The Phoenix Preacher Book Review: Biblical Eschatology By Jonathan Menn
In my little library more than one of those shelves is filled with books on eschatology.
They are going to be yard sale fodder now.
Let’s just cut to the chase…this is the single best volume on eschatology ever written and I truly believe that it will become the standard teaching text on the subject in institutions of higher Christian learning.
It also should be required reading by all who believe that eschatology is a vital component of their faith…which should be all of us.
This book is comprehensive…it covers all of the doctrines and biblical texts associated with eschatology and the author has read and interacts with the differing positions on them honestly and fairly.
As a result, the book comes in at over 600 pages but every one of them is valuable in understanding the place of eschatology in the overall biblical narrative.
Great theology books are ones where the author has a clear position, but he is also well read and respectful of what others have written and what other traditions embrace.
Too often, books of this nature make a compelling case for one position, but do so at the expense of accurate representation of opposing views.
Not so with this one.
Menn is amillennial, but he seems to have read every dispensational author from Walvoord to Feinberg to Chuck Smith and he quotes, footnotes, and interacts with all of them based on the biblical text.
He does likewise with all the other major historical views.
None of the major views are given short shrift here and all are presented giving their best arguments and best scholars a voice.
I cannot commend Menn highly enough for this…it greatly strengthens the integrity of the whole volume.
My other two criteria for a “great” book are whether the author challenges my own presuppositions from the biblical text and whether he does so in a way that I can understand his arguments.
Once again, Menn gets my highest grades on both counts.
This is the 2013 Book of the Year in my opinion…and it will be reference work esteemed for it’s excellence for many years to come.
From the publisher:
Biblical Eschatology provides what is not found in any other single volume on eschatology: it analyzes all the major eschatological passages (including the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation), issues (including the second coming of Christ, the millennium, the rapture, and Antichrist), and positions (including all the major views of the millennium) in a clear, but not superficial, way. The book concludes with a chapter showing how eschatology is relevant for our lives.
Biblical Eschatology makes understanding eschatology easier by including chapters on how to interpret prophecy and apocalyptic literature, by showing the history of eschatological thought, and by placing eschatology in the context of the Bible’s overall story line and structure. Clarity and understanding are enhanced by the use of comparative tables and appendices. Subject and Scripture indexes are included. The book interacts with the best of Evangelical and Reformed scholarship, and the extensive bibliography (which includes the Web addresses of many resources that are online) provides an excellent source for the reader’s further study. This is a perfect resource for intelligent Christians, including pastors, students, and teachers, who desire to understand eschatology and to see how it fits together with the rest of the Bible.