Tim Challies
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June 3, 2024

The world is a mess. The world is a mess and seems to be getting messier. I could draw up an inventory of all the wars and conflicts, the diseases and disasters, the rise of immorality and decline of virtue, but that would be to tell you what you have already observed and already know. With all of this in mind, many Christians ask: Are we living in the last days? Is the end near? Is Christ returning soon?

Some time ago, Bryan Chapell was asked to prepare some teaching on the end times. The leaders of Bible Study Fellowship realized that, while they had led thousands of people through the other books of the Bible, they had not yet touched on Revelation. Their rationale was understandable: they thought it would prove too controversial and generate too much discord. But eventually they came to the conviction that by refusing to teach the book, they were depriving members of truth they needed to hear. So they asked Chapell and two other Christian theologians to lead them in a careful study of their perspective on the end times. What Chapell shared at that time forms the basis for his new book.

It’s important to note that Are We Living in the Last Days? is not one of those “Counterpoints” books where various authors explain their perspective on a matter of doctrine and then engage with one another. Rather, Chapell is the book’s sole author and does all the explaining himself. And equally important, he does not defend one of the views ahead of the others. Rather, he does his level best to simply describe the four major perspectives on the end times as accurately and charitably as possible. The perspectives are, of course, Dispensational Premillennialism, Historic Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism.

He accomplishes his purpose well. And while the explanations are necessarily technical at times, he makes each understandable. And then he gets to those crucial final chapters. Here he labors to describe the hope all Christians share, regardless of the perspective they take on the timing and unfolding of the end times. And here he also describes what lies beyond the end times—the glory of heaven and the unmediated presence of Christ. He also draws some crucial distinctions between the various perspectives to show what a person must affirm to hold one of the views instead of the others.

Put together, Are We Living in the Last Days? is a tremendously helpful and clarifying book. Besides that, it is a wonderfully charitable book that explains without dividing and that draws distinctions without taking sides. It lays out the differing perspectives, then focuses heavily on the unity believers share in Christ regardless of their particular understanding of the end times. I am grateful for Chapell’s careful labor and generous spirit and am glad to highly recommend his book.

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Tim Challies

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