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: The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: Old Testament

The Bible Expositor's Handbook, OT Edition: Old Testament EditionThe Bible Expositor’s Handbook, OT Edition: Old Testament Edition by Greg Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an excellent book on exposition of the Old Testament. Harris uses a consistent historical grammatical hermeneutic while looking at various Old Testament passages. He considers intertexuality, progress of revelation, biblical theology, and the nature of prophetic fulfillment. It is not exhaustive, but it is helpful and accessible.

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Book Review: The Time Between the Old and New Testament

The Time Between the Old and New Testament: A Zondervan Digital ShortThe Time Between the Old and New Testament: A Zondervan Digital Short by Henry H. Halley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a concise overview of the intertestamental period. It is an excellent summary to bridge the gap between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Many things changed during those four centuries and understanding that helps understand the setting of the Gospels and the land of Israel during the life of Jesus.

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Book Review: How Does the New Testament use the Old Testament?: A Survey of Major Views

How Does the New Testament Use the Old Testament?: A Survey of the Major ViewsHow Does the New Testament Use the Old Testament?: A Survey of the Major Views by Michael Vlach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This booklet is helpful in summarizing the seven major views of how the New Testament writers used/interpreted the Old Testament. Vlach outlines the views in the words of their proponents and provides a few test cases of passages and how the different views read them. This is a complicated issue, particularly when it comes to the hard cases. However, Vlach points out that the majority of uses inarguably use a contextual interpretation. From that perspective, too much can be made of the relatively few places that are harder. These are important issues for they ultimately involve how the Bible is put together, issues of continuity and discontinuity between the testaments, and the possibility of Christians after the Apostles to follow their exegetical methods.

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