I am not now and have never been a fan of Apocalyptic literature. Life is surreal enough for me. I stay far away from anything that deals with Doomsday, whether it is the vivid imaginations concerning Area 51, or the complicated charting of events leading up to the End Times.
Once while autographing a book, a reader in South Carolina leaned in close and asked me what my thoughts were about the prophetic events leading up to Christ’s return:
“Do you think these are the End Times?” she asked. She was almost breathless. I didn’t know if that’s because she was excited about the notion or scared dookeyless over the prospect.
“I don’t know,” I replied honestly. “But these are our End Times.”
I’ve pretty much taken that same approach toward the subject since I was a junior in high school. Nothing like losing a parent when you are a kid to make you confront your own mortality for the rest of your life. Doomsday arrived for me on July 24, 1966. And as my veteran buddies like to say, “It’s all been dessert ever since.” When you get to come home alive from war, everyday is considered something extra. Something for which you are forever grateful and keenly aware of.
Besides, calculus isn’t my gig anyway. I have a difficult enough time figuring out the timeline of the stories I write, much less making a fuss over which specific thing in the Bible has already happened, thus putting us that much closer to the End of Time. If there is such a thing.
As Mama once said to me: “People have been saying the world was going to end from the moment it started.” Given Mama said that to me when I was a teen and scared outta my wits over the Children of God cult who was predicting the end of the world in 1974, it seems like maybe Mama was on to something. 1974 came and went without any chariots of fire descending upon the earth. Mama did not live the see the end of the world herself, but a piece of our world ended when she died.
I tell you all this because I want you to understand that when I read a book like Daniel Friedmann’s The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God’s Plan , I do so with a great deal of “Oh Brother” rolling around in my head. This is the 4th book in Friedmann’s Inspirational Code series, which includes The Genesis One Code, The Broken Gift, and Roadmap to the End of Days. (There’s some light beach reading for you.)
Friedmann is an orthodox Jew who has an affinity for studying the Torah through the lens of his science background. For the past 20 years, he was CEO of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. That mix of studying science and Scriptures makes him almost an endangered species. The religious community is hardly known for its pursuit of science. He has some fascinating talks on YouTube. You should check those out.
It should be noted that I read the Bible as literature. Inspired literature, yes, but still a type of mythology, heavy on the poetry elements. Yes, the Bible is chocked full of truths. Universal truths that apply to each one of us.
Truths like “God so loved the world ..”. Truths like “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us…”.
Truths like, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And this: “Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And these three remain – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.”
That makes it difficult for me to accept Friedmann’s approach to the Bible as a historical text embedded with a scientific code.
Look, even when I am reading the Mueller report, I question whether what someone is recalling is exactly as it happened. Memory is a tricky thing. I learned that through writing the memoir about my father’s death. All history is some form of creative remembrances.
But if you are the type of person who loves to ponder the notion that Revelation is more of road map to the future, than the journal entries of a writer with an overactive dream life, you’ll probably love Friedmann’s book. Even if you are just a reader, Believer or otherwise, who enjoyed Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, you’d probably enjoy Friedmann’s book. (What is it with men named Dan and secret codes, anyhow?)
Much of The Biblical Clock reads like some historical fiction with a Sci-fi literary bent: “The deadline for the End of Days to occur is the biblical year 6000 (2240). We are in 5779, more than ninety-six percent of the way through the Divine Plan.”
(Personally, I’d just like to speed that Divine Plan up to the part where Donald Trump is dead and I’m still alive dancing on his grave in red stilettos, but that’s off-topic).
“3-4 p.m. Adam sinned at the beginning of the Gog and Magog War – the final war with Amalek – and the subsequent building of the Third Temple. Why? The sign began when the snake instilled doubt in Eve, in the same way Amalek had done throughout history. In fact, scriptural sources view the snake as the root of Amalek.”
If you accept Friedmann’s premise that the Bible or Torah should be read as a historical text that is embedded with a scientific code that will tell you the exact day and time that the End of Everything will occur, then you might want to rush out and get you a copy of The Biblical Clock. It’s an entertaining read, part creative fiction, part history, and part mathematical charting. It’s not the sort of book that interests me much, because even if I knew the exact day and time the world will end (if you buy into that premise to begin with and I don’t), what good would it do me? Or you?
Truth is, I ain’t got time for pondering all that. I’m too busy trying to get Trump out of office because I am pretty doggone sure he’s the Anti-Christ.
Or at least one of them.
Karen Spears Zacharias is the author of Where’s Your Jesus Now? (Zondervan), which is really kind of an important question these days.