Tyndale Press, publishers of the 60 million-and-counting Left Behind series have published another "end time" novel, this one written by a notable foe of premillennial dispensationalism:
Illinois-based Tyndale House Publishers says the first book in the new series, "The Last Disciple," by "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff and award-winning fiction author Sigmund Brouwer, asks the question, "What if the prophecies of Revelation have already been fulfilled?"
The novel's description states:
What if the Antichrist has already been revealed? The first book in a gripping new series by best-selling authors Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraaff explores the lives of Christians who struggle to survive and spread the Gospel during the climactic turbulence of “the last days.” With the enemy seeking to decipher the code of John's letter, Revelation, and destroy the church, believers must cling to the hope Revelation provides as they face the greatest of all persecutions. A spellbinding story of faith and fulfillment of prophecy. Discover the "code" of Revelation as you begin to see it through the eyes of the persecuted believers to whom it was written.
No, not another code book! Sigh. Hanegraff's novel is written from the preterist position, which holds that most of the Book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century A.D. There are variations within this perspective that are more or less viable, as my book, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? discusses in some detail. However, the idea that the Book of Revelation was written in such a way (coded, of course!) that it would have been bewildering to Roman and Jewish enemies of the early Christians is difficult to support, especially when the book, as difficult as it can be, clearly identifies Jesus Christ as "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (19:16), which is about as coded as a cold sledgehammer. Besides, Jewish readers would have caught the numerous references to the Pentateuch, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other Old Testament books, and the writer's belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
Hanegraff writes, in his usual low-key, unassuming manner: "This series of novels constitutes one of the most significant projects I have ever been privileged to be involved in. Indeed, this initial novel is intended to be the first 'shot' in a debate that I believe will produce a paradigm shift -- a change in the way many in the church look at the end times." However that might be, I find it more than a little fascinating that this theological debate is taking place in the form of novels. Considering the obvious impact of the Left Behind series and The Da Vinci Code, this is not something to be taken lightly, even if it says some discouraging things about the reading public.