Book Review – “What You Need To Know About Bible Prophecy” by Max Anders

Here some time ago I preached a mini-series (2 messages) at church on the second coming of Christ. To begin the first message I asked the following question…

“When it comes to the end times are you “postmill,” “premill,” “amill,” “pretrib,” “midtrib,” “posttrib,” or just plain “confused?”

I think that if we’re going to be honest many of us find ourselves in that last category. When it comes to harmonizing the scriptures that talk about the return of Christ and eschatology in general there are 4 primary schools of thought as to how these events will play out. So is one of these perspectives right and the other three wrong, NO! All these perspectives are simply man’s attempt to understand the things of God, all have strengths and all have weaknesses.

This last fact is one of the reasons that I very much enjoyed Max Anders latest release of “What you need to know about Bible Prophecy.” In this book Anders presents the primary viewpoints of eschatology, giving deference to none. He attempts to give a fair presentation to all viewpoints, and he does well in doing so.

Though there are points of disagreement between the differing viewpoints within all there are several key facts that all agree upon, even though they may differ as to how and when such things occur. I believe that no one fully understands this doctrine, this principle of the faith, known as “eschatology.” I’ve been studying it in-depth for over a decade and I still have trouble sorting it all out, and any other preacher, if he’s honest would say the very same thing. The good news in all of this is the fact that how and when Jesus comes back isn’t a salvation issue. So we are free to agree to disagree about the details! Kudos to Anders for being willing to take a stand on this fact!

I also appreciated the layout of the book, with the information being presented in a clear and concise manner i.e. you don’t need to be a theologian to understand it. The section at the end of each chapter I also though was well thought out, especially the “speed bump,” “what if I don’t believe,” and “for further study” sections. 

The only real issue I took with the book can be found on page 47.  There, Dr. Anders states;

 “In many cases, differences of interpretation arise simply because some people do not understand how to interpret scripture”. 

Now while it’s true that not understanding the fundamentals of hermeneutics can lead to differences of interpretation, I don’t believe this is the case in the vast majority of disagreements relating to eschatology. If so many gifted scholars disagree on a point of interpretation is it because of bad hermeneutics? Most likely not! In most cases these differences arise because often our theology shapes and informs our eschatology and our eschatology shapes and informs our theology.  I thought that the statement appeared to stand opposed to what Anders was trying to accomplish with the book.

Though there are and always will be disagreements about how the events surrounding the end times will take place there is one call that goes beyond all disagreement, a call that all herald… “BE READY!”

All in all, the book is a great foundational tool for the studying of bible prophecy, and I highly recommend it. It’s one that I will use in the future as a teaching tool.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their “booksneeze program.” I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About Jim

I'm currently the Communications Director for Missouri Operation for Vigorous Evangelism [MOVE] A Church planting ministry located in Jefferson City, MO. I believe that the church is the primary means through which God works in a community to love and redeem it. Here at MOVE we’re discovering new ways to be used for this purpose as God leads us and lights His path for us. As God forms this organization and shapes it for a new kind of world I want to be right in the middle of what He’s doing, traveling on this road of a disciple’s journey.

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