Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gilbert & Sullivan and the Bible

If you like Gilbert & Sullivan and like the Bible and language, be sure to check out this great and fun piece of work! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x2SvqhfevE&feature=share

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Calvin's Corner" radio show

On the "Calvin's Corner" radio show, Michael Newnham goes through his top ten books of the year. My book, Biblical Eschatology, is his book #5. The discussion of this book begins about the 21 minute mark and lasts about two minutes. You might want to listen to this to get Michael's take on why he included it in his list, and you'll enjoy Michael's and host Phil Naessens' discussions of the other books on Michael's list and Phil's own top ten book list. Check it out here: http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=20099

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Biblical Eschatology referenced as "essential for every Christian"

Michael Newnham, the "Phoenix Preacher," today posted on his blog his "Bookcase Essentials for Every Christian," consisting of ten books. As to these books he says, "I believe that the Christian who reads these books will have an excellent foundation for understanding both our faith and the family history. From here, you will have enough information to explore as the Holy Spirit leads, no matter the faith tradition.They will also serve to inoculate the reader from all manner of foolishness that is taught in the church today." The fifth book he lists is my Biblical Eschatology.

"5. “Biblical Eschatology” by Jonathan Menn. This is the only “big” book on the list and it is massive. It is also the single best book on end times theology ever written. Take it a little at a time and then you will understand all the different theories about the Rapture and the Second Coming…it’s worth the effort."

For the full posting, please go here:  http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=20063

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Biblical Eschatology" on Tumblr

I recently went to www.tumblr.com and keyed in biblical eschatology in the search box. The following quotation from page 11 of my book, Biblical Eschatology, appeared in the top, middle column:

The profound effect of the NT on OT prophecy 
The full meaning of any particular passage or prophecy may not be clear unless the whole Bible and the stage of redemptive history are taken into consideration. Dennis Johnson makes this point clearly: “To read the Bible contextually as the Word of God must include the completed canon as the ultimate context of any particular passage.” The NT profoundly affects OT prophecy. In fact, one may say that the NT transforms OT prophecy and is the best interpreter of OT prophecy. Prophecy is an important area in which “the New [Testament] is in the Old [Testament] concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.”

With Christmas coming, a copy of the hard copy or Kindle edition would make a great gift for the person you really care about! Enjoy!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

ECLEA listing

I am happy to say that ECLEA is listed on the Converge Great Lakes, Short Term Ministries Initiative's "Opportunities" web page: http://www.convergegreatlakes.org/reach-nations/opportunites/converge-great-lakes.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sermon series on Revelation

Community Church's pastor, Wade Hetrick, has just started a sabbatical that will last until the end of January. Beginning last Sunday, November 30, and continuing each Sunday thereafter through January 18, I will be preaching at Community Church3701 N. Gillett St., Appleton. Each of the 8 sermons will be from the book of Revelation.

I have chosen Revelation because many churches ignore the book and some others abuse it. Over the last year or two, I have preached six sermons from various passages in Revelation. The eight I will be doing will fill in most of the gaps. The schedule is as follows: 
Nov 30--Rev 1:1-8--"God is at the center"
Dec 7--Rev 1:9-20--"The real Jesus"
Dec 14--Rev 2:1-3:22--"Jesus' promises to overcomers"
Dec 21--Rev 5:1-14--"Worthy is the Lamb" (which, serendipitously, ties right in with Christmas)
Dec 28--Rev 7:1-17--"God cherishes His people"
Jan 4--Rev 13:11-14:20--"The Church, the World, and the Judgment"
Jan 11--Rev 20:1-6--"Behind the scenes"
Jan 18--Rev 20:7-15--"The final judgment"

The services start at 9:00AM and end about 10:15AM, followed by snacks and then an optional small group discussion time (based on the sermon) that lasts until 11:00AM. I have found the small group discussion time to be a very worthwhile time of fellowship and insight.

After a day or so, the sermon (both audio and written) will be posted on the "sermons" page of  ECLEA's website (http://www.eclea.net/sermons.html). Last Sunday's sermon has already been posted.

I think you will find these sermons interesting, informative, and, at minimum, thought-provoking. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ECLEA 2014 Year-End Report

To see ECLEA's 2014 year-end report, together with a photo of the main ECLEA East African leaders, please go to the "News" page of the ECLEA website: http://www.eclea.net/news.html. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Terror attack in Kenya

This just received from one of the good pastors I work with in Kenya:

"Yesterday morning the Nation woke up to 28 deaths caused by Al Shabab [Islamic terrorist group based in Somalia]. This happened near Mandera, a border town to Somalia, 6 hours away from where I preached last.

