It is quite common in Reformed circles these days to identify eschatological systems as essentially "optimistic" or "pessimistic." Of course, "optimism" is good, while "pessimism" is bad.
Since no one wants to be a pessimist when it comes to understanding the end-times (the Bible is very clear that Jesus wins in the end), postmillennarians champion their system as "optimistic" (and therefore biblical), while all others (including Reformed amillennarians) are decried as essentially pessimistic (and therefore, defeatist).
I'm convinced this is not a very helpful standard by which to evaluate any eschatological system. In this essay, I argue my case by pointing out how this paradigm came to be used in Reformed circles and why it fails to account for all the biblical data--some of which speaks of a suffering church and times of great tribulation.
The kind folks at Modern Reformation Magazine have given me permission to post my recent article from the September/October 2011 edition here on the Riddleblog.
Here's the link. Eschatology by Ethos