2 out of 4 stars
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There are many theories on who could be the Antichrist. An unknown future politician. The Pope. The President. In The 12th Imam: Rise Of The Antichrist by James Parker, the enemy of Christ is an Imam of the Islamic faith. The Mahdi, who is believed to be Muhammad’s descendant, went into hiding in the tenth century and would reappear near the end of time to set up a perfect government. Along with the Imam working to unite the world under Islam, the Rapture (the church leaving to be with Christ in heaven) and other biblical end-time prophecies occur. With portions of the world missing and calamities on the horizon, how do those left behind survive?
You can tell that Parker’s passion is to spur Christians and non-Christians on in knowing Christ more. This is what I liked the most about the novel. As a believer in Christ myself, I can applaud his endeavor. Parker makes sure readers understand the terms of Rapture and other aspects of the Islamic faith that pertain to the story. He lists scriptures and other resources at the beginning of the chapters for reference. The author adds a call for acceptance of Jesus into your life at the back of the book as well.
Although I agree with the motive, the rest of the book was a miss for me. The connection between Islam and the Antichrist was hard for me to grasp. I hoped that the author would illuminate scriptures that pointed him to come to that conclusion, but none materialized. The scene of The Mahdi permitting the Jews to rebuild the temple even though he wanted them to convert to Islam had me scratching my head.
But it was the structure of the story and the characterization that really fizzled out my enjoyment. The pace was so fast that a lot of scenes lacked in-depth details. A missed opportunity was when a pastor reported on tv that the Rapture happened and that he had led others astray. I would have found it more profound and moving to have seen him come to this realization. The characters themselves were lacking definition and emotions, making their dialogue robotic and unnatural. And added to this was a myriad of grammatical errors throughout the book.
Not all was bad though. There were moments of creativeness, especially in explaining what the “mark of the beast” was and the plausible scenario of terrorist sneaking bombs into a country. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep my attention or inspire me. Because of all this, I give The 12th Imam: Rise of The Antichrist 2 out of 4 stars.
With the antagonist being a Muslim, it is clear not everyone would want to read this book. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in Christian and apocalyptic literature. There was some violence portrayed but not graphically.
The 12th Imam Rise of the Antichrist
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