Book Title: The End of the Age
Author: Pat Robertson
Copyright Date: 1995
Publisher: Word Publishing
Amazon Link: The End of the Age
Audio, e-book or foreign translation available: Audio and Kindle available
Suitable for children; probably okay for Jr. High and up.
This book was personally handed to me with a “You should read this” admonition, which came from someone who knows me well and whose advice I respect. A cursory scan showed that it had promise, so into the queue it went. I will tell you now that no sooner had I finished this book than a second book of remarkably similar flavor showed up. Consequently, this will be a three part review, consisting of a look at each book on its own and then a comparison. I will leave it to HJL to decide how he would like to present the three parts.
Having been published almost twenty years ago, this is not a new arrival on the scene. If anything, it has likely been skipped over and lost in the vast array of material available. It certainly pre-dates SurvivalBlog. It shows its age in a few regards. I found the airport scene with folks all lined up, waiting to use the pay phones, a most telling measure of how well we can envision our own future twenty years out.
That is not to say that this book lacks merit. There are two things that it does exceptionally well. For one, it shows how a single, disastrous event can snowball into a series of disastrous events, and for another, it does a remarkably good job of tying together a number of biblical prophecies into a scientifically-feasible future, made all the more worth reading on account of a geologic record suggesting this has happened here before.
As one would expect from Pat Robertson, the book is free from profanity and sex scenes. The misbehavior of society is discussed and referred to but not shown in vivid color. While I wouldn’t want to burden a young child with these worries about the future, this book may be appropriate by the age of twelve or so, depending on the child and their maturity level.
Our two main characters are Carl and Lori Throneberry. He is a very highly-paid, advertising account executive; she is an interior designer. Their lives in Laguna Niguel are turned upside down when a meteor strike is suddenly announced, while they are on their way to the airport for a brief retreat from the Southern California heat. The world immediately descends into chaos, but they manage to get close enough to the airport to be able to jog the rest of the way and make their flight, just in time for its early departure.
Once off the plane in Albuquerque, the Throneberrys catch the president’s speech in which he explains the imminent disaster and the fact that the government has not prepared for such a disaster. Having vetoed the funds for the development of a missile system to counter such a threat, having kept this meteor a secret out of fear that announcing it would generate a sense of panic, and out of hope that it would not be caught in the earth’s gravitational field, the president goes on to explain that at this point there is nothing that can be done to evacuate the west coast. Millions will die. Ashamed of his own political cowardice, the president draws a 9mm pistol and commits suicide in front of the nation.
Thus, the natural world and the political world suddenly go into an upheaval, and each problem leads to another problem.
Carl and Lori, who do not believe in the Bible, find themselves taken in by a man who is a believer and who is well prepared for the end of the world. He explains to the Throneberrys how a meteorite strike could be the start of what is prophesied in chapters 8 and 9 of the book of The Revelation in The Bible. He even explains how “wormwood” could be a reference to radiation fallout from nuclear reactor meltdowns, such as happened at Chernobyl, which can be translated “wormwood”. From an ocean impact to a tidal wave to earthquakes to nuclear reactor meltdowns to volcanic ash to global famine, the entire picture works both from a biblical prophecy perspective and from a scientific perspective. The credibility factor is pretty high.
On the political front, the Vice President is little more than a good-looking actor with an alcohol problem. He has been smart enough to surround himself with capable support staff, but he lacks the character to deal with the challenges involved in a national disaster. Taking the job of President, within hours, he has made a fool of himself and fired his critically important chief of staff. While sleeping off his drunken stupor, his opportunistic wife arranges for one of her people to fill the shoes of the chief of staff and thus begins an evil political coup. And I mean evil. It is the anti-Christ who ends up running the show.
I won’t spoil the entire novel, but I will say that Carl and Lori become believers. Carl uses his experience in advertising in his new role as part of an underground Christian resistance network. There are several sub-plots to add drama to the story line, and it all ends up as prophesied. I have no qualms about recommending this book as a good and instructive read. I know many Christians have a different interpretation of the end times, largely revolving around the idea that Christians are “not intended for the wrath to come”, but I would suggest that there may be a distinction between the end of the world and hell. I suspect most readers of this blog are prepared for both and will appreciate this book.
— Harry, SurvivalBlog Book Reviewer