End-Times Delusions by Steven Wohlberg

This is a good introduction for those who are interested in a comprehensive, but not in-depth, review of the historicist view. The early sections are aimed primarily at debunking pretribulation rapturism, but once you get into the middle and back of the book, the heart of the historicist argument is presented.

Unlike narrower but more in-depth presentations, Wolberg does not look at alternative interpretations of passages or examine potential textual difficulties. He simply presents the interpretation as he sees it. If his presentation raises questions, you'll likely have to find your answers elsewhere. But this is true to the book's intent, which is a presentation of this view to a popular audience, not a scholarly one.

It is, unfortunately, light on what I consider to be the most difficult interpretations namely, the trumpets and bowls of Revelation but so are most historicist books I've reviewed recently.

In terms of style, this book is well written. Wolberg is, however, fond of complementing his arguments with elaborate and sensational phrases such as "earthshattering" and "bombshell," which are often repeated several times in a single chapter. This kind of sensationalism and self-congratulation (when applied to his own insights) gets old very quickly, and it is irritating and distracting in an otherwise professional presentation. Especially since many historicist arguments are based on analogies drawn from the Old Testament and therefore open to interpretation.

While certainly having merit, Wolberg's arguments are not always as iron-clad as he presents, and he would gain more credibility with his audience by offering humility rather than regular self-congratulation and dogmatism.

The most disturbing aspect of Wolberg's presentation, however, is that he presents historicism, not only as the preferred view, but the only interpretation leading to life. He regularly ties other schools of thought, such as futurism and preterism, to the spirit of antichrist and leading, using his own words, "potentially, to hell." This belief is based on the standard historicist interpretation that the papal system is the Antichrist of prophecy, and that the school of futurism was invented by and, thus, is wholly a deception of this system. However, Wolberg builds on this traditional view by suggesting that anyone holding the preterist or futurist view is subject to the coming wrath and judgment upon this papal system, even to the point of eternal judgment on individuals holding these views. This is an extremely disturbing viewpoint that is woven throughout an otherwise good book.

In all, my criticism are minor. This is a well-done book and a good introduction to historicism for anyone researching this view.

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