Friday, 19 December 2008
Terry Virgo on Zion's Christian Soldiers
“In recent years, Tim LaHaye’s best-selling Left Behind series has enjoyed high visibility in some Christian bookshops and can often be seen prominently displayed on bookshelves in airports, particularly in the USA.
A previous generation will remember the phenomenally popular Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. Such sensational books seem to take the market by storm in spite of their very fanciful approach to the themes which they cover. What is needed is a book more genuinely submissive to Scripture and more Christ-centred in its approach, and happily in Zion’s Christian Soldiers? we have such a book.
Although Stephen Sizer does come out fighting and makes his points with some vigour, it is probably true that, given some of the statements made on Christian television by such men as John Hagee, it probably needs someone to stand their ground firmly with something of a combative attitude.
In his well-argued book, Stephen Sizer challenges the views held by dispensationalists and demonstrates from Scripture that the apostles were very clear regarding the identity of God’s chosen people. Issues of land and temple are well handled.
Dismissing the ‘replacement theology’ tag, Stephen Sizer argues, ‘It is not that the church has replaced Israel. Rather, in the New Covenant church, God has fulfilled the promises originally made to the Old Covenant church.’
Though you may not dot every ‘i’ or cross every ‘t’ in this book, you would be well-served to own it, read and digest it to help you stand on clear New Testament ground and withstand the tide of fanciful and sadly often emotive teaching that surrounds these themes. You will also appreciate John Stott’s previously unpublished but superbly argued chapter on the place of Israel which concludes the book and which Dick Lucas describes as ‘a masterpiece of clarity in an area marked too often by confusion and unjustified assertions’. This is a book you would do well to have.”
Terry Virgo, Pastor of the Church of Christ the King, Brighton and leader of New Frontiers International (author of No Well-Worn Paths, Does the Future Have a Church?, God’s Lavish Grace and, his latest, The Tide is Turning.)