A precise schematic of the Christian end times.
Pfeil (The Fifth Seal in Sharp Focus, 2010) begins his latest intensely researched and detailed scriptural study with a plainly stated reassurance that couldn’t be more welcome in the 21st-century climate of cross-denominational religious intolerance: “Different doctrinal positions on the end-time events do not have any effect on our salvation,” he writes. “They also should not have any effect on our Christian walk.” Having thus firmly placed his book’s contents in the realm of spiritual and intellectual food for thought, he then proceeds to lay out an extremely involved exegesis of Christian end-times prophecy attempting to detail the exact chronology of events that are destined to take place in the 70th-week end-of-history period alluded to in the book of Daniel. Pfeil has scoured the Old Testament and New Testament for any relevant scraps of revelation, laying out quotations and annotations from Isaiah, Joel and the Synoptic Gospels in an appendix. The crucial doctrinal distinction Pfeil wants to impress upon his readers is the difference between his own “Pre-Wrath” eschatology, in which most of Daniel’s 70th week will pass before God commences judgment on the wicked of the world, and the rival “pre-tribulation” interpretation, in which those judgments take place during the whole of the 70th week. The clearly written and superbly construed textual analysis that follows is a fine example of Christian scholarship. But its appeal is necessarily limited; even Scripture-literate Christians may need their Bible concordances handy to keep pace with Pfeil’s inquiries. The faithful who are passionate about end-times prophecies will want to make the effort, however, since Pfeil’s book is a thoughtful, satisfying master seminar on the subject (the book is also exceptionally well-designed). And the inclusive sentiments of the book’s opening lines govern its discussions throughout: Regardless of the exact sequence of end-time events, Christians are all ultimately united in their salvation.
A well-argued interpretation of the chronology of events outlined in the Christian end-times prophecies.