Books, unlike blog articles, take a long time to produce. A book represents many months of thinking, studying, writing, editing, revising and rewriting. But when the process is finally complete, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as holding the finished product in your hands.
So you can appreciate how excited I was when, just yesterday, I received several copies of the newly released Christ’s Prophetic Plans by Moody Publishers (220 pp.) — a book to which I had the privilege of contributing. Other contributors include John MacArthur, Richard Mayhue, Michael Vlach, and Matthew Waymeyer (all of whom are on the faculty of The Master’s Seminary).
You can probably guess, from the title, that the book deals with eschatology (the doctrine of last things) — specifically with making the case for a future millennial kingdom.
Here are a list of the chapters:
* * * * *
Introduction: Why Study Prophecy? (by Richard Mayhue)
1. What Is Dispensationalism? (by Michael Vlach)
2. What Is Dispensationalism Not? (by Michael Vlach)
3. Why Futuristic Premillennialism? (by Richard Mayhue)
4. Why a Pretribulational Rapture? (by Richard Mayhue)
5. What about Israel? (by Michael Vlach)
6. What about Revelation 20? (by Matthew Waymeyer)
7. Does Calvinism Lead to Futuristic Premillennialism? (by John MacArthur)
8. Does the New Testament Reject Futuristic Premillennialism? (by John MacArthur)
9. Did the Early Church Believe in a Literal Millennial Kingdom? (by Nathan Busenitz)
10. How Certain Is Futuristic Premillennialism? (by John MacArthur)
* * * * *
For those interested in the study of last things, this book is one you’ll want to get. Even if you’re not a premillennialist, I think you’ll find plenty of food for thought in its pages.
Below are a few selected quotes (one from each contributor) to pique your interest:
John MacArthur: “The more I understand God’s sovereign, electing grace, the clearer the study of eschatology becomes. Moreover, the longer I study the Scriptures, the more convinced I become of the Futuristic Premillennial position. … Thus, I am a Futuristic Premillennialist for the same reason that I embrace the doctrines of grace. God’s Word clearly teaches the sovereign election of the church. But equally clear is His sovereign election of the nation of Israel. Armed with a literal hermeneutic, and fully convinced that God’s election cannot be forfeited because His purposes cannot fail, I embrace a Futuristic Premillennial eschatology with the same confidence that I embrace a Reformed soteriology. After all, we are bound to believe what the Scriptures reveal. In this case, a straightforward reading of God’s Word leaves me with no other option.” (pp. 155-56)
Richard Mayhue: “Futuristic Premillennialism comes to the text with no other preunderstanding than a consistent grammatical-historical hermeneutic. … [It] does not require new special rules of interpretation when it comes to prophetic texts. The biblical text is taken at normal face value, in its context, recognizing symbolic language and speech figures, plus the reality they represent. … Unless some clear, uncontested mandate from Scripture changes how one interprets second-coming prophecies (and there is none), then prophetic Scripture should be interpreted [in a face-value way] consistently throughout the Bible. Only Futuristic Premillennialism does so.” (p. 77)
Michael Vlach: “The salvation and restoration of the nation Israel is an explicit biblical doctrine. It is found from Genesis through Revelation. Israel’s future is linked with the ultimate Israelite, Jesus Christ, who restores the nation and brings blessings to the nations of the earth. May our response to the unbiblical idea that the nation Israel no longer has a place in God’s plans be that of the apostle Paul who declared, ‘God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!’ (Rom. 11:1).” (p. 121)
Matthew Waymeyer: “Is Satan currently bound in the abyss during the present age, or will his thousand-year imprisonment take place after the second coming of Christ? … Satan’s imprisonment cannot be considered a present reality because the events of Revelation 20:1-3 are incompatible with the New Testament’s portrayal of his influence during the present age. … If Satan is prevented from deceiving the nations during the millennial reign of Christ and yet he is currently deceiving the nations in the present age [cf. 2 Cor. 4:4], the thousand years of Revelation 20 cannot be taking place right now. The binding of Satan must be future” (pp. 125-128)
Last and most definitely least…
Nathan Busenitz: “If the New Testament upholds a future, earthly millennial kingdom, then we would expect Premillennialism to be the predominant view in the writings of the early church fathers. And that is exactly what we find. … Premillennialism, then, is not a recent development. Rather, it is the oldest eschatological viewpoint in church history. That reality adds tremendous credibility to the Futuristic Premillennial position.” (pp. 177, 192)
There’s obviously a whole lot more to the book than these five citations. Moreover, each of the selected quotations above exists in its own well-developed context. (I would ask everyone to keep that in mind before heated debates erupt over these short snippets in the comments section.)
Nonetheless, I hope this brief glimpse will suffice as an adequate teaser.
Those interested in acquiring a copy of Christ’s Prophetic Plans, which will be officially released next week, can visit GBI’s website here.