“A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days” was not what I was expecting. Perhaps I’ve read one too many `End Times’ books and somewhere along the way formed a preconceived idea that any book pertaining to the Last Days would by nature attempt an argument for a pre-Trib, or mid-Trib, or post-Trib, return of Jesus. Furthermore, I expected that it would attempt to analyze current events and political trends to make predictions and hypotheses, and that it would use words like “new world order”, “mark of the beast”, and “antichrist” liberally. Author Jonathan Bernis doesn’t do any of those things. So let’s be clear right at the start- if that is what you’re looking for- this book won’t interest you. If, however, you are honestly seeking perspective and wisdom, then you will be intrigued by Bernis’s argument that Christ’s return hinges on widespread acceptance of the true Gospel by the Jewish people, and that this must become the focus of the Church today.
But before he gets to that, Bernis spends a good deal of time trying to correct what he sees as common misperceptions pertaining to the Jewish people. He argues, for instance, that the Jews have not rejected the Gospel; rather, they have not heard the true Gospel. Indeed, throughout history the Jews have been blamed for killing Jesus and have been reviled and persecuted as a result- most often at the hands of so-called Christians. Bernis goes into a historical review of anti-Semitism, linking it back to Satan’s desire to crush the people of God and the promised Savior that would come through them. Bernis also spends quite a lot of time reiterating that God is not finished with the Jewish people, nor has He replaced them as His chosen people. The redundancy on these points gets a little tedious and dry I’m afraid.
On a positive note, Bernis gives great instruction on how to share the Gospel in a way that is valid, sensitive, and comprehensible to the Jews. He certainly makes a great case for the importance and need to share the Gospel with them, and he clearly- and Biblically- demonstrates how the redemption of Israel is linked to Christ’s return. I truly appreciated his humility in refusing to speculate on what the “End Times” will look like. What I grew weary of was the redundancy in the first part of the book- I get that the author is committed to correcting misperceptions about the Jewish people…I guess I’m naïve about how widespread and persistent those misperceptions must be in the Church today. So, if he is rightly addressing a real problem, then it’s all the more important that you read this book and talk to your Christian friends and family about it. I will say overall, I gained some good insights from this book, particularly in terms of relating the Gospel to the Jews, but I don’t think I actually gained much insight on the “Last Days” and I’ll wager that this book isn’t what you’d expect in light of the title.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Chosen Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.