John Lennox is professor of Mathematics at Oxford, yet he offers us a commentary on the Old Testament book of Daniel as an encouragement for ChristianJohn Lennox is professor of Mathematics at Oxford, yet he offers us a commentary on the Old Testament book of Daniel as an encouragement for Christians everywhere to continue to stand “against the flow” of today’s secular age. Lennox has debated Richard Dawkins, and is known for his books integrating faith and science. He is an old-earth creationist and well versed in the philosophical debates which threaten the faith in our age. His new book "Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism" (Monarch Books, 2015) is a popular-level reflection on the book of Daniel that is both inspiring and challenging.
The book is not a detailed exegetical commentary on the text of Daniel. Instead it is more of a social commentary, drawing lessons from Daniel’s day and drawing parallels with our own age of skepticism and secularism. The book is replete with quotes from philosophers and news articles, ancient Near-Eastern texts and a vareity of other works. Pictures play a large role, and are interspersed in the text and also found in a full color insert section in the middle.
Lennox writes with British humor, at times, and with a scientist’s mind on the text. His exegetical insights are not profound, but he brings out the big picture realities that flow from the text. This is not a science and faith title, necessarily. It is about the Biblical book of Daniel. But there are lessons to be drawn that apply to the science debate and others. He offers some techincal resources and includes several appendices. And while he does defend the faith and the historicity of Daniel, that is not the book’s primary purpose. This is written to inspire believers to stand firm for their Christian faith in an age of secularism. We haven’t faced the lions in our Western society quite yet, but Daniel has much to offer us as to how to influence the culture while standing true to our faith.
This book is not a simple read, and its message is not light. It offers a challenge to our faith and an encouragement at the same time. I hope it will find a wide readership.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Monarch Books via LitFuse Publicity. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review....more
Of the many contemporary debates pushing and pulling on the Church today, the Creation and Evolution debate is perhaps the most alarming. The New AtheOf the many contemporary debates pushing and pulling on the Church today, the Creation and Evolution debate is perhaps the most alarming. The New Atheists like Richard Dawkins try to lump any Bible believer in with the crackpots and loonies, while some of the most high-profile creationists spare no punches as they condemn the vast majority of Evangelicalism for any of a number of compromises on this question. For folks in the pew, the situation is tense: Science continues to raise large questions, and the Church often seems to provide few answers. Many of our youth are pressured to abandon the faith as they encounter new arguments against creation. With at least four major views in Evangelicalism, there is not a strong unified position to lean upon. Most books on the topic defend their particular view and often take aim directly on other sectors of Christianity. These books do more to perpetuate the polarized nature of the debate than provide a clear way forward. And meanwhile it seems that the scientific consensus only continues to become an even larger stumbling-block to Christian faith.
In this context, a variety of new attempts to integrate science and faith have been proposed. Yet for conservative Christians this only raises new questions. How far is too far? What are the limits of integrating faith and science? How important is the age of the earth? Are all forms of evolution out-of-bounds for Christians? What about the Flood – must it be universal? Could animal death have preceded the Fall? What are we to think about Adam and Eve?
These questions and more are addressed in an important new book from Kenneth Keathley and Mark Rooker, professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. "40 Questions About Creation and Evolution" (Kregel, 2015) charts a course through the debate, raising the right questions and providing many answers. A big burden behind this book is just to survey the positions that are being adopted by Evangelical leaders today. The authors carefully lay out the evidence (good and bad) for each of these positions. Keathley approaches the matter from a young-earth creationist (YEC) perspective, and Rooker adopts an old-earth (OEC) view, but each author takes pains to speak charitably of the other positions and honestly about the difficulties of his own view. Their irenic candor and careful grappling with the major positions makes this book a joy to read.
Each chapter functions as a stand-alone treatment of a particular question. These questions are loosely arranged by topic. The first two parts focus on the doctrine of Creation in general (and its role in Scripture), and then in particular about the exegetical details in Gen. 1-2. Following this is a section on the Days of Creation. Here the following positions are examined:
* The Gap theory * The Day-Age theory * The Framework theory * The Temple Inauguration theory * The Historical Creationism theory (or Promised Land theory) * The Twenty-Four Hour theory
Following this is a section on the age of the Earth. Here the genealogies and the arguments for and against an old earth are examined. In addition, the question of distant starlight gets special treatment. Included here is an examination of the mature creation argument. The next section focuses on the Fall and the Flood. The image of God and the idea of Original Sin are fleshed out here. The final section focuses on evolution and intelligent design. A history of Darwinism is provided along with its key supporting arguments. Challenges to evolution are also presented (often from atheistic scientists who still hold to common descent). The question of theistic evolution is also addressed. Finally discussion of the “fine-tuning argument” highlights the special place our Earth holds in the universe.
