Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
As the son of a Jewish man, the state of Israel is near and dear to best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg’s heart. First and foremost, however, Rosenberg is American, and he’s proud of it.
That’s part of what prompted Rosenberg to write his latest book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time? It is Rosenberg’s hope that God will spark a Third Great Awakening from the American people.
Charisma News caught up with Rosenberg, who has written six New York Times best-seller novels—The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll, Dead Heat and The Twelfth Imam. He also has authored, in addition to Implosion, two non-fiction books, Epicenter and Inside The Revolution.
Charisma News: Your latest book, Implosion, is a bit of a departure from what you’ve done in the past with books such as Epicenter, The Last Jihad and The Tehran Initiative. What led you to write this one?
Rosenberg: It might seem like a departure to some, but here is the consistency. I’m writing about threats external and internal to Israel, to our allies in the Middle East and to the United States. Obviously, my first two non-fiction books were almost exclusively about threats that are external to us. But Implosion is really about the internal threats primarily to the United States.
I obviously write about radical Islam, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and other things that are external threats to the United States that could affect the country in the near future. But my primary focus is that we are in so much trouble as Americans, economically and fiscally on one side and morally, spiritually and culturally on the other side. I really believe we are experiencing epic failures at almost every level of American society.
If we don’t experience a Third Great Awakening in the very near future, this country is going to implode. It was a very painful book to write because the data is so clear. It is hard to really believe that we’ve gotten ourselves in such a bad spot. I argue that it’s not simply a rough patch. Some Americans are looking at this like we’re just in a downturn in the economy and we’ll pull out of this. I hope we do. But the evidence suggests that we’re not just in decline; that we may be very close to heading into a death spiral from which we cannot pull out. I hope that is not true. But we’re dangerously close to that.
Charisma News: There are optimistic views that you present in chapter three, including economist Charles Wolf Jr. who said, “Their alarm is unrealistic.” Could these be, in your opinion, a ploy by Satan himself to lull some people of this country in a false sense of security, or do those people really believe that we can get back onto the road to recovery without God’s help?
Rosenberg: I’m much less concerned about secular analysts who are saying yes, we can get ourselves out of this than I am with how weak the church is. The American church is so filled with false teaching, heresy, apostasy, entertainment culture, apathy and spiritual drift that I think the No. 1 problem facing America is a weak church.
Yes, Wall Street, Washington and Hollywood bare enormous blame for what is happening. But, really, the church is supposed to be the lighthouse in the darkness. Of the 340,000 or so church congregations in the United States, in an awful lot of them, the light is dimming or it has gone out entirely. I’m concerned about those pastors and other Christian leaders who are not being honest with themselves or with the American people about being in a situation where we are on the brink of catastrophe, and that we are not just in a rough patch.
I have been asked in other interviews if I could give four or five suggestions as to what to do, and I have some specific ones in the book. But, honestly there is only one thing we can do at this point. That is to get down on our knees to plead with Jesus Christ to have mercy on us individually, our churches, our families and our country. Honestly, anything less than that is not going to work.
It will only matter at the margin who the next president is. Either way, the economic and spiritual challenges we face are so enormous and I think people sense this. Politics is not going to be the answer. It does not mean that we do not defend our values and do the right thing. I am not advocating that.
In the last chapter of Implosion, I walk through how Christians think about politics. Do not abandon it, but don’t get addicted to it. My point is, without us pleading with Christ to give us a Third Great Awakening, I believe the data shows our country is going to implode. We’re not in a time where tweaking at the margins is going to help. This is all or nothing. Either Christ gives us a game-changing spiritual revival that is far better than Great Awakening of the 1700s and the Second Great Awakening of the 1800s, or nothing will work.