Kingdom Come (a short Review by Matthew Sims)September 23, 2013
Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative (Christian Focus, 2013) (a short review by Matthew Sims; he blogs at www.graceforsinners.com).
I have a smeared history with eschatology. I grew up in dispensational churches and honestly the topic of ends times never gave me much hope. I never had a longing for the end. I lived in fear and doubt. I was afraid of being left behind (ironically, that turn of phrase has made some authors a lot of money). After studying Scripture and finding myself reformed I knew I wasn’t dispensational anymore but I was so turned off the topic of eschatology it was until recently, I gave any attention to read anything excluding Scripture on the topic. It didn’t interest me because I had a bad taste in my mouth.
Sam Storms’s Kingdom Come provides hope, longing, and points to Jesus Christ as the hero of all the story (pp. 6-30 are superb). That’s what I took away most of all. The end times--all about Jesus. The OT promises--all about Jesus. Sam says,
Amillennialism best accounts for the many texts in which Israel’s Old Testament prophetic hope is portrayed as being fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the believing remnant, his body, the Church . . . . We found amillennialism to be a superior scheme for understanding redemptive history. (p. 549, 550)
That’s what sold me. Amillennialism isn’t without its difficulties (all eschatological positions have them) but as I’ve read it fits more squarely with my understanding of the unfolding gospel story found from Genesis to Revelation. It makes Jesus Christ the central emphasis of that story (p. 39). It emphasizes his unique reign and rule. It doesn’t minimize the significance of our adoption in Christ--which creates one family in God who receive one blessing, Christ himself. Sam says,
In sum, Jesus is himself the inspired interpreter of the Old Testament, His identity, life, and mission provide the framework within which we are to read and approach the Old Testament (p. 30).
A significant question which Sam brings up at the beginning of Kingdom Come and again at the end (p. 551) is “What does Scripture say happens after the second coming of Christ?” He systematically examines what all of Scripture says about the second coming of Christ and lays that at the table where the beast, false, prophet, death, the tribulation all eat. He rightly interprets Scripture by Scripture.
Significant for me and for many others, Sam Storms contrasts amillennialism with the other eschatological positions especially with dispensationalism. Significantly because dispensational is the most popular end time scheme among Christians today. As you would expect, Kingdom Come includes quite a bit of exegesis. Sam isn’t afraid to admit when there’s other possibilities or when he’s unsure of the position he present. He exudes a humility in tackling these issues but he does tackle them nonetheless.
If you’re serious about understanding all of Scripture, I would heartily recommend Kingdom Come. For a 600 page book, it’s immensely readable and approachable. For that length the best I’ve read. Even if you don’t intend to read all of it at once, you can read most chapters alone, although they certainly work together better as a whole.