Finally, after getting my computer back up…here is my review on David Jeremiah’s book, “What In the World Is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore,” without the theological jargon, except where defined.
First of all, Jeremiah does a good job of tying together some factors I had not previously thought of that help us clue in that these are the end times, especially US dependence on foreign oil, Islam, and terrorism. And without getting to technical, as many end times authors get, he explains these themes in such a way that I felt compelled to keep reading and understood what he was saying. I finished it in about 14 hours. Jeremiah’s position (which states the church will be removed from Earth before the “Tribulation Period” begins-read Daniel 7 for more on this) gives him the chance to interpret the current events with insightful but disturbing results. It was an exciting and engaging read, on the point of interpreting current events.
Having said all this, Jeremiah’s perspective, called Dispensational, Pretribulation Rapturism appears to stretch the biblical evidence farther than warranted.
Dispensational-in end times studies, Dispensationalism sees the letters of Revelation 2 and 3 to the seven churches as symbolic of seven ages of the Church, and that we are currently in what are called the “Laodecian Age,” where the faith of many is lukewarm and uncommitted.
Pretribulation Rapturism-The Church, will be taken away before the earth experiences a period of unprecedented suffering. Pretribbers like to take Revelation 3:10 as their banner verse to prove this, and also argue that the church is nowhere to be seen in Revelation.
The trouble with this perspective is that it not only does violence to the texts where Christ said we will “have many tribulations,” among other key passages on suffering for the sake of the gospel. Also, it seems to disregard the simplicity of other biblical arguments, such as the one that other passages talking about “the trumpet of the Lord” could be talking about the same event. Because of this, Jeremiah and other pretrib works, such as Left Behind, need to be read with a large grain of salt and that we should be ready to suffer more readily than to expect God is going to save us simply because He told believers in Philadelphia (Rev 3:10) that He would save them.
Now, before anyone goes on about how the pretrib position is required in order to take the doctrine of the Immanent Return of Christ seriously, which is a can of worms I will open later, I would respond that Christ can come at anytime he wishes, but then again, my faith is not shaken if the Antichrist appears before this takes place. Moreover, we will not know and have the revelation of the Antichrist before he stands in the temple, etc. The real question we should be asking is “would our faith be shaken if no pretrib rapture occurred, but rather we were faced with tribulations and testing.
For a sum of my views on endtimes, I will save that for another post.
One other issue among many that Jeremiah fails to resolve is, when discussing Islam, even though He says Allah and the God of the Bible are not the same God, he fails to offer any solution as to how missionaries, like myself, can resolve this issue and effectively minister to the Muslim people. Because of this, the chapter on Islam felt like a drive-by backhanded treatment of God’s love for the Muslim people with no solution for Christians who have a heart for these people.
Also, his chapter on the Jewish people, made me feel, as a non-Jew (I do not take the label of Gentile), as though I were a second-class citizen in the kingdom of God. This is an inherent weakness in many dispensationalist writings, in that they do not take Romans 11:17-24, Galatians 2:38, and especially Ephesians 2:11-17 seriously. We are grafted into Israel’s heritage by the Spirit, There is no Jew, Greek, or any other in Christ, and the middle wall of partition and the hostility between the Jew and the non-Jewish believer have been broken down and put to death respectively. Jeremiah and his ilk seem to wish to establish that wall again.
In conclusion, as intriguing as the issues were that Jeremiah raised up, I felt like he left a number of loose ends tied up. For the purpose of missions, evangelism, and outreach, all of which are required to happen in order for the end of the age to come, he gave us no solutions to the challenges posed to reaching out effectively to our Jewish and Muslim brothers. As excellent as the issues mentioned and current events highlighted, it was highly dissatisfying, leaving me hungry for answers to all the questions that he raised, especially with my heart for Muslims.
I received this book compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review, and was disappointed.
And the link to the book is here.