Item description for The Last Things by George E. Ladd...
There are two traditional interpretations of the relationship between the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments. One sees separate tracts for Israel and the Christian church; the other view recognizes a progressive revelation and a unity of the Testaments. George Eldon Ladd holds the latter view and asserts that: "our final word . . . is to be found in the New Testament reinterpretation of the Old Testament prophecy." Only as the prophecies are seen in the light of God's revelation through Christ can we clearly understand what they mean in relation to the end times.
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Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.3" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2004
Publisher Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN 159244458X ISBN13 9781592444588
Reviews - What do customers think about The Last Things?
Good lay person's intro to post-trib premil eschatology Jan 12, 2005
Ladd wrote this book to help lay people see the clarity of the premillenial, post-tribulational interpretation of eschatology in the Bible. Post-trib says we will be raptured (or resurrected if already asleep) but only after a time of tribulation in which there will be trials, but also divine protection for believers of that generation. The rapture/resurrection of saints will be when Christ's supernatural return (to establish the thousand-year reign and judge) is well-known to the whole world. There will not be a seven-year gap between the rapture and Christ's 1000 year reign.
Ladd mentions a few times that his background was formerly Dispensational, which teaches the pre-tribulation rapture of the church (like the Left Behind series of books). While this is a popular view of Biblical eschatology, I think approaching the Bible more simply (as Ladd does) shows that being popular is the main thing pre-trib has going for it.
Like many Christians today, I assumed a pre-trib eschatology - before I studied the Word for myself more consistently. I have found Ladd's explanations are well thought out and do great justice to a natural reading of the texts. Even before reading anything from Ladd I was convinced that Dispensationalism imposes, rather than discovers, its theology on the texts. Dispensationalism is an argument from silence built upon rigid rules of interpretation. Ladd repeatedly demonstrates that Dispensational theology makes unnatural distinctions in phrases like "the Kingdom of God" and the "Kingdom of heaven" when they are actually equivalent. This tendency to over-literalize slight differences in wording as differences in meaning has led many Christian brothers and sisters to an extremely complex eschatology that does not square with many areas of Scripture (both OT and NT).
Ladd's book is not primarily a critique of Dispensationalism. It is a good explanation of what is sometimes called historic premillenialism. This is the view held by many church leaders throughout the centuries well before Dispensationalism and it is still widely held today (this doesn't make it correct, but at least worthy of consideration). Ladd shows how eschatology was essential in the teaching Jesus most emphasized - "the Kingdom". Ladd uses examples from The Sermon on the Mount, Kingdom parables, and many others to show how the end times and the Kingdom Jesus said was already upon us are directly related. Paul's letters are also carefully examined for eschatological information. We should realize that we don't need to wait in a state of anticipation hoping for Jesus to bring the Kingdom - He already has! The Kingdom has already invaded this world but the work of final consummation is not yet finished, and it is God's work we are privileged to participate in. We will not be raptured out of hard times, but like so many saints before us we will live out our faith as citizens of a different order only bowing the knee to the One who is already reigning as King!
Most of Ladd's books are more technical than this one and his "A Theology of the New Testament" is standard reading in many seminaries. Ladd has gone to be with the Lord, but his gifts and diligence made him one of the finest evangelical scholars of the 20th century. If you are a Bible teacher or aspiring Bible student looking for a well-informed introduction to post-trib rapture and Kingdom based eschatology, you will not find a better guide than Ladd. If you are pretty familiar with the Bible, you will find this book a quick, enjoyable read and it may help you see eschatology, and your role in it, in a whole new (and very Biblical) way.