A friend of mine recently made the trek out of dispensationalism into Reformed theology. A few members in the church I serve also came out of dispensational circles. These things made me want to study dispensationalism from a dispensationalist’s point of view, so I purchased and read Ryrie’s Dispensationalism (Revised and Expanded). While I don’t want to give a book review of it here, I’m glad I read it. After reading it, I’m not at all convinced that it is the most biblical method of interpretation. In other words, I’m still convinced that the Reformed (covenantal and amillennial) view of Scripture is more biblical. But that’s a whole different post and discussion! What I want to do here is recommend a book for those of you interested in the historic Reformed view of biblical interpretation and eschatology.
The book I have in mind is Kim Riddlebarger’s A Case for Amillennialism. Even though many of our readers may have heard of this one, I believe it is significant enough to keep on our reading lists and book recommendations. It’s not one of those trendy small hardcover books that will lose its appeal in 8 months; this is one you can keep going back to in your biblical studies.
Riddlebarger understands dispensationalism since he used to hold a dispensationalist view of the Bible and history. After his own intense studies, he became convinced the Reformation got it right. This means – and he explains these things in the book – OT prophecy and eschatology have everything to do with Christ, covenant, the church, and the already/not yet nature of Christ’s eternal kingdom.
Here are a some other things Riddlebarger discusses (and these discussions are steeped in Scripture): the rapture, the Day of the Lord, the two ages, the church as the Israel of God, Christ’s return (the Parousia), the Olivet Discourse, Daniel’s prophecies, and Revelation 20:1-10 (just to name a few). Though it technically isn’t a systematic theology text, it is an oustanding supplement to ST topics (hermeneutics, Christology, pneumatology, eschatology, etc.).
A Case for Amillennialism is around 250 pages and well written – most Christians who are committed to studying this topic will be able to read it without much trouble. I do wish there were footnotes instead of endnotes. Also, there is no Scripture index, which is very disappointing (though I think the publisher is to blame for that one. Dear publishers, please put Scripture indexes in books!!!). In a word, this is a book on my shelves I refer to quite often because it is a clearly written biblical explanation of some important themes in hermeneutics and eschatology. I believe it will be a great resource for years to come. If you don’t have it, or have been thinking about getting it, don’t hesitate; you won’t be disappointed.