The bus was coming from Mandera to Nairobi. One hour away they were hijacked and led into Somalia. It had rained and the bus got stuck. They forced all the 60 passengers to recite Koran. Those who could not (Christians) were separated and made to lie down and they shot them all: 19 men; 9 women."

Words cannot express one's sorrow (and anger) at the brutal, violent, and cowardly act of these murderers.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recommendation of Biblical Eschatology

I am happy to say that Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a member of the Board of Directors of both Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary, and who also serves as a member of the Council of The Gospel Coalition, recommended my book, Biblical Eschatology, in his blog ("Enjoying God") post of October 16.
The title of his blog article is "What is the Second Coming of Christ?" It consists of a number of questions and answers concerning the Second Coming. The last Q&A are as follows:

Can you recommend any resources for further studying Christ's second coming?
Without wanting to appear self-serving, I should probably recommend my own book, Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative. Anthony Hoekema’s excellent treatment of eschatology, The Bible and the Future, should also be consulted. And Biblical Eschatology, by Jonathan Menn, is a comprehensive survey of all the options.

The entire blog entry is located here: 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A sight you won't see in the USA

I have been in East Africa since the last part of October and just returned. While there I was not able to update this blog.

While I was in Arusha, Tanzania, we got behind a taxi (or matatu as they are called), a 14- or 17-passenger Toyota van. Look at the picture on the rear window. We would not see that in the US, but Islam is a growing force around the world, including in East Africa. The more power it gets, the more intolerant and violent it also becomes (that has been true since its founding in the early 7th century).

I hope that what we are doing with ECLEA can help to diffuse the violence and lead to greater reconciliation (one of ECLEA's courses is Forgiveness & Reconciliation) and better lives for all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1 Tim 1:12-17--"Paul's life and ours"

On Sunday I preached at Community Church of Appleton on 1 Tim 1:12-17. The sermon was entitled "Paul's Life and Ours." Here is a brief description:

We all have the seeds within us to do the most brutal and sinful acts. Only Christ working in us can transform our lives from the inside out. He transforms us in a fundamental way because our lives are not just about ourselves. As we apply this transformation, we become more like Christ so that, by God's grace, people will see something of Him when they see us.

Both the audio and a PDF of the message are available on the "sermons" page of the ECLEA website: http://www.eclea.net/sermons.html

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Biblical Eschatology" listing on Pinterest

I am happy to see that my book, Biblical Eschatology, has been included among a number of excellent books by Rogue Valley Fellowship of Medford, OR in its listing of "Books on Theology" on Pinterest.

Here is the link: http://www.pinterest.com/rvfpin/books-on-theology/

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Return from East Africa + auto accident

I recently returned from Burundi and Uganda. Updates of that trip are on the "News" page of the ECLEA website (http://www.eclea.net/news.html).

Today I received an email from Michael Taari, ECLEA's coastal region coordinator in Kenya. Here is what he said:

"As I was travelling back to Nairobi from our annual conference in Voi I was involved in a car accident with my wife but we were able to come out alive. I got some injuries on my head and back. I have been at home now for two weeks without doing anything but I am trusting God that I will be well soon. Next week on Thursday we have our ECLEA conference at Voi. The people are waiting for us and I believe all will be well."
Michael Taari

God bless you, Michael. We hold you up in our prayers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

ECLEA's "Biblical Marriage & Parenting" now in Kirundi!

National flag of Burundi
One of our efforts at ECLEA is to get our teaching books translated into the major languages of East Africa. The national language of Burundi is Kirundi. I am happy to say that, under the leadership of Frederic Harerimana, ECLEA-Burundi's national coordinator, and our partners at Rema Ministries, ECLEA's teaching book on Biblical Marriage & Parenting recently was translated into Kirundi.

That book, along with ECLEA's other teaching books, has been posted to the "Courses" page on ECLEA's website (http://www.eclea.net/courses.html) and may be read and downloaded for free.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Biblical Eschatology: contributing to the discussion

My book, Biblical Eschatology, was recently cited and quoted from in a thread on forums.carm.org concerning "Biblical Prophecies and Geography." CARM stands for "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry." On July 27 one contributor posted the following:

Here's an interpretation that I favor given the context of 'lightning' elsewhere in the NT.

According to Biblical Eschatology by Jonathan Menn, 'lightning' as used in both the OT and NT conveys the idea of divine judgment, retribution, and warfare. The Hebrew word brq refers to the theophanic (manifestation of God to people) presence of Yahweh.

