A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance
We hope to follow up with more on this soon, but we wanted to give our readers a heads up on the newest addition to D.A. Carson’s (ed.) popular series, New Studies in Biblical Theology, by Paul Williamson.
This from Carson’s Preface:
Christians were once known as those who knew how to die well. In the Western world today, however, many of us have succumbed to the pressures of the surrounding culture, making us slow to talk about death and what lies beyond. Our creeds teach us to long for the new heaven and the new earth, and to trust Christ so as to escape the judgment we deserve, but instead of joining Christian voices across the ages and crying, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus!’, we sometimes succumb to a practical atheism. The first step toward regaining an eternal perspective is to rediscover what the Bible actually says about life, death, judgment, resurrection and hell. And that is what Paul Williamson has undertaken. Taking care to understand the ancient Near East and the Graeco-Roman world against which backgrounds the biblical documents were written, he surveys the emphases of the Old and New Testaments, working through the most important passages. This volume is likely to become the stimulus for more than one series of sermons on this subject. More importantly, it may well stimulate its readers to live life now and die well because they have learned to live with eternity in view, cherishing the blessed promises and consolations of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
D. A. Carson
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Table of Contents
1. After death, what? Ultimate questions about death and the afterlife
Death and the afterlife in contemporary perspective
Death and the afterlife in ancient perspective
Death and the afterlife in the ancient Near East
Death and the afterlife in the Graeco-Roman world
Death and the afterlife in biblical perspective
Key issues in contemporary evangelical debate
2. Death – the ultimate separation?
‘What is man?’ Biblical anthropology and the question of the soul
The state of the dead and the question of post-mortem existence in the Old Testament
The Old Testament’s depiction of post-mortem existence and the realm of the dead
The state of the dead and the question of an ‘intermediate state’ within intertestamental Judaism
The state of the dead and the question of an intermediate state in the New Testament
3. Resurrection – the ultimate makeover?
How the motif of ‘resurrection’ was employed and understood in the ancient world
The Old Testament’s perspective on the doctrine of resurrection
The New Testament’s perspective on the doctrine of resurrection
4. Judgment – the ultimate verdict?
Eschatological judgment and divine recompense in the Old Testament
Eschatological judgment and divine recompense in the intertestamental literature
Eschatological judgment and divine recompense in the New Testament
A resolution to the paradox?
Appendix: The spiritual status of the law-abiding Gentiles in Romans 2:12–16 125
5. Hell – the ultimate holocaust?
The fate of the wicked in the Old Testament
The fate of the wicked in the intertestamental literature
Books that envisage the prospect of destruction
Books that imply post-mortem suffering/torment
Later books that may reflect Christian interpolation
The fate of the wicked in the New Testament
6. Heaven – the ultimate destination?
The concept of ‘heaven’ and future hope in the Old Testament
The concept of ‘heaven’ and ‘paradise’ in the intertestamental literature
The concept of ‘heaven’ or the future inheritance in the New Testament
The new cosmos
The new Jerusalem
The new Eden
Buy the books
Death and the Afterlife: Biblical Perspectives on Ultimate Questions