What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Scroll This

Part end-times fiction, part archeological intrigue, and part fast paced page turner, "The Copper Scroll" by Joel C. Rosenberg, published in 2006, kept me up past midnight last night. That's not an easy task on Saturday night because I usually like to get plenty of rest before Sunday's pastoral duties.

There actually is a copper scroll. It was found along with the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls and has been studied by archeologists, historians, linguists and religionists for the past 50 years. Rosenberg's book suggests a possible futuristic scenario of how the scroll fits into the building of the third Jewish Temple. That's all I'm going to say about the plot. If you liked "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or the "Left Behind" series by Lahaye and Jenkins you should love this best-seller.

Rosenberg is an evangelical Christian Jew and his belief in biblical prophecy clearly shines through in this, his fourth work of fiction. His desire to spread the Good News about Jesus is also evident, but not with any type of "in your face" evangelistic style.

Having previously been a communications strategist for the likes of guys like Rush Limbaugh, Steve Forbes and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rosenberg began his best selling fiction trend with "The Last Jihad" in 2002.

I've been meaning to read his books for some time but my interest in end-times fiction reading goes in cycles. I'm in one of those cycles now. I am sure I will backtrack and read his first three novels and also his work of non-fiction, "Epicenter: Why Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future," published a year ago.

I am not one of those preachers who tries to sensationalize the Second Coming of Christ and related end time events. By that I mean that I don't try to act like I have inside information that indicates that I know the precise time that Jesus is coming back and so, "you'd better listen to me and follow me," as if I were some kind of cult guru.

That's exagerating it a bit but I just don't want folks to get the idea that Bible prophecy is self-serving or incredulous because of the way I teach it. My desire is for the people to whom I minister to be able to see that when the Bible deals with the end of time it is reliable and part of God's overall plan that is quite practical.

I don't want to neglect the teaching of Scriptures that deal with apocalyptic themes either. It is entirely fascinating the way many Bible prophecies have already been fulfilled. No doubt, one of best evidences for believing the Bible is God's Word is the way God's prophets of the past have had their predictions come true so accurately.

So I need to be aware of what God wants me to know about the future. And I need to spread the Word, even if others scoff.

Truth is, not everyone is poking fun of what the Bible has to say about the end of time. There are actually a lot of people interested in hearing what the Bible has to say about the future. Maybe it's because of terrorism and the uncertainty of world stability. I don't know.

One thing that's quite interesting - Christian fiction has proven to be an effective way of communicating God's message in turbulent times - perhaps even the "end" times.


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