Addressing the Amillennial Alternative: Chapters 7-9
Continuing on this trek through Sam Storms' crucial book Kingdom Come, we arrive at some of the most important chapters in my eschatological journey. The two whole chapters Storms devotes to the Olivet Discourse are incredibly good. Albeit there are better resources on this important subject, Storms really covers a lot of good ground in a very brief amount of time.
The Eschatology of Jesus: Matthew 24 and The Olivet Discourse (1)
Early on Storms requests that "we read this narrative with keen sensitivity to the immediate historical context in which Jesus was speaking" (230). This is a fair request but it underlies a major element of Kingdom Come: it is crafted for "premillennial readers" (151). The tone is set for the entire discussion as Storms presents the case for a preterist view of Matthew 24. This includes overviews of Old Testament imagery, hermeneutics and how they apply to Jesus.
Some preterists will be put off by Storms understanding of "end of the age" (233) and well they should be. He doesn't need to hold to the view that the second coming is synonymous with the "end of the age." In fact I think to hold such a view is to completely misread that this phrase is unique to Matthew and his Jewish audience. Like I said earlier, there are better resources on this subject and this is one of the prime indicators of where Storms is good but not great on this crucial portion of Scripture. I am left wondering if this is an important cog in Storms' hermeneutic to explain the "transition text" of Matthew 24:36. This argument is best taken up with Kenneth Gentry and J. Marcellus Kik. Neither is convincing but both are very good in their presentations.
Lots of great stuff in this chapter but things here and there starting to show through the cracks of Storms' hermeneutic that indicate we're not going to see eye-to-eye on Revelation or many other crucial texts.
The Eschatology of Jesus: Matthew 24 and The Olivet Discourse (2)
One would have thought Storms would break the Olivet Discourse in half at the transition text. He does not. Instead the earliest portions of chapter 8 at dedicated to a great defense of "The 'A.D. 70' Interpretation of Matthew 24:29-31" (262-276). Once again, Storms is good but not great. The second on "the sign of the Son of man" is really quite good but there isn't much new or controversial amongst preterists (269-273).
It is here that Storms address the "transition text" and does so rather unconvincingly. Hardly a disappointment, the chapter is faithful to the teaching of Christ and the imminent warnings given to Jerusalem.
The Book of Acts and the Promise of Israel's Restoration
Unfortunately I can't say much about this chapter without getting into the nitty gritty details of Acts 15:13-21. Since that is the major beef of this short chapter I'm just going to highlight that Storms brings the chapter (and this general section of the book dealing with dispensational theology) to a climatic conclusion stating, "the grafting in of the Gentiles believers is the prophesied regathering of the true Israel" (301).
Outside of that highlight there is one major poor showing to mention in this chapter. Concerning the council of Jerusalem Storms states "it would be useless to require of Gentiles an obedience to the law that not even Jews were able to maintain" (294). First, anyone who has listened to Greg Bahnsen will know that Storms butchers the intent and meaning of this monumental council. However, to deem something "useless" because one cannot obey proves too much. What does does this mean about God's command concerning the tree in the garden? What does it mean about the Mosaic law? Are both of these "useless" commands from God because the people would ultimately be unable to obey? This is a slip of language from Storms when he could have expressed himself more clearly.