Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Future of the Kingdom, by Martin Wyngaarden

Martin J. Wyngaarden, The Future of the Kingdom in Prophecy and Fulfillment: A Study in the Scope of 'Spiritualization' of Scripture, 1955 Baker Book House

For some reason, I thought before buying this, that it's author was a Mennonite. It turned out that he was Reformed (the Dutch name might have been a clue..). This is a critique of Premillennialism, the belief that Christ will establish on Earth a thousand-year kingdom upon His return. Wyngaarden identifies the key texts of Scripture relating to our Lord's kingly office and His kingdom and demonstrate that they should not be interpreted as a literal Earthly kingdom in the future, but have a present spiritual fulfillment. This was written in the 1950s, when radio preachers had made Premillennialism a central part of the Evangelical/ Fundamentalist scene in America.

Wyngaarden was an Amillennialist who saw the millennium of Revelation 20 fulfilled in the Church Age. However, his book is more of a negative critique of Premillennialism than a positive exposition of the Amillennial view and its understanding of the kingdom. As a Postmillennialist, I would have liked to see Wyngaarden addressing the implications of the kingdom, both spiritual and cosmic.

This is an important and useful book, though I found it a little dry.

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