Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:485 (Jan 1965)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Jesus And The Kingdom. By George Eldon Ladd. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1964. 367 pp. $5.00.

Readers of Dr. George Ladd’s books dealing with the kingdom of God, previously published, are aware of the fact that he moved from an original premillennial, dispensational interpretation of eschatology to what has been termed a nondispensational, historic premillennialism. In this volume it is apparent that Dr. Ladd is attempting to create a new type of eschatology which is a compromise between historic premillennialism and amillennialism. While an occasional observation will reflect premillennial influence, ninety-nine per cent of this volume can be accepted by any amillenarian and explains the hearty endorsement of Dr. Roger Nicole, an amillenarian, who praises Ladd for having “achieved a mastery over the whole field of Biblical eschatology.” Likewise, the neo-orthodox scholar Otto A. Piper has only warm words of praise.

Students of Biblical theology who love the intellectual approach will revel in this volume. It reflects widespread reading in Bultmann, Cullmann, and practically every important liberal or neoorthodox scholar writing on this subject today. There is almost a bewildering parade of views by various authors on every conceivable aspect of the doctrine of the kingdom. Significantly, however, his bibliography boycotts premillennial eschatology, and less than five per cent of all the authors quoted can be classified as conservative orthodox scholars regardless of their eschatological views. For a comprehensive work purporting to cover the whole field of scholarship concerning Jesus and the kingdom, this is a strange, one-sided study that slights the great premillennal scholars of the past as well as of the present as being unworthy even of mention.

According to Ladd, “The central thesis of this book is that the Kingdom of God is the redemptive reign of God dynamically active to establish his rule among men, and that this Kingdom, which will appear as an apocalyptic act at the end of the age, has already come into human history in the person and mission of Jesus to overcome evil, to deliver men from its power, and to bring them into the blessings of God’s reign” (p. 214). While Ladd fully supports the concept that the kingdom has a future consummation, as do practically all orthodox scholars, what he attempts to ignore is that the

kingdom is also theocratic and political and involves an actual reign of Christ on earth for one thousand years. To achieve his goal Ladd omits entirely any mention of Revelation 20 in his discussion of “the consummation of the kingdom period.” It is true that he is pr...

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