Enormous confusion exists today concerning the Bible’s teaching about the future. Millions of contemporary Christians are caught up in “rapture” fever, evidenced by the phenomenal success of the Left Behind novels. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those, such as the leaders of the Jesus Seminar, who believe that Jesus did not teach about the approaching Kingdom of God. In God’s Time offers an alternative to these two poles in the debate, an alternative that is at once faithful and sane, readable and scholarly. Author Craig C. Hill encourages Christians both to take seriously and to think sensibly about the hope of God’s ultimate victory. His new book includes chapters on the nature of the Bible, the history of prophecy, the meaning of apocalyptic writings, the interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, the expectations of Jesus, and the hopes of the early Christians. It also includes an appendix—“Not Left Behind”—on the subject of the rapture.
Endorsed by a wide array of top scholars and church leaders, In God’s Time is a reliable guide to this often bewildering but always fascinating subject.
Sane, convincing, biblical writing. Pastors, teachers, and parents—all of us who are responsible for providing Christian guidance through the verbal clutter and emotional hysteria associated with the “end times”—will welcome Craig Hill’s accessible and timely teaching.
—Eugene H. Peterson, emeritus professor of spiritual theology, Regent College
When Christians talk about the end of the world, they often think that they are repeating what the Bible says when in fact the text is far more subtle and interesting. Craig Hill is both a first-rate scholar and a lucid communicator, and he manages in this admirable book to clarify decisively what Scripture does and doesn’t say about the last days. He cuts through much nonsense and helps us see the really important themes in the texts he discusses.
—Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Such clarity, such vigor, such color! I love the metaphors, down-home examples, and faith insights—mixed right in with erudite scholarship. In God’s Time is a must-read book for all serious students of Scripture.
—Richard B. Wilke, founder of the DISCIPLE Bible study series
Craig Hill has done the Christian community a great service by spelling out in a sensible, scholarly, and readable manner what the Bible says about the end times. At a time when popular books on the second coming are leading to confusion and a right-wing political mind-set, here is a book that is balanced and inspiring and helpful.
—Tony Campolo, professor, Eastern University
This book is written in accordance with the Scripture and simultaneously in accordance with our present time—a wonderful gift and a rare fortune in theology. It is a masterpiece on the biblical foundations of the Christian hope in the coming of God, without doomsday speculations and without the banalities of modern feeling-good-in-the-present-and-after-us-the-flood religion.
—Jürgen Moltmann, professor of systematic theology, the University of Tübingen
A remarkable achievement—a discussion of biblical eschatology that is fully informed by contemporary scholarship and written in such a way as to be accessible to any layperson. There is a tremendous need for this kind of writing, and very few scholars can write at this level of clarity.
—John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School
There is nothing easy about eschatology. Thankfully, Craig Hill has produced a wonderful road map for laypeople and experts alike to follow during the difficult journey through God’s time. Hill plays a fine Sherlock Holmes, discovering new insights and fresh clues as to the meaning of the Bible’s prophetic and apocalyptic texts. Contemporary events make Hill’s treatment all the more compelling and his evaluation of popular biblical interpretations all the more urgent.
—Mike McCurry, White House Press Secretary, 1995–1998
This is a splendid, well-written book on a topic of continuing importance for the health of the church. A gifted teacher and a wise guide, Craig Hill explains the Bible’s teaching on ‘God’s time’ clearly and judiciously. He doesn’t assume any prior knowledge, nor does he duck the awkward questions his readers are likely to have. His book is packed with helpful insights for a wide range of readers. Many will wish the could have read this book years ago.
—Graham Stanton, professor of New Testament studies, King’s College
Hill writes for Christians who don’t know what (or how)to think about the End Time and what Scripture says about it. He tackles the hard questions and comes up with answers that are both specific and remarkably sane. While completely informed by the best scholarship, his prose is lively, unaffected, and clear. Here is the sort of writing too seldom found—work by an expert who actually says something helpful to ordinary people.
—Luke Timonthy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Candler School of Theology
Every Sunday Christians confess belief in the ‘last things’—the second coming of Jesus, resurrection of the dead, and final judgment. Hill here provides students, pastors, and interested laity with a much-needed guide to New Testament eschatology and its Jewish roots. He includes a helpful guide to reading apocalypses like Daniel and Revelation and explains the origins of contemporary beliefs about ‘the rapture.’ This book should be required seminary reading. Christians living in the twenty-first century need not abandon the core elements of their ancestors’ faith.
—Pheme Perkins, professor of New Testament, Boston College
Craig Hill’s book ranges widely over the biblical text to consider the way the Bible hopes. The book is attentive to the many different nuances given the permeating act of hope in Scripture.Hill shows how characteristic and crucial is hope for biblical faith and yet how liable it is to distortion and misreading. His book is an invitation to rethink the odd claim of faith in a cultural context where hope is either impossible or transposed into fanciful escape.
—Walter Brueggmann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary