Book on eschatology, A Great and Terrible Love

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm posting this here as the book is essentially a work on eschatology, although in the form of literature. In the abstract on the academia.edu site I've put it on it tersely says,

A visionary adventure (nonfiction) from the Woodstock era to the present. Patterned in some respects after the Commedia (but mostly in prose), traversing different spiritual terrains—some of profound horror—by a real spiritual character, albeit, initially, an antihero wandering the howling archetypal heartlands of the Abyss.

After his rescue, and graduating his training in spiritual warfare and discernment, embarking on an experience in the Apocalypse of John, and the sight afforded therein, with the result of opening the vision—relevant not only to the first century, but to the twenty-first, even to these violent and tumultuous days of 2016.

Also included in this work, the booklet, A Poet Arises In Israel.

Classic literature and prophetic vision

The book can be read on site, or downloaded. Presently it is available in PDF, but is being formatted for the various digital readers and POD. Link to the book:

A Great and Terrible Love: A Visionary Journey from Woodstock’s Sorceries to God’s Paradise

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A brief book review of sorts I wrote to a Christian editor I’d hired who asked some questions seeking to get oriented to AGATL:


Debbie,

It is an odd work of art, though I do think it “works”. Looking forward to your thoughts. On the one hand, it is “a work of art”, as in high art, or classic art, written in light of the classics of world lit, and on another hand it is a very personal story narrated in both third person limited and first person by the one who lived it—yours truly. So it’s me that’s odd, that is, the sort of consciousness I have. I first noticed it when I began writing what were the precursors of this book, and when I saw how I wrote I said, what kind of voice is this that “I had withal to lift my song on the world stage, but what manner of song could such a monster sing? The strange thing about poets — those in whom the art is woven into their breath — is that they must sing, as we learned and took heart concerning from Arthur Rimbaud. Le courage d’être. The courage to be.” That quote is from the “chapter” King of the Strung-Out Soldiers in the Night, in the section, Abyss.

For, having been soundly converted to Christ while in the sixties counterculture, I backslid after a couple of years of agonizing discipleship back into where I’d been. The section Abyss is about that period. The third person narrator is able to distance from the character and afford a perspective the first person could not. It’s a deeply theological work, and psychological as well, or perhaps pneumatological would be a more apt descriptor as it deals with the spirit and heart more than the mere psyche. The thing is, the story enters the world of letters through the back door, so to speak, by the way of horror and an antihero, yet true to the Biblical worldview or paradigm. There are spiritual realities in the darkness also. There are spiritual, and actual, equivalents of the zombie and vampire crazes so popular in the culture these days, and how the world loves to project out what is real within, so as to distance from it! It is the unregenerate who are the true living dead, and shall be the undying damned unless they receive Christ and are born anew. While that is depicted in the Abyss, it is dealt with more deeply in the later section, Babylon.

Nor is this a mere horror story “told” by a Christian, but a story lived and breathed, and that in the context of a great and terrible love, on the one hand, a woman’s, and on the other, the Lord of this then wretched failed saint.

Besides being an exploration of the Reformed doctrine of total depravity, it talks about what our hearts are really like apart from God, yet without “religiosity”, for this antihero had to find withal to keep living in this awareness. He was, thankfully, eventually lifted from this dark realm, as told in the section, Rescue.

I have thought that, given what the latter portion of the book is about—a deep delving into apocalyptic vision of what really is going on spiritually in these days and end-time prophecy (from the Amillennial school’s view)—the opening story of the antihero become a protagonist gives a personal and credible background to this poet who takes upon himself (after planting and pastoring a church in the Middle East) to explicate the Book of Revelation and its relevance to us all. I sometimes capitalize the p of Poet to indicate a major voice lifted up on the world stage. I’m not a religious sort, but a wretch saved by grace, who came of age in Woodstock, NY (having lived there as a single parent 19 years), a man not of academia or seminary, but of the wilderness, and a “street-person” (initially, before we settled in) of Woodstock, then a human services worker, and special ed teaching assistant. Perhaps having a bit more street-cred than a “normal” Christian might have.

What I have to say about the times we are in—and the times to come—is not pretty. Our nation, America, has in the last 43 years killed 58 million babies in the womb, by official policy; we have, under the auspices of our government’s economic, political, and military power, bullied poorer nations the world around into accepting our wanton depravity’s love of homosexuality, sexual abandon, and abortion; we pollute the world with our obscene and gloriously high-tech entertainment industry, and think ourselves exempt from judgment by a God we deny exists. We are now starting to turn against the people of God, and against those laws of His we live by and proclaim.

Because of connections I have seen between the sorcerous drugs—the psychedelics—we used in Woodstock and exported into to all the world, I take the position America is the headquarters nation of the latter-day Babylonian empire spoken of in Revelation. I believe the sorcery connection is a fulfilled prophecy we can look back on in hindsight, and draw some conclusions from as to where we are roughly vis-à-vis the prophetic Scriptures. Which is not by any means to set dates, but rather to understand we are nearer the end than we thought. The chapter, “The Fate of Babylon” is the vision of the end of the U.S., and the chapters immediately preceding set the stage for it. I had a heavy heart finishing The Fate…

What is my hope for this book? That it will be popular, that it will be well-read, that it may awaken many to the realities of our time, and particularly the reality of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and His great mercy to whomever will seek it from Him.

I hope it will appeal to Christians, as it is real and more pertinent than Lord of the Rings, and we need to prepare ourselves spiritually for the days ahead, and to unbelievers as it presents an apocalyptic (revealing) vision many may be ready to see, to the end of glorifying God, and His Christ. If it is of Him—the writing of this work—the Lord will see to it it takes off, and will touch the hearts of many; His Spirit can do that. I have lived godly—and by His grace will continue to do so—while I wrote it, and have edited the book to make sure it is decent, even if at times unsavory.

So you may see, Debbie, why I call it odd. It may be I am a great fool, and deceived about this work, and my own supposed gifts, it possibly being but a piece of junk (though I don’t believe so). Or it may be an odd classic by an odd character, and fit for the Master’s use in reaching this weird age.

I won’t say much about the booklet within the book, A Poet Arises In Israel. Its intro explains that—I’d like to shake things up in world Jewry (am myself a Jew) so that my people after the flesh will take another look at the Messiah, without whom they all perish.

You asked your questions at the opportune moment; I had just sat down to my keyboard with a small glass of port wine (I allow myself a 4 oz. glass some evenings when I write), when I saw your email. I had been planning to do some open-air preaching with my pastor and some folks from the church, but it was cancelled due to a continuing rain—so, after my normal time of evening prayer, I had the whole evening free to write this.

It’s kind of a relief having finished the book—it’s been many years I’ve been writing it. I’ll be teaching, and preaching, and no doubt I’ll have to keep writing. It occurs to me there may be a violent reaction against it; my fellow Jews may not be happy with it, and a few pieces may offend the Islamists, but if Heaven smiles on me what do I care? The Lord will take care of me, and of my wife.
 
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