Armageddon, Oil, and Endless Publishing Opportunities

Is a 33 year-old “The End is Nigh” Biblical prophecy paperback a bit of an embarrassment? Not if you’re the son of John F. Walvoord. The CBA/Aspiring Retail Industry Brief reports (via email):

Tyndale House Publishers is mounting a $300,000 marketing campaign to draw people into CBA stores and jump start sales on its May release of Armageddon, Oil, and Terror by John Walvoord. This is the revised, third edition of Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis that’s sold more than 2 million copies and been translated into 10 languages. Tyndale will initiate national print, radio, and Internet campaigns for the title, which has been retitled to reflect the current world situation and is the collaboration of Walvoord’s son, John E. Walvoord and author Mark Hitchcock. It offers new insight into what to expect in this age of terror.

The “new insight” being, of course, that “this age of terror” means the end is nigh, just as “that age of Middle East crisis” in 1974 was a sign of the Last Days back then.

As the report indicates, the Walvoords have cashed in in this way before; back in 1990 Walvoord Senior churned out a second edition which preyed on fears about the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Time reported then that

Zondervan, a leading U.S. publisher of Fundamentalist and Evangelical literature, has issued an updated version of John F. Walvoord’s 1974 best seller, Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, with an initial print order of — get this — 1 million copies.

One wonders why Zondervan has passed the book over to Tim LaHaye’s publisher of choice. Perhaps Tyndale offered Walvoord a better deal; or perhaps Zondervan, these days better-known for publishing thoughtful evangelicals like Philip Yancey, finds the thought of seriously revisiting the 1970s pulp prophecy schlock that it was once so famous for simply too distasteful.