This book is over 400 pages long, so I only have time to point out some highlights.
Careful Analysis of the Debate: I was struck by the careful analysis of why Evangelicals disagree so much on this issue. Concordism and non-concordism are addressed, and so is the matter of presuppositions. The authors stress that old-earth creationists (OEC) share many of the same presuppositions as young-earth creationists (YEC), they do not share the view that a YEC interpretation of Gen. 1-11 is the “only interpretation available to the Bible-believing Christian” (p. 20). YEC adherents really do often hold this as a presupposition and so their position is basically fideism: “if one’s presuppositions are unassailable, then his approach has shifted from presuppositionalism to fideism” (p. 21). OEC proponents allow more room for empiricism, which “allows experience and evidence to have a significant role in the formation of one’s position” (p. 21). This philosophical difference lies beneath the OEC vs. YEC debate and recognizing this can help in understanding the mindset of each alternate view.
Helpful Discussion of Each Major View: The discussions of each view are extremely helpful. Careful arguments are presented for each view, and then answered. The authors show how most scholars have good reasons to reject the Gap theory today, but they point out the fascinating history of this position (which dates back to the seventeenth century). By the mid-twentieth century, Bernhard Ramm could say that the gap theory was “the standard interpretation throughout Fundamentalism” (p. 112). The Day-Age theory is dismissed as treating “Genesis 1 as though its purpose is to provide a detailed, scientifically verifiable model of cosmic origins,” which hardly seems in keeping with “its ancient context” (p. 126). The Framework theory doesn’t have “a single theological truth” dependent on its unique reading of the text (p. 134). The authors have an uneasy assessment of the Temple Inauguration theory. They seem to revel in the connections between Eden and the Temple, but think Walton’s particular view says too much without enough explicit textual warrant. I note the odd argument that it makes “more biblical sense” that the Israelites believed “God lived in heaven both before and after the creation week” (p. 145). This prevents us from seeing creation as God’s need for a physical habitat to rest in. But didn’t God create heaven in the creation week? The authors seem intrigued by John Sailhamer’s Historical Creation theory. They raise objections but imagine others finding satisfactory answers to them. The Twenty-Four Hour theory certainly is more clearly defended, but strong objections are also raised. A mediating view is also presented that may well be Rooker’s own view: that the 24 hour days are to be seen as literally 24-hour days, but used metaphorically in the text. This whole section is worth the price of the book – the debate is laid out and dispassionately treated in a clear manner that provides directions for further study in a variety of directions.
Excellent on the Age of the Earth: I also appreciated the discussion of the age of the earth. The authors point out that the young-earth/flood geology position has only recently become the predominant Evangelical view. Prior to "The Genesis Flood" by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris (1961), there had been over a hundred years of Evangelical Christians who held to an old earth. Some discussions of the history of the YEC position devolve into an all-out mockery of the YEC position. This book is honest about the history (and the large role played by George McCready Price, a Seventh Day Adventist and geologist), but does not smear the YEC position with “guilt-by-association.” The major arguments put forth in Whitcomb and Morris’ book continue to be widely repeated today, but many of them have been forsaken by modern YEC proponents: the water-vapor canopy, a “small universe” (to allow for distant starlight), the Fall causing the second law of thermodynamics (entropy), and even the human and dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy River (p. 196). The scientific arguments for a young earth are actually quite tenuous. On the flip side, the scientific arguments for an old earth seem quite strong. Having studied this issue in some depth previously, I still found new arguments and considerations presented here. The authors also quote YEC authors who are also honest about the weakness of the scientific evidence. As an example, John Morris (Henry Morris’ son and successor) has admitted “he knows of no scientist who has embraced a young earth on the basis of the empirical evidence alone” (p. 198). The Biblical case for a young earth, in contrast, is quite strong. Even though the genealogies in Scripture are by no means air-tight nor intended to be strictly chronological, “we still have the impression… that not an enormous amount of time has passed since the beginning of creation” (p. 176). The authors conclude on this matter: “The conclusion must be that, though a cursory reading of Scripture would seem to indicate a recent creation, the preponderance of empirical evidence seems to indicate otherwise” (p. 224).
