In which I review a book entitled "After the thousand years". Published in 1907, George Trench sets out to survey what the Bible tells us about the time period beyond the thousand year Kingdom established at Christ's return, and what this means to us now.
One of the great blessings of church life is how people are brought together around a shared hope who might otherwise never meet.
I have a good friend at my church who is about 40 years my senior. He's a retired industrial chemist, and one evening we discovered that we both love reading books. Not just any book though: Bible study, usually pretty old, and with slightly crazy titles and ideas.
So I was very glad when he referred me to this book: After the thousand years - George F Trench.
My copy oddly doesn't appear to have a publish date, but from a little investigation online I believe it was published in 1907. There are modern reprints if you'd like your own copy, although digging up an original rewards you with incredibly thick 200gsm "paper" and a musty smell.
Why you might enjoy this book
The Kingdom of God is a recurring Bible theme in much the same way that the countyside blurs outside the window of a speeding car. You definitely saw it, but somehow you arrived at the end of the chapter without really appreciating it.
So it's lovely when a book like this invites you to look out from a new vantage point over familiar territory. Even if you're new to the subject, there are worse places that you could start.
Rather than attempt to summarise the book in a blog post I'll instead give you 3 reasons why you might like to get hold of a copy:
Reality check - It's easy to think of the thousand year reign of Christ as perfect. This is probably because relatively it will be. However, Scripture is clear that many mortal afflictions will remain during the millennium, even if they can be mitigated by God's work among the nations.
Bits you missed - There are some brilliant observations regarding very simple words; the sort of thing that you can't believe you hadn't noticed before. For example, the tiny word "until" is incredibly important if you want to understand the timescale to which a prophecy applies.
Eternity - I don't think I've ever seen the passages which talk about the time after the Millennium treated as a subject in their own right. It's educational to have them not only together, but also analysed both thoroughly and without wild conjecture.
Finally (because it's not really a proper reason) if you get hold of an original copy you will also really enjoy the print quality. And illuminated chapter letters!