Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JODT 13:40 (December 2009) p. 73
The Coming Apocalypse: A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End-Times by Renald E. Showers. Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 2009. 118 pp., paper, $8.95.
In the Western world at least, in which racism is one of the few forbidden sins, the recent rise in anti-Semitism is perplexing. How can civilized, educated, tolerant, and pluralistic people despise a race solely because of their ethical lineage? For those who understand the biblical teaching with regard to Israel there is no surprise. Unfortunately, due to myriad of reasons from biblical illiteracy, to the popularity of Replacement Theology, to lack of interest in prophetic teaching, to an unwillingness to wade through massive tomes on the subject, the average Christian has little understanding of Israel’s past, present, or future. Enter Dr. Showers’s highly readable yet concise overview of Israel’s God-ordained role throughout biblical times, today, and as related to end times. Showers aptly demonstrated that Israel has been, and remains, at the foundation of God’s plans for mankind.
The Coming Apocalypse begins with a clear and forcible challenge to the doctrine of Replacement Theology—the idea that God is forever finished with Israel as a nation and has replaced Israel with the church. The roots of Replacement Theology (or supersecessionism) can be traced to anti-Semitism that originated as early as the second century. Church Fathers from Justin Martyr to Origen to Augustine propagated a hatred for the Jews that heralded the development of unbiblical understandings of ecclesiology and eschatology. Concerning ecclesiology, the church began to mimic the Old Testament priesthood and systems of worship. Moreover, with Augustine’s City of God the church became the equivalent of the kingdom of God on earth today. As for eschatology, premillennialism, which was the predominant view of the church for the first three centuries, was replaced with amillennialism, which denies a future kingdom on earth in which Christ will administer God’s rule for a thousand years.
At the time of the Protestant Reformation, many biblical doctrines were restored such as justification by faith alone and the final authority of Scripture, but the Reformers retained Roman Catholic theology dealing with the church and end times. Furthermore and sadly, many of the Reformers accepted and proliferated Rome’s anti-Semitism, chief of which was Martin Luther. Therefore, the persecution of the Jews by the church that began with Constantine continued throughout the Middle Ages, and through modern times. Showers, however, did more than document and lament the church’s persecution of the Jews. He clearly demonstrated from
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