When I was completing my theological studies through a ministerial program in the C&MA, I distinctly remember dreading the section on eschatology. For up until that point, eschatology was a foggy, nebulous concept. The map inside Robert Van Kampen’s book The Sign, which was the gold standard in the church I grew up in, was more than a little foreboding. Unfolding the illustrious map revealed an apocalyptic vision of bizarre animals, fiery meteors, trumpets and a carefully constructed, if not wildly complex, chronology of the final seven years.
I couldn’t make sense of it. Yet I believed it… that is, until my guided studies forced me to think through the issue more carefully.
It was Matthew 24 that first bothered me. I would read Van Kampen, look at Matthew 24, read Kampen, read the parallel account in Luke, and time and time again scratch my head in bewilderment. It just didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem to jive with the text.
It’s quite obvious now why it didn’t make sense. Dispensationalism, for all its popularity these days, is woefully inadequate as a theological paradigm. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I think it’s true.
The journey out of dispensationalism had many twists and turns for me, but one figure whom I found particularly helpful was a pastor by the name of Kim Riddlebarger. He holds to the Amillennial position, the position that probably best describes my eschatological outlook (Although I am what one might call an optimistic Amillennialist, which is just a funny way of saying that I’m friends with Postmillennialists). I found his book The Case for Amillennialism particularly helpful. I commend it to you. But if you’re an audio scavenger like me, you’ll definitely find his lectures on the subject profitable. There are a bunch of them, so they this not for the faint of heart. But listen. They are good. If you haven’t thought much about eschatology, I heartily recommend this series to you. They are clearly presented, biblically insightful and helpfully organized.
What are you waiting for? Download them.
Difficulty: Intermediate (Though if you’re a noob, prepare to be hit with a lot of new information).
Must Listen Factor: If you have read the Left Behind Series and think it fairly represents the Bible regarding eschatology, then this is a must listen 🙂
To Download: Click the picture. You will see on the right hand column a section entitled “Amillennialism 101 Audio Resources.” Fire away.
Additional Resources: As far as free articles are concerned, I recommend Sam Storms’ resources to you. You can find them here: LINK. They are excellent. Now if you want the true gold standard, pick up G.K. Beale’s commentary on Revelation. It is worth its weight in gold, and let me tell you, it’s heavy.