This book will take some time to read. It needs to be read a chapter at a time (or less) just so that you can get to grips with the subject. There are inevitably some words that you may be unfamiliar with but that is the nature of the subject matter rather than the author's choice. Towards the end the author recaps the major themes: * The reach for the future * Christian hope * Death and eternal life * The nature and timing of the millennium * The signs that indicate the endof the world * The mark of the Antichrist * The place of Israel in the end-time purposes of God * The tribulation and the rapture * Armegeddon, the war to end all wars * The manner of the return of the king * The day of judgement * The new heavens and the new earth * Our eternal destiny: heaven or hell
The author is clearly well read on the subjects concerned and has carefully sifted through the various views. To start with he seems to be bending over backwards to not offend by clearly stating his own view. Gradually though his own view comes through. With each subsequent chapter the author spends a little less time on the merits of different interpretations and increasingly more on his own view and interpretation. The whole effect is one of building on what he has already written. The text is littered with quotes from other people such as Augustine and Luther, as well as more recent ones. The text is also littered with Bible references. I didn't always agree with the author's conclusions, but he argues well and supports his arguments which means you can really get to grips with what he is talking about, think about it and form your own conclusions. I find there are a lot of christian books that have very little substance with poorly supported theories - this is not one of them, it definitely contains meat to chew over and is to be recommended for that. The only critism is that it is a little dry at times and so I've given 4 stars.
If there was ever a way to get your knickers in a twist then it's in trying to get your head around the dizzying world of end-time prophecy and biblical teaching. In all this mayhem, it's so lovely to hear the voice of a calm, sane, English academic being so wonderfully rational and sensible about everything.
This book is not a sermon. If anything at times I wanted slightly less balance (well, if it's obviously wrong, why are you bothering with it?). There are, inevitably, some tough concepts and ridiculous words to navigate and, at times, it was a challenging read; shining light on some inconsistencies in what I had thought previously and forcing me to think things through in a more disciplined and grounded way.
This book changed my mind and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I loved it. Well done Mr. Ponsonby.
A word or two of advice: on reading this book for the first time, keep a list of definitions beside you or mark the relevant defining pages for further reference or you, as I, may get confused. This is a problem of subject rather than author so there is no getting around it, I'm afraid. Also, avoid cross-referencing the footnotes or the main narrative may start to feel like it drags (which is a credit to the author's breadth of research but really, there are a lot).
This book is very profound but brings out the eternal hope that Satan will never win and that Jesus Christ the Holy Lamb of God is the ultimate triumph. It will take a few readings to really get a grip of what the author is bringing out but to whet your appetite it is an awesome read and also to read it in partnership with Revelation it explains the imagery very well.
This book is very much like Simon himself- loving, humble, not wishing to offend but passionate about the truth.
Surely this is a book for our times- as i write there is a conflict emerging in europe, famine in africa, prices increasing, and a world wide down turn in the ecomnomy. You can take Simon's book in one hand and read the headlines of the Times in the other!
As Christians these are important topics, and we ingore them at our own peril, armed with such a book we can reach out to a confussed and conflict ridden world and offer them the Prince of Peace.
Simon is a very good man and this is a very good book.