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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Man of Sin

    From the Left Behind books to two hour specials on the History Channel, Antichrist sensationalism is wide spread. Hal Lindsey and like minded thinkers believe this emissary of Satan and harbinger of the end times is currently alive and well, living in Europe. And according to these adherents of the Dispensational school, soon the Church will be raptured from the earth leaving this embodiment of evil to unleash a reign of deception and terror on those left behind. But if you find the current and popular conceptions of Antichrist portrayed in film and fiction to be a little over the top, or are worried that such sources have informed your understanding of this figure to a greater degree than Scripture, then I have a book for you.

    Written by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim California and a visiting professor at Westminster Seminary California, The Man of Sin is a sober look at a topic that is often presented with something less than sobriety.

Pros:

    Riddlebarger spends a good bit of time on the Dispensational view of this figure and and its impact on pop culture. From my reading, he presents this school of thought fairly while arguing strongly against it. He covers the various points of view regarding topics such as “the mark of the beast”, the 70 weeks in Daniel and the different identifications of the pronouns used in that portion of Scripture, proto-antichrists of the Old Testament, the abomination of desolation, &c; basically everything one would expect to see in such a book.

    The section on the doctrine of Antichrist throughout church history was quite informative, dealing with the Church Fathers, the Reformers and Catholic thought. An appendix deals briefly but convincingly with the dating of the book of Revelation.  And I particularly liked the discussion of antichrist in the epistles of John, where Riddlebarger reiterates the biblical teaching that “many antichrists have come” already.

Cons:

    Riddlebarger frequently uses words like ‘obvious’ and ‘clearly’ and at a few of these points I would have preferred ‘probable’ or ‘possible’, but Riddlebarger is writing as a convinced Amillennialist, a position I am sympathetic to but not yet fully on board with. I suspect that those in other millennial camps will react in a similar manner.

Conclusion:

    Written on a very specific and narrow topic, Riddlebarger’s book is informative on historical, scriptural and cultural levels. I would recommend it to any layman seeking to gain a broader understanding of the topic in these areas.

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Perspective: Amillennial
Pages: 191 text, 236 total
Documentation: end-notes, selected bibliography
Index: Scripture and subject indexes

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