Book Review: God's Promise and the Future of Israel
Don Finto, God's Promise and the Future of Israel (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2005), 231 pages.
Pastor Jack Hayford, President of the Foursquare Gospel Church purchased a special run of this book and mailed a copy of this book to every minister in his denomination. Hayford has traveled to Israel many times in the past 40 years and has known Don Finto for more than 30 years.
Finto spent 25 years as pastor of Belmont Church in Nashville. Now in his mid-seventies he is active with the growing community of Jewish believers in Jesus. This interest which began 40 years ago has taken Don to Israel often; and the insights and experiences that he gathered over these years give him unusual insight to the move of God in the mid-east and across the world.
Finto divided his book into two main sections. The first reviews the tremendous growth in the Christian church over the last half century across the world. No other period of history has experienced this sort of Christian expansion. Finto discusses his opinions of what the conversion of several hundred thousand Jews to faith in Jesus portends for the world in general and for the country of Israel. He writes that 40 years ago there was not a single congregation established to foster the continuing Jewish identity of Jews who believe in Jesus. Today there are 400 or more congregations throughout the United States, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Israel and other countries.
Moreover, these congregations are not covert. They do not have to be silent and are featured in Jewish newspapers and on national television. The congregations include people from all ranks of the community. 7,000 of these live in Israel, all over the land and in every walk of life.
Finto continues with reviews of the growing church in Africa, the effects of 25,000 new believers a day in Latin America, Africa and China. That is 75,000 believers a day. 60 million Nigerians profess faith in Christ; and other African countries besides Nigeria are experiencing significant growth in believers. We read of success and persecutions, victory and defeat but a church growing in ways that have not been seen in the 20 centuries of its existence.
South Korea has 60,000 churches and 40 percent of its population are professing Christians; South Vietnam has seen 800,000 conversions in the last 25 years. 150,000 Muslims have come to Christ. Finto describes corporate and individual conversions.
I found his review of the growth of the Kingdom fascinating. We are so assailed with negative criticism of the church and Christianity from many quarters that it is good to remember that we are a triumphant church and that this triumph is being acted out in vast numbers across the earth.
The second part of the book has an eschatological bent. Finto tells the reader of his personal interpretations of various prophetic texts and how and when they are and will be fulfilled.
I am glad that I was one of the Foursquare pastors that received a copy of this book. It is an interesting and lively read that will add to your understanding of what is really happening across the earth and challenge your thinking on what is yet to come.
Reviewed by H. Murray Hohns
H. Murray Hohns teaches at Foursquare's Pacific Rim Bible College in Honolulu, is on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and has served on his denomination's investment committee since 1999. Hohns has two degrees in Civil Engineering and a MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary. He has written five engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.
Prepared for the Pneuma Foundation website by KenJ