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27 November 2008

Book Review - What in the World is Going On?

As a part of Thomas Nelson’s fantastic blogger book review program, please indulge in my first review. Originally I went chapter by chapter, giving a summary and review, but the whole review was supposed to be over 200 words, so I figured that was a gauge of some kind, and I was upwards of 1,000 words by the time I got to chapter eight, so I decided I’d give it a much more general treatment.

Dr. David Jeremiah’s new book, What in the World is Going On? 10 Prophetic Clues You Can Not Afford to Ignore, is an overview of Dr. Jeremiah’s take on what the Scriptures foretell about the end times. It’s written a very accessible style (which is good for a book in this area of study), though I had a little difficulty in determining the author’s intended audience. I appreciated the fact that at the close of every chapter, Dr. Jeremiah essentially tells the reader, “Now is the time for salvation!” and presents the message of repentance and salvation. However, often his writing style seems to lean toward that of a church “insider” – someone who is familiar with the words and phrases that all good church folks should know. Fortunately he’s very clear in what he means. Interestingly, looks like it's up there on's list of good-selling books. People want to know about this stuff!

Dr. Jeremiah obviously has studied the subject matter for years, and he puts quite a lot of info into these pages that is the result of those studies – from the Scriptures and a massive amount of external contemporary and historical writings. I actually felt that the book should have probably been a bit longer in order for him to better support some of his conclusions from Scripture.

Having read The Late, Great Planet Earth some years ago (Hal Lindsey is quoted several times in Dr. Jeremiah's book), I got some similar sensations while reading What in the World… The first half of the book was well-supported by Scripture, but when conjecture began on the specific identities of countries that will unite to attack Israel, for instance, I was not sold on the fact that the conclusions were completely supportable. This is an example of where the book should have been longer in order for these kinds of things to be truly justified – I wondered if there were other “clues” that were not shared for the sake of brevity.

While I wouldn’t come right out and directly dispute some of the book’s specific claims by saying, for instance, “The European Union will not be the beast with 10 horns referred to in Daniel,” I feel that such direct statements put Dr. Jeremiah in danger of a “boy who cried wolf” scenario, and that drawing many of the conclusions within the book and treating them as fact is something to approach cautiously. Many of the predictions in the final chapters are supported by predictions in the middle chapters (and by the later chapters they were essentially treated as fact rather than predictions), some of which I felt could have been better substantiated.

WITWIGO: TPCYCNATI (just wanted to try an acronym), while an interesting read, is a work that I would recommend reading in tandem with a personal Scripture study of end-times prophecy rather than using it as a de facto guide to upcoming events. As I’d caution regarding the LaHaye (whom Jeremiah quotes regularly) /Jenkins Left Behind fiction series, be very, very careful not to put this book on par with Scripture.


Christy said...

This book is on my want-to-read list. If you haven't already promised it to someone else, would you let me borrow it?

Dean Lusk said...

It's yours!

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