Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Review: 40 Questions about the End Times

40 Questions about the End Times40 Questions about the End Times by Eckhard J. Schnabel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's always been interest in the end of the world across many cultures. Western culture has always had those who try to predict the end of the world based on Nostradamus's prophecies, the Mayan calendar, or passages in the Hebrew and Christian bibles. ALL attempts at setting a date for the end of the world have failed. But that doesn't stop continual date setting by foolish "gurus" who attract just as foolish followers.

Eckhard Schnabel's book focuses specifically on the Hebrew and Christian bibles, examining every passage in them that talks about the end of times. So if you are interested in the whole issue of the end of time and, specifically, what the Bible might have to say about it, Schnabel's book is a must read. It avoids sensationalism, date setting, and all other nonsense that abuses the text to fit a particular agenda.

Instead, Schnabel takes a literary interpretive approach where he tries to interpret the texts within their own literary, historical and cultural contexts. He most certainly comes from a Christian perspective in accepting the authoritative nature of the texts for Christians. But he deliberately avoids labels and preconceived ideas (as much as one can) and provides fresh insights into the meaning of these ancient documents. Refreshingly undogmatic, it's a pleasure to read and would make a good entry into this genre for those starting that particular journey. It would also provide a reference point for evaluating other works on the subject.

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