W. Sibley Towner says "Lightning as a feature of the end of the age is almost the only use made of the imagery in the NT (see Matt. 24:27; Luke 17:24 and esp. Rev. 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18), although the association with theophany is also reutilized (Matt. 28:3)."

Jonathan Menn in his book Biblical Eschatology goes on to say "Rev. 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 are particularly important in that the context there is judgment that accompanies the parousia. Lightning as judgment is also used when Jesus speaks of Satan's fall in Luke 10:18."

Menn continues, "Finally, lightning as judgment is indicated by the fact that lightning is associated with, if not identical to, "fire from heaven" which always indicates God's judgment: either his judgment on his enemies, or his presence among his people and acceptance of their sacrifices. Thus in the OT the eschatological judgment of the "day of the Lord" is described in terms of fire. Likewise, in the NT the judgment that accompanies the parousia is described in terms of fire."

I'm happy to see that, slowly by slowly, the book is getting exposure and is contributing to the ongoing discussion of biblical eschatology.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Expository Preaching now in Kiswahili!

ECLEA's teaching book Expository Preaching has now been updated and translated into Kiswahili. Both the English and Kiswahili versions are posted on the "courses" page of the ECLEA website (http://www.eclea.net/courses.html). Enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A participant's view of ECLEA's all-African conferences

When I receive reports of all-African conferences and TOTs from ECLEA's East African teachers, I post them on the "news" page of ECLEA's website (http://www.eclea.net/news.html). I just received an email from a participant who attended one such conference in Kenya. Here is what he said:

I have been in a seminar where Bishop Ernest & Bishop Justus have empowered us with Biblical Stewardship. We were blessed much. We were so grateful for the manual. We will study & teach others also.

Pastor Raphael Chitayi, Growth Church (Kitale)
ECLEA is making a difference. Thank all of you who support this important ministry with your prayers and finances.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Something unexpected

Here's something unexpected: The website "Omnilexica" ("for all your dictionary needs!") lists my book, Biblical Eschatology, under its category "Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for [the word] COME," and then quotes from the book, as follows:

Biblical Eschatology (2013)
by Jonathan Menn
"Thus, the age to come is the reign of Christ; the reign of Christ has already begun (Acts 2:29–36; Eph. 1:21)."

The complete entry may be found here: http://www.omnilexica.com/?q=come

Friday, July 25, 2014

The New Jerusalem

Last Sunday I preached on Rev 21:1-22:5 concerning the new heaven and new earth, i.e., "the new Jerusalem." Although we all tend to wonder about what eternity will be like, an interesting thing I discovered in preparing that message is that the Bible tends not to answer the questions regarding eternity that most of us ask and is not explicit or clear about most of the things that we are interested in. Nevertheless, in apocalyptic, symbolic language, Rev 21:1-22:5 makes clear that if we are faithful to Christ in this life, we are guaranteed an everlasting existence fantastic beyond our imagination.

Both the audio and PDF of that and other sermons are available for free on the "sermons" page of the ECLEA website: http://www.eclea.net/sermons.html

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ECLEA's impact outside of East Africa

I recently received an email from George Okuta, one of ECLEA's Kenya regional coordinators. he mentioned that he had been teaching some of ECLEA's material in both South Africa and Zambia. Here is a portion of what he said:

"I have shared with even Muslims here about leadership (1 Timothy). Everything is OK. Thanks for inspiring me and the ministry. I am not the same. I am now going to schedule myself for Zambia and other parts for this ministry. The reception about the teaching in south Africa was good."

This is the very thing ECLEA stands for: equipping the church leaders of East Africa so that they can then teach and equip others, both in East Africa and beyond. Thank you for your faithfulness Rev. George.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Great Cosmic Drama

Last week I preached on Rev 12:1-17. The message was entitled "The Great Cosmic Drama." Revelation 12 gives the grand sweep of church history. It tells us that we are central players in a vast cosmic drama that includes both supernatural and human beings, heaven and earth. It tells us not only what is happening to God's people, but why

Both the audio and written sermon are available on the "sermons" page of the ECLEA website: http://www.eclea.net/sermons.html

Friday, July 18, 2014

Biblical Eschatology book listed in cyclopaedia.net article

My book, Biblical Eschatology, is listed as one of the source books on the term "inaugurated eschatology" in the cyclopaedia.net article entitled "Inaugurated eschatology." Here is the link: http://www.cyclopaedia.info/wiki/Inaugurated-eschatology

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Biblical Eschatology quoted in "Coalbiters" blog

