Friday, July 6, 2012

Book recommendations, and a review of "The Last Seven Years"

I'm reading a novel now, called "The Last Seven Years" by Carol Balizet. It was written in 1979. The author novelizes the time immediately prior to the rapture and goes through the next 7 years of the prophesied Tribulation. I am about a third of the way through and I am enjoying it very much. I find it so interesting that despite being published 33 years ago, and perhaps written some time before that, the events she is showing as the status quo on earth prior to the rapture are exactly the conditions we are experiencing now. It is spooky, really. She even nailed the colony collapse disorder. Though CCD was known beginning in 1972, the proportions of bee disappearances didn't reach drastic levels (with attendant impacts) until 2006.

It is interesting to read such conditions as an extended and inexplicable heat wave, that, combined with astronomically high utility bills people cannot pay, means people are suffering in heat and tempers are short. That the inflation of food is so high that grocery stores are fairly empty and robbers wait in the parking lots to steal housewives' bags. That the police are so overwhelmed with crime that vigilante 'protective agencies' are springing up. That nudity, drugs, and immorality are such a part of the landscape that people barely detect it any more. That parents are hesitant to discipline their rebellious teens because the public schools have a powerful agency called Student Rights Services where parents can be arrested on the basis of child complaints.

It takes a special author to be able to project ahead the conditions from three decades ago. Her book was written before even the strong emergence in the US of the homosexual agenda, but the book shows the ill effects of a culture adopting and accepting all manner of perverse lifestyles.

I liked the way she handled the rapture itself. A giant meteor hit the island of Cyprus, and causes global earthquakes and tsunamis. It was during the height of the impacts that the people disappeared. Some were seen leaving, by having a white glow just before disappearing, others were simply not found when the rescuers came to clear rubble. In that way, the disappearance of millions were just part of the general havoc and in some cases, not even the primary news.

It was interesting to read that in the aftermath the officials were writing a news report, and were developing theories on where the disappeared people went. The usual theories that we are familiar with were discussed. The one that was discussed the briefest amount of time and given the least credence was the rapture. It was stated that there were a good many clergy remaining, along with their congregations, so a Christian rapture couldn't be the answer. Sad!

The book is out of print but available through sellers on Amazon and of course your local Inter-Library loan would be able to get it for you. It is my kind of book.

What is NOT my kind of book are most Christian novels. I'm not a sentimental person and usually avoid books with quilts on the cover, or sisters, or sunsets. I loathe triteness. An essay I'd read this morning linked from Challies titled Master craftsmen 2012 Books Issue talks about how Christian novels are not all treacly or badly written, that they can deal with mature themes and have a gritty undercoating but remain moral and sensitive. A list was offered of recommended books. You can click on the master Craftsmen link for that reading list and synopses of each book. I haven't had much luck with enjoying a recent Christian book lately, except for the classics that are on his list, such as CS Lewis, John Bunyan, Tolkien, and several others. I remain skeptical. But the list is there for you to check out, it's a long one, and likely there will be something on it for your quality summer reading.

I do recommend John Grisham, who doesn't write Christian legal thrillers but his Christian background produces a moral book clean of language and sexuality. They're just good stories. I've enjoyed Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. Actually one book with a sunset on it was pretty good. It was authored by Tracie Peterson and Michale Landon Jr called One More Sunrise. It was very well written. Another good series is the Tides of Truth Series by Robert Whitlow. They are slow moving but then again, in the summer, it is a slow moving time anyway :)

A non-Christian series I really enjoyed was the Barker and Llewelyn novels starting with Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas. They are clean but gritty underbelly detective novels of the early Victorian era. Thomas promises his next Barker and Llewelyn is due out soon!

As I finish Balizet's "Last Seven Years" I'll let you know if the later portions hold up with continued good writing and good theology. Don't settle for bad theology! I know it is a struggle these days, and women are swooning over Justin Bieber and watching Magic Mike. Stay pure.

Guard your purity! #1
Guard your purity! #2
Guard your purity! #3

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for the book recommendation. I ordered a used copy from Amazon for 1 cent! The shipping was more, $3.99. Cant wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Jane! I hope you enjoy! As I said, I have only read one third. I hope the rest holds up. Please definitely let me know what you think as you read it :)

      Delete
    2. My Mother in law passed this book along to me in 1982. I have read it several times over the years and it was a thriller. I couldn't put it down. Since then, I have lost it or have loaned it. Want to read again!!

      Delete
  2. I kinda want to check it out too! I usually enjoy reading these types of books and carefully deducing if they match the written Word of God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read about half by this point. I like how she shows people's different reactions to the dawning understanding that the events are bible-based and not just random terrible events, and their groping ways to try and find methods to share the Gospel in an increasingly hostile set of circumstances. And alternately how and why so many people reject that understanding. Her antichrist is the Pope, which could be a possibility given the fact that as of right now, he is an absolute monarch on earth, rules with impunity until he dies or resigns, and governs the world's largest non-governmental agency having a tight organizational infrastructure in every nation on every continent- before the Tribulation even begins. There was even some talk of the major earthquake that ended the seal judgments in Revelation knocking the earth off its axis and upsetting the normal flow of the jet stream, causing snow in Florida and heat in Iceland, etc. The earth was knocked off its axis int he Japan 2011 quake as we know now. They just signed the treaty, and the United states of Europe was just formed (Ten nations). So far I'm still enjoying it.

