Item description for Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (Counterpoints) by Craig A. Blaising, Kenneth L. Gentry Jr & Robert B. Strimple...
Overview Are these the last days? Could Jesus return at any time to establish his thousand-year reign on earth? What is the nature of Christ's millennial kingdom referred to in the book of Revelation? What must happen before Jesus returns, and what part does the church play? Three predominant views held by evangelicals seek to answer these and related questions: premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial. This book gives each view a forum for presentation, critique, and defenses. Besides each contributor's personal perspective, various interpretations of the different positions are discussed in the essays. Like no other book, Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond lets you compare and contrast three important eschatological viewpoints to gain a better understanding of how Christianity's great hope, the return of Jesus, is understood by the church (two of the most fascinating and widely disputed topics in modern Christianity). What are we to make of the Bible's rich apocalyptic imagery? How much of it is a historical account? How much is prophecy that is unfolding today or that has yet to unfold, and how much illustrates timeless truths that transcend specific events of the past, present, or future? Two additions to the Counterpoints series now provide a forum for presentation and critique of, and interaction among, the predominant views on the book of Revelation and on the millennial reign of Christ and his Church. The contributors are eminently qualified to represent their various schools of thought. Like the other Counterpoints books, each of these volumes allows the reader to set the different views side by side to compare their strengths and weaknesses, gaining a better appreciation for other perspectives while strengthening or redefining his or her own. The premillennial, amillennial, and postmillennial views are presented, critiqued, and defended in turn, beginning with editor Darrell Bock's overview of the different viewpoints.
Publishers Description Are these the last days? Could Jesus return at any time to establish his thousand-year reign on earth? What is the nature of Christ s millennial kingdom referred to in the book of Revelation? What must happen before Jesus returns, and what part does the church play? Three predominant views held by evangelicals seek to answer these and related questions: premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial. This book gives each view a forum for presentation, critique, and defense. Besides each contributor s personal perspective, various interpretations of the different positions are discussed in the essays. Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond lets you compare and contrast three important eschatological viewpoints to gain a better understanding of how Christianity s great hope, the return of Jesus, is understood by the church. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.33" Height: 0.91" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 1999
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310201438 ISBN13 9780310201434
Availability 0 units.
More About Craig A. Blaising, Kenneth L. Gentry Jr & Robert B. Strimple
Craig A. Blaising (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is Research Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Reviews - What do customers think about Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond?
A Worthwhile Read Sep 21, 2005
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond is a beneficial read for those unfamiliar with eschatology and/or someone seeking to expand their understanding of the three millinnial theories. Somewhat more attention seems to be give to Premilliannialism as it given a longer and more comprehension evaluation. The Premillennail argument does seem to prevail within the confines of this particular book, however, as stated above it is given more attention and the general editor is premillennial as well. The book contains a great article on Amillennialism by a well qualified and very gifted theologian and most of his points are not satisfactorally refuted by either of the other writers. The Postmillenial position seems to be the weakest within this particular volume. However, the reader will receive a detailed comprehensive explanation of all three view points that is beneficial. The book successfully accomplishes its goal of presenting all three millennial views and allowing limited room for discussion amongst the writers of each school of thought.
Uneven presentation; OK discussion, but not concise Dec 7, 2004
In investigating the issue of the millennium, where should you start? Ultimately, I think this book makes the wrong choices in answering this question. While the discussion is interesting at times, I can't help but feel that Darrell Bock's summary essay should have been re-worked and presented at the beginning of the work. Basically, Bock writes that one's hermeneutical approach (the prism by which one interprets Scripture) largely determines what you believe the end times looks like. Bock notes how each passage deals with eschatological texts, and what questions each feels are key to understanding the nature of Jesus' return. If he had placed this at the beginning, I think it would be more helpful to the reader. Perhaps he could have then placed another essay "wrapping things up" at the end.
Kenneth Gentry Jr. contributes the postmillennial perspective, but does a much better job critiquing the positions of the others than advancing his own case. In his own essay, he really needed to a) explain his own hermeneutical approach in a coherent and distinctive fashion, rather than use generalities, and b) take the time to formulate a detailed explanation of how postmillennialism interprets Revelation 20 (the key text). As someone who considers himself sympathetic to postmillennialism's expectation that God's Kingdom is irrestibly advancing even in this current age, I really wanted Gentry to make a solid case. After all, Jonathan Edwards (arguably the greatest American mind ever) was post-mil, so surely it's a reasonable position. Alas.
Robert Strimple presents the amillennial position and does an excellent job presenting his overall hermeneutic and understanding of key passages. Of all the essays, his is probably the best. He boldly tackles Romans 11 to explain how amillennialism understands what is usually read as regarding a future conversion of Israel (although it seems Strimple only represents a portion of amil proponents who feel that Paul is not speaking 'prophetically' here).
