Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Apostle of the Last Days - By Marvin Pate

Did I like this book? Yes and no, but inclining more towards the latter.  The Apostle of the Last Days is an argument for Paul's life, letters and theology being eschatologically focused/united and that the troubles in the Churches Paul communicated with were because of faulty eschatologies.  Pate goes through the letters written by Paul and explains the Roman Eschatology/Roman Imperial Cult, non-Christian Jewish Eschatology and professing Christian faulty eschatology.  He then explains Paul's correction of them.
 Did I like this book? Yes and no, but inclining more towards the latter. The Apostle of the Last Days is an argument for Paul's life, letters and theology being eschatologically focused/united and that the troubles in the Churches Paul communicated with were because of faulty eschatologies. Pate goes through the letters written by Paul and explains the Roman Eschatology/Roman Imperial Cult, non-Christian Jewish Eschatology and professing Christian faulty eschatology. He then explains Paul's correction of them.
 
Some of it was quite interesting, especially where he explains Paul's counter to the Jewish view that justification of people before God would not happen until the "age to come".  I especially liked his overviews of the epistles, they were interesting summaries.  "Justification by Faith - God's end time verdict now"  is how he subtitles the chapter on Galatians.  His explanation that Christ "inaugurated the kingdom of God at his first coming and will complete that kingdom at his return" is among the topics discussed throughout the book. 


But then there are some things are a bit hard to keep straight. Commenting on 1 Corinthians 14:34 Pate says, "These controversial words probably mean no more than that Christian wives, enjoying their freedom in Christ to prophesy and speak tongues, should be careful not to let things get out of control by becoming overly enthusiastic to the point of being boisterous in the worship services.  Rather than all speak at once, the ladies should discuss spiritual matters at home with their husbands."   So, what about the verse afterwards that says that it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church?  So women have the freedom to act shamefully in the church, but wives shouldn't use that freedom?   What about 1 Timothy 2:11-15?
 
And then, although Mr. Pate seems to be pre-millennial, he believes that the true Israel is made up of Christian Jews and Gentiles. Biblically, I don't know why people don't see a continuity between the Israel of God and the remnant of Israel.  I don't understand why they think that Gentiles need to be an actual part of Israel rather than partaking with Israel in God's blessings as Gentiles not Israelites.  The Bible indicates that God planned to save and bless the Gentiles as Gentiles not as Israelites.  Christian Gentiles are a part of the people of God without having to become Jews.  

Some other statements were odd too…Pate thought that some things  "…suggest that the apostle, like the book of Revelation, feared that the antichrist was about to dawn in the form of the roman emperor."  This almost make it sound like the book of Revelation was written by someone simply observing modern trends of events rather than truly receiving a revelation.  I'm assuming that Pate didn't mean it that way, but it is still odd...

There were other things both good and bad, but I'll end my review now with a quote that I liked:

"But the eschatological battle that wages within the Christian does not result in a stalemate, because the believer possesses the Holy Spirit, the gift of the end times par excellence, according to Romans 8:1-16.  The Spirit enables Christians to obey God and thus live a life of righteousness."

Thanks to Kregel Academic for sending me a free review copy of this book!  My review did not have to be favorable. 

This book may be purchased at Kregel Academic and on Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment