Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Review (#6 of 2010)

How to Study Bible Prophecy for Yourself, by Tim LaHaye (1990).

I am pretty sure I bought this book while in college, and this version was written before the Left Behind craze. It has somehow traveled with us all these years and will now be donated. The title is a little misleading because LaHaye doesn't teach you to do anything for yourself. It is sort of like a Bible study. LaHaye will introduce a subject, give you a passage with some questions about it (fill in the blank) and then give you his own opinion and the opinion of others.

I appreciate his humility throughout the book. Too many people I know call him a "false teacher" for being a pre-millenial, pre-tribulation rapture proponent. He challenges other views rather simply in this book but he rejects dogmatic assertions by anyone, including himself.

That said, the scholarship in the book is pretty crude, and sadly typical of pop Christian works. Writing "Someone said..." without naming the person or giving a reference. Including plenty of exclamation points, etc. The earlier chapters are the worst, he does give some references and leave out some of the sensationalism in the later chapters.

This book will not teach you how to study anything for yourself, but it will give you the basics of pre-millenialism (but not deeper veins of dispensationalism or covenantalism, words which do not appear in the book).

I do leave this book, like LaHaye, wondering how so many Reformed Christians can be convinced of a post-millennial second advent. Do you really believe we're ushering in heaven on earth through our better moral behavior and changing hearts through the spread of the Gospel so that Utopia is getting closer every day? That seems like utter nonsense.

1.5 stars out of 5. (Because anything higher would make me appear to be un-sophisticated).

The next book of LaHaye's I would like to read would have to be The Unhappy Gays. Remarkably also selling dirt-cheap on Amazon.

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