Debating Another Dispensationalist

For 20 years I have been debating the topic of eschatology. It started with Dave Hunt (four debates) after the publication of my book The Reduction of Christianity (co-authored with Peter J. Leithart) and has included debates with Thomas Ice (nine debates), Paige Patterson, Robert L. Thomas, Ed Hindson, John Sweigart, Michael Wechsler, and countless radio shows where callers would rapid-fire quest [...]

John MacArthur's Defense of Dispensationalism

In 1988, John MacArthur wrote The Gospel According to Jesus, a controversial book in certain circles because he relied heavily on the views of Calvinistic writers to deal with the lordship salvation controversy. My respect for MacArthur grew because he was not afraid to take on those in his own dispensational camp who were teaching “defective theology” about discipleship. The book got [...]

How Eschatology Impacts Apologetics

![“Article](“http://assets.americanvision.org/mediafiles/article-image-120208.jpg" ““Article”) On January 21, 2009, James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries will be debating Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on the following question: “Can the New [...]

The Election & Claims The End is Near!

![“Article](“http://assets.americanvision.org/mediafiles/article-image-111308-b.jpg" ““Article”) With America’s self-conscious move toward unfettered socialism and fascism, some Christians will undoubtedly rev up the prophecy presses and inform the world that the end is near-again! History is a sober teacher of such foolishness. In 1927, Oswald J. Smith wro [...]

Don't Pay Attention to Newspaper Headlines

![“Article](“http://assets.americanvision.org/mediafiles/article-image-110308.jpg" ““Article”) The newspaper and news sources in general can be depressing reading these days. No matter who wins tomorrow’s election, America and the world are in for uncertain times. Instead of ruminating over the negative possibilities, Christians should see what will come as oppor [...]

The Danger of Prophetic Inevitability

In a 1979 message, Jerry Falwell presented his views on the end-times using Ezekiel 38 as a backdrop to his interpretation of the passage. Falwell asked why Russia would want to invade Israel. Quoting Ezekiel 38:12, he said the purpose is “to seize spoil and carry off plunder.” Here’s what he said next: “If one removes the first two letters from this word ‘spoil,’ he soon realizes what Russia will [...]

The Magog Invasion

I predicted it! When Russia invaded Georgia, a former satellite state of the former Soviet Union, I knew there would be prophecy writers who would claim that it’s all part of God’s end-time plan. Contemporary prophecy writers, following a long tradition of interpreting the Bible through the lens of current events, use Bible passages that can be easily shaped to fit any geo-political change. Why th [...]

Signs in the Heavens Return for the Umpteenth Time

“February 20th, 2008, at Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake Washington saw something, a total lunar eclipse also called a ‘blood moon’ for its reddish hue” (read article here). “I thought ‘wow’ that looks just like what the Lord was talking about in the last days,” says Blitz. Blitz is referring to Joel 2:31: “The sun will be turned into darkness, [...]

The End of the World, 2012, 2015, or Just around the Corner?

‘Apocalyptic thinking is in the air,’” University of Connecticut psychologist Kenneth Ring said as we approached the year 2000. “Images stored in the collective unconscious begin to populate our dreams and visions.’”[1] The year 2000 was thought to be a significant eschatological date for sociologists, utopians, New Agers, cultists, psychics, and even some Christians. The late Robert A. Nisbet (19 [...]

The 40th Anniversary of Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb

In his book The Population Bomb, first published in 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich made a number of predictions about the future of our planet based on his understanding of population growth and food supplies. Ehrlich’s projections were not new. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834), a British political economist and mathematician, proposed that population growth would outstrip any increase in food supplies in [...]

Testing the Prophets

Ever since human beings first walked the earth, they have attempted—whether by extension of logic or through the use of magic—to divine what the unknown future holds in store for them. For a variety of reasons—to comfort themselves, to prepare themselves—human beings have been eager to know what tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the next month, the next year, the years to come, will do to them and [...]

A Dispensationalist Agrees with Me!

For some time now I have been challenging dispensationalists to be consistent with their claim that they interpret the Bible literally. They don’t take time words like “near” and “shortly” literally. “This generation will not pass away,” Tim LaHaye and others argue, becomes “the generation that sees these signs will not pass away.” Donald E. Green agrees with Neil Nelson that “‘generation’ refers [...]

Is Russia Mentioned in the Bible?

If there is one prophetic section of the Bible that is repeatedly turned to for support that our world is on the eve of destruction, it’s Ezekiel 38 and 39. M. R. DeHaan, writing in 1951, identified “the sign of Gog and Magog” to be one of the “three most outstanding signs of the coming of Christ.”[1] In 1972, Carl Johnson wrote Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These.[2] His chapter on “When Rus [...]

Chuck Smith's Prophetic Confusion

In Chuck Smith’s Revelation commentary Dateline Earth he informed his readers in 1989 that “the rapture is at hand.”[1] Earlier he wrote, “Very soon there are going to be some strange and terrible things happening on this planet of ours.”[2] These “very soon” happenings are based on his reading of Revelation. He reinforces this claim when he argues emphatically, “Jesus is coming back, and He’s com [...]

Prophetic Pronouncements Under the Microscope

Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, has authored another prophecy book: The Final Act: Setting the Stage of the End Times Drama. The book carries the ringing endorsement of Tim LaHaye, co-author with Jerry Jenkins of the widely popular Left Behind series of prophetic novels. LaHaye offers the following complimentary words: “This unique [...]

Pushing the World toward Armageddon

Hal Lindsey is once again misapplying the Bible to modern-day geo-political events. Here is his claim: You know, I fear for both President Bush and Secretary Rice. I also fear for my beloved country. They must be ignorant of a prophecy God made 2,500 years ago through the Hebrew prophet Zechariah. It applies to this precise time and situation in history. God said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a [...]

Armageddon, 200 Million Chinese Horse Soldiers, and the Slaughter of Billions

QUESTION: After reading your book Last Days Madness, which is understandable for even a layman such as me, I have a couple of questions. First, the time indicators you reveal and clarify in your book point to an A.D. 70 fulfillment of the “great tribulation.” However, I do not see how the preterist**[1]** view of Armageddon, where a third of the world’s population is destroyed, is dealt with on th [...]

The Prophecies of Daniel: Why They Don't Point to Us

For Hal Lindsey, every news story is a sign that we are living in the “rapture generation.” It wasn’t too long ago that he claimed in his wildly popular prophetic book The Late Great Planet Earth (1970) that the “this generation” of Matthew 24:34 would end sometime before 1988 (1948+40 years=1988). In an interview published in Christianity Today (April 15, 1977), Ward Gasque asked Lindsey: “But wh [...]

Dr. Armageddon and the Future of Israel

John Hagee’s “Christians United for Israel” held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month (July 2007). Supporters of CUFI are looking forward to Armageddon. Of course, they believe they won’t be around to experience it. God will finally fulfill his covenant promises to Israel, but not until He wipes out millions of Jews and billions of others around the world in one final judgment. No wo [...]

The Date of Revelation: Geisler vs. Geisler

In the ongoing debate over Bible prophecy, a number of issues keep coming up. One of the biggest disputes is on the dating of Revelation. Was Revelation written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 or nearly 40 years later? Late-date advocates are almost solely dependent on the ambiguous testimony of Irenaeus (120–202). I deal with this bit of external evidence in my book The Early Chu [...]