John Calvin

John Calvin
1509-1564


The Promise of the Future

 

Cornelis P. Venema
Banner of Truth, 538 pp, £20.95


This book is a welcome one indeed. But to be honest, this is a conclusion I came to after reading the book. For initially, when I saw that it was a book dealing with eschatology (the doctrine of last things), I wondered why someone would be interested in yet another book on this subject! It seems that the local bookstores are over run with books of this kind already. Admittedly, the vast majority are nothing more than sensationalism and speculation concerning when the Lord Christ shall return. We certainly don’t need yet another one! do we?

Rest assured, The Promise of the Future is a valuable addition to the field of eschatology. For it is fully Christ-centered and biblically grounded. Another thought that initially crossed my mind when I first picked up this book to read was the size of it! My, 538 pages is a fairly good sized book. However, after reading it through I must admit, I wanted even more. It is very well written and pleasantly easy to read. Dr. Venema’s style of writing is of the kind that keeps your interest and makes it very hard to put down once you begin.

The book is divided into six major sections:

  1. The Future is Now: the Christocentric and biblical foundation is laid.
  2. The Future Between Death and Resurrection: an excursus on the “intermediate state”.
  3. The Future of Christ: the wonder and truth concerning the “second coming” of Christ.
  4. The Future Marked by the “Signs of the Times”: aspects of those events preceding Christ’s return.
  5. The Future of the Kingdom: an introduction and evaluation of the two major views; Premillennialism and Postmillennialism, with particular attention given to Revelation 20.
  6. The Future of All Things: discourses on the resurrection of the body, the final Judgment, the doctrine of eternal punishment and thoughtful insights into the New Heaven and New Earth.

Of particular interest is his lengthy and detailed section concerning Revelation 20. Because this one passage of Scripture is used by many as the almost sole foundation for their view of the “Millennium,” Dr. Venema takes a careful and hard look at what this much disputed portion of God’s Word really is saying. There is no doubt that many will have their present view challenged and be forced to rethink how they have interpreted this passage. I found his exegesis more than sound and in this day and age, it is a delight to read such sober and respectful treatment of Scripture.

Throughout this book, Dr. Venema retains a very irenic demeanor. There is only a genuine respect for those who hold views other than his own, although he is quite resolved to show the errors of those views which he shows cannot be consistently held according to the biblical record. Without reserve I therefore highly recommend this book to all.

Thank you Dr. Venema for sharing your love of Christ and the knowledge which God has given you concerning “the promise of the future” and the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. And a warm thank you also to “The Banner of Truth Trust for publishing this book.

Jeffrey C. Nesbitt
Langley, B.C.


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