Harry Bultema, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1985, 364 pages, $12.95, paper.

Reviewed by Norman Gulley, professor of theology, Southern College.

Maranatha, a study of unfulfilled prophecy, was first published in the Dutch language in 1917. It caused such a stir that the author left the Christian Reformed Church that he "highly esteemed" because of differences he held in prophetic interpretation. It is an in-depth logical study, with a clear focus that sustains interest. The book centers on a literal biblical interpretation and includes 1,700 scriptural texts.

The author's hermeneutic principles are up-front. He states that his "literal interpretation" opposes the "year/day theory of the Adventists" and maintains that if Protestant churches had done justice to prophecy, there would not be so many sects. Briefly, his eschatology is dispensational and premillenial, with Antichrist as a Jew, Armageddon as a Palestine war after Christ's return to earth, and the resurrections of the righteous and wicked bracketing the millennium.

Bultema is thorough in unfolding the aspects of eschatology, but he fails to do justice to a proper Christological hermeneutic that recognizes the distinction between Israel and the church; Christ's completed work brought the mission of Israel to an end. Bultema's basic incorrect presupposition stems from overlooking the conditional nature of prophecies made about Israel, numerous examples of which we find in the Old Testament. He interprets these prophecies as part of an irrevocable divine election so that all unfulfilled prophecies concerning Israel will literally be fulfilled in Palestine.

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Reviewed by Norman Gulley, professor of theology, Southern College.

March 1988

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