Tragedy in Three Acts: A Revolution, a Theory, and a Theology That Devastated Western Christianity, Part 2


In Part 1 of this examination of three ideas/trends that rose to prominence in the 19th century, we looked at the industrial revolution, social Darwinism, and postmillennialism and how they fueled each other to wreak enormous societal change. Today, we look at their effects on Western Christianity and the Church’s response.

As the industrial revolution swept England,  society shook under the massive move from the countryside to the city, from the farm to the factory. The agricultural revolution that had been instrumental in bouying the fortunes of those families that had once labored under feudalism crumbled under the competition from factories, leading to a renew servitude. Cottage industry gave way to heavy industry. With young people fleeing farms for factories, many enchanted by the lure of “progress,” the small landowner system collapsed. Soon, entire families were working the mills under what quickly became inhuman conditions.

To the powerful, little of this made a difference. In fact, they had good reason to believe it was all for the best; their theology and science said so.

That theology was postmillenialism, which postulated that Christ would return to a world perfected by Christians through science, education, the arts, and high culture. The rise of postmillennialism went hand in hand with industrialization. They fed off each other. The poor, “godless” underclass was simply the labor in the machine of progress.

The science was social Darwinism, the idea that some prosper because they are inherently more fit to live than the underclass, an idea that arose out of On the Origin of Species. To the upper crust of England, this proved a most intriguing explanation for the distinction between the classes. In many ways, it was used to justify the factory system, especially by the ones who owned the factories. They were, as they saw it, the superior race. (Their workers, on the other hand…)

Caught in the middle of this perfect storm of industrialism, social Darwinism, and postmillenialism was the Church. And it was caught unprepared and without thoughtful leadership that questioned the rush to empire.

While a few Christian leaders showed some dismay over the societal upheaval, the most influential bowed to the spirit of the age. The allure of  heavy machinery and the efficiency of the mills and factories sucked in many Christian leaders. It was new and exciting. It was the triumph of the genius of man. The fervor of the factory powered the idea that no challenge was unmeetable, even one of Christianizing the world. With the locomotive and the steamship, no region lay unreachable.

Social Darwinism also affected the Church. The theory provided scientific evidence for the superiority of the aristocratic English lifestyle. The good, churchgoing person was among the fittest, while the savage in the jungle was not. The Church dealt with this by splitting into two halves, one that saw this disparity as surmountable through Christ, the other accepting it as a permanent state of God-ordained distinction between themselves and the rest of the world.

The half of the Church that rejected the perfectibility of the “inferior” classes/races began to see the Bible as less capable of  explaining the world than science.  The subsequent release of Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex only confirmed their suspicions. This led to the rise of liberalism and higher criticism of the Bible.

The result for the half of the Church who believed that Christ could raise the state of all men was the modern missionary movement, which was primarily conservative and  evangelical. Marrying postmillennial fervor with a mandate to perfect the rest of mankind, this movement sought to make the world’s unreached peoples as fine and fit as the missionaries who reached out to them. Christ in them was the goal, but, in keeping with postmillennialism and industrialization, so was enculturation.

(A perfect illustration of 19th century Evangelicalism’s synchronistic purpose for evangelizing the world can be found in an episode involving Hudson Taylor of the China Inland Mission. On returning from the mission field to report on his work, Taylor scandalized his Victorian-era  supporters when he appeared in native Chinese garb and confessed that it was a means to show himself to be one with those he served. To the mission supporters, it seemed that this example of prime English gentility was being enculturated by those he was sent to save rather than the other way around. This was the premise of social Darwinism, which the Western Church of all persuasions readily accepted, brazenly turned on its head.)

So what we have in the 19th century Western Church is an imprimatur regarding the spirit of the age, with full-fledged support for industrialism and postmillenialism, and a bifurcated response to social Darwinism that accepted the science fully, if not the inevitable outcome of its conclusions.

The result has been a litany of social tragedies that the contemporary Church has not been able to overcome:

Families split to pursue industrialized jobs. Long-standing communities were subsequently decimated, resulting in weaker local social ties. Social Darwinism spurred the idea that it was every family for itself, further weakening interpersonal connection while strengthening the need for each family to be self-sufficient, which led to duplication of effort, the need for multiple sources of income to pay for that duplication, and what would eventually become consumerism. The communities, particularly the church community, that had been charged with the care of people on a local level was forced by this increasing pressure to abandoned that care. The state, caught off-guard by this abandonment and the need to be socially aware given the times, rushed in to fill the void. (Which is why complaints by modern Christians about state intrusion into “hallowed” institutions rings so hollow, as it was the Western Church that abandoned its role.)