Conservative yet Open on the Effects of the Fall: The book does draw hard and fast lines, and one of them is the historicity of Adam and Eve. This is ultimately a matter of “biblical authority” (p. 242), and it becomes a “litmus test” for Christians who would want to advocate some evolutionary position (p. 378). The question of the Fall and its impact is perhaps the most important question that divides the OEC and YEC views. They see the Fall as the historical moment of Original Sin, yet animal death before the Fall and the Fall’s impact on the natural creation are more open to reconsideration. The “notion of animal death existing prior to Adam’s fall does not appear to be, theologically speaking, an insurmountable problem” (p. 261). On the Fall’s impact on creation: “YEC proponents seem to be dogmatic about a position which, upon closer examination, appears to be more speculative than they have been willing to admit” (p. 269-270).
Critical of Evolution: As an eager reader of the book, I was challenged by this section, perhaps the most. The discussion on evolution will not encourage any simplistic acceptance of evolution. The authors’ introduce many of the problems to the standard Darwinian model that have been raised of late. Intelligent design is also carefully explained. More space could be given to scientific responses to these new challenges, perhaps, but the section does a good job pointing out the questions which still surround the mechanics of evolution. As for Christians wanting to embrace some sort of evolutionary model (not based on naturalistic Darwinian assumptions), the authors present three essential points that must be maintained:
* The uniqueness of the human race to possess and reflect the divine image. * The unity of the human race. * The historicity of the original couple and their disobedience. (p. 378)
This book will prove to be helpful for those who want to survey the state of this debate in Evangelicalism today. The authors don’t sugarcoat the controversy and are at times painfully honest. They bring a wealth of research together, surveying the historical background to the controversy and marshal an impressive array of scientific arguments for and against each major position. Some may not appreciate how certain positions are embraced tentatively. Yet others will see this as a strength. Some will fault the authors for going too far, others will scoff at some of the attention drawn to what they consider obscure arguments for a young earth. The book will challenge those pushing the envelope and vying for unflinching acceptance of evolution in all its forms. It will also challenge those who pick and choose among the scientific studies – cherry picking anything that supports their YEC position and ignoring the rest. Above all, the book brings us back to the Bible and the text itself – what exactly does it affirm and how should that shape our consideration of these questions.
Ultimately this book calls for greater unity and charity in this debate. It is precisely here that this book is most needed. YEC proponents too often come across as abrasive, and their arguments seem to lack “tentativeness” or humility. OEC apologists can easily get caught up in the intramural debate and continue the caustic harsh tone. All of this is not only off-putting, but unhelpful. This book presents an alternative and a possible step forward. I trust it will make a contribution toward more light and less heat on this perennially thorny issue. I highly recommend it.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Kregel Academic. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review....more
It was actually by reading Hills' work, that I first began to doubt the tenets of King James onlyism, since he is honest with the evidence and admits to a few errors in the Textus Receptus. Hills also espouses a more Calvinistic bent in his theology than I had been exposed to up to that time, but what most made me pause in my reading of Hills, was his unabashed acceptance of geocentrism. He is not the only King James proponent to hold to geocentrism (the idea that the sun and planets rotate around the earth), see this article by Dr. Thomas Strouse.
With this wariness in my mind, I was intriguted when I found a copy of another smaller title written by Edward Hills: Space Age Science (Christian Research Press, 1964). In this title it appears he backs off of his geocentric views, somewhat - but later editions of his more well known work do not clarify matters.
Here is a brief review of this book, which I recently read with interest, particularly in light of the modern debates over science and the Bible.
This book displays an interesting perspective on science and faith, from the early 1960s. Hills does a good job explaining Einstein's theories, but his critiques and biblical application don't stand on much. He doesn't cite authorities backing up his claims.
At first glance, it appears that in this book, Hills backs away from geocentrism (the view that the earth is stationary and the planets rotate around it). He makes the interesting observation that according to Einstein, Ptolemaic theory (stationary earth) and Copernican theory (stationary sun) are interchangeable and both equally true depending on your perspective. But then he clearly distances himself from a geocentric view:
"When we consider what the Scriptures say concerning the movements of the heavenly bodies, we see that they by no means teach the Ptolemaic theory" (p. 55). He goes on to quote Ps. 19:6 as showing the sun moves on its circuit. And points out the context of Ps. 93:1 a verse taken to prove geocentrism. He points out that God "hangeth the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7) and says "The astronomy of the Bible is not earth-centered but God-centered" (p. 55).
