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Last Days Madness
by Chris Gambrell
7/30/2014 / Book Reviews
In his book, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, Gary DeMar presents a powerful analysis of today's "end-times" authors.
While some may be tempted to blame the author of not dealing with the more old school futurists, such an allegation is superfluous given the subtitle: "obsession of the modern church." If one wants to show with honesty that they are willing to face the truth of scripture regardless of personal feelings, intuitions, traditions, and trends, then this book should be necessary in investigating their interpretative beliefs. The book I believe is important in facing ourselves honestly concerning our view of God and His Word.
Those who claim not to be afraid of having to change his or her mind about certain issues should not be afraid of reading this book. If you are a premillennialist, amillennialist, or dispensationalist, you must get past this book, with its solid and consistent biblical proof, in order to continue believing the myths of the "left behind" theology.
Despite Gary DeMar's intended audience, I think the book did a fine job of establishing and defending the historical preterist, or partial preterist position against futurism. The Bible is infallible and therefore Christ has come in 70 AD just as the prophecies clearly stated; or, the Bible is fallible and therefore it, and God, cannot be trusted completely; Jesus and the apostles, though led by the Spirit, were wrong. A non-historical preterist must ultimately believe that Jesus, the Spirit, the apostles, and the Bible is wrong in order to continue in a non-historical preterist position.
Most of the book is a historical preterist commentary on Matthew 24. In fact, more than half, and for good reason, the majority of "signs" that futurists look for are from this chapter. Therefore, DeMar feels that if Matthew 24 can be shown to reflect the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., then the futurist position falls apart.
If you are a futurist who believes that we are living in the end times, you need to read this book, especially if you have never been challenged by the historical preterist position. If you're like most Christians, most of what you've been taught about Bible prophecy is wrong. If you're anything like me, you were taught dispensational eschatology as a Biblical "fact" and it never occurred to you to question it. If you've ever been bothered by any of the following:
-Why "date setters" have been wrong so many times
-The hopeless sensationalism of many Bible prophecy "experts"
-Why Jesus claims that the events described in Matthew 24 would occur during "this generation"
-Why the Book of Revelation claims to be describing things that would happen "shortly" and that the time was "near"
-Or anything else about eschatology
He shows that dispensational eschatology is neither the most clear-cut reading of the Bible, nor the historic position of the church. He points out that much of what is taught hangs on an exegetical thread and that Dispensationalism imports many ideas into the text that aren't there. For example:
-The New Testament NEVER teaches that the Temple will be rebuilt.
-There is no evidence for the Rapture.
-Russia was often identified as an eschatological "bad guy" because the Bible refers to "Rosh," which "obviously" refers to "Russia." If you don't see the connection, you're not alone; the main "reason" that Rosh is supposed to refer to Russia is that they sound similar. Talk about reading ideas into the Bible.
I certainly recommend this book. Many people try to avoid the topic of eschatology, because either they don't understand it, or it's "too troublesome," or they say, "I'll find out when it happens," but the Bible talks a lot about the topic so God clearly intended us to understand it. If God spoke, it's our duty to find out what He said. This book will help clear the haze and bring common sense, sanity, and solid Biblical exegesis back into eschatology.
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