Thursday, 22 April 2010

Last things first

If I tell you that this is a book about the doctrine of the last things you may have one of two responses. You may already be salivating at the thought of getting embroiled in a good debate about the identity of the antichrist, the details of the millennium and the timing of the rapture – you will be disappointed to discover that these issues are relegated to a brief appendix, but you should read on. Or you may be thinking all that end-times stuff is a bit irrelevant and so this book isn’t for you. But you should read on.

This is a readable, sensible, warm-hearted and highly relevant introduction to what the Bible teaches about the future. The great strength of this book is that it straight-forwardly expounds what Scripture has to say about the future and then applies it to us in the here-and-now in such a way that it is virtually impossible to put it down and ask, “So what?”

Beynon introduces us to that great OT concept, the Day of the Lord, before moving on to the Day of Judgement. He shows us the wonders of the new creation and the horrors of hell. He explains difficult doctrines with simplicity, such as the idea of rewards in heaven, or how talk of judgement according to works fits with salvation by grace, and even a tricky passage like Mark 13 – all the while sticking close to what the Bible actually says. The later chapters focus on passages of Scripture that teach us how we live as we wait for these great realities. If you’ve never thought much about what the Bible has to say about the future, this is the place to start. But it isn’t just for beginners – I don’t think anyone could read this book without being challenged and stirred.