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: Has the Church Replaced Israel?

Has the Church Replaced IsraelHas the Church Replaced Israel by Michael Vlach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent study on the relation of Israel to the New Testament church. Vlach deals fairly with opposing views and examines a number of key verses.

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Review: He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God

He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of GodHe Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God by Michael J Vlach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been studying the kingdom of God closely for the last few years. I recently became aware of this book, which is “A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God.” This book is excellent and delivers on the expectations from the subtitle. Vlach works through the Bible from beginning to end, identifying the kingdom theme throughout. He ties all those threads together better than in any single work I’m aware of.

I appreciate that Vlach is up front about his premillennialism from the start. So many try to palm their eschatology and we end up with a vague treatment of scriptures. Even when I disagree with a man’s eschatological position, I appreciate knowing where he’s coming from and I want him to make his case so I can consider what he is saying and the prejudices he might have. Too many books and commentaries fail here.

Vlach did not cherry pick a few verses here and there, but rather worked with significant portions of Scripture. He paid attention to context and also presented primary objections or different views. He also answered those objections. I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through.

He makes a good case for plain meaning, but he also applies that hermeneutic to various passages. He gives a very brief treatment of historical views and apologetic applications. I highly recommend this book. Vlach’s writing is clear. So many books dealing with the kingdom are vague or overly spiritual. I will definitely reread and refer to this book in the future. The bibliography is also a great resource. I was unaware of many of those books, but I have found a few to start reading soon and others to read later.

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