Christians’ fixation on the end times is not new. While eschatological speculation has sometimes resulted in distraction or despair, Scripture does speak about the end. So what does God most want us to know and do with prophecy?
In After Dispensationalism, Brian P. Irwin and Tim Perry sympathetically yet critically sketch the history, beliefs, and concerns of dispensationalism. Though a minority view in the sweep of church history and tradition, dispensationalism is one of the most influential end-times systems today, and there is much to learn from it. And yet, sometimes it gets sidetracked by overlooking the prophets’ main concerns.
Irwin and Perry reexamine the key texts and show how prophecy is primarily God’s word of hope for his people.
Whether you have thought often about the end times, or whether you never pronounced the word ‘dispensationalism’ before, this book is for you!
—Adrian D. E. Sieunarine, principal, St. Andrew’s Theological College
After Dispensationalism is such a welcome addition to Christian eschatology. In this scholarly but accessible book, Brian Irwin and Tim Perry patiently show us how to read the prophetic passages of Scripture in a way that is sound, sane, and hopeful. As such it is a gentle antidote to the sensationalist, fear-mongering eschatology of recent decades.
—Brian Zahnd, author of When Everything’s on Fire
The interpretation of some parts of the Bible is undoubtedly challenging. Some have exploited this difficulty to construct elaborate schemes by combining one bit with another in a way the Bible itself never advocates. The focus is often to give particular and specific focus to the nature of the end times in ways which can bring the church into disrepute because time and again things do not work out as anticipated. In a clear and irenic spirit, Irwin and Perry patiently explain how this relatively new way of Bible interpretation arose and why it can detract from the more important questions of how the Bible was understood at the time it was written and hence how it should be applied to our Christian lives today. ‘Rightly dividing the word of truth’ must eschew ‘wrongly dividing’; this book will help readers escape that danger.
—H. G. M. Williamson, Emeritus Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford
Brian P. Irwin is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures at Knox College in Toronto, Ontario.
Tim Perry is professor of theology at Providence Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba.