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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Fourth Reich
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Van Kampen's novel, The Fourth Reich, fictionalizes his interpretation of biblical prophecy, especially the Revelation to John. Both in the novel and the afterword, he shows no awareness that there are other legitimate interpretations.
The best part of the novel is the characters. I came to care about Anatoly and Sony, and Yuri Kagan, too. In fact, Yuri, the apostate Jewish reporter for CNN, is maybe the most appealing character in the book.
The plot is most interesting in the first half or so, then it's all scripted from Van Kampen's woodenly literal interpretation of the Bible. The last 75-100 pages are mechanical, boring, and written in a lame poetic prose.
Otherwise, the style of the novel is appropriate, except for the author's tendency to explain too much. An example is his tendency to use tags like "ironically" or "warmly" to tell us how characters speak. But if what the characters say isn't ironic or warm, his telling us so won't convince us.
Guess What? Adolf Hitler (nee Schicklegruber) is the antichrist, thanks to cloning and the parole of his soul from Hell. Hitler makes a lousy villain.
Another weakness is the slick, easy conversion of the main characters "Yeshua."
Tell you what: You want a convincing presentation of supernatural good and evil, within a Christian context, read C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength. Lewis can write. Lewis presents the conversions of Mark and Jane Studdock very convincingly. He makes both good and evil awesome. Van Kampen makes good and evil trite.
After all this negativity, I must say I did read the whole book. I did find much of interest in it. But read Lewis first, please.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Van Kampen has woven a compelling, believable story which clearly lays out the Biblical prophecies regarding the end of the world. Even a reader with a limited familiarity with or understanding of the Bible will find "The Fourth Reich" an interesting and credible novel. The characters are people the reader can care about, most situations are plausible. A few loose threads are left hanging (Will Sonya and her brother Yacov reunite?, Is there no chance for Bulgakov's followers who doubt him--Anna, for example--to renounce him and be saved?, etc.) and some things are just a bit pat towards the end of the novel, but, in all, this is a book that you'll stay with until you've reached the end. As busy as I am, I read it in two days! Regardless of your personal religious convictions, it's worth your while to compare Van Kampen's predictions with your own understanding of Biblical prophecy. So much of the Book of Revelation is difficult to understand for the average person; Van Kampen spells things out quite clearly. "The Fourth Reich" helps sort things out. You'll want to read and learn more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book layed the groundwork well and I was sincerely impressed to see an End Times novel with the Pre-Wrath view. Unfortunatly around the eighteenth chapter the author has the Whole world bowing to a cloned Adolf Hitler (with the Same Name no less) and worshipping Him. It is a scriptural fact that the world will bow to a leader who will be the "Man of sin" or the "Beast" but the thought of the world bowing to Adolf Hitler as "lord of the world" with Swasticas and All is a little far fetched. The two witness of Revelation prophesied to be Moses and Elijah were reduced to a tongue in cheek "groucho and Harpo Dialogue" that left my jaw on the pillow. If only Mr. Van Kampen had finished what he had started so well.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw this title in an airport newsstand, and picked it up thinking it would be along the lines of a Tom Clancy or Dean Koontz novel. Unfortunately, the action and plot were not as well developed as I thought they could have been. The novel is more a summary of the authors belief/interpretation of biblical events, and comes across as far fetch.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book really surprized me. I was not expecting something so deeply rooted in religion.
If you can stand to sit and read through the very slow start of the book, than you will be taken on a ride of your life. Now I don't claim that it will be like any other book where you feel the action. At times I did feel like I was in the story but generally I still felt like I was just reading it.
Where the ride of your life comes into play, depends on your own mind. I always wanted to find out what The Bible said about the end of the world, but I just could not understand it. This book helped me understand the basic concepts behind everything and it took my mind on a ride questioning everything. Could this really happen? What do I really believe? Would I be one of the followers of the false messiah or would I be saved? These questions all came into my mind and started some very interesting debates with my friends. I still do not know what to believe but I must give credit to the author on how he combined fiction and The Bible into one.
It is worth a read if you like to be challenged, especially in your own beliefs. Just remember it is slow but you will love or hate the people in it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
An interesting and original view of Armageddon and the book of Revelations. Kind of a slow start, but once it gets going, it's a one-sitter, for sure! Would reccomend this to everyone, no religious affiliations necessary, quite the mainstream book. Excellent!
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on March 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was raised in a conventional, conservative, fundamental and evangelical non-denominational church and was taught the pre-tribulation rapture. This book gave me a different view and allows me to question some of the base beliefs I have had regarding end times without shattering my world view. I will be following up with the theological review by Van Kampen in "The Sign" to better understand where he got the details from.
I particularly enjoyed the Sonya and Anatoly characters. I was distraught (spoiler) at the lack of integrity in Yuri and the early death of Yakov. Overall I found it a page turner. I picked it up and set it down multiple times until I got to the section where the 144,000 men and their families were sealed in Petra. From there I found it very difficult to put down.
In comparison with The Left Behind series and Salem Kirbin's 666 and 1000, I found the Fourth Reich far more believable. It was a Jewish centric treating of end times where as the other two I mentioned were decidedly "American Christian" in focus. Reality is that Jesus Christ is Jewish. The end times prophecy, although global, is very Jewish centric and often talks about specific locations in the Holy land.
Whether you are Pre-Trib, Pre-Wrath, Post-Trib or Atheist, I recommend reading the Fourth Reich.
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on September 13, 2012
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
To order and receive a book from Amazon at no charge for the book was an amazing deal for the day. the book was a used book but had no damage to it and nothing written in it. If you maintain an interest in "the last days" you will get an exciting fictionalized account andnot too far off from the theology as it is preached today. They call it "Mid Trib" but I think it was good as long as you know..... no one really knows how it will end. and this clearly is fiction taken from facts a
that are in the Bible.
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on December 2, 2014
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was written 15 years ago --yet-- the end result of this novel is that many of the very things discussed are with us very much today.
For any wanting intrique and a possible scenario for endtimes events-try this book out.
The author-now deceased- was well read and collected many biblical manuscripts in a great collection.He was involved in their accuracy and details to validate the bible s accuracy.The worldview posited here is a theistic one.
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on March 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
The literary merit of the book is average, but it IS a good depiction of end-times events as outlined in the non-fictional, theological studies entitled "The Sign" by Rober Van Kampen, and "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church" by Marvin Rosenthal. If you are at all interested in Biblical Prophecies concerning the end of the age, this book is worth your time.
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