|RPM, Volume 21, Number 20, May 12 to May 18, 2019|
Biblical eschatology, or the study of last things, is an interesting doctrinal field. As many know, disagreement abounds between numerous conflicting views (A–Mill, Post–Mill, Pre–Mill, Preterism, etc.). Of course, there are new views being introduced as well, such as J. Webb Mealy's, New Creation Millennialism (a form of Pre–Mill, which also supports the unbiblical annihilation of the wicked).
With all these different opinions, how is the saint of God supposed to study and understand the marvelous book of Revelation? Many would suggest by reading a comprehensive book on all the major millennial views. It's important to understand each view – their strengths and weaknesses. Contrasting them is invaluable. And enabled by the Spirit of God and prayer, comparing and contrasting the different views of eschatology improves our understanding of last things. This is precisely what Menn's book "Biblical Eschatology" offers the reader – a precise compare and contrast understanding of the end–time views. This is part and parcel of its purpose and it excels at it.
As the reader will discover, Jonathan Menn has a Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Though a board–certified civil trial lawyer for many years, for the past several years he has been serving the church of the living God as the Director of Equipping Church Leaders–East Africa (ECLEA) (www.eclea.net). So, he's theologically astute and knows how to frame an argument to assist the reader to more easily discern the truths of biblical eschatology.
To assist the reader in their understanding of eschatology, Menn offers numerous outlines, charts and tables in interpreting the eschatological passages of Scripture. His chart comparing the four basic millennial views of postmillennialism, amillennialism, historical premillennialism and dispensational premillennialism is comprehensive and spans numerous pages. I especially enjoyed his interaction with Preterism.
In this excellent work consisting of twelve chapters and seven appendices, he discusses such topics as the importance of eschatology, and presents a historical overview of eschatological thought, and discusses all the major eschatological issues and passages, including the Second Coming, Recapitulation, the Millennium, the Olivet Discourse, the Seals, the Trumpets, the Woman and Dragon, the Bowls, the Antichrist, the Tribulation, and the Rapture. He discusses eschatology from the two–age model and the "already but not yet" nature of the kingdom of God. He examines the role of the New Testament in interpreting the Old Testament, how to interpret the symbolic language of eschatology, and the relationship between Israel and the church. He also offers a brief commentary on the book of Revelation itself. Though not entirely, Menn essentially follows Dr. Greg Beale's commentary on Revelation. It's shorter than Beale's commentary and actually very good. In the appendices, the reader will discover other important detailed information on such passages as Ezekiel 40–48, Daniel 9:24–27, Zechariah 14, Romans 11:25–26 and 1 Corinthians 15:20–57 and how each impacts our understanding of eschatology.
I believe pastors will find Menn's passion for truth convicting, convincing, and inspiring. It will challenge you! I find the book comprehensive, thorough, meticulous, and lovingly fair in its treatment of all the millennial views. It is well organized and researched, simple to read, and a valuable reference tool for every student's library. It's extensive, scholarly, and biblical. In my opinion, it should be required reading in every seminary, no matter their denominational or eschatological beliefs.
This book is an enjoyable read that teachers especially won't be able to put down.
|This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor. If you would like to discuss this article in our online community, please visit the RPM Forum.|
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