Sunday, September 20, 2009

Racing Toward Armageddon by Michael Baigent

The following Book Review has been sponsored by FSB Associates

This battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ is, according to thousands of Christian fundamentalist preachers, coming soon. In fact many are convinced that our modern military involvement in the Middle East is linked to this fiery end. In the book of Revelation, Babylon is the source of all evil and is ultimately overthrown; Babylon, of course, is in Iraq, which has presently fallen to U.S. forces and their allies. To Christian fundamentalists, the connection, and the importance, is obvious.

But the Christian fundamentalists are not the only ones to believe in a final battle. Muslims, too, with increasing urgency speak about the coming of their messiah, the Mahdi, who-with the aid of Jesus will fight against the demonic forces of the Dajjal, the Islamic anti-christ figure. Especially important is the belief held by many Muslims that the Mahdi will rule from Jerusalem, which the Muslims claim as their own. Muslims who follow these beliefs expect the final battle to come very soon, and this is affecting their politics, which in turn, is affecting all of our lives.

~ Michael Baigent, author of Racing Toward Armageddon – The Three Great Religions And The Plot To End The World.

I first thought this book was going to be against organized religion. I really need to stop judging a book by its cover. Mr. Baigent doesn’t make a case against all religions but the extreme sects of the religions. Christian, Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists are the subjects of this book. I don’t know if he meant to scare the readers but there is some frightening subject material in this book. Because of the fact that I live in America, the Christian fundamentalists peaked my interest. Baigent describes how fundamentalists have infiltrated the top echelons of our Government and how they use their beliefs to shape public policy.

My only regret is being not as well versed in scripture as I should be. It helps to know your way around the bible before reading this book. You don’t need a religious background to comprehend the book but it does help in understanding some of the biblical texts. The wars that are fought because of perceived religious doctrine are subjects in the book as well. Baigent evenly discusses each religion so there are no playing favorites. He also makes a good case for the separation of church and state. A subject that should possibly be revisited due to America’s last 8 years. Baigent doesn’t knock the concept of a religious foundation but does want us to question how we use it in our lives. Are we practicing our different religions in the way they were meant or are we misguided by our interpretation of the doctrine?


uglyblackjohn said...

Thanks for the heads-up, I'm putting it on my list.

the uppity negro said...


Fact of the matter is that most of the 1st century Christians thought that they would experience the "parousia" or second coming of Christ in their life times. Given that Christianity as we know it was a sect in the 1st century Roman Empire, they were ducking and hiding. That's why Paul in Thessalonians was talking about getting "caught up in the air" because he expected it to happen in his life time. By the time the book of Hebrews was written in the late 1st cent., some had actually thought they had missed the parousia. This was really because times were tough--and people were getting executed, or martyred left and right.

So, its a far jump from Paul's idea of getting "caught up" to John of Revelation's idea of this tribulation period and going through all of this on the earth. Most Christians just merge the two theologies, but neither reference the other--so go figure.

That being said....every one since the believed ascension of Jesus back up into the clouds, has thought that they would experience the second coming during their life time. Shame on the fundamentalists like John Hagee for keeping Kinkos in business with these elaborate posters and backgrounds proclaiming the time year and date that Jesus is coming back.

I think it's rather interesting that still since Christianity is a minority religion globally that what do the non-Christians have to say about this idea of the end times

Citizen Ojo said...

Uglyblackjohn - no problem...I hope you enjoy.

UppityNegro - This is why we have you around - for the religious context. That education is paying off already... ; )