, the resurrection has occurred. If the resurrection, i.e. the consummation, has not occurred, then Mathison’s own claims are falsified. And this means that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the OT worthies are still waiting, and they have now waited for another 2000 years! Abraham waited for 1900 years to come to Zion and the better resurrection. He had approached Zion and the better city and country when Hebrews was written, but, he only got to approach the promised city, country and resurrection, only to be told that he must wait another 2000 years to receive what was promised. He waited 2000 years to see Jesus’ day, he saw it, and was glad – but, per Mathison’s, McDurmon’s, et. al., paradigm he is still waiting! Why was Abraham so glad to see Jesus’ day if all it meant was that he would have to wait another two millennia, and counting?
Dominionism and Postmillennialism| Mathison Versus Mathison
Let me put my thoughts in succinct form, utilizing Mathison’s own words.
“That which the Old Testament believers looked for in faith has come, and they have now received what was promised” (Keith Mathison).
But, what the Old Testament believers looked for in faith was the resurrection from the dead (Hebrews 11:35).
Therefore, the Old Testament believers have now received the resurrection from the dead (the resurrection is past)!
Let me frame it another way:
The Old Testament believers looked for the resurrection from the dead (Hebrews 11:35).
The resurrection from the dead has not occurred (Keith Mathison).
Therefore, the Old Testament believers have not received what they looked for.
Which of Mathison’s statements / beliefs do we believe? He cannot have it both ways. If the OT worthies have received what was promised, then the resurrection has occurred. If the resurrection has not occurred, then the imminence of approaching Zion is mitigated and falsified, and the OT saints are still waiting. They have received nothing that was promised. But, make no mistake, Mathison affirms in the clearest of terms that the resurrection has occurred! In the next installment in this brief series on Dominionism and Postmillennialism, we will expose even more of the inherent problems in that system.