This well researched study has been a companion of mine for the last few weeks, taking in a chapter at a time when the moment allows.
The book attempts to stimulate thought on what is a contentious (and thus often neglected topic), the Lord’s second coming.
Motyer achieves this ambition in a surprisingly accessible way, inviting all to come to the relevant scriptures (fourteen passages in total), putting their millennial dispositions aside and letting God’s Word speak for itself without influence.
The book is honest and conversational in approach with helpful footnotes to explore. The study is split into two parts; the first sets the Biblical foundations of the subject in the Old Testament, the second part progresses the applications and foresight of Jesus’ second coming found in the New Testament.
There are many key themes throughout the study that are applied to the selected scriptures. In particular the ‘meaning of time’ and how to interpret the various visions, either as Chronos (‘time’ on a watch) or Kairos (we had a great ‘time’).
Motyer helpfully welcomes into the discourse various views from renowned scholars such as Augustine and Martin Luther to the more contemporary Dale Ralph Davies and N.T. Wright, attentively explaining any misguided exposition in a respectful and considered manner.
Motyer’s conversational approach and personal references throughout made me feel as if he was guiding me through the study, rather than presenting his findings. With that said, despite the enjoyment of the journey, it was not a ‘page turner’ that could be read in just a few sittings. I say this not as a criticism; the magnitude of the topics discussed should be digested slowly and devotionally, if we are even to begin to comprehend the profundity of God’s redemptive plan.
Motyer has been exceptionally honest and loving in his approach. His exegesis is superb and I believe that he met his own challenge of writing a biblical theology of the second coming that is true to scripture without excluding or offending readers from whatever eschatological positions that they may have.
Motyer does extremely well to tackle the hugely complex and profound subject matter of the second coming and packages the content in a way that is not restricted solely to the scholarly elite. But I do feel the book is better suited for the Pastor’s shelf rather than the broader Christian market. I certainly gained a lot from this book and I am very grateful to Motyer for his prayerful insight.
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelations 21:5