Ken11/08/2012 6:08 PMHave you read Joel Richardson's books, The Islamic Anti-Christ and the Mid-East Beast? If so, what do you think about them?I have not read them, but I get lots of questions from other believers who have read these books and they think his view is persuasive.
This will be a sequel to an earlier post I did:
i) Richardson doesn’t seem to be a Bible scholar. Rather, he appears to be one of those ubiquitous “prophecy teachers.” I don’t think he has any more inherent credibility on this subject than Hal Lindsey, Harold Camping, Tim LaHaye, or John Hagee.
I’m not suggesting we should dismiss prophecy teachers out of hand. But we need to distinguish the genuine Bible scholars from the hucksters.
And unless I missed something, there’s no evidence that he can read Muslim primary sources in the original languages.
ii) On a related note, he strikes me as a guy who’s cashing in on the post-9/11 interest in Islam. This is his meal ticket.
Now maybe that’s not fair. That’s just my impression.
A more charitable interpretation is that he’s sincere guy who’s captivated by his own system of prophecy.
iii) You can currently find a free, online version of his position here:
Here’s his central thesis:
Here’s how he applies his central thesis to contemporary events:
Admittedly, I’ve skimmed his material. I don’t think he’s worth investing a lot of time one. That’s a snap judgment, but folks like him are a dime a dozen, so we have to pick our targets.
iv) I don’t have any antecedent objection to the possibility that the Antichrist will be Muslim, although I define the Antichrist more broadly than he does–for reasons I’ve given in my prequel (see above).
v) His comparisons between Biblical eschatology and Muslim eschatology are an exercise in misdirection. Since Muslim eschatology is largely bogus–except where it pilfers the Bible–the details of Muslim eschatology have zero predictive value. We shouldn’t use that material to interpret or filter the Bible.
vi) He makes a big deal about the Mahdi. To my knowledge, the Mahdi is central to Shiite eschatology, but more peripheral to other branches of Islam (e.g. Sunni, Ibadi).
So he’s using an eschatological paradigm which represents the minority report in Islam.
vii) Even if an Islamic Antichrist were consistent with Biblical prophecy, this doesn’t mean Bible prophecy implies or predicts an Islamic Antichrist. For other candidates may also be consistent with Biblical prophecy. Why single out the Islamic candidate?
The threats to Christianity are both internal and external. Major external threats include secularism as well as Islam. Major internal threats include cults and heresies like Mormonism and Roman Catholicism.
Sometimes these intersect. Theological liberalism poses an internal threat to Christianity, but that derives its inspiration from secularism.
All these diverse movements have an Antichrist aspect.
viii) There’s no factual or exegetical reason for him to equate the great apostasy with conversions to Islam. 9/11 didn’t result in mass conversion to Islam.
To the extent that Islam becomes dominant in Europe and the UK, as well as making inroads in the US, that may result in widespread assimilation. On the other hand, there may be a popular backlash.
ix) If you view the Antichrist as an invincible military dictator who is bound to conquer the world, who can only be vanquished by the return of Christ, then that’s a prescription for unilateral disarmament. Armed resistance is futile. Pacifistic martyrdom is our only recourse.
And, indeed, that’s where he’s going with “How Should We Respond?” Needless to say, laying down our arms in the face of militant Islam is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We’d be dooming ourselves to oblivion.