In that same way, children abandoned the care of their elderly parents to others, leading to a growing reliance on state-run welfare systems, and a further fracturing of the family bond.

Children who moved to factory work no longer took over family lands, which led to inheritances issues (and a dependency on the state to sort them out), the rise of industrialized farming, and a weakening of the genetic diversity of harvested food sources, which threatens modern food supplies. (In a similar creation care vein, industrialization led to environmental pollution.)

As parents were forced into industrialized work, they no longer worked from home in cottage industry. This placed additional burdens on raising children, which fed the public school system. The home lost its place as the source of income, work, and education, transferred instead to factory and state. Cottage industry, which had led to improved incomes for a wide range of demographic groups and better living conditions in general, was wiped out indiscriminately, leading to a degradation of lifestyle and overall health for those affected.

Children lost their role as an essential part of a family’s survival, a pivotal place in what had been an agricultural society. Industrialism at first enslaved even the young, but brutal factory conditions led to laws that took children out of the factories and rendered them a burden on their families rather than a necessity for survival. For this reason, the birth rate dropped in industrialized nations. (Which also explains today’s increasing Islamicization of Europe.) It also contributed to juvenile delinquency, which Christians countered with youth ministry (which, with 80+ percent of Christian youth abandoning the faith by their final year of college, has proven to be a dismal failure).

The influence of social Darwinism and industrialism altered the way businesses operate and how people work, mostly for the worse. Social Darwinism fed into capitalism and created a dog-eat-dog corporate world that chews up those who work within it, reducing people made in God’s image to “human resources” and increasing ethical failures by business leaders who live by the motto Only the strong survive.

With the above factors in place, human life cheapened, as people became cogs in the machine of progress. The eugenics movement grew, often supported by Christians who saw it as a way to prevent the suffering of the deprived underclass. As social Darwinism became the prevailing wisdom, blockades to political embodiments of the ideology fell. (For this reason, the rise of Hitler and the “Final Solution” met little opposition from liberal, and even conservative, Christians in Germany.) Abortion as a state-mandated right was inevitable, as will be euthanasia.

The Church let social Darwinism into its “house” rather than keeping it outside where it could be more easily addressed. This led to a splitting into liberal and conservative factions that have warred ever since. The conservative branch, caught up in postmillennialism and the spirit of the age, married Christ with that other spirit and exported both to the world. This created the “Ugly Missionary,” who went beyond simply preaching the Gospel to preaching the Gospel and 4:00 tea time. Sadly, some cultures more readily adopted the imported culture and ignored Christ. (Japan comes to mind.) By embracing the missionary’s culture rather than accepting his Lord, those nations became innoculated against the primary message, undermining the growth of the Church.

This splitting created the liberal branch of Christianity that cherished its position as the upper class within social Darwinism. This branch, enamored as it was of Darwinian theories, began a systemic dismantling of its own past theology, resulting in higher criticism of the Bible and increasing concessions to science over Scripture.

Because of this split, the contemporary Church finds itself on opposite sides of the culture wars, confusing the lost and damaging its ability to be a beacon of light in a dark world.

In fact, it is hard to find a  modern dilemma, social ill, or ethical issue that does not owe some of its presence/difficulty in modern society to the tragic alignment of the industrial revolution, social Darwinism, and postmillennialism. Exponential increases in latchkey children, teen pregnancy, divorce, depression, interpersonal distance, consumerism, and others have derailed the Church, as it has gone off message by fighting the culture wars that resulted from this alignment.

This is not to say that these issues never existed previously. Sin is sin and there is nothing new under the sun. But the combination of events detailed here drastically rewrote the way we live and think as a modern society. They contributed to a Pandora’s box of issues that have plunged us into more grief than we might have experienced if the Church had viewed industrialism, social Darwinism, and postmillennialism with more discernment.

