This is my first book review using my new “what I look for in a book” system. Let’s see how it goes.
AND THEN THE END WILL COME! by Brandon Andress is a book about how we should live now as we anxiously await the return of Christ. Andress exhorts his readers to passionately align themselves with the Kingdom of God and its counter-cultural ethical system. The essential “End Times” question for Andress is not the “when” or “what” of the end times but “Who are we becoming right now and who will we be if and when the world begins to come apart at the hinges?”
The focus of AND THEN THE END WILL COME! is orthopraxy (how we will live) rather than orthodoxy (what we believe). Its primary theological contributions come from its discussion of the Kingdom of God, which was the topic of Andress’ other book, Unearthed, which I have not read. His “Kingdom” focus in this book is primarily the ethic nature of the Kingdom, which matches his focus on orthopraxy throughout the book. In focusing on the ethical components of the kingdom he doesn’t devalue the work of Jesus. He says, “without his death, burial, and resurrection… The sentence [message of the Kingdom] would be inconsequential.” Personally, I would have liked to have seen more discussion on the relationship between Jesus’ death and the message of the Kingdom and I think it could have worked to Andress’ advantage to have integrated these concepts a little bit more. For instance, in his call to perseverance he could have brought attention to Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” I admit, however, that recent controversy in my hometown has left me especially sensitive to discussions of the Kingdom of God that do not include reference to the atoning work of Christ.
Andress’ most precise theologically-oriented chapter is the final one (A LITTLE EXTRA!). Here he makes a strong case that our final hope lies in the resurrection of the body (physical resurrection on a physical new earth) at the End Times and not in a spiritual-only resurrection (disembodied spirits in heaven). He didn’t need to win me over to this point of view, but this chapter is a good contribution to toward an ever increasing consensus (or so it seems) within the evangelical community.
Discussions of End Times are often either focused solely on dates, times, and debates, or (maybe worse) are neglected altogether. The “freshness” of this book lies in its ability to present a different approach to a serious look at the End Times. Specifically, Andress is able to make a serious call to sacrificial love, perseverance, and peace all within the context of Jesus’ teachings on the End of the Age,
I received this book in the mail on a Monday and had finished reading it by Tuesday at noon. This is a testimony to Andress’ engaging writing style. It actually reminded me a lot of Rob Bell’s writing style (which is quite good, even though I disagree with the content). Allow me to explain.
Andress uses short sentences.
Lots of white space.
Lots of parallelism.
Lots of fragments.
Lots of whit.
But let’s be honest…
It really is fun to read.
I recommend this especially for those who have grown weary of talk of the End Times. The fact that the end will come is of critical importance for Christians, not just because it gives us a glorious hope to look forward to, but because it call us, right now, to lives that proclaim and embody the Kingdom of God.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author who blogs at www.brandonandress.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
 Quote from the back cover of the book.
 I am here referring to the so-called emergent church movement. For a good description of the emergent movements use of “kingdom” language see Jeremy Bouma’s book Reimagining the Kingdom: The Generational Development of Liberal Kingdom Grammar from Schleiermacher to McLaren.