In Christ’s Prophetic Plans the editors John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue have attempted to put together an argument for Dispensational Premillennialism. The contributing authors are all professors at The Master’s Seminary.
In the first two chapters Michael Vlach sets out to define what Dispensationalism is and is not. He does an overall good job in doing this. He summarizes in 40 pages what entire books have been written about. Not every question is answered or every point that he makes fully explained, but that can’t be expected in such short space.
In chapters three and four Richard Mayhue answers two questions: Why Futuristic Premillennialism? And Why a Pretribulation Rapture? Again, Mayhue does a pretty decent job laying out these views, but many statements he makes seem to assume too much and he does not back up his claims. The most disappointing argument is not a new one: Dispensational Premillennialist interprets Scripture literally. This argument is meant to suggest that any other view does not interpret Scripture literally and is thus Liberal. The problem with that is that most of the Reformed tradition, in which the authors are a part of, hold to different millennial views. This theme leads through the book and even has a chapter titled Does Calvinism Lead to Futuristic Premillennialism. In this chapter MacArthur will argue that it does, but again a majority in the Reformed tradition would disagree. This chapter along with the last chapter: How Certain is Futuristic Premillennialism are the two I have the most problems with. As a Calvinist who doesn’t hold to this millennial position I find it frustrating that the book turns from informational to a dogmatic stance on the millennium. This book does not seek to present others views, there are other books for that, but it should stick to presenting its view. This would be my major gripe with the book, that it ends with a dogmatic stance on an issue that many GREAT believers throughout the history of the church have disagreed upon.
Overall the book does a good job presenting a view that is largely understood by its representation in the Left Behind series. This book attempts to ground its view in Scripture and not a fantasy world like those books/movies. I think it does a good job of articulating the millennial view it represents. Other than the somewhat dogmatic stance and feel it has, I have no other issues with it. It is very readable and accessible to pastors and lay people alike.
I was given a free copy of this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.