In short, we have done this to ourselves. We Christians fight vigorously for the preservation of the family today because we preferred industrialization back then. 1984--or is that 1884?Our ancestors may have seen that it was okay for some families to rot in factories, but now most of us are under the thumb of industrialization and the sterility of the modern business world. Our families are the ones that are torn apart as dad works a job downtown, mom works ten miles away, and the kids are spread out among various public schools. All rush together for brief , unfulfilling interaction in island-like homes that keep the rest of the world out. Meaning is lost. Community lies shattered. Psychoactive drugs are bestsellers. Yet our churches continue to lobby for this lifestyle, the unholy result of what we thought was liberation through industrialism and empire.

Today, there are few Christians who excuse the Crusades. We all realize they were a mistake. However, we have been loathe to acknowledge the mistakes of the 19th century Church that birthed the mess we find ourselves in. That Church jumped on the empire bandwagon and failed to ask hard questions that may have tempered the enthusiasm and give us a more healthy modern world.

How can we as a contemporary Church deal with what our 19th century ancestors in the faith wrought?

We Christians need to “swallow the red pill” and spur on our best thinkers and leaders to begin to address the fallout from the tragic synchrony of the industrial revolution, social Darwinism, and postmillennialism. Too few Christians understand this history and the Church’s role in enabling the mess. Fixes will only come when we awake from our stupor.

We must acknowledge our failure to respond properly. In large part, we Christians are responsible for many of the problems we face today because we did not react with discernment back then. This is a humbling truth and we must face it humbly and with contrition. Sadly, too many want to excuse us from culpability, but it is impossible to view history and not see the Church of that day leading the gung-ho charge. Yes, these three may have seemed from a fleshly perspective to be worthy of support back then, but then again, Christians long ago felt the same way about the Crusades.

We must realize that the Church cannot let the spirit of the age determine our theology. Our theology must stand apart from the age and work in judgment of it. Failure to do this changes the Church rather than the other way around.

We need to revisit life before the arrival of industrialism, Darwinism, and postmillennialism and learn from that history. Few in the West have a good understanding of the many benefits of the agricultural revolution, cottage industry, and the lifestyle benefits enjoyed by people of that age. We need to examine what worked then and how those ideas might help us reverse some of the damages we experienced from their loss. Ironically, many pro-family, pro-America, Christian organizations idolize that pre-industrial era that graced America at its founding, yet they fail to understand that industrialism, which they also embrace, was what contributed to its demise.

We must find a better way to frame industrialism and Darwinian theory. While evolution is a whipping boy among conservative Christians, succumbing to a kill-or-be-killed mentality of natural selection informs much of how we live. Our worldview, therefore, is not as inherently Christian as we may believe. As George Barna noted in his polls of Christians, more parents are concerned that Junior grabs an exclusive spot at an Ivy League School than for his knowledge of Christ. There is merit in acknowledging our tendency toward that belief as natural men while understanding that Christ offers something better. In the same way, it’s foolish to abandon industrialism altogether—imagine trying to build commercial airliners otherwise—but we must see its limitations and prevent it from running roughshod over viable alternatives.

The confluence of the industrial revolution, social Darwinism, and postmillennialism shattered our society in myriad ways, making us poorer in key areas that are of great interest to Christians. Sadly, we are so used to our condition that we have failed to question the foundations of modern society. So we fight culture wars we helped create because we built a world that rested on faulty premises.

If we Christians in the West don’t like the world we see around us, we need to look no further than the mirror for part of the cause.

20 thoughts on “Tragedy in Three Acts: A Revolution, a Theory, and a Theology That Devastated Western Christianity, Part 2

  1. Bravo! This really got me thinking. I think I may start looking into some of this stuff. I’ve got a feeling this message is very timely, and we may soon get our chance to offer a solution to society. Let’s pray we’ll all be ready to jump into whatever our roles may be.

    • Chris,

      This probably should have been three posts, but I cut it down to two and limited the number of “fallout” examples. When you get right down to it, though, it’s hard to think of an aspect of Western civilization that was not altered, usually for the worse, by the confluence of industrialism, social Darwinism (and, eventually, evolutionary Darwinism), and postmillennialism.

      I also think that people who only focus on one or two of the three miss out on the perfect storm combination and how it best encapsulates the breeding ground. I don’t believe Darwinism would have caught on as it did without the other two in place. They really did feed each other. And the fact that a Christian theology was part of it only makes the situation all the more alarming.

  2. Dan, In my previous comment I mentioned the two pieces of cultural history that I have been reading (focusing on 1860-1920), both of which spend significant time assessing the Christian movements of the time. Darwin was huge but coming out of the 19th century it is necessary to understand the pull that the Progressive intellectuals had and the influence of technology on the western understanding of progress (which you alluded to).

