By Ivan Squall
Published December 1, 1990
A Book Review
Pat Robertson’s latest work is a literary Trojan horse. Its misleading apocalyptic title is certain to attract many of those who may be predisposed to reject its message. The New Millennium is not for everyone – but it is great literature which forces the reader to think beyond the fluff of the oft-repeated but seldom analyzed ear-tickling theories of the day. The problem is getting that literature into the hands of those of us whose minds are already made up.
Our habit is to pick up only those books with compelling or intriguing titles, or those which sound like they will be safely within the range of our comfortable philosophical predilections. The New Millennium is certainly a dramatic title on par with The Late Great Planet Earth, The Terminal Generation, or Countdown to Armageddon, but Robertson’s choice of modest, historically rooted prognostication over sweeping, fancy-driven speculation, will certainly not satisfy the eschatological sweet-tooths of those of us hooked on A Thief In The Night or Prodigal Planet.
So be forewarned, if you’ve already bought your rapture robe, you probably won’t want to buy this book. Or, if the fact that Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth means to you that it’s too dangerous to actively confront the prevailing social evils of our nation, then you probably won’t want to subject yourself to Robertson’s ravings about a Sovereign God who orchestrates world events and equips His Church universal to transform adversity into opportunity.
And if you feel that political action is unspiritual, that to choose Harvard University over Dallas Seminary is something less than spiritual, or that being neither “of” nor “in” the world is spiritual, then this book is not for you. No wait! I take that back.
The New Millennium is truly an intellectual tour de force, blending together a potpourri of essential truths from a wide assortment of academic disciplines. Its 300+ pages provide a good dose of basic world history and elementary economics backed up with a plethora of facts and figures. The book assumes that a clear understanding of both where we have come from and how we got here are essential prerequisites for those who desire to step out boldly to fulfill God’s will in this generation.
Robertson likes to get a good running start down a track of empirical evidence before leaping into the realm of the theoretical, the speculative, or the predictive. Accordingly, he offers us at least a skin deep historical summary of the major spiritual, philosophical, cultural and governmental trends which have affected mankind, especially in recent centuries.
Looking forward, we are presented with ten “megatrends” which will dominate the 1990s, labeled “The Decade of Opportunity,” and set the stage for the centuries to come unless Jesus returns. These ten can be boiled down into three categories:
1. The collapse of world communism and the fall of secular humanism in the West, consummating trends which have already begun.
2. A surge of interest in the supernatural, both through Spirit-revived Christianity and satanically empowered Hindu/New Age movements, both of which have already begun to manifest.
3. A long term shift of economic, military and cultural dominance from Western Civilization to the Orient, slowest to come and probably hardest for us to envision.
Robertson believes that the collapse of communism “presents the Christian Church with an opportunity as great as it experienced at the fall of the Roman Empire.” A strategic void is being created that could leave as many as 1.5 to 2 billion people spiritually naked. Pascal’s “God-shaped vacuum” is being revealed not just in the bosom of men, but in the hearts of whole nations.
The Gospel of salvation exists in these countries, kept alive by faithful underground churches that have been purged and prepared by the fires of persecution. These nations want to know how Christianity applies not just to their individual lives, but the whole of their society.
They are looking to their American brethren for answers, but as Robertson points out, “We have been woefully lacking in that kind of teaching ourselves. There are very few Christians in America who have an intelligent concept of citizenship or of the way that God would have us relate to the body politic.”
Eastern Europe is temporarily a blank slate, with no heritage of Biblical constitutional government from which to draw. We are the nation with the deepest wells of public policy, yet we have spent the past thirty years plugging up our own life springs.
The challenge is for Christians to proudly resurrect the biblical principles of civil government championed by our Founding Fathers, and then to carry them to those fertile lands where they will not be despised, as they are in their birthplace today, but rather cherished and zealously applied. If this can be achieved, then Robertson envisions a revived Eastern Europe as a possible springboard for a last chance assault of Christianity upon a cynical and completely irreligious Western Europe.
Not only will communism collapse, but so also will its philosophical bedfellow, secular humanism, the unofficial religion of the United States and Western Europe is enjoying its final years of predominance. Popular because it promised us mastery over our own destinies, if we exiled God to museum shelves and mythology courses, death looms near humanism because it has failed to deliver on its promise.
By rejecting man’s spiritual nature, it failed to meet his spiritual needs, and thus brought chaos instead of progress, confusion instead of enlightenment. Three hundred years of warfare between rationalism and faith are almost over. Faith will soon win, but what kind of faith?
Robertson predicts that “there is going to be a sudden and overwhelming rise of religious beliefs in this country. We are going to witness a spiritual awakening of religious belief in this country. We are going to witness a spiritual awakening of inconceivable proportions.”
However, he does not believe that humanists will automatically turn to faith in Christ, because “it would mean a loss of pride and prestige. They can’t go with traditional Christianity which they rejected, so they will choose to embrace the secular religion of self-actualization, self-realization, and other New Age type religious concepts born out of Hinduism.
This new religion seems to be “tailor made for a secular elite looking for a philosophy.” Therefore, the great battle of the 1990s “will not be between belief and unbelief, but between one form of evil and another. It will be faith in God versus faith in the devil.”
The next decade will see a shocking outpouring of demonic power against biblical Christians. “We can expect to witness satanic miracles, signs, wonders and manifestations in the not-too-distant future.” This, of course, is standard fare for the “Apocalypse Now” and “I’ll Fly Away” school of theology. However, Robertson challenges prevailing defeatist orthodoxy by declaring that at the same time “the power of God will be alive in the Church and we will also see some incredible signs and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this atmosphere, “the intellectual theology of doubters and equivocators will die of self-inflicted wounds … the mainline will move to the sideline,” and compromising churches will be left defenseless because “God will not submit His Spirit to churches that are dead.”
Finally, Robertson presents an intriguing analysis of historical cycles of civilization which he believes have recently begun a slow but steady shift from the West to the Orient. “the East is rising because the people there have embraced hard work, a disciplined life, individual initiative, family values, and in most cases, strong religious faith.”
Meanwhile, the West is declining for lack of these same qualities. If we do not change radically and quickly, “America will soon reach a point from which it cannot recover until after the massive judgment of God is visited upon it.”
“However, even if traditional Western civilization based on Christianity should be diminished, Christianity itself will not be.” Rather, it will explode through new cultures in exciting new ways. Robertson’s conclusion points to the future while refuting a myth from the past: “Christianity is not a Western religion. Christianity will flourish worldwide in the new Millennium.”
The New Millennium challenges our global pessimism and local paralysis with global optimism and local realism concerning God’s prospects for victory over Satan within history. The line is clearly drawn, but do we fear to cross it? Any takers?
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Literature
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)