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The Armageddon Code: One Journalist's Quest for End-Times Answers Paperback – May 3, 2016
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Frankly, I’m not sure, but Billy Hallowell in his new book The Armageddon Code: One Journalist’s Quest for End – Times Answers managed to accomplish that feat.
Mr. Hallowell’s book, while not groundbreaking, delves into various aspects of Bible prophecy and the diverse views held by many of today’s scholars and teachers.
The book starts out with a general exploration of why Bible prophecy engenders so much debate. Chapters 2-8 deal with specific topics related to Bible prophecy and the various opinions associated with them. Some of the topics included:
• The Rapture
• The Tribulation
• The Antichrist
• The Beasts
• The Millennium
If you’re tempted to throw up your hands in confusion after reading the first few chapters which reflect so many differing opinions, then I encourage you to stick with Mr. Hallowell’s investigation until chapter 9 on Understanding Scripture and Eschatology. In this chapter Mr. Hallowell explains how our world view helps shape our interpretive methods. And it is these various interpretive filters which give rise to the diverse opinions.
Of these differing perspectives I believe it is safe to say, that they fall into two main categories. Those who believe the Old and New Testament prophetic record should be interpreted in literal manner whenever possible and those who believe a more poetic or metaphorical approach is warranted.
After the pause in Chapter 9 Mr. Hallowell once again returns to the controversy by exploring:
• Gog, Magog and the Reestablishment of Israel
• Israel’s Role in the End Times
• Blood Moons
• The 2nd coming in light of the first
• Date Setting
The book is rounded out in the final two chapters by looking at where today’s laymen, pastors, priests, and ministers stand on specific aspects of Bible prophecy. Finally, Mr. Hallowell closes on a more personal note which in my opinion was one of the best parts of the book.
* * *
I do have a bit of respectful criticism. After reading the various points of view in this book, two issues stood out which I believe my own futurist peers could do a better or more thorough job of articulating.
• 1. Prophecy of 70 Weeks
It’s amazing to me the extent to which the prophecy of Daniel 9 (the 70 weeks) influences our eschatological world view. In many ways it is that unifying factor or framework, if you will, upon which many aspects of futurist’s eschatology rests. Ironically, it is also a major pillar in the historicist’s world view which falls at the other end of the spectrum.
What intrigues me about this subject is how little care either side puts into establishing this incredibly influential prophecy upon a solid Biblical chronological foundation in the 2nd temple era. In my opinion it’s the weak link in both futurists’ and historicists’ eschatological framework.
• 2. Gog and Magog.
In this book Mr. Hallowell spent some time digging into various opinions of the Gog and Magog debate. One aspect of the discussion completely missing from the debate was the status of Israel as dwelling securely in the land at the time of invasion. Ezekiel, in chapter 38 & 39 uses the terms dwelling securely (yashab betach) to describe Israel’s status preceding the invasion.
This is important because in the Old Testament this Hebrew phrase, when used to describe Israel, is nearly exclusively used to describe a yet future time when the Messiah rules over Israel. (Lev. 26, Jeremiah 30, 32 & 46, Ezekiel 28, 34, 39 and Zechariah 14) Building upon the promised blessings of Leviticus 26, each of these passages speaks of a time when Israel has been gathered back into the land in the Messianic age. I just think, for the sake of contextual congruency, it is another question that we as futurists need to address more thoroughly.
* * *
In summary, I thoroughly appreciated reading the diverse points of view Mr. Hallowell brought together in this book. To be sure this book is not for the faint of heart. But if you are one who truly appreciates being challenged by another believer’s point of view then you’ll enjoyed this well written exploration of Bible prophecy. Once you’ve read this book I encourage you to open your own Bible and see if these things be so!