Addressing the Amillennial Alternative: Chapters 16-17

See Part 1 (Introduction - Chapter 2)Part 2 (Chapters 3-4)Part 3 (Chapters 5-6)Part 4 (Chapters 7-9)Part 5 (Chapters 10-12), Part 6 (Chapters 13-15)

It is fitting that the concluding post on this series would be the seventh post. Symbolism is faithful to those who are faithful with it. I'll provide some insights on the last chapters of Kingdom Come as well as give some final remarks as I focus my thoughts for the final official review.

The Antichrist in Biblical Eschatology: A Study of Revelation 13 and 17

Of particular interest in this chapter is Storms' reliance upon Nero as an archetype of the antichrist (488-452) without fully accepting the preterist opinion. This comes in a stream of well thought out exegetical evaluations of Revelation 13 that I'd rather leave available for those who purchase the book. However, in general, Storms is comfortable with Nero as the prominent individual in John's mind and spend significant time on the legends of Nero's return from the dead (499-502).

One point of contention in this section is Storms rejection the early dating of Revelation (507) and the effects this has for the seven hills to correspond to Roman emperors. Without identifying the arguments of Kenneth Gentry the section is more or less left unresolved because of Storms insistence that the hills must match accordingly to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. I doubt many preterist will be impressed with this added requirement to make the text work.

The Antichrist in Biblical Eschatology: A Study of 2 Thessalonians 2

Okay, so there are many good elements to this chapter. But I will leave those for the reader. Instead what I'm going to focus on is the rather poor set of statements from Storms about 2 Thessalonians 1. In two different places Storms alludes to the fact the no one holds to a preterist view of 2 Thessalonians 1 (523, 546). In fact, in one of these places he says no one but "hyper-preterists" hold this view (546). This is actually rather embarrassing since Keith Mathison, who Storms quotes on pg. 539, defends a preterist approach to 2 Thessalonians 1 in the very book that Storms quotes!

I just cannot get around this mistake by Storms. He quotes Mathison's outstanding work to explicate 2 Thessalonians 2 while neglecting Mathison just a few pages earlier. Perhaps Mathison has changed his mind since writing this book but the fact remains that at one time he did hold the view (pg. 227-228 of Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope). Much earlier in Kingdom Come Storms has noted Kenneth Gentry's (popular postmillennial preterist) change of views on Matthew 24:27 (258). It seems strange that a similar statement wasn't made given the valuable role Mathison plays in this chapter.

Conclusion

Looking back on the entirety of Kingdom Come is hard work. The books does well when addressing the failures of premillennialism to account for Scripture. Storms is more than gracious toward postmillennialism and just doesn't have the same fervor. This is a theme of the entire book. Kingdom Come is an "amillennial alternative" written to persuade those in the dispensational and premillennial camps.

The exegetical work of Kingdom Come is good.There are many interesting discussion added to chapters as "addendums" that sometimes interrupt the flow of chapters (despite most chapters have conclusion paragraphs that attempt to tie things together). Which leads me to my primary issue with Kingdom Come, I just don't get the chapter progressions. Much is left to be desired if one is seeking an introduction to amillennialism. However, when one reads with the framework of 1) confront premillennialism and 2) offer alternatives the progression makes sense. I remain convinced that Storms needs to tone down the rhetoric against premillennialism (all of which I agree with) for the sake of the book's readability. That said, for what it is (and for individuals who won't read the book straight through) Kingdom Come is an outstanding piece of work that will get addressed often.

Joshua Torrey is the sole proprietor of Torrey Gazette (don't tell Alaina) and the fullness of its editorial process. That means everything wrong with TG can legitimately be blamed on him.