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The Man of Sin: Uncovering The Truth About The Antichrist Paperback – 1 Jun 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801066069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801066061
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,164,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Kim Riddlebarger (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California, and has been a visiting professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is also a co-host of the White Horse Inn

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good straightforward biblical exposition on the Anti Christ, very refreshing because it's not coming from the modernist pre-millenial viewpoint, good layout and easily understood by the layman.
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0 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this one again, as i was trying to get some answers on the matter of the antichrist. But i didn't find anything in this book. I don't agree with the premise any more. I don't think there will be any antichrist, but this writer thinks that there will be, based on the writings in the bible, such as Daniel and Revelation, and he is a believer in the whole bible as the word of God, something which i no longer accept. I found this book to be frustrating.
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Amazon.com: 18 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A Concise Content- Oriented Review of The Man Of Sin by Kim Riddlebarger 11 Aug. 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In an age of uncertainty and an Apocalyptic warnings coming through the media, whether in fictional accounts produced by Hollywood, 'documentaries' and 'evidence' of global warming coming interestingly enough again from Hollywood, media accounts of the state of the war on terror, or mainstream Christian retailing of End Times novels, speculations, and conjecture, The Man Of Sin stands as a welcome resource for those who wish to look at what the Bible has to say about the Anti-christ.
Uncovering a truly biblical understanding of the Anti-christ is a daunting task when you begin to see all the presuppositions that have been attached to the person in all the fore-described media. But it is a task that Kim Riddlebarger faced head-on and, in my opinion, produced for us a Biblical picture of the Man of Sin.
The book begins with the immediate context of American culture as it relates to the Anti-christ. Dr. Riddlebarger draws a picture of the contemporary view of the Anti-christ and of the expectancies of what he will be and when he will appear and begins the task of separating fact from fiction.
He then provides an overview of the forerunners of the Anti-christ from the Old Testament. Riddlebarger's discussion of the many 'types' and foretellings of the Anti-christ found in the Old Testament lays the necessary foundation for understanding all that the Anti-christ has been foretold to embody in Scripture. Tracing these types from the serpent in Paradise, through Cain, Nimrod, Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, to Antiochus Epiphanes, and through the study of specific prophecies of the Anti-christ, Riddlebarger provides a comprehensive picture of the Anti-christ as expected by Jewish society before the time of Christ.
Moving then into a discussion of the doctrine of the Anti-christ in the New Testament, Riddlebarger lays another foundation for a more complete picture of the Anti-christ by discussing the interaction between Jesus and Satan in the Gospels, the "already/not yet" eschatological focus of the New Testament, and a look at prophetic perspective and fulfillment of prophecy in the New Testament.
The next section of the book begins a discussion of the 'anti-christs' (small 'a' and plural) that have already gone out into the world. Noting that the word 'anti-christ' only appears in the first two of John's letters and never in the book of Revelation, he goes on to list some identifying traits of these anti-christs, the chief being a denial of the incarnation of the Son of God. Interacting with B. B. Warfield, he notes that Anti-christ is anyone who that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and that we should not import John's description of these heretics into our view of the Man of Sin or the False Prophet who will arise at the end of time. He concludes, "...the final manifestation of the beast and the false prophet...seems to indicate that John's series of antichrists...will indeed give way to a final ...persecutor of the people of God".
The next chapter focuses on the doctrine of the Anti-christ in the book of Revelation. Once again, he lays the foundation from the Old Testament, showing how the forerunners of the Anti-christ shape the language used to describe the beast and the false prophet. Nero and the cultic emperor-worship of the Roman Empire is discussed while he shows the significance of the number '666'.
Chapter Six is a discussion of Paul's doctrine of Anti-christ in II Thessalonians. Once again, Riddlebarger is careful to bring all the background information we need to interpret correctly Paul's statements concerning the 'Man of Lawlessness'. In this chapter Riddlebarger interacts with the various views from Dispensationalists, preterists, futurists, and historicists in their interpretations of the Man of Sin, the coming Apostasy, and the Restrainer. For those of you who are wondering, Riddlebarger concludes that Gospel preaching is the 'restrainer' Paul speaks of in this passage.
Riddlebarger continues forward with a look back at the various interpretations of the Anti-christ in Church history. Beginning with the Fathers and walking through history, he discusses the various views of the Anti-christ which were often colored by the world they lived in. There is also a helpful chart showing the differing beliefs of the Fathers, Dispensationalism, the Reformers, etc. at the beginning of the book, but I thought it would be better located here.
The final chapter of the book is a summary and compilation of the conclusions from preceding chapters. The final section is an admonition to trust in God and not spend time on useless speculations not consistent with Scripture, but to rather look for the glorious appearing of Christ. Satan is a defeated foe. Evil runs rampant because Satan and his minions know their time is short. Don't fear them, but have faith in God.