On June 23, Jeffrey Thompson's blog, "Coalbiters" (musings on theology and scripture), quoted from my book, Biblical Eschatology, regarding the key issues and terms pertaining to eschatology. Here is the link: http://cslewisandcoalbiters.blogspot.com/2014/06/gcli-and-eschatology.html

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wipf & Stock Eschatology Collection

If you use Logos Bible Software and are interested in eschatology, check out the Wipf & Stock Eschatology Collection, which pairs my book, Biblical Eschatology, with Phillip J. Long's Jesus the Bridegroom! https://www.logos.com/product/43420/wipf-and-stock-eschatology-collection

Friday, July 11, 2014

The difference of ECLEA

I recently returned from three weeks in Tanzania and Kenya where I was teaching East African church leaders with Equipping Church Leaders-East Africa (ECLEA).
 While there, I included the following as part of my report from the field:

I have been in Tanzania for over a week. One Tanzanian church leader told me that several Western missions come to Tanzania, but ECLEA is the only one he knows that actually gives responsibility to the Tanzanians instead of having the Westerners do all the teaching. I am happy to hear that that others see that ECLEA is serious about its name (we actually equip church leaders of East Africa and prove that by making sure that they teach), but am also sad that that is relatively rare.

I received the following reply from Bishop Barnabas Mpekethi of Kenya:
Barnabas Mpekethi

Praise Jesus brother Jonathan. What you doing in our region (E.A.) no man can really pay you or do any compensation of your devotion. It's true guys from western countries come, do their business, and teach false doctrines. I thank God because ECLEA has added value to our thinking, challenged the false elements in me, and also many African ministers of the gospel.

To be sincere, we have been preaching total rubbish and illiteracy to our people. But now, though far we were before you came to us, now we have the clue and the goal of our preaching and teachings. You are a gift to us and the African Church. Your hard labour will be rewarded by God Almighty.
How you leave your family now and then, visiting people and places you don't even know and how you cope with them is also a total risk to your life. I promise to emulate you because you are a good example.

God bless you and see you through.
Bsp Barnabas

Please note: I do not say any of this to show "what a good boy am I." I'm not. I know myself too well. Also, I have been working in East Africa for several years now, so I do know many of the places and people, and there really is little risk to my life. I say this, rather, to emphasize that we in the West have an opportunity to make a difference in a vital and strategic part of the world. I tell my East African friends, "You can teach better than I can, because you know the language, you know the culture, and you can relate biblical truths to fellow East Africans in ways that resonate with them."

The people I work with through ECLEA are as smart, dedicated, and sincere (or more so) than anyone I know in the West, and they work under generally more unfavorable conditions than we do. They simply need to be equipped with the resources and tools which many of them now lack and empowered to do the job themselves, rather than Westerners doing everything for them. That is why ECLEA exists. Through working together, by God's grace we will see transformation occur.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A definite need for studying end times

I just returned from East Africa. While I was away, someone whom I do not know posted a 5-star review of my book, Biblical Eschatology, on Amazon. The review bore the above title and is as follows:

A definite need for studying end times., June 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Biblical Eschatology: (Paperback)
With a strong emphasis on good hermeneutics Jonathan Menn presents an excellent study of eschatology. This is a very scholarly study that helps the student understand Revelation 20 in particular. Mr. Menn admits to holding the amillennial position. This is one of three books I recommend for serious students of end times.
For all reviews of the book on Amazon, please go here:  http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Eschatology-Jonathan-Menn/product-reviews/1620325799/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary/182-3816635-7206410?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=byRankDescending

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Judgment of Babylon the Great

If there were no final judgment, there would be no justice. God's judgment holds individuals and societies to account for the fact that their values, priorities, organization, and structures are inhumane, i.e., they cannot and will not bring about that which is best for people. Our attitude and response to the idea of God's judgment reveals what is truly central in our lives. The sermon I preached yesterday on Rev 18:1-19:6 entitled "The Judgment of Babylon the Great" deals with these important issues. Both the audio and PDF versions of this sermon are available on the sermons page of the ECLEA website:  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Biblical Eschatology: new review

Two days ago, a reviewer whom I do not know posted a new review of my book, Biblical Eschatology, on Amazon. He entitled it, "The best book so far on eschatology!" and continued:

The reason I say so far is because there might be another that will replace it. But I do not see that happening anytime soon. At first I was not sure about buying this as a reference in my library. I have never heard of the author and the price was absurd. After some time looking up Menn and reviews of his book I decided to purchase the book. And I am glad I did! This book is the most excellent treatment on this subject I have come across! I thought for only 470 pages it would be about the same as Venema and his book, but it towers over his book no questions asked. When I received my copy I did not expect the size of this book to be as big as it is, it is literally a large sized Bible. Menn also does not waste time after a couple chapters he gets right to it. He covers multiple texts and provides each positions interpretation, strengths, and weaknesses. As much as I love the books I have on this subject this is the best regarding different positions on certain texts. I have already recommended this to a friend and plan to share it with more! Do not hesitate this book is one you should have in your library. Also if the price is a problem buy the digital book since the price is quite different. 

