Books on postmillennialism are rare these days, because postmillennialists are relatively rare (though the number is growing). 200 years ago, a very large number of Christians were postmillennial. I have friends who are postmillennialists, one of whom wrote a book. I’ve finally read that book. Keith Mathison wrote Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope because many people misunderstand this view, and he wants to persuade more Christians that this is the biblical eschatology.
Disclaimer: I probably should get my eschatalogical journey out on the table since this can often color how we view this subject. As a young Christian, I read lots of books by Dispensationalists on eschatology (because, sadly, they seem to be the ones inundating the market with books). So, from 1986-1990 or so I was a dispensational premillennialist. But I was finding that Scripture was disabusing me of this view. By the time I went to seminary in 1991, I was an historic premillennialist without realizing what my view was called. I was initially suspicious of amillennialism and postmillennialism. By the time I left seminary I was an amillennialist, and have remained so for 15 years.
Hermeneutical Considerations This is where Keith starts, and for good reason. He lays out some Presuppositions and Definitions. He lays out his presuppositions about the existance of God, His willingness to communicate, the authority of His Word, our being made as image bearers and ability to receive that Word before hitting interpretive considerations. He concisely lays out the necessity of faith, the need to let Scripture interpret Scripture, the role of community and tradition in intrepreting Scripture. It is only after this that Keith defines the 4 most common eschatalogical views (quiz, I’ve named them all already- what are they?).
“The thesis of this book is simple: Postmillennialism is the system of eschatology that is most consistent with the relevant texts of Scripture, a covenantal approach to Scripture, and the nondisputed doctrines of Reformation theology.”
He just dropped a term he hadn’t mentioned: Covenant Theology. In the second chapter he distinguishes between Covenant and Dispensational Theology. He was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary before he went off the theological reservation and I met him at Reformed Theological Seminary. This is a SHORT chapter, but he concisely defines & critiques Dispensational Theology and then explains Covenant Theology since most American Christians are essentially unfamiliar with Covenent Theology.
Historical Considerations What the church has believed on this issue is important. It is not definitive or authoritative. It is also a mixed bag as various theologies came into being and were clarified over time. The last of these to come into being is Dispensational Premillennialism (though there have been premillennialists for quite some time). He shows that the historical claims some have made for their positions just don’t hold water. Postmillennialism was the main position during the time of the Puritans and into the early 20th century, however.