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Archive for the ‘Richard Mayhue’ Category

The Master's Perspective on Biblical Prophecy

 (Available on Amazon)

This book is a compilation of eleven articles pertaining to the issues of eschatology and dispensationalism with contributions mainly from professors of The Master’s Seminary.  I started reading this book in search of possible deeper insights into the Biblical texts pertaining to eschatology, seeing how these articles for the most part came from theological journals.  To that end, I found the articles most helpful were those written by the New Testament professor Dr. Robert L. Thomas.  He contributed over half of the articles (six) in this volume.  His chapter on Revelation 2-3 pointed out how these two chapters alluded to Christ’s second coming, which previously I haven’t really notice before.  Relevant to the Amillennial/Premillennial debate is Thomas’ excellent article making a case for the structure of Revelation as basically being temporally progressive rather than that of recapitulation.  This is not to say that there is no interlude or “intermission” in the Book of revelation however, since the next chapter Dr. Thomas gave an excellent analysis of the seventh bowl of the Apocalypse.  Another thing that I took away from this book is Dr. Thomas and Dr. Barker’s point of how Revelation draws heavily from the Book of Daniel, and how the Book of Daniel as antecedent theology helps inform us and understand Revelation, in particular with Daniel chapter seven.  I appreciated the book’s being focused on exegesis, the original language, hermeneutics and the Bible itself rather than sensationalism and “newspaper” speculation that some quarters of pop dispensationalism engage in, which turned me off as a younger Christian.  Given its more technical nature, I would recommend this work for readers familiar with the original language.  One thing I thought was a bit odd about the book was the editors’ introduction that said the opinions in the book does no necessarily reflect the opinions of The Master’s Seminary when the title of the work is “The Master’s Perspective on Biblical Prophecy.”  Then there’s also Dr. Thomas’s Inspired Sensor Plenior Application (ISPA) that I’m not too sure about at this time.

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Purchase:  Amazon

The purpose of this book written by John MacArthur and the members of faculty of The Master’s Seminary is to give a primer on Dispensational Premillennialism. In essence, it is a defense of Dispensational Premillennialism that would be accessible to the general Christian reader. Perhaps those reading this review will remember MacArthur’s infamous sermon during Shepherd’s Conference 2007 about how every self-respecting Calvinist should be a Premillennialist. I recall first hearing all the outrage about this online from many people, when I was leaning more towards Postmillennialism during that period in my life, and thinking that that might be a little over the top rhetorically. There was a sense of caution as I read this book as I wonder if MacArthur’s claim would have been re-iterated here, and it turns out that the very same message in 2007 actually became one of the chapters in the book, arguing why Calvinist should be Premillennial in light of the historical grammatical hermeneutics and a high view of God’s sovereignty. It seems to me that this will be probably the most offensive part of the book, but I do not think MacArthur is intentionally doing so, and after reading the whole book, one might be more sympathetic towards MacArthur as surely I did, or at least understand where he is coming from. The introduction to the book focuses on why Christians should study prophecies, and Dr. Mayhue gives some good statistics of the Bible and Scriptural passages on why studying eschatology is important. The first two chapters focused on what the essence of Dispensationalism is, and also what it is not along with popular misconceptions. The author of both chapters, Dr. Vlach, does a good job here, including answering the popular objection that Dispensationalists are anti-calvinists and believe in works righteousness (!). I felt that these two chapters alone was worth getting the book, given the all too common misconceptions about Dispensationalism. What I appreciated the most of the book is that the contributors from the faculty of The Master Seminary all had something of their specialty to offer when it comes to this volume, making it a convenient “one stop” volume summarizing their work for a popular audience. For instance, those who are familiar with The Master’s Seminary’s faculty’s work on Dispensationalism will notice that Dr. Vlach’s booklet “What is Dispensationalism?” has been updated and was the essence of the first two chapters of the book. In addition, his chapter on Israel echoes his dissertation and recent book on whether or not the church has replaced Israel. I was also happy to see Waymeyer contribute his chapter on Revelation 20, since it was more reader friendly in terms of the format than his original book on the same subject. Dr. Mayhue’s dissertation has been on the tribulation, so it was good to see a chapter contribution from him on that subject. Nate Busenitz, who is currently teaching historical theology, wrote a great chapter on the history of the early church and their view of Premillennialism. Overall, I would recommend the book.

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