You can see this and the other reviews here:  http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Eschatology-Jonathan-Menn/dp/1620325799/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401897359&sr=1-1&keywords=menn+biblical+eschatology. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rev 17:1-18--Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots

I recently preached on an interesting and relevant passage of Scripture, Rev 17:1-18, concerning Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. This passage is as relevant for us today as it was in the first century and as it will be shortly before Christ returns to the earth. Both the audio and the written sermon transcripts have been posted on the "sermons" page of the ECLEA website: http://www.eclea.net/sermons.html. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New "5-star" review!

I'm happy to say that two days ago Eduardo Mercado posted the following review of my book, Biblical Eschatology, on Amazon. There have now been four reviews posted on Amazon, all of them "5-star." Thank you, Eduardo (whom I don't know):

THE Eschatology book you need.
By Eduardo Mercado on May 16, 2014

This book is great. It's extensive, it's academic, and Biblical. I recommend all amills to read it to be affirmed in your beliefs, and recommend others who want to be challenged to read it as well. Menn tries his best to give a clear explanation of all the different millennial views, and I believe they are indeed fair compliments/concerns. I believe this may be the only eschatology book any theologian would need to have!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Check this out

With Father's Day coming up soon, check out Erin Kylene Buller's Pinterest page, "Gifts for Hubby." One of her recommendations is my book, Biblical Eschatology: http://www.pinterest.com/okrablossom/gifts-for-hubby/

Friday, May 2, 2014

Biblical Eschatology cited by NC church

On March 29 Grace Church of Swansboro, NC posted a quotation on Facebook from my book, Biblical Eschatology, as follows (the quotation is from page 1 of the book):

The basic biblical story may be summarized as follows: God created a beautiful world and human beings to live joyful, fulfilled lives in fellowship with him. Through our sin we lost that fellowship and brought evil and death into the world. However, God did not leave us in our sin and death. By means of a grand plan which involved calling Abraham and the nation of Israel, he prepared the way for his own coming to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to bring forgiveness of sin and to restore fellowship with him. He is coming again to utterly destroy sin and death without destroying us. He will consummate our restoration and our relationship with him. And he will renew the earth to be even more glorious than when it was first created. His goal is to live in a perfect, holy, loving, familial relationship with humanity, in a perfect environment, in which all relationships have been restored to perfection. God himself is both the author of the story and its primary character. ~ Jonathan Menn, Biblical Eschatology

Monday, April 28, 2014

Progressive Revelation

On March 27, Peter Cockrell, an associate pastor in a rural church not far from Greater London who is also the UK National Director of OC International, a global missions agency committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by encouraging local churches in discipling the nations, published an excerpt from pages 12-13 of my book, Biblical Eschatology, on his blog, "Already Not Yet." 

The portion he published was a section from chapter two entitled "Progressive Revelation." Here it is:biblical-eschatology-jonathan-menn-paperback-cover-art

Graeme Goldsworthy states an important hermeneutical point, “It is impossible from the Old Testament alone to understand the full measure of God’s acts and promises that it records.” The reason why the OT alone does not convey its full, underlying meaning is the doctrine of progressive revelation, i.e., the truths of the Bible were not revealed all at once but were progressively revealed over time. Thus, the OT is the preparation of the gospel; the Gospels are the manifestation of the gospel; Acts is the expansion of the gospel; the Epistles are the explanation of the gospel; and Revelation is the consummation of the gospel.

Jesus and the NT authors understood this. They saw the entire OT as in some way a book about Jesus. He is its central person and integrating theme and is “the final and the fullest revelation of what the promises are really about.” Because the Bible ultimately is the story about Jesus Christ, who is explicitly revealed only in the NT, the NT writers generally look at the OT in a “typological” way. The NT reveals that OT Israel as a nation, and all of its laws, ceremonies, and institutions, and the OT prophecies concerning it, were “types,” “symbols,” “shadows,” “copies,” or “examples” of NT realities that were fulfilled and superseded in Christ and his church. Willem VanGemeren points out, “The coming of our Lord radically altered the understanding of the Old Testament. The apostles understood the canon in the light of Jesus’ ministry, message, and exaltation. The traditional understanding of Moses’ words and the Prophets had to undergo a radical transformation in view of the coming of our Lord.”

