Differences On The Millennium

Understanding Bible Prophecy, by Morris A. Inch (Harper & Row, 1977, 151 pp., $3.95 pb), Contemporary Options in Eschatology, by Millard J. Erickson (Baker, 1977, 192 pp., $7.95), and The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views, edited by Robert G. Clouse (InterVarsity, 1977, 223 pp., $4.25 pb), are reviewed by Earl D. Radmacher, president and professor of systematic theology, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon.

The continuing publication of books on eschatology seems to indicate that the interest is more than just a passing fad. Perhaps it is a confirmation of the prediction by the late James Orr in the nineteenth century that eschatology, the one remaining undeveloped area of theology, would receive its major treatment in the twentieth century.

This spate of books on prophecy is not always met with enthusiasm, however, because the authors too often seem consumed with prediction. There is more concern with setting dates and establishing eschatological time charts than in promoting the changed life, which is the major purpose of prophecy. It is this practical value of prophecy to which Inch draws our attention in Understanding Bible Prophecy. He begins by stripping away the idea of prophecy as simple prediction and begins to develop its character as the revelation of God. “The heart of the prophet’s concern,” Inch stresses, “was not primarily emphasizing what might come to pass but who cradles life in his hands. God is the subject of the prophetic message … man is its target, and the message is an invitation to a creative relationship between the two.”

This would be an excellent volume for the beginning student of prophecy to gain a proper ...

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