I wouldn't dare be as eager as the previous reviewer, who labels the common eschatological view as "heresy." But what his actions demonstrate is the surprise that comes with learning that a great deal of censorship exists within the church, particularly between the Dispensationalists and the Reformed camps. I, too, was excitedly challenged by Gentry's book, a book that opened the door to an eschatology that is far more historic than the Dispensational dogma I was raised in and believed. Gee, there once was a time when I thought the only debate in eschatology was pretrib versus posttrib. Was I ever naive! Unfortunately, that naivety was ingrained into me, unawares, by teachers who censored all other views out of existence. Even in the old (correction, recent) pretrib versus posttrib battles, many churches draw hard lines of dogmatism. For example, the Calvary Chapel churches will not allow a premillenial posttrib Christian to become a pastor of a CC church, even though they really only disagree about the timing of an instantaneous event by a mere 7 years on the grand scale of eternity. It is the release from this kind of dogmatism that is so refreshing to me, and to the previous reviewer. So, a word of caution...don't go to the other extreme! Don't treat the popular school with the same dogmatism they held you in.
Gentry enlightens the reader with significant evidence that the book of Revelation was written prior to 70 AD, rather than sometime in the 90's. His argument is not an attempt to twist facts to justify a silly and uncommon personal doctrinal preference, but rather it is an argument that has been historically held by many greats, down through the centuries. It is this evidence that first convinced Gentry. It is this evidence that has been summarily dismissed by dispensational groups, and hence never made known to the masses of followers. Gentry uses internal and external evidences about Revelation to present a strong case for pre-70 AD authorship. He deals with the 90 AD evidences, and finds them to be inconclusive, strained, and for the most part, weak. This includes the pivotal statement by Irenaeus (spelling?), and whether or not Irenaeus should be taken conclusively one way or another anyway. Ancient Christian literature is also surveyed, and the results are quite interesting. The reader must bear in mind that Gentry cannot prove his case either, but only show supporting evidence for it; evidence which is strong. But Gentry is honest in that he engages the arguments against his position. If only dispensationalism would expose its members to the pre-70 AD arguments!! (I do not intend to slam the dispies, for there are many fine Christians and churches of that persuasion! But if the truth be told, had I not opened my mind enough to look beyond the four walls of the old dispy box I was placed in, I would never have known the wonderful richness of various eschatological interpretation. This is not to say that many of Gentry's persuasion do not censor, but since the view is a minority today, they are usually forced to address the major views.)
Gentry then takes the next logical step: if the book of Revelation was written before Jerusalem fell, and since the book warns of imminent dangers ("things which must shortly take place," "the time is near," "the beast...is about to come up out of the abyss," the judgment of the temple in chapter 11:1-2, etc...), then maybe the book is a warning about the impending Fall of Jerusalem! Gentry surveys that possibility, and the case is quite intriguing. Certainly, for ears unaccustomed to such an idea, it seems ludicrous and easy to dismiss without examination. That is naturally understandable. But please don't do yourself such an injustice! The newness and oddity will wear off as you read and ponder the information. If Gentry doesn't convince you to change your mind, fine. At least you have broken through the barrier of eschatological censorship. Just try not to jump out of one box and into another.