Book Write-Up: Is This the End?, by David Jeremiah

Dr. David Jeremiah.  People Are Asking…Is This the End: Signs of God’s Providence in a Disturbing New World.  W Publishing Group, 2016.  See here to buy the book.

Dr. David Jeremiah pastors the Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California.  This book is about America’s moral decline (in Jeremiah’s estimation), the possibility of revival, and the end times, specifically Gog’s attack of Israel (Ezekiel 38-39), the pretribulational rapture of the saints, and the Great Tribulation.

Here are some thoughts:

A.  Jeremiah criticizes real problems, such as the epidemics of pornography and sex trafficking.  At the same time, Jeremiah seems to criticize the Left as a source of the moral relativism that afflicts the U.S.  Maybe he is correct that there have been prominent left-wingers who have embraced and promoted moral relativism.  Has he ever considered, however, that the Left has also stood up for moral absolutism?  It has challenged greed and war when they hurt innocent, powerless people.  It also has stood up against racism and discrimination.  Perhaps elements of the right-wing are the ones who are accommodationist, on certain moral issues.

B.  Some chapters were more balanced in their depiction of issues than others.  The chapter on immigration was all right.  Jeremiah accepts the right-wing narrative that illegal immigrants are a drain on the American system, but he also favorably quotes people who support compassion for them.  His chapter on Islam said that there are Muslims who seek to create sharia law in the U.S. through infiltration, yet he still encouraged love towards Muslims and acknowledged that most Muslims are peaceful.  His chapter on intolerance towards Christians in the U.S. raised important issues, and it at least was aware of the legal rule that the state cannot promote religion, but individuals can (some right-wingers do not understand this).  The chapter would have been better, however, had Jeremiah acknowledged that homosexuals in the U.S. themselves have felt persecuted.  The chapter on Israel was very one-sided, in favor of Israel.

C.  The book was informative on the history of revivals in the U.S. (and elsewhere, such as Wales), the history of Isis, and the political career of Putin.

D.  Jeremiah argues that Gog’s invasion of Israel will occur during the Great Tribulation, between the Antichrist’s peace treaty between Israel and the Arab world, and the Second Coming of Christ.  He appears to treat the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as the prophesied return of the Jews to the Promised Land.  There are problems with this view, in my opinion.  The chapters about Gog’s attempted invasion of Israel are Ezekiel 38-39.  They come after Ezekiel 37, which concerns God’s restoration of Israel to her land.  What happens when Israel returns to her land, according to Ezekiel 37?  For one, not only the Jews return there, but the Northern tribes do, as well.  Also, the Davidic monarchy is restored.  God spiritually renews Israel.  And God makes God’s home in her midst.  Has any of this happened since 1948?  Jeremiah himself complains that most of Israel is secular, which, in his mind, is probably the opposite of being spiritually renewed.  Does Jeremiah believe that Ezekiel 38 describes what will happen after the events of Ezekiel 37?  If so, then he should place Gog’s invasion of Israel after Christ’s second coming (when Christ will rule Israel as Davidic king), not before.  Jeremiah wrote a study Bible, so he may address this issue somewhere.  But perhaps he should have discussed it in this book, at least in a note.  He adeptly addressed other questions about prophecy: How should we understand Ezekiel’s description of an end-time war in terms of the weapons of his own time?  Why does the Old Testament not predict the rapture?

E.  This book provides a lucid and informative explanation and defense of the pretribulational rapture.  Some of Jeremiah’s arguments were more effective than others.  One argument that I did not find very convincing was his argument that Christ will rapture the saints before the Great Tribulation because the saints are not supposed to experience God’s wrath, which is the point of the Tribulation.  After all, Christ suffered the wrath of God in believers’ place.  How would Jeremiah account for the Tribulational saints, the people who convert during the Great Tribulation?  Will they experience the perils that God will pour out on the earth, or will they be exempt from them—-protected from them when they are on earth?

F.  The book had some moving and compelling anecdotes.  People who watch Jeremiah’s TV program will not be surprised by this.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers.  My review is honest.

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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