Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Book Review: Epicenter

Jim and I just finished reading Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future by Joel C. Rosenberg. Wow, what an interesting book.

First, some background . . . a few years back, our pastor at the time had preached a series of sermons titled "Piecing Together the Prophetic Puzzle" on the prophecies found in Ezekiel 38-39. It was a fascinating series and I kept all my notes from those messages simply because I found the topic so interesting, as it addressed current events in the Middle East. Sometime later, I happened to hear of Joel Rosenberg. He has written a series of fiction books dealing with the end times (which I've never read) and also has two non-fiction books out, Epicenter and Inside the Revolution. Back in January, we happened to come across a like-new copy of Epicenter at a thrift store for less than $6, and I immediately snatched it up.

In this book, Rosenberg walks the reader through the prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39, and also touches on Ezekiel 36-37. The latter chapters are a prophecy about the rebirth of the nation of Israel (a prophecy which came to pass in 1948). Chapters 38-39, with which the book mainly deals, are a prophecy about the War of Gog and Magog--a war which will happen when several nations unite together to attack Israel. No other country will come to Israel's aid, and God will show Himself mighty and will miraculously defend Israel and defeat her enemies. You might be saying, OK--so why is that so interesting? Well, mainly because of current events. Two of the main countries that will be teaming up against Israel are Russia and Iran. For several years, Russia has been helping Iran in its pursuit of developing nuclear weapons. Iran is closer than ever before to having the bomb, and is a grave threat to not only Israel, but also the US, under the extreme radical Islamic leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad (who believes it is his mission to bring about the end of the world and annihilate Israel and the US). This is just a little sampling of current events that seem to be falling into place bit by bit and leading up at some point to the War of Gog and Magog. Obviously there is much, much more in this book that I don't have the time to go into here . . . and while the book does focus on coming events that are scary to think about, it also offered lots of encouragement and hope--because while many terrible things will happen in the Middle East, Rosenberg also believes that according to prophecy, many people (including Muslims and Jews) will turn to Christ for salvation. Even today, there are more Jews and Muslims turning to Christ than at any other time in history.

I also like the fact that he gives some great insight on ways to pray for and reach out to the Jewish people and others living in the Middle East. He also clearly presents the plan of salvation and shares his own salvation testimony.

All in all, I'll just say that I highly recommend this book. It was well-written, well-researched, and extremely eye-opening. I know that some of my blog readers may not agree with his beliefs or interpretation, and I'm not trying to start a debate. :) But if you'd like to find out more about Joel Rosenberg, you can check out his blog here or find Epicenter here at Amazon. We also just got his latest book, Inside the Revolution, and are planning to read that soon. It may take us a while to get through, though--it's huge!

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