Bethlehem’S Past And Future Star

The Return of the Star of Bethlehem, by Kenneth Boa and William Proctor (Doubleday-Galilee, 1980, 176 pp., $8.95), is reviewed by Stanley Clark, pastor, Huntsville Bible Church, Huntsville, Texas.

Our generation is fascinated by the cosmic and supernatural. Boa and Proctor hitchhike on this fascination by discussing six theories for the star that led the wise men to Christ. They conclude the star was an appearance of the Shekinah glory—that visible manifestation of the presence of God—and appeared at Christ’s birth to signal that God had become incarnate.

Having argued their explanation of the star, the authors turn to the future. They recount events of the Tribulation, culminating in Armageddon and the return of Christ. Based on Revelation 19:11–18, they write, “This flashing brilliance in the heavens marks the return of the Star of Bethlehem.” The star, then, is associated with both advents. The chapter concludes with an exhortation to be ready personally for the star’s return.

That admonition is followed up in the last chapter, which sets forth the gospel and invites the reader to trust in Christ. The rest of the chapter gives basic follow-up on how to live the Christian life.

The book is written in an entertaining, lead-the-reader-on style that is free from religious jargon and exhaustive argumentation. For that reason, arguments for some of the positions it takes will not be convincing to some readers.

Besides being an excellent popular treatment of various star theories, this is a good book to put in the hands of those mildly interested in spiritual things. It will present them with the reality that history is coming to an end and they should be prepared.

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