Overall, this book is a good read even for those who disagree with the author's conclusions because he will make you think about what you believe and why. His conclusions are based on a literal interpretation of the Scripture and not a fanciful imagination, as is evident in many other books of this genre.
3 thumbs up.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Well Done 11 Sept. 2006
By Blackhearted - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Riddlebarger's "Man of Sin" is the best resource on the subject I have encountered. As a layperson I found the book was persuasive and easy to read. Riddlebarger's previous title "A Case for Amillennialism" was a much more difficult read because I was less familiar with the scripture citations, and less scripture quotations and paraphrases were included in the text.

Raised on the campy and comical "Thief in the night" series during "Youth group" on Sunday Morning, I made several attempts through Revelation to try to see if the Bible taught these things. After realizing that I am hopelessly underfamiliar with apocalyptic literature and Old Testament scriptures and symbols, I looked elsewhere.

I've been troubled by both the futurist and preterist understanding of the Beast/Antichrist/Man of Sin. Riddlebarger has provided satisfactory resolution to all of my nagging concerns in this very narrow topic.

It would seem silly to describe this book as the final answer on all your Antichrist questions, given the historical diversity of interpretations. However, it is the best set of answers I have ever seen, and as a special bonus, they're all consistently laid out next to each other in one book :)! It will be the first resource I turn to when questions pop up.

I do have a complaint about the book. The book may not stand on its own. I wish it repeated a few pages of "A Case for Amillenialism"'s thorough debunking of Dispensational theology. Instead it includes a reference. Because this book is more sensationally interesting to my dispensationalist family members and friends, it may be easier to get them to read it, but it may lack persuasiveness because it fails to kill dispensationalism. Getting them to read two books is always harder.

My other complaint is just a general complaint from a layperson to a scholar. Although I understood most of the references to historical figures in the church, I came from a evangelical church where Luther and Calvin are completely unknown. The author did a pretty good job of introducing most everyone, but if the author took a few more sentences to introduce the various players and movements of church history, the book would be more accessible, and I'd be more likely to hand out more copies.

I heard a rumor that the author had started on a third book "The Future". I am very excited because there's still a lot of eschatology left to cover.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Defying Escapism 5 April 2009
By Jacques Schoeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist's given name by LaHaye and Jenkins in the Left Behind series, is anti-scriptural. We may be forgiven in thinking that more heresies have been spawned by this series than once did the gnostics of the second century. Yet, says Dr Kim Riddlebarger, 'Antichrist speculation is inevitable. We cannot escape it'. p 26 Dr Riddlebarger enters his foray into the Antichrist as presented by the mass media and something immediately becomes readily observable: man's preoccupation with the dark. Preying on our fears then becomes the questionable money-motive for much of the collaboration in the publication and production of a peculiarly prophetic genre, projecting onto us an unbiblical and anxious dread - with a way out. Riddlebarger critiques both the futurist and preterist presuppositions through a re-examination of their ethos.

Of great importance are three sections of Scripture crucial to gleaning a scriptural approximation of this enigmatic character: the Epistles of John, John's Apocalypse, and Paul's "man of lawlessness" in 2 Thess 2. Of lesser importance is Daniel's seventy weeks prophecy, which one misguided chiliast describes as 'the indispensable chronological key to all NT prophecy'. Admittedly, Riddlebarger does a great job with his exegesis of Daniel 9:27. Furthermore, Riddlebarger employs past theologians of great stature to great effect in an attempt to oust the consumption of fictional best-sellers, and replace them with a solid integration of gifted scholarly literature less accessible to consumer-frivolous Christians.

By now it becomes apparent that Riddlebarger believes that many antichrists have already come in the course of human history. And this is precisely what the Epistles of John teach. 'The question remains as to how this series of antichrists is connected to that mysterious individual Paul speaks of - the man of sin.' p 79 It is at this stage in the development of the "man of sin" that he will either be relegated to an enigmatic Pauline figure, as Warfield held, or afforded a composite sketch attained from all three strands of biblical teaching. In clearly what could not have been an easy departure from Warfield, Riddlebarger moves on to an inclusive scheme of Scripture. So, secondly, he treats the apocalyptical dragon, beast and false prophet from the Revelation of John. Due to the symbolic nature of the revelations there are a number of interpretations given to the unholy trinity, yet the standard refrain is that the dragon is Satan, the beast is the Antichrist and the false prophet his co-regent.

Riddlebarger's third and final stop is the "man of lawlessness" in the apostle Paul's sole reference to the Antichrist. The proper exegesis of this text takes center stage. 'The first critical question faced by Paul's interpreters has to do with the identification of the man of lawlessness.' p 119 It is here once again in the dispensationalist view that Paul is referring to an end-times persona who will set himself up as god in the temple, and therefore the temple must be rebuilt, that evokes the most fascination, if not incredulity, especially considering their claim to being raptured shortly thereafter - what purpose would rebuilding the temple serve, other than admitting their prophetic time-table? This point of contention, whether Paul meant that the man of sin will set himself up in the eschatological church or the rebuilt temple, (2 Thess 2:4), has been hotly contested, and becomes a preference of linguistics and semantics, with Riddlebarger opting for the eschatological church.

