I was making my semi-annual trip through the local Christian bookstore (actually, a trinket store) when I saw the third reincarnation of John F. Walvoord's best-seller Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East. Originally published back in 1974 by Zondervan, the book was re-issued with a snazzy new cover after Operation Desert Storm in 1990.
Lo and behold, here it was again on the shelves of a Christian bookstore! This time published by Tyndale with an update (apparently) by Mark Hitchcock. I refused to buy it (since I've already purchased the two prior incarnations), so I can't tell you what has been updated. But the title says it all. Now that Saddam Hussein is pushing up daisies somewhere near Tikrit, the focus switches from a Soviet-Arab invasion of Israel and a revived Babylonian empire, to a more general Muslim threat to Israel and the new foil of dispensational end-times theorizing--Islamic terrorism.
Dr. Walvoord, who died in 2002 and now a member of the church triumphant, obviously, was not able to contribute to the new edition.
The shamelessness with which books like this can be corrected, updated and then republished with new covers and a new chapter or two, only to sell a gazillion more copies, is simply breathtaking. Doesn't it trouble people that the 1974 edition and the 1990 edition got many things wrong? I thought if we interpreted the Bible "literally" all the mysteries regarding the end-times would be cleared up.
The Soviet Union no longer exists . . . Saddam Hussein is dead . . . Militant Islam is the new menace from the east (displacing Communism and a revived Babylonian empire). Barring the return of our blessed Savior, I suspect another edition, with another new cover, is a mere ten years away. I can only imagine how the cover art and title will be tweaked this time.
As one who has written two books on eschatology, let me just say, if you see a new edition of A Case for Amillennialism or Man of Sin, in which my exegesis is "updated and corrected" to explain an as yet unforeseen world event that I failed to predict, don't buy it. It means I didn't know what I was talking about!
That being said, I am now hard at work on an expanded eschatology text which will deal with a broader range of eschatological issues, including preterism and postmillennialism. We do need a Reformed/covenantal/amillennial equivalent of the venerable J. Dwight Pentecost's Things to Come. Lord willing, this will come to fruition . . .