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Eschatology is a hot subject. "Prophecy" is a regular feature in supermarket tabloids, and it recently made the cover of Time magazine. Interest in the subject fuels countless water cooler conversations, myriad "end-times" Web sites and the whole Left Behind publishing juggernaut. But in many quarters of the Christian community, that same intrigue over "what happens at the end of the story" is balanced by bewilderment, even embarrassment over what the Bible and its various interpreters say. For these Christians in particular (and less so for inerrantist end-time enthusiasts), this book is a welcome, comprehensive and accessible guide to exploring what the Bible says about the future. Hill, a professor of New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., wants to show "that the idea of God's triumph is central to Christian faith and that a working knowledge of the concept is essential to an informed reading of the Bible, particularly the New Testament." He begins with a primer on biblical interpretation, then addresses prophecy throughout history, the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation, Jesus' expectations for the future and what those expectations were for the earliest Christians. The book closes with an appendix on the Rapture. It all reads like a good lecture, punctuated with summary lists, illustrative diagrams and funny asides (though some readers may find the latter off-putting). Like a well-prepared and practiced professor, Hill leads his readers through this difficult material with ease and expertise, sensitivity and a sense of humor.
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