Check out the new Convergence Church Network! 

Visit and join the mailing list.

Enjoying God Blog


Matthew Everhard, Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, FL, recently reviewed my book, "Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative," and has granted permission to post it here.

It is taken for granted that pretribulational premillennialism (or dispensationalism) is gospel truth in most quarters of the evangelical world today. This, however, has not always been the case.

Pretribulational premillennialism, popularized by such fictional works as the Left Behind series and fantastical works as The Late Great Planet Earth–not to mention the Scofield Reference Bible–has quickly infiltrated the center of evangelicalism. This despite the fact that it is less than 200 years old!

Many evangelicals are not even aware that there are any “alternative” positions on the end times. That these alternatives held the majority consensus among the Puritans and Reformers is lost on most. If many today are aware of these other eschatological options at all, they have likely been taught that they are the positions held by liberals who do not “take the Bible literally.”

In Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative, Sam Storms destroys these preconceptions by powerfully asserting the Biblical force of the historic position that the millennial kingdom–mentioned explicitly only in Revelation 20:1-10–is symbolic of Christ’s present reign in this age.

Storms begins the near 600-page work by advancing the hermeneutical principles on which he will build his case. In these early sections of this book, Storms makes clear that bald literalism is not always the best interpretive grid, especially for apocalyptic literature. Genre, literary conventions, and OT usage of language are also crucial factors when we interpret Scripture.

Using a redemptive-historical and grammatical-historical approach, Storms then wades through the most important Bible texts related to eschatology: Daniel’s 70 weeks, Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, 2 Thessalonians and the Antichrist, and of course, a volume of passages in Revelation.

While Storms works through these passages as a master exegete, he calmly (and without a divisive spirit I am glad to report!) shows how many of these texts have been misread through the dispensational lens, often without the critical reflection that the texts themselves demand. Storms reveals an absolute mastery of Biblical Greek, and employs this trade in the most intricate details of these Biblical passages.

Though most will doubtlessly disagree with at least a few of Storms conclusions (I doubt all readers will be convinced of his partial preterist interpretation of Matthew 24, for instance), it will be impossible to suggest any longer that amillennialism is built upon either a lesser view of the authority of Scripture in particular, or a liberal theological framework in general. No, it will no longer do to simply dismiss amillennialism (or postmillennialism for that matter) as though they do not take the Bible seriously enough.

On the contrary, the reader–who must do significant work alongside Storms with Bible and pencil in hand throughout–will see a cumulative case building for amillennialism. This is spelled out clearly and finally in the last chapter of the book where Storms gives 30 reasons that he believes pretribulational premillennialism is not Biblically defensible. Storms’ amillennial construct (actually the simplest and cleanest of the four major end-times positions) holds up remarkably well when tested by the WHOLE of the New Testament rather than conditioned by one admittedly difficult and highly symbolic text (i.e. Revelation 20).

For me, the most compelling Biblical data summoned by Storms can be summed up in the following points:

• The NT never splits up the Return of Christ (that it, His Second Coming) from the Rapture as though they were two separate events. (Dispensationalism demands this).

• Neither the OT nor the NT ever split up the resurrection of the dead into two events (or possibly many more!) separated by a thousand years as dispensationalism requires.

• The NT teaching on Jesus’ parousia (Greek: return, presence, coming i.e. the Second Coming) demands the end of all sin, death, and rebellion, along with the immediacy of the judgment; all of which dispensationalism denies.

• The NT does not make an irreconcilable distinction between the Church and Israel (which dispensationalism requires) but rather shows repeatedly that the elect people of God are made into one Body of Christ with the inclusion of the Gentiles.

• The NT does not admit of a secret pretribulational rapture, allowing Christians to escape the great tribulation mentioned in Matthew 24 (as dispensationalism holds), but rather describes the trials and tribulations of the present church age as the necessary path of all Christians, through which Christ will preserve His people.

If one’s doctrinal convictions will not allow him to fully adopt Storms’ view on all of these important matters, at least the reader will grant that Kingdom Come is a paradigm shifting volume. Although most of our dispensational brothers and sisters in Christ will resist the force of Storms’ arguments, they must at least return to the drawing board to patch up the holes Sam Storms has lovingly poked in their charts.


I read it from cover to cover! Very enlightening.

I disagree that there is no distinction between Israel and the Church. The whole point of Galatians and Hebrews is that there is a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church that has major implications for our conduct. The convening document for Israel is the Old Covenant. The convening document for the Church is the New Covenant. The distinction between Israel and the Church is as strong as the distinction between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Hebrews especially labors this point. The Old Covenant has been displaced by a much better covenant, the New Covenant (8:6). Also, Jer. 31:32 ...I will make a new covenant...NOT LIKE the covenant that I made with their fathers...
Saying that the elect of God are one Body of Christ says that we are righteous with God because we all (the elect in Israel and the elect in the visible church) have a faith in God like our father in the faith, Abraham. This does not disturb the truth that there is a radical difference in the fundamental nature ("NOT LIKE") between the Old Covenant (which is no longer in effect) that formed the nation of Israel and the New Covenant (which is currently in effect) that forms the Church.
I think this attempt to smooth over the distinctions between Israel and the Church is a result of an unbiblical view of redemptive history called Covenant Theology. The centerpiece of Covenant Theology is something which men have invented called the Covenant of Grace. It is suppose to cover both Testaments since the fall. Hence there is a tendency to consider Israel and the Church the same since they are both under the same Covenant of Grace. There is just one tiny problem with Covenant Theology. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A COVENANT OF GRACE IN THE BIBLE! It is a complete invention. With that the whole scheme of Covenant Theology falls apart. A primitive form of Covenant Theology is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, the convening document of Presbyterianism. I take note that your reviewer is a Pastor of a Presbyterian Church.
I think you're doing well, Sam, in getting good control of Eschatology. Next up: Redemptive History. May I suggest you begin by taking a close look at New Covenant Theology. New Covenant Theology is not merely an update of Covenant Theology. It is completely different. It does not recognize an imaginary Covenant of Grace. In my opinion New Covenant Theology is easier to fit to the biblical data than either Covenant Theology or Dispensationalism.

Write a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.