I began following Jesus at a time when the Left Behind series of books was entering the height of popularity. I was reading each one that came out, and as a new believer I just assumed this was how the end times were going to happen. I stopped reading the series about halfway through when I realized that one of the books I had just read covered only one day in what was supposed to be a seven year tribulation. I got weary of how long the story was going to drag out, but I still believed that was basically how things were going to happen. I read LaHaye's commentary on Revelation, and although a few things didn't make sense to me, I accepted it as an accurate interpretation. In my twenties I picked the series back up. By then I was a lot more knowledgeable about theology, and I found myself getting really frustrated by the idea that was communicated in the books that Gentile believers are second-rate to the nation of Israel. Obviously, the authors didn't say that explicitly, but that was the sense I got. I read about thirty pages into the second-to-the-last book and stopped. I couldn't take it anymore. When I read the Bible, a lot of things didn't seem to line up when I considered what dispensational theologians taught, especially concerning the timing of the Rapture, the nature of the Millennial Kingdom, and the separation of the church and Israel into two distinct programs by God.
All that to say, I've been waiting for someone to write a book to deconstruct all of what wasn't making sense to me from the dispensational viewpoint. KINGDOM COME by Sam Storms is that book. Storms recounts his journey out of dispensational theology that reminded me of my own. The book seeks to look at all the relevant texts to get a good understanding of what the Bible teaches about the end times. The result is a carefully constructed argument for an amillenial position.
Storms looks at the relevant passages and shows how much that dispensationalists see as prophecy was actually fulfilled in the past. He leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit to communicate an accurate view of biblical eschatology. I couldn't think of one passage that wasn't dealt with. All the important topics, such as the Rapture, the Millennium, the antichrist, Daniel's 70 weeks, and the bounding of Satan. The chapters on the antichrist and the mark of the beast are particularly interesting because I had never read from this perspective before. The author is respectful in the way that he argues against opposing viewpoints.
I'm not ready to call myself an amillenialist, but this book is definitely one that has helped me understand a proper end times interpretation better and one that everyone interested in eschatology should read. I don't agree with the author on every point, but there is much that I do, and it has me pointed in the right direction to study it further.
Review copy provided by Mentor Books
Photo Credit: Mentor Books