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Book Reviews

M. Wallace Johnson Review: "What's Next for the People of the Earth" by Phyllis Gordon
By M. Wallace Johnson
Mar 30, 2014 - 12:10:04 AM

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"What's Next for the People of the Earth" is touted as a book for older children and their parents, written to provide insight into the Book of Revelations.

A Children's minister who previously felt too overwhelmed by Revelations to explain it to enquiring children, Phyllis Gordon one day felt the call of God to study and then write a book to explain what was in the Book of Revelations in a way that children could understand it. From my reading of the PDF copy of her work, she has done an excellent job.

The book is pretty straightforward with direct quotes and then statements made in a 'matter of fact' way; done without indulging in theologizing. It is not a book of sermons or interpretations although the author's personal theological position is evident if one is familiar with eschatology. Whilst doctrinal statements are made, there appears to be no overt attempt to persuade readers to believe in a particular theological position and indeed in some places where lists of Scriptures are provided, one can clearly see Scriptures which might be seen by some as presenting contradictory theological positions.

I loved the part in the 'Fourth Bowl' section, (the fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given the power to burn people with fire) where the author says: "Because of the wars of the tribulation period, perhaps the ozone layer was destroyed. This is a possible reason why the sun's harmful rays were burning the people and earth's surface." I don't think I have ever heard anyone explain the verse like that.

Overall I found the book worthy of consideration for use in teaching young people. Whilst for some, eschatological positions are essential to their 'faith,' my personal belief is that theology is not and never was a ticket into heaven. In the terrible days of the end of world history, if all you have to rely upon is theology, and unfolding events do not conform with your theology, then I think that you will find yourself in a considerable amount of hot water - or should that be 'fire.'

I found in this book that whether the author was comparing Heaven and Hell or using Old Testament Scriptures to back what is in the Book of Revelations, Scripture quotes were made to 'stand alone' with no attempt made to 'extrapolate' meaning. The author obviously believes that it is the 'Word of God' itself that has the power to convince, not the words of mere mortals or particular theologies.

While it appears that my PDF copy did not contain everything in the book, this evidenced by reference to a video link that did not appear, I did however encounter numerous simple charts and drawings that helped illustrate what was stated, and found sections titled: "What can we learn from this Section." There were also sections provided in which children could 'draw' what they imagined to have been the scene just described.

I believe that the author has succeeded in accomplishing her objective.

M. Wallace Johnson

Phyllis Gordon is a loving mother and wife. Enjoys sports, cake decorating and photography. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and has her certification in Preschool and Children's Ministry from Campbell University and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

"What's Next for the People of Earth?"
By Phyllis Gordon

Published 10/10/2013
Crossbooks Publishers, a division of LifeWay
ISBN: 978-1-4627-3161-9
Retail price: $12.99
Available in paperback, hardcover and e-book

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