After 25 years, a short, concise treatise on postmillennialism remains a favorite amongst readers of Rushdoony. Now, during a time of upheaval, authoritarianism, uncertainty, and cultural decline, the need is just as great to strengthen and reinforce Christians with a victorious eschatalogy. For that, we’re reprinting Rushdoony’s God’s Plan for Victory in an expanded version!
Imagine holding strongly to a postmillennial view when the majority of your colleagues and critics were either dispensational or amillennial. That was R. J. Rushdoony for many years before and after he began Chalcedon.
That started to change during the 1970s as young scholars, writers, and church leaders gathered around Chalcedon’s light which led to dedicating an entire issue of The Journal of Christian Reconstruction (Winter 1976-1977) to the subject of the millennium.
In 1977, Rushdoony devoted even more space to the subject of eschatology by publishing a short volume God’s Plan for Victory: The Meaning of Postmillennialism, which sold out quickly requiring another print run that also sold out. Despite that, the book would not see print again until he finally approved a reprint in 1997.
In the preface to the 1997 edition, he wrote, “Failure to reprint it further was due to negligence on my part, and a desire to add to it possibly.”
That’s all he would say about the book’s nearly 20-year absence before delving quickly into what he saw as the importance of eschatology:
Eschatology, the doctrine of last things, is also the doctrine of first things because it is concerned with the goal of history. Of necessity, goals determine present-day action. We are not motivated to action unless we know the purpose for our action. Specific goals motivate us. If we believe that the main and final goal of the Christian life is heaven, or the salvation of our souls, we will be indifferent to history and the world around us. But, if in terms of Matthew 6:33, we believe that the Kingdom of God and His righteousness or justice must have priority in our lives, then we will not have a self-centered view of salvation. Our personal salvation is not the focus and goal of the gospel but simply the starting point. The goal is God’s Kingdom, His purpose for humanity and the world.
The importance of his view of eschatology was clear: the goal of God’s victorious Kingdom demands Christian action in every generation. It’s not only a doctrine of “last things.” It’s a doctrine of “first things” because it determines our position and mission today.
As it was during the 1960s, pessimism fueled the evangelical view of eschatology as much as any exegesis, and one could ask today, “How can we hold to an optimistic eschatology when it appears obvious that we’ve lost the culture war, and we are witnessing such a rapid decline of truth, liberty, and morality?”
The answer to that question highlights the kind of faith that we as believers have. The short answer is that God’s Word promises victory in history before a second coming of Christ, but the real issue is do we believe in the victory of God despite what we see with our eyes? When Peter sank shortly after successfully walking on water, our Lord said to him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31)
If we focus on the wind and waves of our times, we will sink in our unbelief. If we focus instead on our victorious Lord and His infallible Word, then we can expect the victory that He plans for us. This is why we’re releasing a new and expanded edition of Rushdoony’s God’s Plan for Victory. The intent is to help us redirect our focus to the sure promises of His Word.
This reprint of this postmillennial classic features added appendices from other volumes, articles, and essays to provide a fuller, richer reading experience that we know will encourage your faith. This expanded edition also features a new handsome cover design as well as an updated interior layout.
By the time you’re reading this, the expanded edition of God’s Plan for Victory will be at the printer, and we’ll soon have copies in-house.
Once we do have our inventory, we’ll be notifying you of their availability, so be sure you’re following Chalcedon on social media, but more importantly, on our email list. Sign up for our weekly emails at http://eepurl.com/cGXfmP
*Article originally posted on Chalcedon.edu