about us






The Road To Holocaust

Author:  Hal Lindsey

Book Review by Ken Davies

Hal Lindsey is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, having majored in New Testament and early Greek Literature. He served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years and is currently senior pastor of Palos Verdes Community Church in California.

Mr. Lindsey has written several books on the subject of prophecy, including The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), for which he was named “the best-selling author of the decade” by the New York Times. His other works are: Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, There’s a New World Coming, The Liberation of Planet Earth, The Terminal Generation, The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon, The Promise, The Rapture: Truth or Consequences, Combat Faith, and A Prophetical Walk Through the Holy Land. Mr. Lindsey also publishes a monthly news journal called, “Countdown,” which can be obtained by writing to him at P.O. Box 4000, Palos Verdes, CA, 90274.

In this current work, Mr. Lindsey purports to present an accurate picture of Dominion Theology (also called Theonomy) and the alleged threat it poses to those of Jewish descent. He begins by giving a short history of the rise of Hitler, then goes on to examine the use of the allegorical method of interpretation in the Church. He associates the anti-Semitism of Hitler’s regime with the use of the allegorical method in the Church. The term “allegorical interpretation ” is anathema to a premillennial dispensationalist, and is used to denote any “non-literal” interpretation of Scripture, such as symbolic, figurative, or “spiritual.” No distinction is made between these methods; all are placed under the category of “allegory.” This term is a “buzzword” among dispensationalists, synonymous with error, and eliciting an emotional reaction whenever it is used. Lindsey makes full use of its connotation, adding to it even more potency by associating it with Nazism.

He claims the “allegorical” method of interpretation used by the Church made people susceptible to the Nazi doctrine of anti-Semitism. He goes boldly on to contend that this is the same method of interpretation being used by those who call themselves Theonomists (e.g. Gary North, David Chilton, Greg Bahnsen, and Rousas J. Rushdoony), and that Jewish people everywhere should fear for their lives!

According to Mr. Lindsey, it was the allegorical method of interpretation that made the Church think of itself as the new Israel, and this “false” idea led to the persecution of Jews. He cites various times in history when fanatical groups arose and killed Jews in the name of Jesus. He does not, however, inform his readers that one of the main tenets of these groups was the belief in the imminent return of Christ! (Those interested can find accounts of these groups and their activities in a well-researched and documented study by Norman Cohn: The Pursuit of the Millennium, New York: Harper & Row, 1961).

The Crusades, which Lindsey blames on an allegorical interpretation of Scripture, were actually caused by interpreting the promises of the Promised Land in a literal sense (which the dispensationalist/premillennialist says is the only true way to interpret Scripture)! Had the Church been consistent in its spiritual application of prophecy (following the example of the N.T. writers), they would have seen that the land promised to Israel was in fact the “heavenly country” spoken of in Heb. 11:16. In the process of bemoaning the harmful effects of “allegorism,” Lindsey mentions transubstantiation (p. 20), and says this doctrine resulted from taking “something intended to be figurative in a literal sense”! Isn’t this the same objection the preterist has to the futurist interpretation of prophecy?

Of course, Mr. Lindsey vigorously upholds the standard dispensational party line that says the Church is entirely separate from Israel and in no way fulfills the promises or covenants made to that nation in the Old Testament. “The Jews are still (God’s) elect people with a definite future in His plan” (p. 24).

Much of this book is directed against the “Dominionists,” whom Lindsey associates first with the Dark Ages and the Catholic oppression that removed the Bible from the hands of the laity, then secondly with the Nazis, the Charismatic movement, and finally Liberals! He is especially critical of David Chilton’s commentary on Revelation, Days of Vengeance. According to Mr. Lindsey, anyone who claims that the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in A.D. 70 is “dangerous.”

