Book Alert – and Review! The Church’s Hope: The Reformed Doctrine of the End

The Reformed Free Publishing Association recently released another important title in its collection of Reformed books: David J. Engelsma’s The Church’s Hope: The Reformed Doctrine of the End. Volume One: The Millennium.

Prof. Engelsma is emeritus professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary and former editor of the Standard Bearer. As part of his labors in both of these capacities, he lectured and wrote articles covering eschatology – only not in some broadly evangelical sense, nor from a premillennial, dispensational or a postmillennial perspective – but from a distinctively Reformed, that is, a biblical and confessional, perspective. And for him, that means an uncompromising amillennial position. This first volume of his work on the Reformed doctrine of the end covers the all-important subject of the millennium, and here it is that that amillennial position becomes clear, grounded in the Word of God and the Reformed confessions.

On its blog the RFPA also recently posted a fine review of the book by Rev. Justin Smidstra, pastor of First PRC, Holland, MI. Below is posted a portion of it, with a link to the rest. In an upcoming issue of the Standard Bearer there will also be a review of this work. Watch for that as well.

“An integral part of the message of the gospel is that the Lord Jesus is coming again. The gospel proclaims that the same Jesus, who came to save His people from their sins, shall return with great power and glory to raise the dead, to judge all men, to perfect the salvation of His elect, and to bring about the consummation of His covenant and kingdom. This is the future hope of the church of Christ. With the eyes of faith fixed upon this future hope, the calling of the NT church is to be sober and vigilant, to watch and pray, and to make herself ready for the imminent return of her Lord.

“This book, The Millennium, is the first of two volumes entitled The Church’s Hope: The Reformed Doctrine of the End. Together these two volumes will be the first part of Professor Engelmsa’s Reformed Dogmatics to be published (the remaining volumes will follow, DV). It is with a pastoral eye upon the needs of the church today that the author begins with the sixth rather than the first loci. In the dark last days in which we live, the church must know eschatology. For the church to fix the eyes of her faith upon her blessed hope, she must know the Scripture’s doctrine of the last things. She must hold for truth all that the Bible teaches concerning the end and she must contend as earnestly for this precious part of the faith once delivered, as she does for the other doctrines of the faith. In this regard, Professor Engelmsa’s work is a great asset to the church in these dark last days. The volume proclaims with clarity and sharpness the truth about the end and also wards off heresies repugnant thereto. The publication of this work is timely and relevant indeed.

“…Finally, this volume emphasizes the very real practical significance of true, biblical eschatology: the safeguarding and enjoyment of Christian hope. The true doctrine of the end gives the church hope, solid and certain hope. The millennial errors rob the church of her hope. But the truth of the Word of God fixes the eyes of her faith upon that hope: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Herein lies a very practical reason to read this volume. The reader who delves into it will find his hope kindled and strengthened. That is what every good study of eschatology should do. It should lead the believer to look with uplifted head for the coming of the Lord and to pray with renewed earnestness “Come. Lord Jesus, Come quickly.”

If you think this book is too deep for you and only for readers of heavy and heady tomes, think again. Though the subject is indeed profound, Engelsma’s style is clear and easily digested, even if you have to chew the work slowly. A book such as this is to be read carefully and in smaller portions, but you will be richly rewarded by the truth of Christ’s coming and its implications for your life of hope. Jesus is coming in glory and power, with everlasting implications for every sinner – salvation to life with God or damnation to death apart from Him, in body and soul. Should that not inspire us to know all we can about the Lord’s return and then long for it?

Published in: on November 13, 2021 at 8:09 PM  Leave a Comment  

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