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The End of the World as You Know It: What the Bible Really Says about the End Times (And Why It’s Good News)

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ISBN: 9781683597124
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Thinking about the end times isn’t supposed to terrify you

Christians rightly turn to the Bible to make sense of our times. But so often we get the wrong answers because we ask the wrong questions.

In The End of the World as You Know It, Matthew L. Halsted challenges common end-times assumptions and points us back to Scripture. Each chapter reevaluates a popular question in light of the Bible’s own concerns: Will Christians be raptured? What is the mark of the beast? When we let Scripture direct our questions, we get better—and more hopeful—answers.

Praise for The End of the World as You Know It

Anyone who has ever embraced or been influenced by the standard evangelical eschatology, or who knows people who have, needs to read this compelling and much-needed book!

—Greg Boyd, senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, MN

Matthew Halsted’s carefully guided tour of the relevant biblical passages and how they fit together provides a gentle yet challenging corrective to some of our most popular yet misguided takes on the end times. This book is biblically grounded, carefully reasoned, and above all, an absolute joy to read—even if you’re not a seasoned theologian.

—Mark Beuving, pastor of Creekside Church, Rocklin, CA; author of Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples (with Francis Chan)

Halsted provides a welcome and welcoming invitation to re-examine what so many Christians think they know about the end times based on this cultural edifice in light of a careful examination of the texts in scripture from which it has been constructed, urging us to care about the contextual meaning of each of its diverse building blocks. At the same time, he makes room for a more genuinely biblical eschatology that keeps us looking forward with confidence, not fear, to the consummation of our hope when Christ returns.

—David A. deSilva, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

  • Introduction
  • Are We in the End Times?
  • How Should We Understand Revelation?
  • What Is the Mark of the Beast?
  • Will Christians Be Raptured?
  • Is There a Coming Time of Tribulation?
  • How Can We Know When Jesus Will Return?
  • What Can We Know about the Antichrist?
  • Conclusion: What Now?
  • Title: The End of the World as You Know It: What the Bible Really Says about the End Times (And Why It’s Good News)
  • Author: Matthew L. Halsted
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Pages: 224
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781683597124


Reviews

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  1. Mike Chu

    Mike Chu

    2/21/2024

    I recently finished reading Dr. Matthew Halsted's new book with Lexham Press, The End of the World as You Know It. If folks have a R.E.M. song playing in their minds, I'm sorry. 😃 Besides the earworm, I loved Dr. Halsted's book! The book is aimed at folks who have had questions about studying the 'end times,' AKA eschatology, the study of the last things. Dr. Halsted takes the time to dig into the historical and cultural background that the NT writers such as John, Paul, and Peter lived in as they wrote to their various communities. Dr. Halsted's book is an exercise of what good biblical exegesis that takes into account the historical and cultural background of the biblical authors and their audience. Communication is about making a message clear to the intended audience. Materials that often confuse or scare us moderns were meant to comfort and encourage the original NT audiences they were written to. Key topics that Halsted's book covers: Introduction Are We in the End Times? How Should We Understand Revelation? What Is the Mark of the Beast? Will Christians Be Raptured? Is There a Coming Time of Tribulation? How Can We Know When Jesus Will Return? What Can We Know about the Antichrist? Conclusion: What Now? Final thoughts... This is my suspicion, but if Dr. Michael Heiser was still alive, I feel he would have made Dr. Halsted's book one of his immediate recommendations and go-to's for people who asked him questions about eschatology. Dr. Halsted's book utilizes some great scholarly material but distills the material to a level that a layperson can easily understand the point. However the case, Dr. Halsted's book is now one of my favorite go-tos for folks who have questions about eschatology. It challenges the typical "Evangelical-Pop-Culture End Times" scenarios and I found it refreshing to see an application of bringing out the meaning of the text in its original context...and finding that meaning still relevant and powerful in my day today. I highly recommend this book!
  2. Adam Craig

    Adam Craig

    2/20/2024

    Great book on reading Scripture in it's historical context and stoping the lunacy of finding the antichrist around every corner! This will be my number one recommended book to read when people ask me about Revelation. It was a great read thoroughly sourced. If you want a cursory view or to dig deep, this book serves both purposes!!!
  3. Mike Chu

    Mike Chu

    2/8/2024

  4. Jerry Creecy

    Jerry Creecy

    2/7/2024

    In "The End of the World as You Know It," Matthew Halsted brings the book of Revelations to life forcing you to ask hard and compelling questions about what you thought you knew about this prophetic apocalypse. There are some books that cause you to read the bible in ways never thought of, this is one of those books. You'll begin seeing the "end times" as John the Apostle saw them and look beyond well known pop culture ideas of what exactly this sometimes controversial final book in the bible say, bringing you peace and comfort in troubling times instead of fear and dread of tribulations to come. Instead of worrying about missing something you'll be assured that God is and will be with you through any trouble or tribulation you may be facing, just as he did for the first generation churches that this book was written to. I highly recommend getting this book, in fact get two and give one away to someone who may need this good word.
  5. Edward Wright

