End Times Reading List

I’ve found the following books helpful on eschatology and prophecy, even those with which I disagree.

Moore, Russell.  The Kingdom of Christ: A New Evangelical Perspective.  I disagree with his programmatic appeal, but this is one of the finest surveys of modern eschatological movements of the last century.  Demonstrates a mastery of Ladd and Hoekema.  Shows some weaknesses in amillennialism.  Some strong arguments for historic premillennialism.  Began to tip the scales for me.

Akin, Daniel.  Theology for the Church.  See the essay by Moore.  It is the best defense and presentation of historical premillennialism in print.   He does a fantastic job with the identity of Antichrist.

Augustine, City of God.  It’s not fair to say one doesn’t like this book, but I really don’t.  It’s valuable for its impact on Western history, but it’s also valuable in how he goes out of his way to spiritualize everything in the OT.  Yes, I know premillennials make that accusation a lot, but in Augustine it’s hard to see otherwise.  The authoritative bio on him (Peter Brown) admits that Augustine was embarrassed by the carnal language of the Old Testament.

Ladd, George.  Theology of the New Testament.   We had to use it in seminary.  I didn’t like it at the time and it’s still not my favorite.  Does a good job on the already-not yet.   I am not convinced of his portrayal of the kingdom.

Vos, Geerhardus.   Some important studies on the structure of eschatology.   I demur at the cult-like following he has today in the modern Reformed world.

Ridderbos, H.  Paul.  Slightly better than Vos but in the same vein.   More readable and accessible.

Henry, Carl F.  God, Revelation, and Authority.   Relevant sections.  Some scattered but decent comments on why a premillennial millennium is mandated by biblical data.

Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future.   A superior amillennial treatment.  Hoekema recognises that most amillennial treatments are simply Christianized gnostic despair.

Murray, Iain.  The Puritan Hope. Standard Banner of Truth postmillennialism.  Very warm and moving.

Riddlebarger, Kim.  A Case for Amillennialism.  One of the better-argued books, but it suffers from many limitations.   Simply chanting already-not yet does not prove amillennialism (and doesn’t say anything different from Ladd).

Mathison, Keith.  Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope.   Decent primer on postmillennialism.  Does not not interact with other forms of premillennialism besides the older DTS models, so it suffers from limited focus.

Bahnsen, Greg.  Victory in Jesus.  A collection of essays published posthumously.  Amillennialists need to interact with  his “Prima Facie Case for Postmillennialism.”   Bahnsen did not give any serious exegesis of Revelation 20, so McClain’s and Wehmeyer’s arguments still stand.

Erickson, Millard.  Options in Eschatology.  Good primer, leans softly premil.

Grudem, Wayne.   Systematic Theology, relevant sections.   Summarizes what would later be standard arguments by Blaising et al.  Cogent presentation.

Wright, NT.  Resurrection of the Son of God.  I include this with a caveat.  Wright’s argument goes beyond the case for a historical resurrecton.  He also does a good job showing how Judaism saw the Arrival of God and how Christianity adapted and modified (but kept the same basic pattern) it on further revelation.

Moltmann, Jurgen.  The Coming of God.  He’s surprisingly premillennial.  Gets the basic pattern right in 1 Cor. 15:23ff, though it isn’t developed enough.  

Rushdoony’s Commentary on Daniel/Revelation.  I forgot the actual title.   I reject his idealist approach to Revelation, but his commentary on Daniel has a lot of food for thought.

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond.   Shows the weakness of modern Reconstructionist postmillennialism.   Gentry’s whole case relies on a specific dating of Revelation.  Blaising dismantles the amillennial case.

Pate, C. Marvin.  What Does the Future Hold?  Somewhat sensational style and he doesn’t develop a lot of potential arguments.   Useful outline of basic positions.   He gives stronger arguments elsewhere (cf Bibliography in Moore). Makes the mistake of implying that postmillennialists necessarily hold to a partial-preterist reading of Revelation.  This is simply not true (Rushdoony was idealist and the Scotch were historicists).

Blomberg, Craig. ed.  The Case for Historical Premillennialism.   Uneven essays.   Blomberg’s is worth the price of the book.  Fairbairn’s is good, too.   Some of the simply swing for the fence and miss.  The essay on Covenantal Premillennialism could have buried amillennialism forever, but it didn’t.

Turretin, Francis.  Institutes of Elenctic Theology, relevant sections.    Interesting comments on certain parts of Revelation.   Not much modern stuff, whether new or older reprint, is available on historicism.

North, Gary.  Millennialism and Social Theory.  Uneven at best.  Suffers from a woeful lack of exegesis.  More theory than fact.   He does understand the challenge behind Isaiah 65:20 and notes where amillennialism simply can’t deal with it.   The problem, though, is that postmillennial conversion type theories can’t really account for it, either.


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