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4 Stars Out Of 5
The Amillennial Alternative
May 28, 2014
Since its founding, Dallas Theological Seminary has been a bastion of defense for espousing dispensationalism. That one of its graduates would strongly endorse the amillennial position is what drew me to this book. Like its author, I too was raised to believe that being anything but "pre-mill, pre-trib" was akin to being labelled "liberal" in one's theological outlook. Other eschatological views were seldom explained beyond their "flaws," a method that produced "cookie cutter" theologians who went on to teach the same material in the same way to the next generation, with few relevant questions being raised. Every theological system is guilty of overstating its positions, even to the point of imposing grids upon the biblical text. Sam Storms is to be commended for taking on a difficult--and what had to be challenging--task. It is doubtful that DTS will be naming any buildings after him in the near future! Through the years, I too have struggled to reconcile some of the more-assumed tenets of dispensational thought, feeling that they fit "too neatly" together. Yes, at times the sharp corners of one text had to be slightly bent to fit together with another, but overall it was a clean system where passages like Daniel 9 and Revelation 20 seemed to find harmony. But there were times, even when teaching the Book of Revelation, where I felt uncomfortably as if I was "fudging" to hold the chronological narrative together. I chalked it up to the fact that I was still learning what the Scriptures had to say on the subject, but the more time that passed the more I realized that there were inconsistencies in what I understood to be God's "end-time" plan. Storms has helped answer some of those questions for me, and has also raised a number of others. The time invested in carefully reading these 559 pages was worth it. At the same time, many of the author's arguments are more speculative than exegetical, causing some of his conclusions to be less than cystal-clear. I found his discussions on Daniel 9 and Revelation 13 and 17 to be forced and inconclusive. For example, he devotes far too much space in attempting to explain the numerological meaning of "666." On the other hand, his comments regarding the future of the nation of Israel and the identity of "the Israel of God" are very helpful. Near the end of the book, he admits that some of his reasons for leaning toward amillennialism are still not firmly established, but that doesn't stop him from giving thirty reasons (that's right, thirty!) why he considers himself to be an amillennialist. I, too, am a DTS grad who acknowledges (as does Storms) the investment in his training by men who held high the dispensational banner. The first Christian book I ever read was "The Late Great Planet Earth" by Hal Lindsey (ironically, another Dallas man) and I was weaned on the dispensational notes of the Scofield Bible. But like the author of "Kingdom Come," I still wonder if I missed something by not digging deeper into other eschatological positions. If you find yourself in a similar position of trying now to play "catch up," this book just may be a good place to start.
Sam Storm is an amillennial, Calvinistic, charismatic, credo-baptistic, complementarian, Christian Hedonist who loves his wife and daughters. So it seems only natural that he should be the author of a brand new book Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative.
I'll be honest, I didn't really delve into apocalyptic literature in seminary. Everyone thinks their pastor has super-secrets about the end-times, but the truth is, everything I learned about the end times I learned from the Left Behind series. Granted, I knew when I was reading it that I probably needed more research on the subject, but the end of days has never really fascinated me.
But to do a little "Left Behind for Dummies" the authors of said series and many main stream pastors preach what is called "Dispensationalism" in short it's a very literal approach to the end times and because it's the loudest voice, it tends to be the only voice.
Sam Storm would like to argue for another approach. In his new book, Mr. Storm argues for the Amillennial interpretation. Whereas the Left Behind fans argue for a much more attractive battle and fanatical story - Amillennials (which is Latin for a rejection of the Millennial interpretation) believe that the thousand year reign in Revelation 20 is merely symbolic and that the millennium has already begun.
Dispensationalists interpret two "returns to Earth" from Jesus - and the Amillennials only one.
This is a great book and a great resource, Mr. Storms has done his homework and the book is a great tool. The back of the book has an extended scripture and topical index. That said, don't expect Mr. Storms to spoon feed you the information and hold your hand through the whole thing. This book reads very academically and is certainly for those who are die-hard about this information.
This book is seriously for everyone who has been waiting for another position to be spoken and defended. This is an amazing resource that deserves to be on every serious theologian's shelf.
Thank you to Mentor publishing for this review copy for a fair and honest review.
The book, "Kingdom Come", provides an excellent presentation of the Amillennialist view of the second coming of Christ It is the most accurate description and makes more sense when you examine all of the various millennial views. Premillennialism, the most popular view, is such a convoluted interpretation of end time events and makes absolutely no sense to me. I believe the Church has been duped by the premillennialists. While I don't agree with every minute detail of his eschatology, overall, if you are looking for a clear understanding of end time events, this book is an excellent resource.