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4.15.2014

"Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons", by Mark Hitchcock (book review)


INTRODUCTION: For some reason, people continue trying to predict the return of Jesus, even though Jesus himself said no one but the Father in Heaven knows that particular date and time.  Unfortunately, John Hagee, the front-runner of the "four blood moons prophecy", appears to be doing just that.  While he doesn't outright set a date for the return of Christ, he dances on the same floor with his "Four Blood Moons" prophecy interpretation by approximating a date via four lunar eclipses in a two-year span.  Mark Hitchcock makes it his purpose in this book to refute Hagee's interpretation.

BACKGROUND:  NASA reports that there will be four lunar eclipses (called a "lunar tetrad") in the years 2014 and 2015: (1) 4/15/14, (2) 10/8/14, (3) 4/4/15, and (4) 9/28/15.  Hagee somehow turns these astronomical events into a suggestion that the recurrence of four lunar eclipses tied to major Jewish feasts within a two-year span somehow have significance in God's eschatological plan.  He quotes biblical language that says, "...in the last days, the moon will be turned to blood..."  He suggests this language refers to lunar eclipses, where the moon typically displays a pinkish-red color.

Hagee apparently didn't stop there, but suggests that historically any time a "blood moon" occurred during a Jewish feast time, something significant happened to Israel's people and/or land.  Hagee notes the coming four lunar eclipses will occur during two Passover celebrations and two Sukkot celebrations in two consecutive years. Therefore, he suggests something "big" just might be on the horizon. Just might be?  Isn't there always something big just on the horizon?  But I digress.

THE REFUTATION: In the early pages of this book, I mistakenly thought Hitchcock supported the blood moons prophecy interpretation.  After reading a few chapters, I was confused, so I had to re-read his Introduction to ascertain which position he was taking in the book. I found that the book was, indeed, intended to refute Hagee's position.

Much of the first few chapters dealt with the typical pre-tribulation rapture view of the end times prophecy. This fact comes as no surprise, really, as it was endorsed by the "Left Behind" series author, Tim Lahaye. Pre-tribbers believe Jesus will rapture his Church away from the world just prior to a seven year tribulation. During that time of severe trouble, the rest of humanity will suffer intense suffering and death.  At the conclusion of those seven years, Jesus will return to establish his reign on earth for 1,000 years.

While I see many problems with the pre-tribulation rapture view (since the Bible doesn't even appear to teach a secret rapture), that's not the purpose of this book review.  Instead, I want only to deal with Hitchcock's handling of the four blood moons prophecy.

From the time I re-read the introduction forward, I was able to understand Hitchcock's approach. However, it wasn't until approximately the last half of the book that Hitchcock outright confronted the flaws of Hagee's prophetic interpretation.  So I say this with all honesty -- he did it well.  I say so not simply because I agreed with Hitchcock's position, but because what he said made logical and biblical sense.  As I read about Hagee's prophetic interpretation, I asked myself many of the questions that Hitchcock would also address in the book.

For instance, Hagee said historically the blood moons that fell on Jewish feasts had ties to significant events for the Israeli land and/or people.  However, the events Hagee hoped to connect could be found to be separated from the lunar eclipses by upwards of six months to a year!  It seems as though Hagee doesn't think people will actually perform a simple Internet search to check his "facts".  Instead, I wonder if he thinks people will simply swallow his ideas whole in blind belief.

CONCLUSION: I don't make it a habit or interest to listen to the newest end-times prophecy interpretations or doomsday predictions.  So, quite honestly, I didn't even know this prophetic interpretation existed before I read the book.  I had only heard the rumblings of interest in lunar eclipses.  I certainly don't live with my head in the sand -- but then again, maybe I have been.  Nevertheless, this book deals nicely with the flaws in Hagee's prophetic interpretation of the four blood moons.  If prophecy stuff is your cup of tea, and you like reading about debatable issues, then this book may be of interest to you.

RATING:  I give "Blood Moons Rising" 3 1/2 stars.  I didn't really find it interesting.  But then again, I'm not that interested in the prophecy predictions of the modern day.  The book was well written, and would be a good tool for someone looking for apologetic tools to fill their tool belt.

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review.  All opinions were mine, and I was not threatened or coerced to provide a positive opinion of the book.

2 comments:

  1. The interpreters took scripture too literally, and it has nothing to do with astronomy. The Blood Moon prophecy is symbolic, for an alternative interpretation that takes it into context of the entire passage of Joel see The Spiritual Meaning of the Blood Moon Prophecy

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    1. Apocolyptic language regularly uses the physical to describe God's judgment. But if we took literally the passages that read, "...the stars will fall from the sky...", well, it wouldn't take a person long to realize that just one star "crashing" to earth would completely melt and obliterate and consume the earth. So, a literal sense must not be in view. I agree with you completely, Doug! Thank you for leaving a comment!

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