    Coming out of the 19th century technology enabled man to control his environment in a very precise manner as never before experienced. This led to a new feeling of man being able to control their social environment. Progressive’s believed that society and nature could be changed by human endeavor. Christian thought was heavily influenced by this idea which fit extremely well with the idea that God’s kingdom could truly be achieved on earth. Rauschenbusch is a key theologian but Dewey and Charles Cooley were very influential as well.

    I don’t think that is to detract from your argument, but rather expands the foundation.


  3. Folks,

    One thing that I purposefully left out of this that I will add here in the comments…

    Postmillennialism and its rah-rah attitude no longer dominates within the Church today because of two events: World War I and the stock market crash of 1929. WWI threw water on the fire and the crash snuffed out the embers.

    Since nature abhors a vacuum, even in eschatologies, dispensationalism rushed in to fill the void and has predominated since. I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether that’s a positive or negative. 😉

    Ironically, much of the fervor and thinking behind postmillennialism can still be seen today in United Nations initiatives, albeit in a secularized manner.

  4. David

    Interesting…Having seen first hand the practice of the assumption that Western Christianity brought on a more enlightened society, I can see where you’re going with this…

    Industrialization is not done yet, and there are still whole cultures writhing under the catastrophic social changes brought on my the switch from agrarian to industrial economies. The thing is, while in the West our current culture was attained over the period of generations, today these changes take place with breath-taking speed. My mother-in-law when from the bronze-age to the space age in a matter of 10 years. Families are ripped apart as islands of industrial growth are formed. Millenia-old cultures are tossed in the rubbish as a matter of course, with literally nothing taking their place.

    These changes are sometimes happening in places that are completely cut off from what we would consider a Christian world view, but not necessarily from a Western world view. Painful as it is, the two are often indistinguishable, and the result is that fear and loathing for one creates fear and loathing for the other. Which is which becomes irrelevant. In the last 20 years there has been an increasing backlash to the intrusion of Western values into traditional cultures, with fundamental extremism amongst Islamic cultures being only the most noticeable. The rapid withdrawal Catholicism into the pre-Vatican 2 period is not a fluke.

    A return to our agrarian roots is, I believe, implausible, and not all the cultural underpinnings of the pre-industrial age can be held up to the light of Christ and pass scrutiny. We need to be careful that we are not replacing a humanist industrial culture with a humanist agrarian culture. As Dan said, sin is sin, whether it’s cloaked in trans-humanism, or pre-industrial ‘grace and self-sufficiency.’ If the focus is on ourselves, it is in error.

    Christ preached the opposite of social darwinism: meekness, turning the other cheek, dying to self, caring for others above caring for ourselves. In order to be agents of change we need to emulate His example and confound what has become the cultural norm. We currently have poor examples in the political right, and so we must first become examples, and then seek out and find others who exemplify the truth of Christ.

    Some ideas that might spur us on:

    Love God with all our heart, mind and soul. Allow that love of God to infuse us and direct what we do with our physical being. Learn about Him, study Him, seek time in His presence, listen constantly for His voice. “All the law and the prophets can be summed up in this…”

    Be closer to family, physically and socially. If we cannot get along with and mutually care for our own flesh and blood, we are unlikely to care for others. “Behold, your son… behold, your mother”

    Care deeply for our neighbors. Seek them out, get to know them, be there for them. “Love your neighbor as yourself”

    Be more concerned with living life for Christ than with making a living. “Seek first the kingdom of God…”

    Believe in hell. Believe whole-heartedly that there is eternal separation from God, and that it is something to be avoided at all costs. Apply that belief to our view of non-believers and those who say they believe but show no fruit. If we have developed a close relationship with God, it will color our outreach to others. “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?”

    • David,

      Spot on.

      I wish to add that we will pay a price for faithfulness. We have got to understand this. Our reluctance to do so is like the monkey who grabs the banana in the trap and finds itself caught. The simple answer is to let go of the banana, but the monkey simply cannot justify doing so.

      We know the outcome, yet we hold onto things that prevent us from doing the very things we know we should do.

      I paid a price for taking care of my parents as they were dying. The modern solution is to stick them away in a home for someone else to deal with. I could not do that. “Honor thy father and thy mother” still meant something to me.

      That is only one of several ways in which we Christians have got to go down a different path, even if it costs us.