After doing some searching, I did find that this contradicts what Hills states in his book The King James Version Defended. There (in the 4th edition, 1984, pg. 7) he states that he thinks it likely that Tycho Brahe's theory (the predecessor of Copernicus) that the earth rotates on its axis and the sun and planets rotate around the earth is "probably correct." It appears his conclusions in this volume (Space Age Science) are tentative and underplayed.
Another intriguing element of this book was his concession that God's initial creation may have been just "mere energy out of which matter was later constituted" (p. 71). But then he disavows the deep time involved in modern astrophysics: "No billion years were required for the light of even the farthest star to reach our earth's atmosphere, for God's almighty power was able to bring it there in an instant of time" (p. 73). He even suggests that this may be what is intimated by the fact that God "set" the great lights in the firmament (p. 73).
Overall this is a fascinating insight into a Christian scholar trying to grapple with modern science from a believing point of view. I don't think his qualifications from a scientific background fit him well for writing this book, and I don't follow him in all his positions; but his attempt to apply the Bible and asses modern scientific developments is laudable....more
The intersection of science and faith and the question of whether one can embrace evolution and the Bible at the same time, has been a living room conThe intersection of science and faith and the question of whether one can embrace evolution and the Bible at the same time, has been a living room conversation topic for many Americans since at least the time of the Scopes Trial in the 1920s. And in the last decade or so, Christian publishers have been busy churning out volumes offering a myriad of ways to reconcile science and faith, by faithful scientists and ministers who dabble in the realm of science. The range of options has been ever expanding for serious Christians who don't find the arguments of six-day or young-earth creationism compelling. Everything from framework interpretation and other literary views, to the older gap theory and day age views. More and more conservative Christians are at least embracing an old earth, and are warming up to various forms of evolutionary interpretations of the Genesis account.
With this background, I was intrigued by this novel and interested to see what Arnold Simon would offer us in his imaginative look at this perennial problem. I was sorely disappointed. The story is set in the future which seems strangely like the world of 20-30 years ago, with powerful religious leaders hoodwinking their backward countryfolk even as they aim for political acclaim and more power.
The hero is a scientist who nevertheless treasures his faith - at least faith in a literal view of Gen. 1-2. But everything about the hero seems unbelievable.
**Spoiler alert** First, he's a world-renowned scientist who disbelieves evolution and is trying to prove it wrong. Then he somehow is so persuasive of a speaker that he makes an effective run for the presidency. Next he is more torn in his conscience over secret doubts about the Bible's account of creation than he is about violating the sexual ethics of Scripture. He thinks nothing of premarital affairs with a rich woman, but is so torn in his conscience that he is deceiving the public that he does something drastic by the end of the book.
Not only is the main line of the story implausible, there is no attempt at all to even explain the state of Christian scholarship on this subject. Instead the conservative Christians, besides having an open agenda item to outlaw the teaching of evolution (which is beyond ludicrous for any Christian to even imagine such a thing), are simpletons and prone to riot if even the hint is given that Gen. 1 isn't literally true in the most wooden manner. With the story set in the future, the story stretches credulity for the average person to imagine that evolution is on the ropes in the public arena with Christian leaders dominating the scene. Statistic after statistic will tell you the mood of America and the most religious among us, has been trending toward a greater and greater acceptance of evolutionary ideas.
The writing style is lucid enough, but the characters so one-sided that this conservative and well-read Christian is almost aghast that someone can pan this off as what we would really do if we had the chance. Do people really think that this is Christian faith? It is sad if they do.
I thought this book might lead to a conversation, as some of the media buzz I saw about it suggested. The only conversation is just how crazy those Christians are. I guess I expected too much for what looks like a self-published work. Don't waste your money on this, unless you want to see the most extreme interpretation of the Bible/science debate.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review....more
Dr. Hugh Ross, well known old-earth creationist and president of Reasons to Believe, has given us a gem of a book with "Hidden Treasures in the Book oDr. Hugh Ross, well known old-earth creationist and president of Reasons to Believe, has given us a gem of a book with "Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Baker Books, 2011). The subtitle of the book explains its purpose: "How the oldest book in the Bible answers today's scientific questions."
Dr. Ross is as well versed in the creation debate today as anyone, and he has devoted time and effort in combating godless, Darwinian evolution and countering the arguments of new atheists. With this book, he unpacks the myriad of ways the book of Job speaks to the question of origins and the meaning of life on earth.