In his attempts to “prove” that the prophecies of the N.T. are still future, he seems to handle Scripture a little dishonestly. In quoting Jesus’ statement about John the Baptist being Elijah, “To be sure Elijah comes,” he inserts: “literally, is going to come.” He goes on to claim, “So, Jesus emphatically promises that the real Elijah will yet come and prepare the way for the Second Advent” (p. 67). This he says even after acknowledging Jesus’ saying that “Elijah has already come,” and that His disciples “understood that He was talking about John the Baptist.” Lindsey bases his interpretation on the verb “comes” (Greek: ercetai). He says it “literally” means “shall come” (future tense). I found it necessary to look in my Greek N.T. to find out what word was used in this context, since Hal did not say what it was (funny, he does in other places)! This verb is not in the future tense (it would have to be eleusetai ), but is present tense (Present middle deponent indicative, to be exact). The present tense denotes action that is ongoing at the time it is used. In other words, Jesus was saying that Elijah was, at that moment, in the act of coming. No wonder Mr. Lindsey only gave us his “translation” of the word!

I wish I could say this was the only example of misrepresentation in the book. On p. 219, in speaking of the allegedly global nature of the events listed in Mt. 24, he says that “the only possible meaning of the Greek word [oikoumenh]” is “the whole inhabited earth.” This assumes, of course, that the reader has little or no knowledge of Greek, and will not bother to look it up himself (a sad commentary on what type of audience Mr. Lindsey assumes). A good place to test a claim such as this is in the Word Study Concordance, (an improved version of The Englishman’s Greek Concordance, by George V. Wigram). This book lists under one heading every use of a Greek word in the New Testament, regardless of what English word was used to translate it in the KJV. Listed under oikoumenh, is Lk. 2:1, which says, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world [oikoumenh] should be taxed.” Now, if we accept the statement of Mr. Lindsey regarding the meaning of this word, it must be assumed that this taxation by Caesar was global in extent! Is this, I wonder, the type of scholarship Dallas Seminary produces?

Another disturbing aspect of The Road to Holocaust is the way Mr. Lindsey completely ignores the historical fulfillments of the “regathering” prophecies. An example of this can be found on pages 179-180, where he quotes from Ezek. 37 (the Valley of Dry Bones). He says this passage teaches that the nation of Israel was to be regathered (which he says happened in 1948), and will be reborn spiritually “at the time of the Messiah’s coming.” He doesn’t even acknowledge that the people of Israel were scattered at the time Ezekiel was writing, but “interprets” it as speaking of their condition today. The only scattering of Israel he admits is the one of A.D. 70 (thus allowing him to claim a future regathering). Citing other misrepresentations in this book would make this review too long to print in one issue of K.C.!

In summary, The Road to Holocaust is an ad hominem argument (one designed to inflame the emotions rather than the intellect) and assumes its audience is ignorant of the Bible and history, and unwilling to search out matters for themselves. It is apparently directed at new believers, and those already convinced that dispensationalism is true.

[Editor’s Comments: Since this book is written in such an obviously provocative style, one has to wonder if Hal Lindsey is feeling some heat from preterists for all of his unfulfilled predictions and is lashing back out of desperation, or whether he is trying to smoke out his opposition so his friends at Dallas Theological will know who to target. Premillennialism IS losing ground at a substantial and measurable rate. The failure of Hal Lindsey’s predictions will play an ever increasing role in that defection as the decades roll by. When institutions see their citizens defecting they increase the volume of hate and fear propaganda to make the opposition look so evil people will be afraid to defect. As for Lindsey’s accusation that preterists are fueling and fanning the flames of another holocaust, very little needs to be said. When the history of this era is clearly analyzed, it will record that the most influential ideology shaping the present crisis in the Mideast was not the preterists or reconstructionists, but the Zionists and their “useful idiot” friends (dispensationalists) who are financially and politically backing every Zionist bullet against the Palestinians. I’m sure the Zionists are ecstatic over this book. I can almost hear them say, “Way to go, Hal, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.”]

[ back to top ]

[ sign our guestbook ]

[ view our guestbook ]

[ ask us a question by email ]

[ tell your friends about this page ]

[ home ][ study center ][ store ]
[ make a donation ][ listen live ]

©2003-2004 Grace Ministries.