The Nations Rage: Prayer, Promise And Power In An Anti-Christian AGe, by David Sliker
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
The author seems to think that this book is one of the most important ones that a reader will encounter. While I am not sure if that is the case, as a man who encounters many books, this book certainly is a very striking book in the way that it seeks to deal with the tension between the recognition that God is in charge and things are going according to His plans, however it may seem, and that the nations rage against God’s people because they remind them of their rebellion against their Creator and Lord. That tension is a fascinating one and is the subject of a great deal of thoughtful and worthwhile writing by the author as he blends post-millennial optimism with some downbeat reflection on the reality of near-future persecution. This is a complex book, and anyone reading it should not expect an easy one to deal with or understand, but it is a book that it is easy to appreciate nonetheless, even if one’s own prophetic perspective is likely to be a bit different than the author’s is.
This book is between 200 and 250 pages and it is divided into three parts and twelve chapters that deal with different aspects of the writer’s prophetic thinking. After a foreword and introduction, the book begins with a discussion of the church and the coming storm of glory that the author sees ahead (I), which includes chapters on how to engage in the future now (1), divine justice and the return of Jesus (2), three storms that will change the world (3), the coming storm of revival that the author expects to usher in the millennium (4), the storm of rage among those who are hostile to God’s ways (5), and the coming storm of political and economic disruption that one can expect to come in the future (6). After that there is a brief discussion of the Church in an anti-Christian age (II) with chapters on the birth of cultural narratives (7) and the modern cultural narrative (8). The rest of the book then contains discussion of the promise of the victorious church (III), with chapters on the way of victory and redemption (9), preparing the next generation (10), burning and shining lamps (11), and being counted worthy of this calling (12), after which the book ends with notes.
Ultimately, this book appears to be written in a sense of post-millennial optimism. Post-millennial optimism is to be differentiated from pre-millennial optimism in that pre-millennial optimism depends on the establishment of God’s rule over earth by Jesus Christ himself in opposition to a hostile and rebellious world. This amounts to a massive discontinuity in human history and a recognition of the failure of the world to heed the example of the godly in their midst. On the other hand, post-millennial optimism assumes that the rebelliousness and hostility of unredeemed mankind is merely the resistance to a future revival that will lead to a great and powerful conversion of humanity to God’s ways. The author appears to be a post-millennial optimist, and it certainly colors his expectations of the near future as he swerves between caution and fervent hope that these times and the crises of these times means that the spread of the Gospel through the earth is almost here, while this reader is a pre-millennial optimist in having no such expectations of widespread conversion to take place in the absence of God’s firm rule. Regardless of one’s eschatalogical approach, though, there is much to enjoy and appreciate about this book and the author’s own discussion of prophecy and societal trends.