Book Review: Premillennialism: Why There Must Be a Future Earthly Kingdom of Jesus

Premillennialism: Why There Must Be a Future Earthly Kingdom of JesusPremillennialism: Why There Must Be a Future Earthly Kingdom of Jesus by Michael J. Vlach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book makes a positive case for premillennialism. Vlach does deal with some objections and alternative views on some texts, but mostly is making his case from both testaments and the overall storyline of Scripture.

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Book Review: The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God

The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of GodThe Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God by George Eldon Ladd
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I disagreed with a lot in this book and came to realize the problem with it is a foundational hermeneutical issue. Ladd held to a re-interpretation of Old Testament texts by the New Testament, so later revelation changed the contextual meaning of prior revelation. Though he tried to maintain some sort of continuity of the kingdom from the Old to the New Testament, he ended up with a discontinuity in the nature of the kingdom as revealed in the Old and New Testaments.

He spiritualized and generalized the kingdom to where at times he made it synonymous with salvation, eternal life, etc. He conflated conceptions of the universal lordship of Christ and the mediatorial kingdom of men on the earth. He ended up with a supersession of Israel and reformulation of the people of God to the point that his vision for the restoration of Israel fell short of the promises/covenants made to the fathers, which necessarily included a geo-political, ethnic, and territorial kingdom with Jesus Christ on the throne of his father David in Jerusalem ruling over the twelve tribes united on the land promised to Abraham.

It was an interesting read historically, but I can’t recommend it as helpful.

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Book Review: New Creation Eschatology and the Land: A Survey of Contemporary Perspectives

New Creation Eschatology and the Land: A Survey of Contemporary PerspectivesNew Creation Eschatology and the Land: A Survey of Contemporary Perspectives by Steven L. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the off, this book is true to the title and is a survey of contemporary views concerning the continuity of present heaven-earth space-time and future new heaven-new earth space-time. Some may find the copious quotations and footnotes laborious. Those citations and notes are necessary in a book of this nature. The author honestly presented various sources in their own words to survey their views. James was transparent about his goal to show inconsistency on the part of new creationists who use Old Testament restoration texts to inform their eschatological reality of eternal ages with the present earth being renewed, rather than obliterated, and yet they deny particular territorial promises in those same texts concerning the Nation of Israel (twelve tribes, etc.) and territorial land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The author’s main goal was to demonstrate the hermeneutical inconsistency, though he does offer some counterpoint. His conclusion points out different areas where more work and thought needs done. This book isn’t the explanation and defense of a holistic new creationist view, which views the restoration texts of both testaments to inform a continuity in the eschaton with the present earth being renewed and particular national and territorial promises to Israel being fulfilled as part of the renewed earth. Overall this is a helpful book and I hope it will be widely read.

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Book Review: Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of ExpertisePeak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by K. Anders Ericsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a deep dive into expertise. Malcolm Gladwell didn’t invent the 10,000 hour rule, but when he wrote about it in Outliers, a lot of people noticed. Much noise has been made about the accuracy of his conclusions. I don’t think he was inaccurate as much as he was incomplete. He was definitely onto something. Those who achieve expert levels in various fields have put in a lot of practice to get there. But what kind of practice? That’s where Ericsson and Pool come in. Achieving expert level is more about a lot of the right kind of practice, what they call deliberate practice. Years of research and studies have gone into this book. It is a little heavy at times with neuroscience and the limits of neuroscience, but I found that fascinating. Like Gladwell’s, this book will challenge some basic assumptions of conventional wisdom. It was a great read.

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Book Review: Can I Trust the Bible?

Can I Trust The Bible? (Crucial Questions, #2)Can I Trust The Bible? by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was expecting a brief apologetic type book, like the others in this series I have read. Instead, this a book about the Chicago Statement, which R. C. Sproul was instrumental in with the drafting of the statement. It focuses primarily on the issues of inspiration and inerrancy. It gives the affirmations and denials, as well as statement exposition and commentary. It was a good read with some minor things here and there.

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