END-TlME VISIONS, THE ROAD TO ARMAGEDDON II by Richard Abanes. New York, N.Y.: Four Walls Eight Windows, `1998. 326 pages, index, notes, appendices. Hardcover; $25.95.
Here is a book that will appeal to academics who deal all too often with adolescents caught up in the frenzy of yet another end-times movement. At the least, this work ought to be in a nearby library; it is one which may find an honored place in your own bookshelf.
The author, a Christian journalist specializing in cults and new religious movements, focuses on society's obsession, apparently growing, with the end of the world. His treatment is broadly historical, includes several non-US groups, and names names as he demonstrates, in a scholarly yet readable manner, how end-time movements are born, grow, and survive their inevitable falsifications.
Among the "prophets" exposed in this work are Jack Van Impe, Tim LaHaye, William Goetz, Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey and others, including several "prophets" of past generations. Excerpts from their writings are quoted to show how their messages change as the dates they confidently predict arrive and the events they expect are not manifested. In many cases Abarnes documents direct and blatant lies told by some of these "men of God."
The author concludes with a sober chapter on what scripture clearly teaches about end times. That scripture is found in Acts 1:7, as well as in other places.
This book is a "keeper" and is highly recommended to ASA members.
John W. Burgeson,
Submitted to PERSPECTIVES, November, 1998
Published in PERSPECTIVES,
the quarterly journal of the ASA,
in Volume 51, #2, June 1999.
The ASA web site is at
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