Job 38 describes God's creative activity directly, and Ross focuses in on this chapter. Yet he also discusses whether leviathan was a dinosaur, and what Job has to say about the extent of the Flood. Suffering, death, unique attributes of humans, the soulish nature of animals, the order of creation-these topics and more are covered.
As Ross writes, he blends scientific insight (like just why Hurricanes are so beneficial to the climate of Earth), personal anecdotes and devotional thoughts from the book of Job in a fascinating and well-written way. The book is not so much an extended defense of Ross's scientific positions, but a manual filled with interesting tidbits that will get you thinking and encourage you to keep studying, and to mine the book of Job for treasures yourself.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Reasons to Believe. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review....more
The new atheists, like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, are ever in the public spotlight these days, or so it seems. The idea that brilliant physiThe new atheists, like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, are ever in the public spotlight these days, or so it seems. The idea that brilliant physicists and scientists can make sense of this world without a God appeals to many. Certainly the conclusions reached in books such as Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design — that there is no God and no ultimate point to the universe — are conclusions many atheists and secularists are all too eager to affirm. Since everything does fit so nicely together, however, should we wonder if the case made is really as air tight as claimed? If the conclusions are made to order, we might have warrant to carefully scrutinize the claims of these New Atheist authors.
John Lennox, author of God’s Undertaker, and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford in his own right, takes on Stephen Hawking’s arguments in a forthcoming book published by Lion Books and distributed in the US by Kregel Publications (available July 15). In God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?, Lennox exposes the circular reasoing and non sequitors that abound in Hawking’s The Grand Design. Lennox begins by framing the scope of what science can really address as it attempts to examine metaphysical questions. He then points out both Hawking’s dismissal of philosophy and his misunderstanding of Christian theism. God is not merely a “god of the gaps”, an explanation for the world as we know it. The Christian understanding of God has Him outside the boundaries of creation as Lord over all of it, not some explanation for unknown phenomena. As for philosophy, after rejecting it as “dead”, Hawking jumps in and tries his own hand at several metaphysical questions that philosophy has long addressed. Hawking’s attempt at doing philosophy is all the poorer for his outright rejection of it.
Lennox then takes Hawking to task for claiming that the theory of gravity, or scientific laws in general, can operate as a “creator” in a sense, and be the ultimate cause for our universe. He clarifies what a law or rule of nature really “is”, and illustrates how Hawking makes more of such laws than can really be claimed. He then goes on to show how Hawking’s “M” theory of the “Multiverse” conveniently sidesteps objections by positing the existence of infinite universes. Still the question remains, why are there any universes instead of no universe? Lennox reveals that other major physicists have their own doubts as to the ability that M theory really has for being an explanation of everything.
Lennox also addresses head on the claim that miracles cannot happen because the laws of science would be invalidated. He pries open the layers from this question and shows the irrationality of claiming that science strictly forbids the existence of exceptions or miracles.
By the end of this short book (it’s only 100 pages long), Lennox has made a convincing case for theism and demonstrated that reasonable scientists continue to affirm the divine. Lennox’s book is accessible and clear, even as it interacts with quite complicated elements from Hawking’s writing. The book doesn’t own the six-day, young earth Creationist view, but it doesn’t rule it out either. Lennox argues that often the new atheists assume that to believe in God is to believe in a young earth view, and he shows this is not true. Lennox marshals arguments from science (the very idea of the big bang supports the Bible’s claim that the world has a beginning – something science has only admitted in the last hundred years), philosophy, history and the realm of human experience. The resulting case is convincing and should serve to bolster the faith of any troubled by the new atheism. At the least, it offers avenues of further exploration available in grappling with these issues.
Before closing my review, I should excerpt a small section from this book which captures some of Lennox’s craft in action. This excerpt will illustrate his style and the way he can cut to the heart of an issue with incisive logic.
"Suppose, to make matters clearer, we replace the universe by a jet engine and then are asked to explain it. Shall we account for it by mentioning the personal agency of its inventor, Sir Frank Whittle? Or shall we follow Hawking: dismiss personal agency, and explain the jet engine by saying that it arose naturally from physical law…. It is not a question of either/or. It is self-evident that we need both levels of explanation in order to give a complete description. It is also obvious that the scientific explanation neither conflicts nor competes with the agent explanation: they complement one another. It is the same with explanations of the universe: god does not conflict or compete with the laws of physics as an explanation. God is actually the ground of all explanation, in the sense that he is the cause in the first place of there being a world for the laws of physics to describe."
