Through the Thicket: A Tangle With End Times
Unceremoniously dismissed from his lectureship in New Testament, Dr. Edward J. Sutherland uses his forced retirement to struggle through a thicket of end-times issues in a conservative church. Interaction with a defense lawyer induces him to reconsider his inherited eschatology...
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Unceremoniously dismissed from his lectureship in New Testament, Dr. Edward J. Sutherland uses his forced retirement to struggle through a thicket of end-times issues in a conservative church. Interaction with a defense lawyer induces him to reconsider his inherited eschatology by engaging honestly with the biblical text. He faces conflict within himself, with a crusading dispensationalist, church elders, a newly appointed American pastor, and a militant atheist. Set in the Sunshine Coast of subtropical Australia, the book goes beyond entertaining through romance, touches of humor, and conflict resolution. Readers are exposed to vigorous discussions: at a surf club, a backyard barbecue, a second-coming conference, in a neighbor's lounge room, or via email. They are forced to examine their presuppositions on topics including the rapture, the antichrist, the tribulation, the purpose of Christ's second coming, and the kingdom of God. Whether they alter their views on such topics is less important than that they cultivate sound principles of biblical interpretation, uphold the integrity of Jesus and the biblical authors, and respect fellow Christians with whom they disagree. ""Ivan Bowden is an excellent scholar with a leading passion: that readers of the Bible focus upon the meaning of the text in its original setting before making applications of it to future times. As eschatology is the most likely subject by which to win or lose friends, it is a joy to find an approach that domesticates the issue by means of a novel."" --Raymond J. Laird, Retired Bible college principal ""Ivan Bowden's thought-provoking book Through the Thicket is not just another work of fiction about the last days, it is a gripping and intelligent story. It reads well, its characters sound real, and it explores an understanding of the End that is very different from Left Behind."" -- David Malcolm Bennett, Author of The Origins of Left Behind Eschatology ""Join Ed and Charlotte Sutherland as they take an eschatological, ecclesial and social journey Through the Thicket. This delightfully Australian tale regularly introduces characters who have you saying, 'I know someone just like that!' But don't be fooled by the engaging nature of the story. Ivan Bowden has skillfully used his narrative to make some serious theological points--something the Bible also does very well."" --Ian Hussey, Lecturer, Malyon College, Brisbane, Australia ""The ability to tell a good story is a gift. You either have it or you don't. The author has it and the result is a book you simply cannot put down. Through the Thicket argues persuasively that many popular eschatological interpretations have been embraced without seriously engaging with the biblical text. The author challenges us to greater exegetical integrity. For many years, I have savored the author's wise words. Now it's your turn to taste his wisdom."" --Terry Thrupp, Retired adult educator Ivan Bowden, now retired, lectured in theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, and New Testament Greek at Bible colleges in Australia for over thirty-five years, particularly at the Bible College of Queensland, now Brisbane School of Theology.