      I wish I could say that I fully understand the cost, but I don’t. I know this world is just a stop on the road to eternity, a practice for the real show. Intellectually, I can assent to that, but rationalization does not equate to faith. I’m not a spiritual giant, by any means. I suspect that most people who read Cerulean Sanctum are better Christians than I am. I am still learning. At some time in the future I may fail dramatically. I have little failures every day.

      All I know is that I am trying to stay true to the Lord, even when it hurts to do so. I believe that is what God would have me do. All I can pray for myself and for all who read Cerulean Sanctum is that we do that every day. That we take what God has given to us and lay it on the altar every day so that He can perfect it and make it (and us) a worthy sacrifice.

      The things that last are usually not so complex. That we have made them so only means that we need to simplify. Simplification means abandoning those things that do not help us get to where we should be going. May God purge us now for the journey ahead, for those who hold on loosely to the lesser things will find the journey easier.

      • David

        As a friend of mine said, “A life of salvation is simple, but it’s not easy.” Perhaps, that is why one of the requirements David mentions in Psalm 1 is to do what you have promised, even when it hurts. Salvation is free, but the saved life costs us something. Are we willing to count the cost?

  5. John Burns


    Small groups of Christians have “dealt with” and “solved” the issues and problems you have presented to us. One of those groups is known as the Amish. Extreme? Yes. Practical? Maybe. For everyone? Probably not. What can the rest of us do? Proverbs 3, I believe, can provide us answer:

    1 My son, forget not My law; but let your heart keep My commandments;
    2 for they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you.
    3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; tie them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart;
    4 and you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.
    6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
    7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
    8 Healing shall be to your navel and marrow to your bones.
    9 Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;
    10 and your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst with new wine.

    Dan, this ancient wisdom is still wisdom for us “moderns” – if we will only “hear” it.

  6. Brian


    In Pagan Christianity, Viola/Barna spell out that the construct of the modern church largely lay in the Constantinian acquisition of Christianity. I’m curious to know what influences the factors you site — industrialization, social darwinism, etc — contribute to the churches modern construct. One could say things like its emphasis on “Sunday church” as a means of community is really to counter what it sees in society. That would be conjecture on my part though. What say you?

  7. Matt


    I think the issues raised very much influenced the structure of current church and ministry practices. The NT pattern that Viola and more recently Barna are championing come from an extended family culture (like the culture of the NT and the cottage industry culture spoken of in this discussion). The Greek word for it used in the NT is “oikos” or household, and a lot of the ministry focus of the early church and of Jesus himself centered around this milieu.

    In a way, the Sunday church specialist/siloed culture of faith is the result of the current fragmentation of the social fabric. Our culture now is a very specialized one, where different functions and needs are addressed in different and non-overlapping spheres. The business world has its own specialized rules and space, as does education, entertainment, socialization. It is no surprise that the modern approach to church would feature the same bracketing and segmentation.

    I think the push toward a more communal experience of faith advocated by Viola et al is an attempt to recapture that oikos focus, even given the realities of our fragmented world. I’m currently reading good book by Neil Cole called Organic Church which speaks to some of this. It focuses less on the big picture being discussed here, but keys in more on the essence of the method of the propagation of the kingdom as Jesus pictured it in many of his parables, and how to put legs on that in our lives.

  8. Dan,

    There was so much packed into the past two posts, that I find it difficult to really add anything of value. But two things really caught my eye because either I’ve lived through it or I’m living it now.

    First, I was curious to find out the source of:

    with 80+ percent of Christian youth abandoning the faith by their final year of college, has proven to be a dismal failure.

    The reason being that this was me! I walked away from God when I was 17 years old. College did nothing but seal the deal, so to speak. Any last traces of God were vanquished by the state-run “intellectual” institution. So I’m not surprised by the figure.

    Secondly, since late 2006, I’ve been blessed to work from home full time for my employer(s). I’ve been able to witness so many “firsts” in the young life of my 14 month old that I would have otherwise missed if I was still commuting. It’s gotten to the point that in spite of the precarious position of my group within the company and the fact that the work is painfully boring, I cannot imagine ever returning to cubicle. If I lose my job soon, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I trust God knows what He’s doing and He has His hand on us. I just pray that He continues to allow me to stay home (with my stay-at-home wife…thank you Jesus!) and continue to raise my son just like they did “in the old days.”

