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!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)