When viewed in the whole, the first passage of Scripture from the Epistles of John teaches of antichrists within the church. The second passage, also from John, Revelation, teaches of an Antichrist external to the church, whom by means of state sanctioned persecution, oppresses the faithful. 'Paul might offer the means to tie these two things together.' p 122 It is here that Riddlebarger's calculation of this critical passage comes into its own right. As the Lord had warned of in the Olivet discourse "because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will become cold", the apostle Paul speaks comparatively of the first sign preceding the Parousia as the great apostasy - the "falling away" of 2 Thess 2:3. 'The timing of the apostasy is in some way connected to the second condition, the revelation of the man of lawlessness, as concomitant events.' p 126 This emphasis in Scripture on the Antichrist, or man of sin, who himself must be revealed [Gk: apocalypsis] allows for some sort of divine control, a "holding back". Hence the second sign that Paul imparts to the Thessalonian believers that must precede the coming of Christ is the revelation of the man of sin.

The second problematic exegetical issue surrounds the uncertainty of the 'restrainer', who up to the time of unprecedented apostasy when God will allow certain believers to be handed over to a delusion, appears to be a very effective God-given aid to believers. Whether by special revelation or general providence, Amillennialists believe that God will keep the elect and preserve them from the waxing evil, until such time as Christ will re-appear from heaven. In this providential design, and as John Calvin held, the preaching of the gospel serves as the most likely candidate for the 'restrainer'. 'None the less the fact remains that it is impossible for us to form concrete conceptions of how the restraint of the mystery takes place.' Geerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology p 133

Paul therefore is able to mutually relate the Epistles of John's internal antichrists with Revelation's external Antichrist, whom Riddlebarger believes will eventuate as a particular individual in the future, a man of iniquity who possesses the incredible political clout to persecute the church, and finally to set himself up in rebellion to God as god-incarnate in the church. If this be tentatively accepted, Israel and the temple as a 'special interest group' become an unnatural reading of the Antichrist's antagonism, and not deserving of serious consideration.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Strong But Disorienting Book 22 Feb. 2007
By J. Stephen Newell Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I began "The Man of Sin," I was immediately disoriented. 236 pages later, that assessment still stands. The Man of Sin seems geared towards someone who has at the very least a basic familiarity with amillennial theology. It assumes a strong amount of grounding by the reader in interpretive methods and church history. Fortunately, this assumption is not so great that someone like me, having only read premillennialist works, can sit down and forge through it. And forge through I did.

If nothing else, Riddlebarger's book will make one think. I believe that is his thrust all throughout the book; that is, he desires simply to cause the reader to rethink what one believes about the end-times and the Antichrist in particular. In that respect alone, Riddlebarger succeeds. I definitely have more to think about.

A failure of this book is in the way it treats amillennialism over and against other millennial views. Riddlebarger seems to bounce off walls (and not in an energetic, yappy dog or hyper child way) in his treatment of differences between amil and other views. It's almost as if he is sitting in a room with various pieces of theology that are contra-amillennialism taped on the walls and throwing darts randomly around the room, at which point he attempts to show how the amil view is superior. Engaging in such eschatological rabbit-chasing, while informative and interesting, only confused me when trying to follow the argument Riddlebarger was attempting to make in most of the chapters of this work. But I must admit the cause of such confusion may well be my unfamiliarity with the point of view in which this book is presented.

Riddlebarger's strongest contribution in this book is a historical overview of the Antichrist in the church. I enjoyed this chapter immensely and learned much about how the church has viewed the Antichrist through the ages, from Nero to the Papacy, on to today. After this is his final chapter, a summary of all the information in the book, stating Riddlebarger's conclusions as to what the evidence shows. This chapter, more than any preceding one, helped me to understand what Riddlebarger wanted to accomplish in writing the book. If I were to go back and reread the book after finishing this chapter, I am certain that Riddlebarger's presentation would be much clearer to me.

All in all, this is a very strong book, disorientation aside. It is the first scholarly work on Revelation (outside of commentaries) that I have read, and I am very pleased that it has done what I hoped-it has broadened my theological horizons. I would suggest that anyone considering reading it first gain a basic understanding of and familiarity with amillennialism, postmillennialism, premillennialism, and preterism before delving into The Man of Sin. Then and only then should you consider reading it. Until then, go ahead and purchase it if you like. The cover will at least look good on your coffee table until you're ready to read it!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
another must 26 Jun. 2006
By travis russell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
this is dr. riddlebarger's second book in eschatology. i read it in 2 days, it is great. it addressed some issues that i had some problems with like the man of sin setting himself up in the temple in the last days. scripture doesn't teach a rebuilding of the temple, that is Christ, and now the church.

he did a great job with the book and his first book, a case for amillennialism, is a must for any serious library. dr. riddlebarger is a great writer and a genuinely nice guy. this book and his first are MUST READS.
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