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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Non-fiction Book Reviews: What on Earth is Happening? and Your Identity in Christ

Photo by: Serge Bertasius Photography

What on Earth is Happening? Signs of the End Times by Val Waldeck. I was surprised to finish the book and find out that Val Waldeck is a woman. What on Earth is Happening? strings together the Scriptures about end-time prophecy, specifically the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ. She is pre-trib, doesn’t mention the millennium at all, and believes the Rapture is imminent. What she says about prophecy is sound and biblical. I got the book free on Kindle, interested because I thought it might have a nice, neat timeline and talk about what is happening today in the world. While she does talk about moving towards one-world government, religion, and monetary currency, she really doesn’t commit herself further about where we are in prophecy. (Perhaps that’s good.) She’s short on specifics and long on generalizations. Ms. Waldeck clearly believes that the one-world religion, the one serving the Antichrist will be New Age.

Overall, it was a nice little introduction to prophecy but not what I was looking for. It is very general and omits many clear prophetic Bible passages. I personally think that a religion that worships the embodiment of Satan will not be New Age or any other religion that we know today—though it may have elements of known religions. It will be something new and diabolical, set up by the Antichrist when he takes power. I cannot recommend this book, as it doesn’t cover the subject in a thorough manner. (I looked up the author and can’t find out anything about her except that she’s a Bible teacher who specializes in prophecy.)

Your Identity in Christ: 100 Powerful Reminders of Who You Truly Are in Jesus by John Stange is another Kindle freebie I picked up, wanting an encouraging read. In some ways, the book succeeds. It’s short and easy to read. The verses used are Bible (ESV). Mr. Stange begins the book with being born again, though he doesn’t tell an unsaved person how to be born again. Mr. Stange assumes at the beginning that he’s talking only to Christians, which is fine. Some of the passages and statements seem like a stretch to me. For example, he says, “I am faithful.” It’s followed by the verse Ephesians 1:1, which says, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. That verse is a greeting from Paul to those people in that church who were faithful. It doesn’t say that in Christ, all are faithful. Another one that seems like a stretch is where the author says, “I am holy and blameless.” He uses Ephesians 1:4a, According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him, which is only part of a sentence that explains how we are holy and without blame because of redemption in Jesus. In Him, this is true. But, just to say we are holy and without blame gives the impression that we are that, when the part of the verse he used doesn’t mention the Lord. Here’s another one I felt was maybe not a true representation of every Christian, “I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ.” He couples that statement with Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Jesus said this to those disciples that would receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The disciples would have special powers while beginning those first-century churches. While it is true that that the Holy Spirit gives us boldness in witnessing, we cannot say that every Christian is a good witness for Christ. The next statement is “I am God’s coworker.” If a Christian is walking in obedience to God, I believe these statements can all be true. If. So, a nice little read, if done with discernment. It presents the ideal, not the reality. I wouldn’t personally recommend it.

P.S. Just because I don’t recommend something doesn’t mean it’s wholly without merit. It only means I don’t put my stamp of approval on it. In the case of these two books, I explain why. When I recommend a book, I feel it has something valuable to offer the reader, even if it’s only entertainment. I tend to be harder on non-fiction, as these books purport authority on their subjects. Especially when an author presents the Bible, he should be very careful of context and interpretation. I will not slam a book I don't like on social media or on Amazon. If I don't like it, my only review will be seen here, on my personal blog. If I think it is really lousy, you won't even find a review here.


  1. Odd that the first one is so general. I know this is a wrong reaction, but I've gotten a little burned out on prophecy books and sermons. It seemed like that was a really popular subject for a while there, and people can get into such arguments over it. I have to remind myself that God has it in the Bible for a reason - mainly to remind us to get ready and be prepared and purify ourselves.

    I'm struggling with a devotional book that a friend gave me because it is her favorite, but it treats the Scripture like the second book you mention. I'm not sure what I am going to tell her when I get done. :-)

    1. I guess the way to find a prophecy book like I want--with a fairly clear timeline--is to ask my husband for one! I really wanted something that would help me with all the things that are going on in the world today, in the light of Scripture, and what we can look forward to, those things we know about. Oh well . . . I know there's a good one somewhere! The other book was okay, just taking things out of context and not interpreting Scripture with Scripture. The liberties taken with Scripture seem to be very common. I hope I keep this in mind and take care when I look at my Bible. God bless you, Barbara, and thank you for commenting.


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