Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of Christian fiction for various reasons - not much character development, too many easy answers, stunted dialogue - and I'm also not a big fan of historical fiction which makes it even more surprising that I enjoyed The Last Disciple by Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer so much. Well written and researched, this novel has various different storylines happening at once as we follow the lives of believers and non-believers alike in Nero's empire. In case you aren't aware, this is the 'anti-Left Behind' book that has caused so much controversy in the U.S. While LaHaye & Jenkins present a view of the end times based on dispensationalism in Left Behind, Hanegraaff & Brouwer are presenting a modified pretarism which Hanegraaff is calling Exegetical Eschatology.
In a nutshell, Left Behind says Biblical prophesy from the book of Revelation is all yet to come – the rapture, the antichrist, the great tribulation, and finally the return of Jesus. Modified pretarism (or partial pretarism) would say that most of the apocalyptic events of Revelation have already taken place at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD by Nero (which is what The Last Disciple series is all about) but we still have the second-coming of Jesus to look forward to. I won’t get into the historicity of each of these views here because this is supposed to be a book review, not an eschatology class.
Theology aside, The Last Disciple is a good read and even if you could care less about the dispensationalism vs. pretarism controversy, I think you’ll find this is an exciting page turner. Check out the Last Disciple website for more details. YYYY