Edward Young describes the transformative significance of Christ’s coming with respect to the issue of how to approach OT prophecies hermeneutically: “The revelations granted to the prophets had somewhat of the obscure about them. They are characterized as dreams and visions, and probably, enigmatic sayings. . . . Since the revelation granted to the prophets was less clear than that given to Moses; indeed, since it contained elements of obscurity, we must take these facts into consideration when interpreting prophecy. We must therefore abandon once and for all the erroneous and non-Scriptural rule of ‘literal if possible.’ The prophetic language belonged to the Mosaic economy and hence, was typical. Only in the light of the New Testament fulfillment can it properly be interpreted.” How the NT fulfills the OT “types” and promises is not self-evident. Goldsworthy points out, “It was not self-evident that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament promises. Those Jews who looked for a literal fulfillment of the Old Testament promises failed to recognize Jesus as the fulfillment.”

Menn, Jonathan (2013-09-04). Biblical Eschatology (Kindle Locations 624-648). Resource Publications – An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A comment from the other side of the world

Steve Zane hails from Perth, Australia. I learned from FB that he had purchased the Kindle version of my book. He recently posted this comment on FB:

"This is definitely one of my favourite books on eschatology and one that I would highly recommend, a must read no matter what your position is. There comes a point when everyone who loves the word of God should test their theological position because after all we want a biblical theology and not a man made system. If you want to know the flaws of your own position then it is a must that you read the opposing arguments. Jonathan Menn's book is definitely a worthy component to any theological library."

Thank you, Steve, for your comments and your thoughtfulness. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Testimony of the impact of ECLEA

Barnabas Mpekethi
Just before I left for Kenya 3 1/2 weeks ago, I received the following email from Barnabas Mpekethi of Kenya:

Praise Jesus my brother Jonathan. Tomorrow I will be teaching the book of 1st Timothy the fifth time in our Church. Now am in chapter 1 verse 6. Sure your teachings and commentary on expository preaching have really changed my way of doing things, and I thank God who sent you to East Africa.

Last Sunday I preached about the goal of our preaching which is love, which comes from the following: 1.Pure heart; 2.Good conscience; 3.Sincere Faith. Tomorrow I will continue with verse 6 downwards. The word has become sweet and the flow of thought is noticed by my church and the people they share with in the course of the week.

It has become my habit to spend hours on ECLEA's website studying six courses although I saw that [now] we have nine of them. To cut a long story short, God bless you and Karibu Sana Kenya.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Five star review!

I am happy to say that my book, Biblical Eschatology (Wipf & Stock, 2013), recently received its third five star review on Amazon. Jordan Fowler called it a "tour de force" and wrote that the book is, "perhaps the most comprehensive amillennial perspective on eschatology produced. I highly recommend this work both for amil's who want solid evidence that their view holds weight, and premillennialists who want to take a hard look at their position."

Monday, April 21, 2014

This blog vs. ECLEA's website

Although I formerly posted all my reports from East Africa on this blog, henceforth I will post all such reports on the "News" page of ECLEA's website, http://www.eclea.net/news.html, not this blog. The reports I receive of all-African conferences and TOTs from ECLEA's excellent national teachers also will be posted on the "News" page of ECLEA's website, not here.

On this blog I will posts material relating to my book, Biblical Eschatology, my preaching schedule, and other material. Much of the material may be related to ECLEA, but will not include the reports of my trips and the all-African conference reports.

Please check both ECLEA's website and this blog regularly, since new material will be added to both sites often.

A first-time event in Kenya

I just returned from three weeks in Kenya. While I was in Nairobi I spent a night at a small hotel in downtown Nairobi where I had stayed a couple of times before. I met with ECLEA-Kenya national coordinator Ernest Mwilitsa there. After he left, I went out to dinner. My room was locked and my two bags were also locked. While I was gone, someone opened my room and unlocked my bags. They stole my camera from one bag, a laptop I was bringing to a Ugandan I know from the other bag, and my phone charger I had plugged into the wall.

It had to have been an inside job. I told the receptionist, and she seemed completely uninterested (I suspect she is the one who alerted her confederate when I had left, since I had told the receptionist I was going to dinner). I told the security guard on duty, and he agreed that it was an inside job but did nothing else.

