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OneNewsNow Puffs Apocalyptic Paperback

OneNewsNow puffs an apocalyptic paperback:

In his latest book What in the World is Going On?Dr. David Jeremiah examines and explains current global trends through the lens of scripture. He says natural disasters, famine, the energy crisis, terrorism, and other events should cause Christians to live expectantly.

“When you add to that the fact that Israel now is celebrating its 60th anniversary as a nation, and that Israel has to be in its own land for the end-time events to take place, I’ve never lived in such a time,” the pastor exclaims. “And while it is…challenging it [also] is really exciting — because you read the Bible in one hand and you read the newspaper in the other, and you see the prophecies of the Bible are absolutely correct.”

The idea that “the newspaper” is a record of unfolding prophecy has been around for a long time. Here’s a certain John Cumming, writing in The End back in 1855 (p.19):

It seems to me that [the “dispensation’s”] end is near…in a comparison of what the New Testament predicts as the marks of the end, with what the newspaper registers as the facts of the day, there is a coincidence so startling, so striking, the one so dovetailing and fitting in with the other, that I cannot help taking up a newspaper in this very year, and during the last two or three years, with a sort of sense of sacredness with which I never read the newspaper before….I think the newspaper of the nineteenth century is man unconsciously recording, “It is done.” God writes the prophecy; the journalist steps in, and without thinking of the prophecy testifies its complete and magnificent fulfilment. (1)

More than a hundred years before that, Jonathan Edwards would scour Boston newspapers looking for signs of the end times. As George Marsden notes in his biography of Edwards (pp. 415-416):

…Edwards was still tracking the decline of the papacy in his notebook “An Account of Events Probably Fulfilling the Sixth Vial,” which had to do with the drying up of the Rivers of Babylon (i.e. Rome). In it he was meticulously recording items from newspapers that dealt with any adverse financial news about the pope and his minions.

Then as now, the belief was that international turbulence proved that the end was nigh; and while “the Rivers of Babylon” might dry up, books claiming to link current events to prophecy have proved to be a continual cash cow. Particularly shamelessly, sometimes you can find a “revised edition” of the same apocalyptic paperback: revised because the original predictions have shown themselves to be bogus.

Jeremiah is the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, which was previously pastored by none other than Tim LaHaye; the book is endorsed by LaHaye and by Joel C. Rosenberg, both of whom have churned out end-of-the-world bestsellers. The content is the same old stuff we’ve heard from Hal Lindsey over the past forty years:

The future manifestation of the Roman Empire that Daniel prophesied twenty-five hundred years ago will take the form of a coalition or confederation of ten world leaders and will encompass the same territory as the historic Roman Empire. And today we can see that coalition taking shape right before our eyes!…The Rapture will give irrefutable confirmation of end time events seven years before they come to pass for those who are left behind…There are also other factors that make the ascendance of a global leader more plausible than ever before.

And:

Clearly America did not become the land of the free and the home of the brave by blind fate or a happy set of coincidences. A benevolent God was hovering over this nation from her very conception so that today, although America has only 5 percent of the world’s population, she has more than 50 percent of the modern luxuries that characterize civilization…

Not much chance of a Jeremiad from Jeremiah, then. The author thinks there is some spiritual significance in the fact that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy; clearly it can’t simply be because Biblical authors new nothing about the existence of the Western hemisphere.

Jeremiah’s website includes an unfortunate advert:

Well, Jeremiah, if you want to call your books “unbelievable”, I’m not going to argue…

****

(1) This book is available for free on Google Books. It was brought to my attention by Joseph Canfield’s The Incredible Scofield and his Book.

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