Darrell L. Bock
Reviewed by: Goeffrey L. Willour
Date posted: 07/01/2007
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond, edited by Darrell L. Bock. Published by Zondervan, 1999. Paperback. 336 pages, list price $16.99. Reviewed by OP pastor Geoffrey L. Willour.
In our day of confusion about the doctrine of the last things (eschatology), this book from Zondervan's Counter-points series offers a clear and helpful overview of the three major interpretations of the millennium of Revelation 20.
A proponent of each view presents a chapter explaining and defending his particular position, and then the authors representing the other two positions offer their responses. The three men who were chosen for this task did an excellent job of representing their respective positions. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., defends post- millennialism in its theonomic and preterist expression, Robert B. Strimple defends amillennialism, and Craig A. Blaising defends premillennialism from a "progressive dispensationalist" standpoint.
The dialogue between the various proponents is carried on with a spirit of Christian charity. Major exegetical and theological issues that divide the three positions are clarified for the careful reader.
The only big disappointment that I had with this book was the "Summary Essay" offered by the book's general editor. While he is forthright about his adherence to the premillennial position, his premillennial viewpoint colors his statements about the other two positions in such a way that they end up being misrepresented at certain points. For example, on p. 306 he mistakenly suggests that amillennialists have a more radical view of human depravity than postmillennialists, and on p. 307 he implies that amillennialists reject the separation of church and state!
Nonetheless, this book as a whole is an informative and fascinating read. I heartily recommend Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond to any Christian looking for clarification on the millennial question. I would especially urge church officers to take up and read this very helpful book.