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The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views Paperback – April 1, 1977

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (April 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877847940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877847946
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This work is an excellent introduction to the discussion as well as a pointer to additional works on the subject." (TSF Bulletin)

"A stimulated debate and an excellent learning tool . . . . The book opens a fresh and fruitful dialogue." (Southwestern Journal of Theology)

"Congratualtions to IV Press and to editor Clouse for bringing together the most adequate dialogue yet, on the divergent eschatological understandings found in modern evangelicalism." (Prebyterian Covenant Seminary Review)

About the Author

Robert G. Clouse (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is professor emeritus of history at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is also an ordained Brethren minister and has served churches in Iowa and Indiana. He is the author of the IVP books Meaning of the Millenium, Women in Ministry, War: Four Christian Views and Wealth and Poverty. He has also written The New Millenium Manual (Baker), Two Kingdoms (Moody), The Story of the Church (Moody) and Puritans, the Millenium and the Future of Israel (Clarke, with Peter Toon).

Ladd, professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1950, was educated at Gordon College and Gordon Divinity School (B.D.) and received the Ph.D. from Harvard University. He also did postdoctoral study at Heidelberg and Basel Universities. Ordained as an American Baptist minister, Ladd served several churches in the denomination. He was professor of Greek at Gordon College (1942-45) and head of the department of New Testament at Gordon Divinity School (1946-50). His writings include Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God (1952), The Blessed Hope (1956), The Gospel of the Kingdom (1959), Jesus Christ and History (1963), The New Testament and Criticism (1965), The Pattern of the New Testament (1968), Commentary on The Revelation (1972) and The Theology of the New Testament (1974).

Hoyt (A.B., B.D., M.Th., Th.D., LL.D.) was chancellor and professor of Christian theology at Grace Theological Seminary and Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. He wrote The End Times (1969) and several other books. He also contributed to a number of national Christian periodicals.

Boettner is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1928; Th.M, 1929), where he studied systematic theology under Dr. C. W. Hodge. In 1933 he received the Doctor of Divinity, and in 1957 the Doctor of Literature. He taught the Bible for eight years at Pikeville College (Kentucky). His books include The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (1932), Studies in Theology (1947), Immortality (1956) and Roman Catholicism (1962).

Hoekema emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States in 1923. He attended Calvin College (A.B.), the University of Michigan (M.A.), Calvin Theological Seminary (Th.B.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.D., 1953). After serving as minister of several Christian Reformed churches (1944-56) he became associate professor of Bible at Calvin College and later professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He wrote The Four Major Cults (1963), What about Tongue-Speaking? (1966), Holy Spirit Baptism (1972), The Christian Looks at Himself (1975) and The Bible and the Future (1979).

