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The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist Paperback – June 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
What should Christians believe about the Antichrist?
Christians have always been fascinated with the Antichrist, but recently the interest seems to have reached an all-time high, with pop culture depictions and speculation leaving many people confused or even frightened. But what does the Bible really say? What have Christians throughout history believed about the Antichrist? Should we fear the Antichrist or such things as the mark of the Beast? Have some end-times prophecies already been fulfilled?
Pastor and professor Kim Riddlebarger carefully untangles the confusion surrounding this biblical doctrine. He considers common beliefs about the Antichrist and end times, closely examines the relevant scriptural passages, and explains how these passages have been interpreted historically by the church.
Pastors, professors, and concerned Christians seeking trustworthy guidance on the doctrine of the Antichrist will appreciate Riddlebarger's sound biblical approach.
"Beyond sensationalism and silliness, this book on the Antichrist corrects a tendency among a lot of us simply to ignore the topic. Riddlebarger writes with accessible prose, although there is always more research and analysis behind it than meets the eye. If you want to learn about this strange New Testament figure without all the hype usually associated with the genre, look no further. It's serious, interesting, well-informed, and edifying reading."--Michael Horton, professor of theology and apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
Kim Riddlebarger (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California, and visiting professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is also a cohost of the White Horse Inn radio program, a weekly broadcast on more than fifty radio stations.
About the Author
Kim Riddlebarger (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California, and has been a visiting professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is also a co-host of the White Horse Inn
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Top Customer Reviews
Uncovering a truly biblical understanding of the Anti-christ is a daunting task when you begin to see all the presuppositions that have been attached to the person in all the fore-described media. But it is a task that Kim Riddlebarger faced head-on and, in my opinion, produced for us a Biblical picture of the Man of Sin.
The book begins with the immediate context of American culture as it relates to the Anti-christ. Dr. Riddlebarger draws a picture of the contemporary view of the Anti-christ and of the expectancies of what he will be and when he will appear and begins the task of separating fact from fiction.
He then provides an overview of the forerunners of the Anti-christ from the Old Testament. Riddlebarger's discussion of the many 'types' and foretellings of the Anti-christ found in the Old Testament lays the necessary foundation for understanding all that the Anti-christ has been foretold to embody in Scripture. Tracing these types from the serpent in Paradise, through Cain, Nimrod, Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, to Antiochus Epiphanes, and through the study of specific prophecies of the Anti-christ, Riddlebarger provides a comprehensive picture of the Anti-christ as expected by Jewish society before the time of Christ.
Moving then into a discussion of the doctrine of the Anti-christ in the New Testament, Riddlebarger lays another foundation for a more complete picture of the Anti-christ by discussing the interaction between Jesus and Satan in the Gospels, the "already/not yet" eschatological focus of the New Testament, and a look at prophetic perspective and fulfillment of prophecy in the New Testament.
The next section of the book begins a discussion of the 'anti-christs' (small 'a' and plural) that have already gone out into the world. Noting that the word 'anti-christ' only appears in the first two of John's letters and never in the book of Revelation, he goes on to list some identifying traits of these anti-christs, the chief being a denial of the incarnation of the Son of God. Interacting with B. B. Warfield, he notes that Anti-christ is anyone who that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and that we should not import John's description of these heretics into our view of the Man of Sin or the False Prophet who will arise at the end of time. He concludes, "...the final manifestation of the beast and the false prophet...seems to indicate that John's series of antichrists...will indeed give way to a final ...persecutor of the people of God".
The next chapter focuses on the doctrine of the Anti-christ in the book of Revelation. Once again, he lays the foundation from the Old Testament, showing how the forerunners of the Anti-christ shape the language used to describe the beast and the false prophet. Nero and the cultic emperor-worship of the Roman Empire is discussed while he shows the significance of the number '666'.
Chapter Six is a discussion of Paul's doctrine of Anti-christ in II Thessalonians. Once again, Riddlebarger is careful to bring all the background information we need to interpret correctly Paul's statements concerning the 'Man of Lawlessness'. In this chapter Riddlebarger interacts with the various views from Dispensationalists, preterists, futurists, and historicists in their interpretations of the Man of Sin, the coming Apostasy, and the Restrainer. For those of you who are wondering, Riddlebarger concludes that Gospel preaching is the 'restrainer' Paul speaks of in this passage.
Riddlebarger continues forward with a look back at the various interpretations of the Anti-christ in Church history. Beginning with the Fathers and walking through history, he discusses the various views of the Anti-christ which were often colored by the world they lived in. There is also a helpful chart showing the differing beliefs of the Fathers, Dispensationalism, the Reformers, etc. at the beginning of the book, but I thought it would be better located here.
The final chapter of the book is a summary and compilation of the conclusions from preceding chapters. The final section is an admonition to trust in God and not spend time on useless speculations not consistent with Scripture, but to rather look for the glorious appearing of Christ. Satan is a defeated foe. Evil runs rampant because Satan and his minions know their time is short. Don't fear them, but have faith in God.
Overall, this book is a good read even for those who disagree with the author's conclusions because he will make you think about what you believe and why. His conclusions are based on a literal interpretation of the Scripture and not a fanciful imagination, as is evident in many other books of this genre.
3 thumbs up.
Raised on the campy and comical "Thief in the night" series during "Youth group" on Sunday Morning, I made several attempts through Revelation to try to see if the Bible taught these things. After realizing that I am hopelessly underfamiliar with apocalyptic literature and Old Testament scriptures and symbols, I looked elsewhere.
I've been troubled by both the futurist and preterist understanding of the Beast/Antichrist/Man of Sin. Riddlebarger has provided satisfactory resolution to all of my nagging concerns in this very narrow topic.
It would seem silly to describe this book as the final answer on all your Antichrist questions, given the historical diversity of interpretations. However, it is the best set of answers I have ever seen, and as a special bonus, they're all consistently laid out next to each other in one book :)! It will be the first resource I turn to when questions pop up.
I do have a complaint about the book. The book may not stand on its own. I wish it repeated a few pages of "A Case for Amillenialism"'s thorough debunking of Dispensational theology. Instead it includes a reference. Because this book is more sensationally interesting to my dispensationalist family members and friends, it may be easier to get them to read it, but it may lack persuasiveness because it fails to kill dispensationalism. Getting them to read two books is always harder.
My other complaint is just a general complaint from a layperson to a scholar. Although I understood most of the references to historical figures in the church, I came from a evangelical church where Luther and Calvin are completely unknown. The author did a pretty good job of introducing most everyone, but if the author took a few more sentences to introduce the various players and movements of church history, the book would be more accessible, and I'd be more likely to hand out more copies.
I heard a rumor that the author had started on a third book "The Future". I am very excited because there's still a lot of eschatology left to cover.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bravo, Kim. Great read, especially when read in conjunction with his other book, "A Case for...Read more