    Wonderful (if not truly sobering) posts Dan! Thank you. You have given all of us much to reflect on.


  9. “While evolution is a whipping boy among conservative Christians, succumbing to a kill-or-be-killed mentality of natural selection informs much of how we live. Our worldview, therefore, is not as inherently Christian as we may believe.”

    Woohoo! Finally someone said it!

  10. Dan, I think you may find the following interesting reading: The Unabomber Was Right. This is not a Luddite diatribe agreeing with the Unabomber, but a sober and rational examination of his grievances. Mr. Kelly mentioned how the average youth who leaves his village for the city knows what he is giving up: clear air, better food, family connections, etc. But he is willing to give it up for less poverty and more choices. Even here in America, many youth leave their country towns for the big cities for the same reasons.

    We need vision of what our “target” society would look like, I told a friend who loves to be politically involved and rails against abortion all the time. Saying we want a society that is more Biblically oriented or more Christ-oriented doesn’t mean anything. What does it mean to be Biblical and Christ-oriented? I personally would like church seven days a week, always open, services all the time, so those who cannot fit into the Sunday morning and Wednesday night mold can go to church and feel like they belong to the Body of Christ. That’s just one aspect of what I’d like in the “target” society. Even with Sunday blue laws, which my friend wants, police, hospitals, prisons, etc., still operate. Sin and sickness do not take days off.

    We could live in a libertarian society, I told my friend, where abortion is legal. But no one gets one. And no doctor performs one. How? By revival, like the revivals of old, when taverns went out of business because no one would get drunk.

    There are hard aspects about our modern lives. If you have a certain kind of career, then you have to be at the office 60 to 80 hours a week. It doesn’t matter if you live frugally. You have to be there, or you’ll be let go.

    Anyway…what does your “target” society look like, Dan? Imagine this as large as you can, because God can do more than you ask or think.

  11. Suzanne

    You have done a wonderful job on this topic. I worked for years in the secular arena, and recently began working at a religious institution. I have been amazed at the misconceptions that the people in this institution have about the secular world. I see very, very little difference between the two work environments. With both, it’s the bottom line, competition over compassion, efficiency over empathy, but with the religious institution, it also involves a smug sense of how much better we are than those outside our community. If nothing else, I think the past election showed a backlash against the church aligning itself so closely with certain economic and political systems. By doing that, the church is left adrift when those secular systems hit rough water; but many in the church will merrily float to their doom, sure in the knowledge that they were right!

  12. I’m fascinated to see you push the button on post-millenialism as a key crux in the development of our social problems *within* the church, not just impinging on us from without.

    The Restoration Movement of Alexander Campbell et alia is an important influence in my life, but it’s his embrace of post-millenialism that opened the door to many influences that plague us to this day (his flagship publication from 1830-something to his death in 1866 was titled “Millenial Harbinger,” and a trivia point, that a number of renegades from Campbell’s early “Reformed Baptist” movement who wanted more control over their parishoners went with Joseph Smith in Kirtland OH, and the first paper Rigdon and the Pratts put out was the “Millenial Star”). The post-millenial parts of Campbell’s writing, not recognized as such, are about the only parts of his work that modern day Disciples of Christ quote, and independent Christian Churches and a capella Churches of Christ are barely aware that this is a feature, not a bug in Campbell’s theology.

    • Jeff,

      I think that ignoring postmillennialism is a major oversight. I think it’s the linchpin that we in the Western Church have long ignored—and we’ve suffered for doing so.

  13. Mark

    Great article. I came across an article recently discussing along these lines, and I wish I would’ve kept it. What I find interesting is that, of the brothers and sisters that I regularly fellowship with, 3 couples own businesses, one is a farmer, and the other sister works for one of the three. Now, another good friend of mine living in another town is feeling called to start a business that he previously worked. I can’t say that this is a movement of the Lord, but, in light of what you’ve said, business ownership would be a way of returning, to a certain extent, to the days of “cottage industry”. My wife and I own businesses that inhabit the same building. Our son has come to work with us from day one, allowing both of us to work but for him to still be with us. I say my family much more now than when I was employed, and that was more than it would’ve been had my wife worked outside the home at that time. I am not saying its feasible for everyone to start businesses, but I wonder if there isn’t a move of the Lord to lead Christians in this direction. The results are beautiful, in our ability to be a witness to our employees, our customers, our vendors, etc. I would be curious of others ideas on this.

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