Anthony Hoekema’s trilogy of theology books: Created in God’s Image, Saved by Grace, and The Bible and the Future rank as some of the most important books I’ve ever read. Over the past three years I’ve slowly read all of them. In many respects they are not easy reads, I mean, it took me three years! However, Hoekema’s depth of knowledge and even-mindedness is so enthralling that they are not “hard reads” either. They are life-changing books. And The Bible and the Future is no exception.
Hoekema’s The Bible and the Future is broken into two main sections: Inaugurated Eschatology and Future Eschatology. In the former section Hoekema explains (most notably) the concepts of the Kingdom of God and the “here and not yet.” Regardless of one’s eschatological leanings, grasping these concepts is necessary for a proper understanding of the entire Bible. In the beginning of section two, Hoekema discusses more specific end-time subjects such as: death, immortality, the expectation of the second coming, the signs of the times. As Hoekema moves towards the latter third of the book, he then introduces the all-important discussion of differing millennial viewpoints. Hoekema is an amillennialist. He throughly explains this position and defends it against other positions (most notably against dispensational premillennialism). And it is this amillennial explanation and defense that comprises the last several chapters of the book.
Having read The Bible and the Future, I’m convinced that a balanced amillennialist viewpoint does more justice to the Biblical record than any other view. However, I also understand the underpinnings of the other millennial viewpoints more thoroughly than I used to. Disagree with Hoekema? Fine! But you should still read this book because it will make you a better (read more Biblical) premillennialist or postmillennialist. Finally, if you’ve ever doubted the reliability of many of the popular end-time books in your local Christian bookstore, then you should definitely check out the balanced exegesis of Anthony Hoekema.