      Delete
    2. MyRedeemer_Lives! I will send you the book if you email me your address. I finished it. Happy to pass it along.

      Delete
    3. That's a very kind gesture Elizabeth but I already bought my own copy two weeks ago and I'm three fourths done with the book. It is an interesting read indeed but I'm confused whether or not she supports Catholics. There's a part in the book that states that some of the clergy men deep within catholic church disappeared. Now is that foul play by the Antichrist pope or were they taken up to be with our Lord?..

      Delete
    4. I was struck by that too. She didn't make it clear. I decided to chalk it up to the fact that people are saved in every denomination, that there are some few who believe but for whatever reason are still in a denomination that largely is opposed to the Lord.

      I don't think she supports Catholics in the main though, her antichrist was a bishop who became pope... I think she correctly noted the fact that the "Pope is an absolute monarch, answerable to no temporal power, holding the oldest administrative office in existence, managing the largest non-governmental operation in the world. His power is absolutely unlimited save by their interpretation of divine law and only death or by his own decision can he be removed from office."

      That puts the Catholic Church in a definite perspective in light of the tribulation one-world government that is prophesied to come. I think she nailed it there with the marriage of famine and the readiness of the Catholics with the Feed My Lambs program.

      I think all that makes it clear on where she stands in my opinion. Especially the phrase "*their* interpretation" of Divine law.

      Delete
    5. I agree with most of what you have pointed out, however upon finishing the book tonight I'm left wondering where in the world the author got her ideas. The character Molly Redmond asked for the mark of the beast before she became a Christian. Later on she gets "saved" however she already made a decision to accept the mark on her right hand. Why does the author imply that she is saved and has the wrath of our Holy God?..It is written
      If anyone worships the beast and it's image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he will also drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strenght into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb" Revelation 14:9-11

      It cannot be any clearer than that, it's like in the Christ Clone Trilogy a similar incident occurred. I can't recommend this book to anyone. Thank you for reading this far. Be blessed. **Escaped the wrath of God even though she took the mark.

      Delete
    6. Hi My Redeemer_Lives,

      I agree, what happened with Molly cannot be supported by scripture. It was a problem for me too. The author left that one a little murky as well but even with her wiggle room, the bible is clear, taking the mark means you are forever damned.

      Delete
  3. Find your blog very interesting. I have a book on my blog in seven parts on the End Time from a Biblical point of view. It is called Further Down The Path. Would be interested in your view of it. It is mainly about what the Bible says has happened and what many verses imply or tell us that we are end in the end time. My blog is rictheturtleryan.blogspot.com It has a search bar to help people find things. My post has Bible related articles but is mainly personal financial advice to help people become debt free or survive the times we are going through. Again thanks for such an interesting blog will be reading much more I am sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am curious as to your view of the Left Behind Series. I find it to not be very Biblical in reality and feel it gives many people a misconception of what takes place in the end time. I hope you find time to check out my book. It is something the Lord blessed me with over a long period of time from asking one question, which is explained in the book. It is really nothing knew. It is just how it is put together that makes it show where we are on the Prophetic clock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ric The Turtle! I did check out your book, read every pat. I sent an email to you. What don't you find biblical about Left Behind? What are your concerns about the theological basis of it?

      Delete
  5. Have you ever ready a book series called the Christ Clone Trilogy? It's a book about how they used the shroud of Turin to clone Jesus and that man became the Antichrist. It's an interesting perspective of how similar themes are in this present year. One thing among many errors I noticed was that the writer held a belief that John the baptist didn't die and was so to be one of the two witnesses. Also a part in the third book speaks of a Jewish man who excepted the mark of the beast and one of the main characters advised him to cut his right hand off so that he might have a chance to be saved. I threw the book into the garbage bc of these vital errors in theology.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the recommendations. I never cared for works of fiction; but my youngest son (17 at the time) gave me a copy of Frank Perretti's "This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" in 1990 when I was going through a horrible depression from an abusive work situation. Those books opened my eyes to the reality of spiritual warfare. Thankfully, God delivered me from that depression and fear in 1995, and those two books remain "favorites." Blessings, Elizabeth on your ministry of keeping us informed of end times events!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, thanks so much. Isn't Peretti vivid in his depiction of psiritual warfare? I loved it.

      I finished Balizet's book and it stayed true. She included 4 pages of scripture in the back that ties in to the pages in the book of where or what is happening. That was good.

      I'm so glad you were delivered of depression for all these years! I hope your work situation has improved too.

      Delete
  7. Hi Elizabeth!

    I think I read this book about 20 years ago. I don't remember the title but one thing stood out from it: the disappearance of honey bees. As I started reading about that actually happening in the news, I remembered that book. The other thing I remember about it is that in the foreword the author wrote that the idea for the book was actually a vision she had received from the Lord. She felt people could receive it more readily if it was in novel form rather than a "thus sayeth the Lord" manner.
    It's refreshing to hear another believer make the same observations about Christian literature. When I read Frank Peretti's books, it was like a breath of fresh air! Someone could have action and plot that wasn't sappy or poorly constructed. I feel the same way about Brock and Bodie Thoene's Zion series and anything by Francine Rivers.
    Thank you for your blog and keeping your pulse on end time events (and writing about them so well!)

    ReplyDelete

The Idlers at the Gate

‎This celebrated sixty-ninth psalm has been called the missionary’s psalm. It speaks of the miseries of one far from home and kindred, of o...