Thursday, July 05, 2007

Book Review: Epicenter

A co-worker recently gave me a copy of Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg to read. The co-worker reads my site from time to time and thought I might be interested in the book. He was dead on the money. Epicenter is a little under 300 pages, and it is a page turner.

I wasn’t familiar with Joel Rosenberg before reading this book. He has gotten a lot of attention because of his fictional books. His books The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, and the Copper Scroll follow a fictional war between the United States and Islamic fundamentalist. The thing that has sparked a lot of interest is that these books seem to predict many of the major things that have happened in our real world before they happen. For example, in The Last Jihad, Mr. Rosenberg describes a suicide attack by terrorist against the United States using an airplane. He wrote this before September 11th. Other similarities his books seem to have predicted have included a U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Death of Yasser Arafat, Iran’s nuclear threat to Israel, and a Democratic and pro-west Iraqi government. Mr. Rosenberg points out that not everything he discusses in his books comes true. However, enough of them have come true that he has done interviews on CNN, MSNBC, CBN, the New York Times, and U.S. News and World Report.

Mr. Rosenberg is often asked where he has gained the knowledge to predict the events in his book. He believes world events must be looked at through the lens of politics and economics, but also the third lens of scripture. He and others are convinced that the biblical events in Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 are fast approaching. Ezekiel predicts an apocalyptic war called the war of Gog and Magog. Mr. Rosenberg argues that this is a coming war with Russia and Iran against Israel. Mr. Rosenberg wrote his books as if those events are coming true before our eyes. He has lived in the Middle East, and studied in Israel. In researching for his book Epicenter, he met with a list of prominent figures in the Middle East such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky.

Mr. Rosenberg states that he wrote this book not to, “…persuade anyone of what is coming.” Instead, he lays out why he wrote the events in his fictional book and how he interprets Ezekiel. He leaves it up to the reader to decide if his arguments are accurate. He includes ten predictions he expects we will see in the coming years. He lays out his arguments in a way that is easy to understand and very hard to argue with. He includes the entire text of Ezekiel 38 and 39 for readers to see for themselves what is written there.

If you are interested in the Middle East or biblical prophesies, I would strongly encourage you to read Epicenter. As I read the book, I was struck by how many headlines from today’s papers seem to fit with the predictions of Epicenter.

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