How Will the World End?

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Books, Featured, Reviews

How Will the World End?

How will the world end? is a question people have been asking since before Jesus walked the earth. Answering this question has been the focus of many books and movies throughout the years. Who can resist a good end-of-the-world thriller like Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrowor The Terminator? These movies all give a variation of how the world might come to an end.

What is interesting about these movies is not their differences, as to what threatens mankind’s existence, but their similarity, in that mankind always triumphs over its seemingly impending demise. But when the end of the world does come will man really escape and live to see another day the way they knew life before? Is there a Christian take on the end of the world? Seeking to answer these questions and more, Jeramie Rinne has written How will the world end? And other questions about the last things and the second coming of Christ. As part of the Questions Christians Ask series from The Good Book Company, this is a mini-primer of sorts on Christian eschatology.

The chapters are written in order to answer six basic questions about the end times: (1) how will the world end?, (2) what will happen before Jesus comes back?,  (3) how will Jesus come back?, (4) will Jesus come back before or after the “Millennium”?, (5) what happens after Jesus comes back?, and (6) how should we live until Jesus comes back? Throughout the book are some short asides addressing some further questions like the nature of the antichrist and the rapture.

As a primer, the book aims to help Christians see the big picture the Bible presents about the end times before getting hung up on some of the finer details. Contrary to how Hollywood presents end-of-the-world movies, Rinne points out that the end of the world will not come about as the result of asteroids, aliens or bad environmental practices and neither will mankind be able to overcome its judgment. No, the end of the world will come about from a lamb – the Lamb of God, which is Christ Himself. Taking his que from Revelation 6:12-17, Rinne shows how it is the revealing of the Lamb that precipitates the end of the world. Far from presenting Jesus as tame, meek and mild, Revelation 6 describes the revealing of the Lamb as “the great day of the wrath of the lamb.” (vs. 17)

The primary passages Rinne answers the questions from are Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, 19 & 20 while also addressing issues in 1 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, 2 Peter and 1 John. While Rinne has a slew of New Testament references he only points to two Old Testament references: Isaiah 34 (14) and Daniel 7 & 12 (70-71). This shines light on the only weakness of the book. I think if there were more OT references then it would have given readers a chance to seen more continuity between the Testaments on the end times.

This one criticism aside, How will the world end? is a great mini-primer on Christian eschatology for the inquiring Christian looking to get their feet wet on the subject of eschatology. This is a great lead in book for small groups on eschatology from which more in-depth discussion can emerge. It would also serve well an unbeliever who has questions about Christianities understanding of the end times. This is a great book to have on hand for quick use.

I received this book for free from The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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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The Classics You Just Don’t Get

Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 in Books

There are a lot of books that are, by and large, regarded as classics. They’re the ones you just have to read—and if you don’t, you’re depriving yourself of great literature.

But are you really depriving yourself?

Really?

I’ve read a number of books that are considered classics (whether modern or legit), and some, like Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Preaching and Preachers and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, are absolutely worthy of being called classics. But then there are others that I just don’t get the appeal.

I have at least two examples.

I cannot stand Moby Dick. Cannot stand it. I know that Melville is supposed to be the greatest novelist that America has produced, but I really didn’t find it to be that engaging a read. I first read it in high school as part of an independent study project, and nearly every time I picked it up, I fell asleep.

A few years later, I did give it another shot. I didn’t want to assume that I didn’t like it simply because I had a bad experience with it in high school. The experience reading it as an adult was not unlike pushing a boulder up a steep hill.

In a snowstorm.

Without pants.

“Call me Ishmael.”

Next one: Last year, I attempted to read The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. I say attempted, because, this devotional classic kept putting me to sleep. I think I managed to get 150 pages in before I put it on the de-read pile. I have not, as of yet, taken another stab at it.

Now I’m not saying these are bad books… they’re just books that I just could not get into, no matter how hard I try.

No doubt we all have them.

So what about you, dear reader? What’s the classic you just couldn’t get into?

(Originally posted at Blogging Theologically)

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