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September 2012

Book Review: The End by Mark Hitchcock

[I received a free copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network, in exchange for posting this review on my blog and on Amazon.com.  See http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/ for more information.]

First, the good news: Hitchcock is considerably more organized in the layout of his End Times book than, say, Hal Lindsey (who curiously does not get a single nod in this book).  The bad news: this is the same old End Times nonsense you've read again and again from the likes of Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, Tim LaHaye, and a host of other prophecy "experts."  Our loving God is (any day now) going to show his love for humanity by wiping out all life on Earth in a catastrophic battle royale.  And, although Mark Hitchcock is less likely than most of the End Times writers to set any sort of date, he strongly hints that we could be living very close to the Rapture right now.  If you believe all that crap, then you will love this book.  If you don't, you might as well not even bother.  One other down side I should mention is that this book is considerably longer than most of Hal Lindsey's End Times books.  It may even be a bit longer than most of LaHaye's eschatological works.  

What really gets me about Hitchcock (and all of his ilk) is how he never realizes the absurdity of some of his statements.  He repeats again and again that Biblical prophets had 100% accuracy, but then proceeds to tell the reader that this book will focus on the hundreds of unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible.  My question, which I think is a natural one, is: how do we know that the prophets are 100% accurate, if hundreds of their prophecies have not been fulfilled?  (I know, I know...most readers of this stuff will say that we believe that they will all be fulfilled because the Bible is perfect in every way.  Whatever.)  Hitchcock also does what almost all prophecy writers do: he presents the rule that prophecies should be read literally, and then proceeds to present all kinds of figurative interpretations of prophecy.  He cautions the reader that date setting is wrong, but constantly refers to all kinds of signs of the times that we can see every day that indicate the end could be near.  Right at the beginning (p. 4) he presents the "Law of Proportion," which states that you can tell how important something in the Bible is by how many times it's mentioned.  Therefore, since prophecies make up nearly a third of the text of scripture, it must be just about the most important thing in the Bible, right?  But then he fails to apply that same principle to the title "antichrist," which he admits only occurs five times in the Bible, and only once as a reference to a single person.  Contradiction after contradiction after contradiction...

But, as I said above, if you love End Times stuff, this is going to be the book for you.  It's organized, comprehensive, and he's got the same chatty, popular style that previous authors like Lindsey and LaHaye have made so famous.  So, by all means, enjoy the ride, and have fun being raptured and watching all the unbelievers suffer down on Earth.

Posted via email from CORYBANTER: babble and banter, bypassing banality