Monday, August 06, 2012

Fuse of Armageddon

Fuse of Armageddon by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraaff left me feeling a bit conflicted.

Quinn Mulvaney is a private negotiator in Israel. He handles kidnappings and hostage situations for insurance companies. But then, he's caught up in a massive plot. A Palestinian terrorist has kidnapped a wealthy American televangelist, one who has long preached that America must support Israel, no matter what. Quinn is asked to negotiate with the terrorist, even though he has strong feelings about the man's fate. But by doing so, Quinn finds himself in the middle of a far larger plot, one that could embroil the entire world in a gigantic holy war. For powerful men are using the hostage situation to fulfill what they think are God's prophecies. Can Quinn stop the plot? Or will this whole situation kill him?

I really, really wanted to like this book. I really did. But in the end, it left me kind of flat. The characters are mostly unlikeable, including the main ones. The plot is a bit too convoluted, with schemes followed by counterplots and even more counterplots and even more counterplots, so many that the whole story seemed to collapse under their collective weight. And the whole thing is preachy. Oh my goodness, is it preachy. It bludgeons us over the head with the blunt end of its premise.

And yet, for all of its flaws, I think this is a book that should be read and have a far wider audience, simply because its message is so important. Fuse of Armageddon makes the important point that theology matters and can have devastating real world implications. In particular, Brouwer and Hanegraaff attempt to show the impact that dispensational premillennialism has had and can have on the Middle East, particularly the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

I've actually been talking about this a lot over at Speculative Faith. If you want to get caught up on the discussion, you can watch the video playlist. In short, I'm not a fan of dispensational premillennialism. I'm a strict and ardent amillennialist. And this book helps explain why I take it so seriously. End times theology can have a major impact on the way we view the world today and interact with it. That's why I think more people should read this book, if for no other reason than to think through some of the messier implications of what they could or do believe.

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