Hildebrand, Lloyd B. 2012: Is This the End? Alachua: Bridge-Logos, 2009. 258 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon.
Lloyd Hildebrand is the Publisher/CEO of Bridge-Logos Foundation. He has served in many different capacities such as pastor, professor, counselor, editor and writer. In 2012, he sets out to help us understand what and why there is this sudden increase in Doomsday conversations. With the release of the movie in late 2009, much more attention has been drawn to the reality that our world will end.
Quite simply, 2012 is a conglomeration of end times prophecies from Indian groups like the Hopi, the Mayans, the Toltecs, and the Aztecs. There are also prophecies made by religions and religious organizations such as Islam, Judaism, the Masonic Lodge, Roman Catholicism, and Hinduism. Hildebrand also throws in the prophecies of Nostradamus, Merlin the Magician and the Web Bot Project for good measure. The book concludes with what the Bible says about the end times as well as what we should do with the knowledge that all agree that the world will end.
The book itself is a nice resource insofar as all of the prophecies are brought together in one volume. However, I struggle with his “Left-Behind-esque” take on the end times and Revelation. Hildebrand could have done a better job of treating the book of Revelation using a resource like Revelation: Four Views by Steve Gregg. Instead, he, too predicts that the end is near (I guess this is true for all people since tomorrow is never promised!) through what some call “newspaper eschatology.” The rest of the book was objective in nature, it would have been nice if this section was just as objective.
The other Christian element he includes, as a means of evangelism, is rooted in his heart’s desire to evangelize the world and is his attempt to share the gospel. The problem is that he falls into the same problem that many evangelists fall into. That is, he offers a prayer to be read for one’s salvation. It is not so much the prayer that concerns me (though the prayer has no salvific value to it whatsoever), it is what he writes immediately before and immediately after the prayer:
If you want to become a child of God, a member of His family, a person who will ive forever, and a new creation, please pray as follows: [insert a paragraph long prayer] [end of prayer].
Welcome to the family of God! You are now free from the guilt of your past, and you are free from all fear of the future.
There are more men and women dying and going to hell because they have put their faith in a prayer and what someone told them rather than placing their faith in Jesus Christ alone and finding the assurance of their faith in the scriptures rather than the date they wrote in their Bibles or what they were told.
I include a review of the movie along with the review of the book because of the topic. Truthfully, the movie ticked me off! I do not know quite how to state it nicer than that.
It wasn’t so much the concept of the end of the world (and our knowing when it would happen) as much as it was the slap in the face to Christianity it turned out to be. First, Woody Harrelson’s character was the “religious fanatic” who was trying to blow the cover on the government for hiding the truth. Any time Woody Harrelson has a character in a movie, you know he will add some zest. Second, when the Catholic’s gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, they were all dressed as though they were ready for their own funeral. The family they showed actually looked as though they were dead already.
The proverbial straw for me was how the world “ended” and how man saved themselves. Basically, there was a global flood except for the Cape of Good Hope in Southern Africa. The world was saved by seven (note the number) arks. Inside the arks were animals and man-made artifacts and people.
So, what the world and science claims did not take place in the Bible, a global flood, is exactly what destroys the earth in 2012, though God promised to never flood the earth again (Gen. 9:11, 15). Moreover, what the world claims was impossible to build and sustain life, i.e., an ark, is exactly what saves mankind. Never mind they used seven of them. I only saw the movie because I was reviewing this book. If you do not need to be ready to answer questions about the movie, save yourself some money and time and do not see it.
This is a fine summary of the end-world prophecies across many religions and secular spectrums. It is written from a mostly objective point of view with the facts stated clearly. Given that there will be much written about the end times coming in 2012, this may be a book worth picking up so that you have a better understanding of what is being discussed. However, I would not recommend this book to just everyone because there is a fear factor involved that can most certainly lead to a build up of hysteria like Y2K did in 1999. Also, as mentioned in the review section above, I have problems with his “evangelism” at the end of the book along with the biased interpretation of Revelation. Nonetheless, for the discerning Christian reader, this book will more than likely prove to be a valuable resource in the coming months. Pick up a copy, but do not use it for evangelism.