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THE BOOK OF REVELATION

by Harry R. Boer; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979; 157 pp., $3.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko) 

This book is a very brief, basically amillennial, explanation of the book of Revelation. While some of the interpretation can be accepted, there are several weaknesses. Perhaps the most basic weakness is a dualism which pervades the book — a dualism which places the powers of sin outside God’s control. E.g., on p. 46 Boer writes:

The Christian community must clearly understand that God does not decree sword and famine and conquest and war and pestilence and death and Hades. He did not create them; He did not plan them; He did not ordain them. All are opposed to him; all deny the goodness and the righteousness and the holiness for which God stands. The existence of evil is a mystery that Scripture nowhere explains. The excellence of the cosmic Christ is not that He brought an explanation of evil, but that He conquered it. He met, sin and evil and death and hell and defeated them. The glory of the gospel is not an explanation bf sin, but the declaration of its total conquest by the incarnate, crucified and risen Lord.

Yet, obviously, Boer cannot be satisfied with such an explanation, so he writes on p. 52:

The new, the wonderfully new, matter that is reported here is that the Lamb breaks the seals that introduce these dark events. All the events that flow out of the broken seals are in His hand. He permits them. He controls them. He limits them. And He stops them when they have served their purpose.

One wonders if this basic dualism is not directly related to Boer’s denial of reprobation. One wonders also if all this is not related to a very meager discussion of the eternal punishment of the wicked. 

Mission Trends NO. 4 (LIBERATION.THEOLOGIES), 

Gerald H. Anderson, Thomas F. Stransky, C.S.P., editors, Paulist Press, New York, Ramsey, Toronto and Wm. B; Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; $3.45 (paper) (Reviewed by Prof. Robert D. Decker.) . 

Liberation theology is a rather recent development in contemporary theology emanating primarily from Latin America. This volume contains a series of essays purporting to be an analysis of this theology especially as it affects North America and Europe. Contributions include representatives of the Black, Feminist, Native American, Asian American, and Chicano American experience. Among the writers are: Robert McAfee Brown (Union Theological Seminary) Pope Paul VI, Daniel Berrigan, Virginia Mollenkott (of feminist fame), and Cesar Chavez.

According to Brown the Christian gospel is not concerned about the emancipation of the oppressed in North America only, but about the emancipation of the oppressed in every part of the world. This must be affected by radical revolution (defined as “change at the roots”) of social, political, and economic structures. This must issue in a global community. This revolution may very well be accomplished in concert with Marxist (by definition atheistic, R.D.) ideology. 

The liberation spoken of is not conceived of in Biblical terms as liberation from sin and death through the blood of Jesus Christ. It has to do purely with this world. The theology is as one would expect neither Biblical nor Reformed. 

If one wishes to know something about this “theology” he does well to read the book. If one is looking for a positive contribution to the Reformed faith he will be disappointed. 

Eerdmans is not to be commended for publishing this sort of material. One would expect better things from its press.