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The People, The Land, And the Future of Israel

The People, The Land, and the Future of Israel Edited by Darrell Bock and Mitch Glaser

This book, edited by Bock and Glaser, includes 17 chapters divided into 4 sections relating the Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, Hermeneutics, and Practical Theology all centered around the future of Israel.  The authors take various aspects of the future of Israel into account as they ride over the terrain of exegesis, theology, and practical application.  You won’t find a lot of new material here, but there are some good chapters.

In particular, Robert Chisholm Jr.’s chapter on Israel According to the Prophets was very good.  In the chapter, Chisholm upholds a view of prophecy of Israel’s future that focuses on fulfillment and contingency.  He writes, “When a prophecy is fulfilled essentially, the main point of the prophecy (its primary intention) is realized with a degree of literality, but some of the accompanying details may not materialize (59).”  Chisholm mentions that 1-2 Kings are books in which prophecies are given in which some of the details do not materialize.  This kind of interpretive grid allows for certain prophecies to be fully realized at a later time.  God allows human freedom to work out some of the contingencies related to the matter of prophecies (60).  Therefore, not all prophetic utterances are fulfilled essentially or fully without reference to the future.  I believe this grid for interpreting prophecy is very helpful and could be a helpful tool if used with an eye toward the historical context of each passage.

Dr. Craig Blaising also has a quite illuminating chapter on Israel and Hermeneutics.  In countering the view that the Bible goes from speaking about a particular people to a universal one from Old to New Testaments, Craig writes, “From the beginning of God’s promise to Abraham, both the particular and the universal are present (Genesis 12.2-3)…God’s plan for Israel and the nations are not mutually exclusive or successive programs but complementary throughout the entire canonical narrative (162).”  The questions that Craig brings forth to supersessionists are related to the coherence, comprehensiveness, congruence, and consistency of their interpretive grid.  While I’m still not convinced that a progressive dispensational view is the most biblical or theologically accurate view, Craig certainly points out some failures in the supersessionist grid to account for all the details. 

You will find some excellent arguments here in this book.  Some chapters are not as good as others, the  materialon the biblical flow of history are evident in other books, but some of the hermeneutics chapters are worth the price of admission.

Thanks to Kregel Academic and Kregel Publications for the copy of this in exchange for an honest review.  


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