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We all know those (few) people who are the “salt of the earth,” to quote my grandmother – people who just have good hearts and their presence in the world makes this often-sad home a bit better. They are a joy to be around.
Such is my dear friend, Terry James, the well-known Bible prophecy teacher and author. Terry has been writing on these subjects for decades and represents – in my view – one of the real bridges between the generations.
Terry is of an age to be “old school,” but his burden is to reach young people with the truth of the Bible. Specifically, he views Bible prophecy as one of the most important evangelistic tools of this era. His books are always terrific, but a new one, “Cauldron,” is a cut above. It’s written for the person who knows little about the subject.
“I wrote it in much more down-to-earth terms,” Terry recently told me. “I don’t think you should write down to somebody, but … I wanted it to be really a basic understanding of where the Middle East is going.”
He hit the bull’s-eye. “Cauldron” is a tour-de-force for one of the top apologetics teachers of the last few decades. And as a writer, Terry achieves what most of us could never hope to achieve.
Terry began to lose his eyesight 20 years ago – macular degeneration – but not only did that not stop him, it compelled him to do more and more and more.
Utilizing a variety of technologies, and one of the best editors around in Angie Peters, Terry produces a vast amount of literature eagerly read by millions. His co-venture with good friend Todd Strandberg, “Rapture Ready”, is the world’s largest Bible prophecy website. The duo produces each week the wildly popular “Nearing Midnight” column, and Terry helps edit tons of stories that come in from writers all over the world.
And that’s another terrific contribution Terry makes to the world of writing: He’s one of those successful authors who helps aspiring writers attain their dreams. The more the merrier, in Terry’s view. The RR site is home to thousands of articles, and Todd and Terry should be commended for giving many others a platform. That’s fairly rare in a competitive world.
With “Cauldron,” Terry tackles a wide array of complex topics and makes them understandable. The true measure of a book’s success is when it teaches someone who already understands the subject pretty well.
That’s what happened to me. I found “Cauldron” an extraordinarily accessible book and will recommend it widely.
But I digress, because it’s Terry’s writing passion that fascinates me. I wondered where it all started for him.
“As a six-year-old, I was saved in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church,” Terry told me. “This was the same organization that Dave Breese [famed Bible teacher] belonged to and he was one of my closest friends.
“I remember very plainly Bible prophecy was taught quite frequently in the churches in those days, the pre-trib rapture view. That’s where my interest in prophecy began. I was looking for Jesus coming back.”
Terry is forced to make his thoughts and research accessible in creative ways. Incredibly, the guy produces books! And I’ve watched him deliver spellbinding talks … all the while memorizing big chunks of his presentation. The dude is tough.
For “Cauldron,” he combed through a dizzying amount of research, and he concludes that we are now living in the eye of the whirlwind where Bible prophecy is concerned.
We agree on a couple of the major signs: “The apostasy in the church is raging,” he insists. “At the heart and center of that is the treatment of Israel. The pastors in churches need to know where all this Middle East madness comes from. But where prophecy is concerned, these pastors are not taught in seminaries and second, it’s a harsh message. Prophecy is a topic that scares people off, and most pastors now who have made their big mark are only interested in filling their pews.”
Which means fewer Bible prophecy books in church libraries.
But so long as Terry James and his many friends continue to man their posts – writing under the most difficult circumstances – the message of predictive prophecy will still be with us.