I like reading books about Bible prophecy that challenge me to think outside my comfort zone. There are couple of reasons for this. First seeing the subject through another believers eyes often gives a valuable perspective I normally might not have considered. Second, more often than not, errors or weakness in my own understanding are seen much more clearly when elucidated by someone else.
Douglas Woodward’s newest book The Next Great War in the Middle East: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog is such a book. The book is written in two parts.
Part One: Geopolitical Analysis – is detailed look at the current geopolitical of the Middle East which focuses on Russian and American motivations and strategic objectives and the possible implications this has for Bible prophecy.
Part Two: Ezekiel’s Prophecy of Gog – takes another look at the divergent opinions regarding this great Biblical prophecy in light current events and macro trends. As part of this investigation Mr. Woodward takes a critical look at the popular Islamic Antichrist theory and its relationship to Gog and Magog.
There were parts of this book which I thought were really insightful and parts with which I respectfully disagree or at least was not convinced enough one way or another to draw my own definitive conclusions.
What I liked:
1. I though Mr. Woodward’s look at current geopolitical in the Middle East and Russia’s and America’s involvement, objectives and goals to be instructive. In my opinion he did a good job of relating these geopolitical conditions to the bigger picture especially as it relates to a likely war in the Middle East.
2. Chapter 8 on the Ottoman Empire provided food for further thought.
3. Chapter 9 on the Table of Nations was really fascinating information which I would like to further explore for myself.
4. A brief gem Mr. Woodward mentioned that really struck a chord with me was his look at Chisleu 24 as an important Biblical date. Many do not know that this day was one of the most important days in Old Testament history because it marked the start of the countdown to the Messiah.
There were a least two points Mr. Woodward made which I must respectfully disagree or at the very least need to consider further in light of the Biblical evidence.
1. While he made many good points about the future attack of Gog and Magog I am not yet convinced this is the best fit for the evidence. Not that I feel confident in my own understanding it just something I need to study further. I also would have liked to seen a more thorough explanation as to why the Gog and Magog events could not be after the 1000 years. I know this is a minority position but it has the advantage of taking the burning of the weapons literally. It might also provide another explanation for the unwalled villages. In any case there was much food for thought in this discussion and I enjoyed looking at it from the author’s perspective.
2. To my mind the biggest challenge to Mr. Woodwards considerations regarding Gog and Magog is his reliance on the chronological framework of Daniel 9. In my opinion the current consensus view of Daniel 9 has nearly reached it life expectancy. Many of the challenging chronological issues Mr. Woodward discussed related to Gog, Magog, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39 I believe would be much clearer when they are separated from some of the false assumptions we have made about Daniel 9. Two of the greatest of those are related to the assumptions regarding “Artaxerxes” and how the Bible reckons time.
In closing my disagreements not withstanding I enjoyed reading this book. Mr. Woodward has a great way of explaining things and a big picture grasp of many issues which brings clarity to many of the subject which he discussed. This is a book worth reading and considering. Then I’d encourage you to open your Bible and enjoy the adventure of seeing whether these things be so.
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Author: S. Douglas Woodward
Book Title: The Next Great War in the Middle East: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog
Author Website: faith-happens.com
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Book Reviewed by: William Struse