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Book Review: Financial Armageddon

A church member loaned me Financial Armageddon by John Hagee. Some of you know who John Hagee is, some may not. John Hagee is pastor and founder of Cornerstone Christian Church in San Antonio.

Now, a full critique and discussion of Pastor Hagee's teaching is best left for other times. I would explain, but there is no time. Instead, let me sum up: Pastor Hagee is a Biblical literalist in his preaching. He holds to certain parts of the charismatic movement, such as a strong likelihood of a believer speaking in tongues, as well as holding to a strong pro-Israel stance. Pastor Hagee and I would agree on several things, including the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ's impending return. Also, we would agree on the truth of the Bible.

We would also not agree on some points of interpretation of that Bible.

However, I tried to read Financial Armageddon with an open mind. I was somewhat dismayed with his reading of the Old Testament prophets into the current financial mess. Not that they may not have said something about this, but because I think he's over-reaching Scripture to get to his point. He is a firm believer that the modern nation of Israel is the fulfillment of God restoring the Jews to their homeland as promised in Scripture. As such, anything that is a threat to Israel is a threat that Christians must help defeat. He wants to see America make sure no one messes with Israel. I'm not specifically against that, and I know that Iran is a nation ruled by people bent on world domination and evil. Not that my opinion will cause Pres. Ahmadinejad to lose any sleep, although my blog was read once in Iran. However, over the centuries there have been various threats to God's people, and I'm not convinced Iran will truly sustain as the ultimate threat.

Also, Pastor Hagee uses various forms of prophetic interpretation, and here's where this bogs down. He holds to a literal approach to interpretation, unless the prophecy needs to be symbolic to make his points. Case in point: Ezekiel 38 speaks of God 'putting hooks' into the jaws of Israel's enemies to drag them out to war, which Pastor Hagee determines is symbolic of oil dragging them into combat. Then, the results of the war leave so many dead that the same passage speaks of it taking 7 months to burn the bodies and weapons, which is interpreted literally as how Israel will spend 210 days. The difficulty grows when one asks how Russia is connected to this, and the answer is that the mysterious 'Gog and Magog' are symbolic of Russia.

So, some of his prophetic interpretations are, in my mind, questionable. However, the overall conclusions in his book about what we Christians should do are spot on. To summarize, he states that believers in Christ should: 1.) Tithe; 2.)Get out of debt and stay out; 3.) Be generous to those in need, especially within the family of God; 4.) Not expect something for nothing. He also puts forth that the US, if we are to survive as a nation, must break our dependence on foreign oil. This is certainly something I agree with. Personally, in my lifetime, I have seen the US sell our national soul to radical factions in the Mid-East for oil, and to atheistic communism in China for cheap stuff at Wal-mart. We normalized relations with Vietnam without the long demanded accounting for where our people are, so that Vietnamese laborers could make us cheap clothes.

Folks, we cannot be economically enslaved to ideologies that differ from ours. There is not one true free republic in OPEC. (correction to generalization: Ecuador seems to be. Sorry to the offended Ecuadorians). China doesn't allow people the freedom to determine their own family size, much less anything else. Yet America is utterly dependent on these nations. How long will our freedom endure if we continue in this manner?

All-in-all, John Hagee has put forth some good, some not-so-good in his book Financial Armageddon. I wouldn't recommend this one as your primary financial guidebook, though. There's too much of questionable validity in his handling of Scripture. Better recommendation would be Crown Financial or to read your own Bible. The nuggets of truth mixed in Financial Armageddon are refined clearly in Proverbs, James, and the rest of Scripture.


Doug

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