Craig Blaising advances the premillennial position, and does a fair job with the exegesis portion, but I agree with the reviewer below who feels that premillennial positions come in basically two varities, and that each should have been allowed to speak for itself individually. Blaising spends too much on time on the history of thought regarding the nature of the eras beyond our own, and not enough time directly discussing the hermeneutics involved in how premillenialists arrive at the premillennial understanding of Revelation 20. In fairness, he is representing both the "George Ladd" premil folks (like me), and the much more strictly literal approach dispensationalist interpreters, so he's got to couch his argument in the shared understanding of the central text.
At any rate, I recommend Stanley Grenz's The Millennial Maze instead of this book. Grenz, although he is an amil guy, is extremely fair. Each position's history and hermeneutic is discussed in concise fashion, and followed with a targeted critique. I'm not finished reading it yet, but I actually thought that in presenting postmillennialism, he made a much better argument than Kenneth Gentry did in this book. In addition, I feel like I understand dispensationalism a WHOLE lot better than I ever did.
Counterpoint Series Nov 15, 2004
I'm going to apply this commentary for the entire Counterpoint Series published by Zondervan Publishing Company. My compliments to that company for creating this series. I initially purchased "Four Views on the Book of Revelation" but soon realized it was only one in a series. I got so much out of that volume, that I decided to purchase the entire set to study and keep for reference. My spiritual growth has been remarkable as a result. Seminary students and professionals would probably enjoy this series, which seems geared for them. But this series is also excellent for those college-educated laypeople who feel inclined to enhance their understanding of Christian theology. That is, with one caveat: Buy a decent theological dictionary to refer to at first. It probably won't get used much after about the third book you choose to read, but initially you will be need it to be confident of some of the terms used among advanced theologians. Then, the Counterpoint series will give you a full understanding of many different concepts and concerns of the Christian faith which have been applicable from early on until the present. I've learned a lot, and the only way I think I could do better is if I were enrolled in Seminary. A list of all the titles I am aware of from this series is:
Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Five Views on Law and Gospel Five Views on Sanctification Four Views on Hell Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World Four Views on the Book of Revelation Three Views on Creation and Evolution Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond Three Views on the Rapture Two Views on Women in Ministry
Vapid Aug 6, 2004
This debate had almost no life in it. I just don't see that much interaction between the three authors. Also, the fact that there were only three authors is problematic. Not having separate sections for Historic and Dispensational Premillenialism will certainly effect a work like this negatively. To have a Dispensationalist speak for an Historic Premillenialist ir vice versa will leave one of the views with poor representation because the presenter has no vested interst in that viewpoint (and is in fact an opponent, causing their presentation to intentionally be weak). This is certainly not the book that you want to use in a discipleship group or study. THe presentations are too weak. The way that each author approaches the discussion is far from forceful, which I feel it should be. I would suggest Meaning of the Millenium instead. But I could be wrong since there are people who've rated this work higher than the four-point. So check it out if you'd like.
A Debate That Has Lasted About Two Millennia Jun 4, 2002
Three Views on the Millenium and Beyond is not a book that you should begin your studies in eschatology with. It is a rather difficult book but not impossible to work through. One needs to be at least minimally familiar with each of the positions and some of the arguments if the book is to be completely gratifying. For instance, if you are not familiar with Revelation 20, then you might as well put this book down until you have scanned it through a few times.
Nevertheless, the authors impressively articulate their positions and their reasons for believing what they do. This book will provide you with an intermediary starting place for being able to better understand each of the three positions (which are to be taken broadly since there are disagreements within each of the camps). I will not comment on who "won" the debate, partly because I am largely agnostic about it at this point (though I do favor one position). But each did provide thought-provoking arguments and responses that need to be more fully considered (at least for myself).
Darrell Bock's closing essay was helpful in pointing out both areas of agreement and disagreement. Despite his admonition of a possible bias towards premillenialism, I did not find that it was largely evident. I was also impressed to find that Robert Strimple admitted that he had changed his opinion on one section after reading another writer's argument in the book: certainly a rare case! Interestingly, the contributers would often respond with comments like, "that position is not necessarily indicative of the such and such view." Quite often, the writers agreed with eachother. But don't be fooled, for there are many disagreements as well.
Overall assessment: this book was very-well written, edifying, and educational in my eschatological studies. I recommend that others read a few books by Blaising (premil), Hendriksen or Hoekema (amil), or Gentry (postmil), prior to reading this book. That way, you will be more familiar with the terminology and the arguments. But if you are interested in the eschatology discussions, then you must read this book.