To this I add my “amen”. I encourage you to pick up this little book as it offers an excellent primer on how to deal with the claims of the new atheism. Even if you differ with Lennox on a point or two, his clear style and succinct arguments will equip you in thinking through these issues on your own.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Kregel Publications via Litfuse Publicity Group. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review....more
It's a rare book that aims to confront its readers thinking and challenge their deep set assumptions and beliefs on an important topic. In Beyond CreaIt's a rare book that aims to confront its readers thinking and challenge their deep set assumptions and beliefs on an important topic. In Beyond Creation Science, Timothy Martin and Jeffrey Vaughn attempt to do this on two fronts, with the young-earth / old-earth creationism debate and end-times theology (eschatology). With such a daunting aim, it would be surprising if the book succeeded in both goals with every reader.
While the book did not overturn my thinking completely on both ends of the Bible, it did stretch my mind and give me cause to evaluate what I believe in light of the Bible's entire teaching. The authors present their case well in a coherent manner, and they deserve a hearing.
The work is subtitled "New covenant creation from Genesis to Revelation", and the authors do succeed in convincing the reader that Genesis and Revelation are inextricably linked. How one thinks and interprets Genesis directly impacts how he thinks of eschatology and Revelation.
A strength of the book is its stress on biblical theology--seeing all of Scripture in light of the redemptive story. I also share a suspicion of dispensationalism with its authors. I found their claim--that the same scientifically literal approach, championed by dispensationalists, which results in a full-fledged futuristic approach to Revelation (pre-trib, premillennialism) also leads them to subscribe to young-earth creationism--convincing.
While I am not completely convinced of old-earth creationism, this book certainly gave me more respect for that view. The authors show how young-earth creationism, was in large part advanced after the threat of Darwinism surfaced, and with the benefit of dispensational hermeneutics. I was shocked to learn that the hugely influential book The Genesis Flood (by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris), was based to a large degree on an earlier work by a Seventh Day Adventist (who would certainly be biased toward a literal 24-hour day view of the creation week), one George McCready Price who wrote The New Geology in 1923.
What was especially fascinating for me was the authors defense of a local flood view. I've always just assumed the flood was global. The evidence does seem quite compelling when you examine the terminology used and some of the Biblical and scientific questions which arise when one holds to a global flood. In our scientific age we are biased to see global-sounding terms as unequivocally global. In days gone by, that is not how such terms were understood, and this book explains why.
Another interesting element in the book was the discussion of the antediluvian lifespans. The book shows how it was only Seth's descendants who were said to have long ages. It also points to millennial lifespans mentioned in Isaiah and Revelation and concludes the biblical ideal life is one thousand years old.
I must admit I was wary of this book's advocacy of full preterism. I had hardly been exposed to partial preterism before reading this, so full preterism was hard to swallow. In one sense I can see the evidence for partial preterism (the view that the Olivet Discourse has largely been fulfilled in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70). But as the arguments were pressed further for a full preterist view that the resurrection is solely spiritual (i.e. regeneration), and the new heaven and new earth are fulfilled in a Christian's existence today, I had to balk. In Acts, the angels say Jesus will return visibly like the disciples saw him go into heaven, and in John 14, Jesus says he's building a place for us and will come back to bring us to be with him. These are just two passages which in my mind directly contradict a full preterist view.
To be honest, this book is not attempting a full fledged defense of full preterism. The book focuses more on Genesis than Revelation. And it doesn't attempt to answer all the counter arguments for both issues. It aims to show how one's views of prophecy influence one's views of creation and the flood. It succeeds in that respect.
I found the book fascinating but remain unconvinced. Often I thought the argumentation was somewhat weak. Authors were quoted as if simply providing their quote proved the point. When trying to disprove the notion that death could not exist before the Fall, the book did not adequately deal with some of the key theological and exegetical supports for that view. This being said, I can understand many of the Biblical arguments for these views now. I can appreciate the authors' desire to follow Scripture wherever it leads. This is what all of us should aim to do. And to that end, studying out the claims of preterism and evaluating them Biblically is no waste of time.
I would recommend Bible students read this book. But I would caution them against the full preterist view. It runs counter to the historic church creeds and seems to deny some important truths. At the least be wary of it and do more research before adopting that view as your own....more