Are We Living in the Last Days? What Christians Believe About the Apocalypse
The topic of eschatology, or the study of last things, is as confusing as it is enthralling. Books devoted to the study of Bible prophecy often don’t take into consideration that there are multiple points of view and the right one is far from obvious.
In S. Douglas Woodward’s first book, Are We Living in the Last Days? What Christians Believe about the Apocalypse, he identifies the primary points of debate between Christians in the 21st century. He covers the three predominate views of Protestants on each topic and encourages the reader to “think for themselves” to decide what they believe about prophecy. Although the book is written for both believers and non-believers, Woodward doesn’t apologize for his evangelical viewpoint. Furthermore, while the style is easy for the novice, he provides “deep dives” and technical footnotes for those who wish to dig deeper. In fact, readers who fail to peruse these additional remarks will miss some essential vistas of the book. Over the past five years, Woodward has earned a reputation for tackling tough issues with a thoroughness to detail and pertinent documentation to convince the dubious. Yet, despite the serious subject matter, he maintains a highly readable style with just enough humor to engage his audience, capturing their attention. As a technique to reinforce learning, the book utilizes chapter summaries and “key points to ponder” calling attention to his most important insights. In summary, Woodward’s emphasis is that of a teacher who cares about what his readers learn. He is not just a writer/researcher focused on making his points impervious to attack.
The culmination of the book is a strong argument for how to interpret the Bible. This concluding chapter is worth the price of the book alone. Here Woodward demonstrates that how one interprets the Bible determines what one believes about most matters of eschatology. In the end, the reader has not only learned what Protestant Christians believe about the essential themes of the last days, but likely has decided what he or she believes as well.