Customer Reviews

If u are unsure of how each school of eschatology believes or are unsure exactly what to believe yourself this book is a must read.
Wayne P
Ladd, Hoekema, and Hoyt do an excellent job of presenting and defending their stances, while Boettner's essay on Postmillennialsim could have been better.
Bradley Hilderbrand
You probably won't have all your questions answered simply by reading this book, but you will certainly have your thoughts stirred!
Brian Douglas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 78 people found the following review helpful By J. F Foster on August 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Eschatological views within evangelicalism have long been a source of serious division between believers. This book, in a succinct way, offers the presentation of 4 major views of the millennium, each view represented by one scholar. Like other books of its kind, the book is presented in such a way that each eschatological position is presented by the scholar advocating such a position, and then the other 3 scholars representing other points of view have the opportunity to critique the presentation. Given that the four scholars represented in this book are all respected to varying degrees, I felt that this format worked quite well in this book.
I felt that the two views represented the best were by far the historic premil and amillennial views articulated by Ladd and Hoekema respectively. Both did a good job of providing a rather thorough presentation of their respective views. I also felt that Hoekema did the best job of critiquing the other 3 views in his short rebuttals to the other 3 proposals. Ladd certainly could have been better in this regard.
I frankly wasn't expecting much from Hoyt, and both his presentation of dispensational premil and his rebuttals were about what I expected - which was disappointing. As was pointed out in the rebuttals to his view, Hoyt did not even attempt to provide an exegesis of Rev. 20:1-6 in his proposal, which is a monumental deficiency in his presentation. In addition, Hoyt, like many dispensationalists unfortunately, had no effective way to defend their 'literal' interpretation technique against the many well argued points made against it by the other 3 scholars.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David T. Wayne on May 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like most modern evangelical Christians, I was brought up in the faith to believe that the bible taught that there would be a rapture, followed by a seven year tribulation period, followed by the second coming of Christ where He would set up a millennial kingdom in Jerusalem where he would reing for 1000 years, followed by a final coming where he would usher in the eternal state with a new heavens and a new earth.
Back in the early 90's I was studying for ministry and I figured that someone would probably ask me my view of the end times some day, so I decided I needed to study it for myself. So, I acquired a 28 tape set on the end times by one of the leading conservative scholars in America. I listened to all of them, as he explained and defended the above scheme and I came away from that thinking that I would never be able to persuade someone of that position unless they were already heavily predisposed to believing it. What I mean is that I couldn't find a rapture/tribulation, etc. in any of the Scriptures that this teacher used.
So, scratching my head, I did a little more research and came across this book. It opened my eyes to the fact that there were other views of the end times that were held by Christians who believed the Bible was the word of God. I had been told in the past that the only people who don't follow the rapture/tribulation etc., scheme were people who didn't believe the Bible.
I won't tell you what view I adopted, other than to say that I found that all of the views had much to commend them, from a Scriptural standpoint, except the one I formerly held.
This book does an excellent job of letting the representatives from the various schools of thought speak for themselves, and it allows critiques in a scholarly and irenic manner.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gontroppo on January 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Many people are unaware that there are several views of how we should interpret the New Testament's teaching about Christ's Second Coming. In many churches, only one view is ever presented, and often this is the most recent one, unknown in the history of the church until the mid-1800s.
Books like this one help you to see that evangelical Christians have different ways of interpreting the Bible's teaching about the end of the world. This may prove unsettling at first, but it is good to be aware of other people's views when the New Testament is not as clear as some would like us to believe.
It is also helpful to see that the main teaching, that Jesus is coming again to take those who believe in him to be with him forever, *is* clear.
Another helpful book, also available from Amazon, is Steve Gregg's Revelation: Four Views - a parallel commentary, which presents several of these views side by side, in their authors' own words.
Both books are warmly recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Steve Fast on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books provides a basic understanding of the 4 contrasting views of the kingdom of God as seen through the lens of the millennium. It helps to have a basic knowledge of the doctrine of the millennium before you read the book as no one explains the basic views themselves.
Each of the contributors explains their view more or less competently, although Hoekema (amillennialism) has by far the most rigorous and well-organized essay. Ladd's essay is also quite good. Hoyt's essay is more about the dispesationalist scheme of Biblical interpretation, and he consistently confuses the concept of metaphorical or symbolic interpretation, arguing in his essay that such interpretation is "literalism" when any speaker of English would tell you that it is not.
Boettner's contribution (post-millennialism) was downright disappointing as he had no Biblical exegesis to back up his admittedly engaging presentation of his view. Some of the responses by each contributor to the other's position are fairly rude, in particular Ladd, but also Hoyt to an extent.
The editor's careless work decreased the value of the book. He did not require all the contributors to address their exegesis of key questions, like that of Rev. 20. He allowed Boettner to get away with a sloppy essay that proved nothing. And he allowed Hoyt to blather on and on in his essay and his responses about "literalism," when any dictionary would show that literalism is not what Hoyt says it is.
In summary, you can dig an understanding of the four views of the millennium out of this book, but the editor could have made it much easier.
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