As a seminary student one is often assigned to read a whole book or two for a class. I regret that most of us don’t actually finish reading the whole book, but rather skim or just read a few chapters. Who has the time? I think one of the main things that seminary has done for me is shown me all the great books that I need to actually read when I get done and have time.This is the exception: I might actually finish Anthony Hoekema’s, The Bible and the Future (I am going to be tested over the whole thing, so I better!) It’s great. Dr. Hoekema gives a noteworthy quote from Hendrikus Berkhof, from his book, Christ the Meaning of History. I thought it was telling:
The average Christian does not expect to see an positive signs of Christ’s reign in the world. He believes that the world only becomes worse and races in the direction of the anti-Christ… The average Christian is not aware of the presence of the Kingdom in the world today… Prevalent in our churches is a bad kind of pietism…which limits the power of Christ to his personal relationship to the individual believer, and which sees no connection between Christ and world-events, or between Christ and daily work. This lead to an ungrateful blindness for the signs of Christ’s reign in the present. Expression such as “we live on the edge of a volcano,” “it can’t last this way much longer,” “humanity is steadily becoming worse, ” “the end of time is near” are very popular in Christian circles. And they believe that this pessimism of culture… is completely in agreement with Christian faith (p.174).