I thank God that it was nothing worse than that and everything else of particular value (except my books which were of no interest to the thief) were on my person. I was, of course, targeted because I was the only Mzungu in the place. All of which means that there will be no photos from this trip. But, as I say, I have much to be thankful for. I am safe and this theft helps keep things in proper perspective for me. The work of this ministry continues productively and unabated.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Biblical Eschatology reviewed for The Gospel Coalition

My book, Biblical Eschatology, has just been reviewed by Sam Storms for The Gospel Coalition. TGC is "a fellowship of evangelical churches in the Reformed tradition deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures." TGC was founded by evangelical scholars Tim Keller and D. A. Carson. The review concluded by saying:

Menn has made an excellent contribution to the study of eschatology. As noted earlier, its textbook format and style make it less readable for the average Christian. But its near exhaustive treatment of every issue imaginable, and his fair-handed and always biblically grounded interaction with views that he ultimately rejects, make it an extremely valuable resource for anyone wanting to dig deeply into debate regarding the end times.

The full review is available here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/book-reviews/review/biblical_eschatology. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

From Burundi: the Rema Library and more

In my last trip to Burundi I had mentioned how I had rearranged the library at the Rema Ministries headquarters in Bujumbura. Today I received an email from Felibien Ndintore, Director of Rema Ministries, who said this:

"I recognise that our library needed a bit of reorganisation which you did. Now after you did the work, the library looks better and books are found and returned in their place faster than before. So brother, let me once again thank you very much and assure you that, as we discussed before you departed, you will find the library better managed when you visit next time."

Felibien added the following with respect to the work ECLEA is doing in Burundi:
"I would have even started by thanking you very much for facilitating the trainings at our HQ, and elsewhere in Burundi. As I know or think others have thanked you for the trainings you conducted in other places in Burundi, I feel honoured to thank you for the trainings you conducted at Rema which have been of great importance both for the direct beneficiaries and the church leaders and congregations we are in contact with. I am sure the impact will go on and on even in ways we cannot see and report on. Personally, I have benefited quite a lot from the trainings; I had a number of issues/questions which were addressed."
It is always nice to receive reports like this, and it is an honor to be working where i am and doing what I do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Biblical Eschatology highlighted in On Wisconsin Magazine and is now being used as a college text

My book, Biblical Eschatology, is one of the books highlighted in the Spring issue of On Wisconsin Magazine. Here is the link: http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/departments/bookshelf/bookshelf-spring-2014/.

Also, Biblical Eschatology is listed in the The University of Fort Lauderdale's Spring 2014 Textbook List as the textbook for course number THE 650-Eschatology. It is found on page 22 of 23 of the list. Here is the link:

Monday, February 10, 2014

ECLEA: Return from East Africa

I just returned yesterday from East Africa. Here are the highlights since my previous post:

Burundi-Rema Ministries TOT
My first week in Burundi was spent doing a 1 Timothy TOT for the Rema Ministries staff (which is serving as ECLEA's committee in Burundi). Overseer Peter Barihzigo of the MINEVAM denomination was also present throughout. We spent four days together. The discussion was spirited, sometimes evolving into animated discussion in Kirundi among the participants. I always consider that a good thing. This was in preparation for our leading a 1 Timothy conference for the 50 Burundi MINEVAM pastors.
Rema Ministries staff
Gatumba-1 Timothy conference

Frederic Harerimana, Francois Nitunga, and I spent 3 1/2 days teaching 1 Timothy to the 50 MINEVAM pastors of Burundi. Last Fall we had done a Biblical Stewardship conference for the same group. I began this conference by asking participants what they had done about stewardship since several months had elapsed since that conference. Many testimonies were given: several talked of planting trees; one talked of teaching basic health practices; another said that he had established a finance committee. One pastor had been sent out to plant a new church. He said that the stewardship teaching served as the foundation as he began the church; it also gave him a greater sense of respect for his fellow leaders and his congregants. One pastor told us that, at the time of the stewardship conference, he had had diabetes. As a result of the "stewardship of the body" portion of the conference, he decreased his consumption of soda and stopped taking sugar with his tea. His doctor recently confirmed that he no longer has diabetes!
One pastor testifying about effects of stewardship conference
The conference itself went very well. Because we spent 3 1/2 days, not the 2 1/2 we usually use, we had time for 3 small group discussion sessions and plenty of Q&A. Comments to me and my fellow teachers confirmed that this conference was eye-opening. Not one of the pastors had ever either studied or preached a series of sermons through an entire book of the Bible, section-by-section from beginning to end as we did. The participants were clearly challenged in a number of areas. Overseer Barihzigo was present throughout and challenged the pastors to apply what they had learned. Frederic also received many invitations to preach at the pastors' churches. I am confident that, over time, we will see some real progress in the MINEVAM denomination as a result of our work with these pastors.
Frederic teaching at MINEVAM 1 Timothy conference
MINEVAM participants

Rema Ministries has a very good theological library consisting of maybe 1000 volumes or more. It was in rather a state of disorganization, however. Rema director Felibien Ndintore gave me the green light to reorganize it, a job I was very happy to do. I spent about 1 1/2 days getting the library reorganized in a logical order and all the shelves labeled. We also discussed a couple of ways to keep the books in a reasonable order. I hope this helps both Rema and the outsiders who sometimes use the library.

