“Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future”, by Joel C. Rosenberg
Newsmax reported on January 30, 2007:
“Epicenter” is a fascinating, page-turning book. Using recent events ripped straight from today’s newspaper headlines, as well as tomorrow’s headlines, Joel Rosenberg analyzes the developments that are shaping the future course of world events and creates a compelling scenario for an upcoming apocalyptic war in the Middle East.
If his book reads like a political thriller, it’s probably because Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of four recent novels. A politically connected communications strategist who has worked for such influential figures as Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rosenberg has unique insights.
He also happens to be an evangelical Christian from an Orthodox Jewish family. His first book, The Last Jihad, finished just before 9/11 but published later, predicted a Muslim terror attack using a hijacked plane against an American city that provokes a war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.
His other novels also were eerily prophetic. The Last Days described a Palestinian civil war after Yasser Arafat’s death. His third novel, The Ezekiel Option, which predates the rise of Iran’s radical leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, details how a new Russian dictator builds an alliance with Iran as it feverishly pursues nuclear weapons. Limbaugh said the latter book was “like an episode of ‘24′ with a supernatural twist.”
Many asked Rosenberg how his novels were so prescient. This extremely well-researched and well-documented, nonfiction book was his answer.
His secret? Rosenberg uses the BIBLE AS GUIDE. He calls his biblical approach to analyzing world events — using the “third lens” of Scripture. But despite the biblical perspective, this is not a typical Bible prophesy doomsday book. “I’m not trying to persuade anyone that these specific events will happen in our lifetimes, but simply show how it is possible they might,” explains Rosenberg.
Because of his varied political background, and penchant for detailed research, personal interviews with world leaders, and historical context, “Epicenter” reads more like an intelligence report using multiple sources to “connect the dots” (one of his chapter headings) and construct a plausible, yet nightmarish scenario for an upcoming regional conflict.
Called the war of Gog and Magog in the Hebrew Book of Ezekiel, Rosenberg explained to NewsMax that this devastating, yet limited, regional war should not be confused with the much greater and final global war of the same name predicted in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. That final conflict is what most Bible prophecy commentators generally focus on, but will come after the more limited war Rosenberg describes.
In chapter four, Rosenberg takes on the critics head-on. Acknowledging that there are many who think that those who believe in Bible prophecies are “lunatics,” he quotes Bill Moyers, the longtime liberal PBS journalist, from a 2004 speech where he calls the end-times beliefs of many Americans “bizarre.” Former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips, in his best-selling 2006 book, American Theocracy, warns that Americans who believe in biblical prophesy are “over imaginative” at best and “radical” at worst. He adds that “rapture, end-times, and Armageddon hucksters in the United States rank with any Shiite ayatollahs.”
But as Rosenberg points out, what really infuriates these irreligious skeptics “is the enormous number of Americans who believe that world events are unfolding just as the Bible foretold.” To see just how many there are, he commissioned a survey in February 2006 of American adults’ attitudes toward Bible prophesy.
In that poll, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, 42 percent of Americans believed the rebirth of Israel, wars and instability in the Middle East, recent earthquakes and the Tsunami in Asia were evidence that we are living in what the Bible calls the “last days.”
These believers aren’t limited to the “usual suspects” of Christian evangelicals or rural Southerners, but represent a broad cross-section of Americans, including a third of Jews, a third of New Englanders, a third of “Left Coasters,” 40 percent of Democrats and Catholics, 50 percent of Republicans, women and senior citizens, 60 percent of young people under 25, and 75 percent of African-Americans. Clearly, a significant number of Americans believe the Bible has a bearing on current events.
In the next 10 chapters Rosenberg lays out 10 future headlines he believes we will soon be reading, providing the scriptural basis (primarily from the Book of Ezekiel) for those predictions, and the latest events and specific trends that suggest those headlines may be closer than previously thought. Among them, he predicts Israel will discover massive oil and gas reserves, a czar will rise in Russia, raising fears of a new Cold War, and the Kremlin will join the “axis of evil” and form a military alliance with Iran.
These events, already crystallizing in many ways, eventually lead to soaring global tensions, amid earthquakes and pandemics raging across Europe, Asia, and Africa, as Russia targets Israel and a new war erupts in the Middle East. Among his most intriguing predictions is that Iraq (which contains ancient Babylon) will emerge from all this chaos as the region’s wealthiest country and that Muslims will turn to Christ in record numbers.
While at first blush these last predictions seem far-fetched, Rosenberg documents little-known facts about Iraq’s economy and military that provide hope there while describing an evangelical revolution that is quietly sweeping through the post-9/11 Middle East. Considering all the gloomy news coming out of the region, it is encouraging to see some positive scenarios.
This is one of the most insightful and intriguing books I have ever read. A combination intelligence report and Biblical blueprint, it still only provides the basic elements of the story. In order to keep up with rapidly moving events, Joel created a weblog at www.joelrosenberg.com, where he tracks the ongoing geopolitical tremors in real time. Whether you believe we are witnessing Biblical events unfolding, or simply want a better perspective on global affairs and the Mideast crisis, I highly recommend this amazing book.