Book Review: Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel

Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of IsraelEternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel by Barry Horner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a follow up to the author’s earlier book, Future Israel. He interacts with some of the feedback from the first book and continues to blend writings from history to current times. Horner is right about the pervasive nature of supersessionist theology, though I know most do not like that term and would rather play games with words to cover their replacement theology. Horner not only covers the writings of supersessionists, but also their politics. Horner also deals with some of the problems with dispensationalists in reference to Israel. Horner also points out the pride of supersessionism that is exactly what Paul warned against in Romans 11:17-21. Of course, Horner presents the inevitable conclusion, supersessionism must be repented of and turned from. I’ve been surprised to see replacement popping up in the preaching of supposedly premill adherents that acknowledge some place for Israel, but see the “church” superseding Israel in place and importance.

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Book Review: Reading Romans after Supersessionism: The Continuation of Jewish Covenantal Identity

Reading Romans after Supersessionism: The Continuation of Jewish Covenantal IdentityReading Romans after Supersessionism: The Continuation of Jewish Covenantal Identity by J Brian Tucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not thrilled with the term post-supersessionism as it could be construed that the non-supersessionist reading of the New Testament is new or more recent. The author acknowledges that supersessionist hermeneutics dominate contemporary scholarship, and I suppose that does give the appearance of being the traditional view. It would have been good to have had some treatment of the historicity of continuist, non-supersessionist hermeneutics.

Tucker focuses on Romans 9-11 and interacts with both the text and scholarship on different sides of this discussion. By the end of the book, he did a good job of bringing out the plural nature of the promises to the fathers, so fulfillment necessarily includes aspects of descendants of Abraham (Israel), land, and Gentiles inclusion.

I’m not entirely convinced by his arguments in Romans 14. He is influenced by the “spheres of influence” view of the continuing relevance of Torah. I personally need to do more work in this area, but it seems that view falls short in its assessment of the old covenant relationship to the new covenant and the extent of old covenant fulfillment. Further, it seems to divide the old covenant law into divisions nowhere made in scripture and doesn’t account for the all-or-nothing view in epistles such as Galatians or James, not to mention the book of Hebrews and the covenants discussion there. However, the continuing relevance of Torah is not entirely germane to his argument for non-supersessionist readings.

I appreciate the book and recommend it for study.

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Book Review: The Message of the Psalter: An Eschatological Programme in the Book of Psalms

The Message of the Psalter: An Eschatological Programme in the Book of Psalm (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 252)The Message of the Psalter: An Eschatological Programme in the Book of Psalm by David C. Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an interesting study. Mitchell endeavors to trace an eschatological program through the canonical psalms. He considers historical scholarship and more modern scholarship on the predictive nature of the Psalms. I would quibble with some things here and there and felt like at times he was stretching to prove his thesis. Overall, it is a helpful study.

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Book Review: The Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to Amillennialism

The Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to AmillennialismThe Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to Amillennialism by Jonathan Ammon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this book and discussed it on the Just Jerry Live podcast. We went through the book chapter by chapter over 8 episodes. Here is a link to the first episode. You can listen to those episodes if you want a fuller discussion on this book.

Ammon is open from the start about his amill position and how he got there. The book seemed to follow a natural progression from premill to amill, that was probably not unlike what the author experienced. I appreciated that openness and I think he was genuinely wanting to write something helpful.

I wouldn’t call this the best presentation of amill I have read. The book has some weaknesses that prevent it from being a serious or compelling presentation of amillennialism. For instance, he does not touch the Old Testament. If it hadn’t been for a bare mention of the book of Daniel in a light appendix, there would have been zero Old Testament references in the book. Of the New Testament passages he deals with, he didn’t really address other passages that bear on the same topic, and he didn’t address other passages that would seem to counter his views. He did a little bit of namedropping, but he did not really deal with any differing views. He spent a good bit of time on the two-age schema of all time, but he didn’t offer a scriptural definition of what an age is.

Ultimately, my differences with this book come down to the hermeneutical approach to Scripture. Amillennialism holds to a discontinuity view and a dispensational framework that defies any natural, consistent, grammatical-historical reading of all Scripture.

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Book Review: Amillennialism and the Age to Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age Model

Amillennialism and the Age to Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age ModelAmillennialism and the Age to Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age Model by Matt Waymeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is primarily a critique of the two-age schema of amillennialism. Waymeyer works carefully through a number of issues pertaining to this framework. He gives copious footnotes and direct quotes. He presents the basic amillennial interpretation and gives space to differing views within the amill camp. He also presents the interpretation of premillennialists, and also notice the existence of different views within that camp. He attempted to present views fairly without misrepresentation. This is an excellent resource for some key issues of difference between amill and premill interpretations.

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