Next stop: Kenya 

I will be home until the end of March, when I will head to Kenya. I hope to be able to get together with some of you while I am here. I already have a substantial list of ECLEA and personal matters on my to-do list for these next few weeks. Be sure to check out ECLEA's website (www.eclea.net): it has several additions I added shortly before I had left for Rwanda and Burundi, and I will be adding new material while I am home now. So, with that, I must get to work!

God bless you, Jonathan

ECLEA: Report from East Africa

From my emailed "report from the field":
Last week I was in Kigali, Rwanda doing such a training on Biblical Stewardship for the ECLEA-Rwanda team. Here are some of the highlights:

Jonathan eats an omlette
I have always hated eggs. Even as a child. On rare occasions in Africa I have tried to choke down part of a Spanish omlette that had been smothered in pili-pili to mask the taste. Here in Rwanda, however, I had a new experience. I stayed at the guest house and conference center run by Scripture Union. The food was very good (including lots of vegetables--a rarity most of the time in East Africa). Part of my breakfast each day was a Spanish omlette, but not like any other I'd ever had. These were liberally topped with lots of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. In fact, they looked like small, thin-crust pizzas! I added a few drops of Rwanda's "akabanga" chili oil.
An edible omlette
We also had good fruit including "tree tomatoes" (also sometimes called "bloodfruit") and passion fruit:
Tree tomato, passion fruit + one uncut passion fruit
Stewardship TOT
The ECLEA-Rwanda team currently consists of 8 people. Late last year they elected a new national coordinator after several excellent years of service in that capacity by Theophile Rugubira. The new coordinator is Stephen Nshimimana. He appears to be an excellent choice and has the confidence of the team and of me. (Theophile is still part of the team but got too busy to continue as coordinator.)

Six of the eight team members were able to be present for the entire four days of teaching and discussion on Biblical Stewardship. And deep discussions there were! Although I have worked with these good people for some time, more than one commented how valuable this time together was and how things "clicked" in ways that they had not before. I am very glad of this, because the Rwandans are planning on going out in groups of two to do stewardship TOTs in each of the provinces of Rwanda, beginning in late March.
ECLEA-Rwanda TOT participants
Interestingly, several times the subject of marriage came up during our stewardship TOT. Our stewardship course is all about how Christianity and the Bible are designed to apply to all areas of life and should transform us from the inside-out so as to affect our lives in all areas. Marriage, of course, is probably the foundational institution for society. The thing that came out clearly was that, even though we are dealing with pastors and church leaders, in many cases Christ is not at the center of their marriages. Rather, their marriages are based on their culture which, in certain important ways, is profoundly unChristian (this is not unique to Rwanda). Bringing the relationship between husbands and wives into the mutuality, trust, and love called for by Christ will take time and work. But it will be profoundly transformative if and when that occurs. Please pray for these good people, that their marriages will be healed and Christ will truly be the center.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jonathan leaving soon for Rwanda and Burundi

After a wonderful almost two months at home, I will be leaving for Rwanda and Burundi on Saturday, January 18. I am scheduled to arrive back home on February 9. While in East Africa, I will be working with my Rwanda and Burundi teaching teams and also participating in a conference for the Burundi pastors of the MINEVAM denomination.
A couple of other items of interest:
On January 2, Michael Newnham (the "Phoenix Preacher") posted the following on Facebook:

After listening to another inane "prophecy update" last night I have to plug this book again...

Second, one of the things that had been on my "to do" list while I was home was to learn how to edit and upload things to ECLEA's website (I generally know only enough about computers to be dangerous). I am happy to say that I learned a lot and have added lots photos, videos, and sermons (both audio and written) to the website (www.eclea.net). Please check it out and visit the website often, as I intend to keep it updated. If you have any comments or suggestions concerning the website, please let me know. I would like it to be first class, but that depends upon your input.

I will try to send you a report from the field while I am in East Africa and a report upon my return. God bless you, Jonathan