Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Rabbi Looks At The Last Days by Jonathan Bernis

First things first - this is not the book I was expecting. In fact, the title is quite misleading.

Jonathan Bernis is a Messianic Jew and the President of a Christian ministry to Israel. So while he is a rabbi, I was assuming a rabbi from Orthodox Judaism and that he would bring in that religion's views of The Last Days. (You read the detail of his being a messianic rabbi on the back cover, but not all online retailers provide that. Many would just read the title and be intrigued.)

Even the sub-title is misleading: "Surprising Insights on Israel, End Times and Popular Misconceptions" When you place these two titles on the cover of a book, one would expect a deconstruction of everything Evangelical Christians and Fundamentalists believe about the end of the world and why they are wrong.

This is not quite the case.

The surprising insights never really manifest. Bernis believes Jesus will not return until all of Israel believes in Him and not as a secretive thief per The Rapture. Is this the big surprise? Is this the popular misconception?

When the back cover starts with, "What if everything you know about the end times is wrong?" I would expect something much more than what Bernis provides. Where is the "everything" I know?

Bernis uses the rest of the book to promote our financial support of his ministry and Israel in general. None of this is in error. Indeed we should cover them in prayer and all types of support as we should every people, group and tribe.

But I would recommend changing the title to reflect the true nature of this book. My biggest critique is that I felt the title and promotion - using the pop-culture craving of End Times craze but not really delivering the answers and "surprising insights" that were implied - was misleading.

This is a good book  for people to learn a bit more of the viewpoint of a Messianic Jew but it is not the End Times book expected.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Baker Publishing.

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