A Review of “Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God” -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 110:437 (Jan 1953)
Article: A Review of “Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God”
Author: John F. Walvoord

A Review of “Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God”

John F. Walvoord

While a number of volumes have appeared on the general theme of the kingdom of God, this work of Professor George E. Ladd, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, will take a unique place among them. It is, first of all, a work of a conservative scholar who debates on the high level of faith in the inspired Word of God. Secondly, it is a defense of premillennialism, in contrast to such works as Louis Berkhof’s The Kingdom of God and Geerhardus Vos’ The Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God and the Church, which defend the amillennial position. Thirdly, it is a critique of the dispensational concept of the kingdom of God. To some this will be the most significant contribution.

The Scope of the Work

Dr. Ladd, whose articles on the kingdom of God in Jewish Apocryphal literature are appearing currently in Bibliotheca Sacra, presents in this volume the results of his study of the New Testament doctrine of the kingdom of God with the additional background of his studies in the Apocrypha. Beginning with the question, “Have the Problems Been Solved?” he outlines the teaching of ancient and medieval Christianity on the subject of the kingdom and follows with an analysis of the modern contemporary theology of the kingdom. In his discussion of the conservative doctrine of the kingdom, he distinguishes the postmillennial, amillennial, and premillennial points of view with a further division of premillennialism into dispensational and nondispensational. On the whole, these early chapters of the book present a sane

and scholarly outline of the history of the doctrine which will be valuable to all students of the doctrine of the kingdom.

Upon this foundation, the author builds the structure of his work, discussing consecutively the problem of holding to both a present and future kingdom, the interpretation of the term kingdom of heaven, and the exegesis of Revelation 20 as it relates to this problem. Concluding the book is a consideration of objections to millennial interpretation. The work on the whole is obviously the careful work of a reverent scholar who is courteous to his opponents, endeavoring not to misrepresent an issue, and seeking the truth. To dispensationalists, however, it will prove to be a disappointment. Like most works of this kind, the real question lies in the theological presuppositions.

Theological Presuppositions

Dr. Wilbur M. Smith in his introduction to this volume cites one major criticism: “I think that Dr. Ladd, like many other...

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