New Books

Another Review of We Shall Meet Him In The Air

We introduced our “We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings” book in December of 2009. The reader response has been wonderful, and the book is now in reprint, having already sold out of the first run. “Air” has been favorably reviewed by several readers, and the review below was just received by us today (11-23-2011). Grady Brown is himself a fine author (“That All May Be Fulfilled.” Available from us), and we appreciate his kind words and critique of We Shall Meet Him In The Air. Don K. Preston D.Div BOOK REVIEW—WE SHALL MEET HIM IN THE AIR N.T. Wright once commented: “Little did Paul know how his colorful metaphors for Jesus’ second coming would be misunderstood two millennia later.” Don Preston’s 2009 book, We Shall Meet Him in the Air, is a powerful tool for clearing up the misunderstandings of which Wright spoke. But this book is more than a polemic against the plague of dispensationalism that has swept Christianity into error over the last century-and-a-half. Rather, this book is a well-crafted treatise presenting the covenantal approach to eschatology. 1 Thessalonians 4:13f is one of the most important of all Bible prophecies that deal with the controversial subject of the “second coming” of Jesus Christ. Prolofic author Don Preston unpacks this passage phrase by phrase and discloses the powerful truths that have been buried by the thrill-seeking sensationalism that surrounds most discussion of Bible prophecy. Preston is a full preterist—a covenantal preterist—who sees 1 Thessalonians 4 as having four major thrusts: · The restoration of the life lost in Adam, · The fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, · The dedication of the Messianic Temple, and · The wedding (re-marriage) of Israel. When the richness of these concepts is seen, the juvenile perspective of people flying through the air, driverless cars crashing into one another, suits of clothes falling empty on the sidewalks, and other sci-fi inspired descriptions of the “rapture” pale in comparison. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. —1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NKJV) The majestic drama of redemption and of God bringing it to fruition through the Hebrew people, despite their rebellion against Him, can only be adequately dealt with through some powerful literary vehicle like the language of 1 Thessalonians 4. If Paul had not used this particular language, then he would have had to resort to some other description that would have been just as lofty and sublime, and just as subject to misinterpretation by those who approach the Scriptures with wooden literalism. Preston’s comparison of 1 Thessalonians 4 with the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) leaves no doubt that the subjects are the same—the judgment on Jerusalem and its Temple in A.D. 70. Sprinkled throughout the text are Preston’s syllogisms (arguments the conclusions of which are supported by two or more premises) that demonstrate the rational basis on which he makes his points. For example: The wedding of the Son in Matthew 25:1f is the time of the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:13f. The wedding of the Son in Matthew 25f is the same wedding of the Son in Matthew 22:1f. The wedding of the Son in Matthew 22 would occur at the time of the destruction of the wicked servants who had killed the prophets sent to them, i.e. Old Covenant Judah. Therefore, the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:13f being the same coming for the wedding in Matthew 25:1f, and the same wedding as Matthew 22, would occur at the time of the destruction of the wicked servants who killed the prophets ent to them, i.e. Old Covenant Judah. If I have any criticism of the book at all, however, it is the preponderance of these logical arguments which tend to give the book a polemical flavor, almost to the point of overshadowing the spiritual message of glory and victory that this Scriptural passage portrays. Preston’s conclusion, which I will not divulge in this review, will bring the preterist reader to a satisfying understanding of this admittedly difficult passage, and will give the non-preterist reader plenty to think about. Like any good author, Preston’s writings improve with age. If you only buy one of Don Preston’s works, let it be this one! –Reviewed by Grady Brown, www.godtalkblog.com

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