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Covers the history of theories of the end of the world, how contemporary cult leaders approach the coming of the millenium, and how the Bible is sometimes misunderstood as forecasting specific dates
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With a mixed sense of humor and urgency, the author amasses evidence against all religious predictions of specific dates for the end of the world. The philosopher Antony Flew coined the phrase ``death by a thousand qualifications'' for the fate of religious claims that are defended no matter how much evidence is brought against them. But religion has always risen up against the death that philosophy has pronounced upon it. Investigative reporter Abanes, a highly regarded authority on cults and the religious fringe, examines the astonishing resistance to death that religious predictions of the world's end have shown over the past two millennia, despite all refuting evidence. The timeliness of the topic shows in the recent cases of apocalyptic fervor, from Jonestown in 1978 to Heaven's Gate in 1997, which Abanes reviews in his first chapter, and the current spate of end-time predictions, brought on by the approach of the year 2000, that he instances toward the end of his book in the work of such Christian alarmists as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and Jack Van Impe. In between, Abanes surveys the history of apocalyptic worry, from the New Testament to Nostradamus, William Miller's Millerites, white supremacism, and Jehovah's Witnesses. The author applies the same method repeatedly: He cites a prediction, unravels its latent ambiguity, if any, and marshals all the facts that refute it. Though his touch is periodically light, the repetitive intensity of his refutations takes on the same obsessive quality as the targeted predictions themselves. When Abanes calls Jehovah's Witnesses ``one of the most deceitful and dangerous of today's apocalyptic cults,'' he sounds infected with the very alarmism he decries. In the final chapter, Abanes reflects on apocalyptic psychology, but without any sense for the more deeply philosophical or esthetic lure of the completion that final endings promise. Relentlessly detailed, this compendium of end-time lore will work best as a reference source for those researching particular prophecies of doom. (23 photos, charts, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Abanes, an investigative reporter and director of the Religious Information Center in Southern California, has written a well-researched, highly entertaining, and informative book about the human fascination with apocalyptic events. He asserts that doomsaying prophets throughout history were not only often wrong but spectacularly wrong, and he backs up his conclusions with a tremendous amount of documentation. He covers a great deal of ground: from the nightmare worlds of Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Shoko Asahara, to the biblical battles between Gog and Magog, a scenario that was often used as a prediction that the former Soviet Union "will" invade Israel. Of special note are his investigations into the prophecies of the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus, whose work, under a clear light, proves unreliable and false. As the millennium approaches, the public's hunger for more books prophecizing the end of history, earth, and time will grow and public libraries will be forced to satiate it with more purchases of such materials. It is therefore paramount that this book also be purchased and be placed among those "end-of-the-world" books as a reasoning and enlightening voice. Highly recommended for public libraries and all collections dealing with the supernatural or the occult.?Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1568581041 Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z1568581041ZN
Book Description Basic Books, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1568581041
Book Description Basic Books, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111568581041