Here are the book recommendations:
- Christ and the Future: The Bible's Teaching about the Last Things by Cornelis Venema - This is the first book that I recommend on these topics. Venema has written a great deal on eschatology and approaches these topics from an "optimistic amillennial" perspective. I think that you'll find this book very satisfying. I'm seeing if the church can get several copies to put on the church booktable to make it easier for people to get.
- The Promise of the Future by Cornelis Venema - This is the earlier and larger work that Venema did on the last things. The topics covered are very similar to what he covers in the above book. The difference is that this is a longer (just under 500 pages) and more scholarly treatment of the subjects. This is a fantastic book and my personal favorite on eschatology but I think that most people (and their wallets) will be satisfied by the shorter book above.
- The Bible and the Future by Anthony Hoekema - This is an older but still very good work on eschatology from an amillennial perspective that Venema borrows heavily from. Hoekema is especially helpful in his critique of dispensationalism. I do want to note that I disagree with Hoekema on his interpretation of "all Israel will be saved" in Romans 11:25-26 (though if you take his side you are certainly in good company with Bavinck, Ridderbos, and others).
- The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation by Vern Poythress - Though we did not take the time to discuss Revelation in detail since Pastor Baile is preaching through the book I did want to highlight a few books/commentaries that would be helpful in studying this book in your devotions. This book by Vern Poythress is a fantastic short commentary on Revelation that deals with many of the themes, key issues, and structures of the book. I would highly recommend beginning here.
- Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation by Dennis Johnson - This commentary, while remaining friendly to non-scholarly or pastoral use, is longer and more comprehensive than Poythress'. I personally prefer Poythress' work as I think that it is more consistent with the book. That said, this is still a very helpful book and aid for studying what God says to his people at the end of the canon.
Second, here is a list of where eschatology is addressed in several Reformed and Presbyterian systematic theologies:
- Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin - Eschatology underlies much of Calvin's work but isn't usually explicitly discussed as a separate topic. The final resurrection is dealt with in Book 3, Chapter 25.
- Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck - Bavinck deals more explicitly with the traditional topics under the heading of eschatology. While like Calvin and the Westminster Standards eschatological assumptions underlie much of his work; the topic is directly addressed in Volume 4: Holy Spirit and New Creation, Part III, Chapters 12-18.
- Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge - Hodge deals with eschatology in Book 3, Part IV, Chapters 1-4. The link provided is to a .pdf file of Hodge's work.
- Outlines of Theology by A.A. Hodge - Eschatology is discussed in Chapters 34-37. The link provided is to a copy of this book on Google Books where you can view and download it for free.
- Systematic Theology by Robert L. Dabney - Dabney discusses eschatology in Chapters 43-46. Dabney's work is also available online and you can scroll through the table of contents in the link provided.
Finally, here are some papers and articles that you can read for free online with regard to these topics:
- "Annihilationism" by B.B. Warfield - This article refutes the suggestion that human beings cease to exist entirely after death.
- "Individual Eschatology: Death, the Intermediate State, Resurrection, and Judgment" by Sam Stoms
- "Death, Immortality, and the Intermediate State" by Lorraine Boettner
- "Of the Resurrection of the Body" by John Gill
- Luther's Small Catechism on the Resurrection of the Body
- "Will the Resurrection of the Body be a Physical Resurrection from the Dead?" from Desiring God Ministries
- "Why do you believe that the main Christian hope is the resurrection of the body rather than simply the immortality of the soul?" from Desiring God Ministries
- "The Glory of the Redeemer in his Second Coming" by Octavius Winslow
- "The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"
- "Of the Second Coming of Christ and His Glorious Appearing" by John Gill
- "The World Judged Righteously by Jesus Christ" by Jonathan Edwards
- "The Resurrection, the Last Judgment and the Final State" by Louis Berkhof