    Edward Wright

    1/24/2024

    As a follower of Dr. Matthew L. Halsted “The Bible (Unmuted)” podcast I became aware that Lexham Press was seeking people to review Dr. Halsted latest book The End of the World as You Know It: What the Bible Really Says about the End Times (And Why It’s Good News), release date 7 February 2024. Fortunately, I was selected to be one of the reviewers. I will not receive any compensation from Dr. Halsted or Lexham Press; but I did receive a “do not distribute” PDF electronic copy of the book from Lexham Press. I am not a Biblical scholar, nor pastor or professor. I am just your typical person on the pew who desires to understand what the Bible has to say. Dr. Halsted’s book is on the “book” of Revelation in the Bible. There are many popular books and movies based on Revelation, there are many interpretations of Revelation- by scholars, pastors, and internet experts. Matthew Halsted is a Biblical scholar, a college professor, and has the heart of a pastor. His book is written with the non-expert in mind. There are footnotes for the inquisitive reader; but not to the point of distraction; consequently, the book is a pleasant, enjoyable, and informative read. Chapter 1: Are we in the End Times? Most everyone (in the west) knows that Revelation is about the end-times, the mark of the beast, the great tribulation, the return of Christ and of course the Antichrist. So, most of us come to read Revelation with preset assumptions and the biggest assumption is that it is all about us: the end time events in Revelation are not primarily about the seven churches of chapters 1-3 but are about events in their distant future: about our time. Dr. Halsted gives many examples from scripture that the phrase “end times” (or the equivalent Old Testament phrases like “then end of days”, “the latter days”), means more than a singular period just before the final events: “end times” can refer to a period that lasts hundreds or even thousands of years. Dr. Halsted does assert that Revelation has everything to do with the end times, but he shows that “end times” is not all about the future. The logical consequence of assuming that “end times” is all about the future, is that Revelation becomes a timeline for the future which he maintains is contrary to the Revelation’s intended message and just invites speculation. There are many footnotes in this chapter that directs the reader to supporting documents written by respected, bona fide Biblical scholars. Chapter 2: How Should We Understand Revelation? Having concluded that Revelation is not best read as a timeline of the future, Dr. Halsted presents his read of Revelation. An overriding principle of Dr. Halsted’s approach to Revelation is that it is an ancient letter that was written to a particular group of seven churches and addresses issues about them and their time. It should not be thought of as a “book”. Being a letter, it is reasonable to assume that it was meant to be easily understood. But to do that we must understand the recipient’s total context. The historical context is only part of their gestalt, we must also understand the literary context of the letter. Dr. Halsted explains that Revelation falls in 3 complementary literary categories (genre): as already mentioned it is a letter, but it is also an apocalypse and a prophecy. The modern “apocalypse” carries the connotation of war, doomsday, total annihilation. But to the Greek word “apokalypsis” that is translated as “revelation” connotes “that which is unveiled” or “unconcealed.” This is consistent wit the idea that the letter Revelation was meant to be understood- and that message was not so much an announcement of doomsday to the churches but an unveiling of what was going on so that they could better understand their current situation. The modern notion of “prophecy” is that it is primarily about “prediction”. Dr. Halsted shows through example and referencing Biblical scholars that biblical prophecy is not primarily about prediction: there is a predictive element, but it is primarily about “the word of God” speaking to His people who may need words of comfort, guidance, or warning. Dr. Halsted reads Revelation as a prophetic, apocalyptic letter which was addressed to a particular group of seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. There is one more piece of Revelation’s total context: the historical context. Dr. Halsted very carefully explains the historical context of these seven churches by giving a most excellent overview of what was going on in the Roman Empire in general and in the Asian province in particular. He covers the topics of Emperor worship, Christian persecution, rivalry between the 7 cities in which the churches were located, and the ever-present pagan cults. In summation, there were dangers on every side for the Christians in this province of the Empire: a Christian could not worship any other God but the Messiah Jesus. Again, Dr. Halsted provides documentation for the content of this chapter. He uses both modern scholars and ancient Roman historians. At the end of chapter 2 Dr. Halsted has established an overview of the complete context of Revelation. How important is that: As Dr. Halsted puts it: “Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you want to understand the message of Revelation, you need to understand the genre of Revelation. Becoming familiar with its genre is not optional. It’s essential.” Dr. Halsted views the first 3 chapters of Revelation has individual message to each of the seven churches in the Roman province of Asia which is in modern-day Turkey, and chapters 4-22 “was given to these seven churches for their edification, with other churches in the region no doubt hearing about and benefiting from the message as well.” Dr. Halsted makes the important point:” Revelation, as a letter, must have been written so that it could be understood by its recipients. Otherwise, what would have been the point of writing a letter? “ The other chapters of Dr. Halsted book are: • 3 What Is the Mark of the Beast? • 4 Will Christians Be Raptured? • 5 Is There a Coming Time of Tribulation? • 6 How Can We Know When Jesus Will Return? • 7 What Can We Know about the Antichrist? • Conclusion: What Now? As you can see chapters 3-7 are topics over which Christians have differing views. No matter which interpretation one takes on a particular topic, no matter if Dr. Halsted concurs with that interpretation, Dr. Halsted’s book provides a valuable framework to talk about the various interpretations. By providing the historical and literary genre of Relation people have a framework to hear and understand what is for us from what was said to those seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. As Dr. Halsted puts it: “By first looking at how it would have been understood by its original readers, you will discover that Revelation has just as much (if not more) to say about the present era as it does about the distant future. Far from being scary, you’ll see how it’s full of comfort and relevant application for today—and all time.”

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Print list price: $24.99
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