Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, by John F. Walvoord, revised edition (Zondervan, 234 pp.; $8.95, paper). Reviewed by Edwin Yamauchi, professor of history, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and author of Persia and the Bible (Baker).

The invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein in August triggered intense interest in the possibility that Armageddon (Rev. 16:16), the final battle of the end of the ages, might be near. First issued in 1974 after the oil embargo crisis of 1973 and revised in light of fast-breaking events in 1990, more than a million copies of Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis have been released. Though it has not quite reached the popularity of Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth published in 1970, Armageddon has garnered its author national attention.

John F. Walvoord is emeritus professor of systematic theology and former president of Dallas Theological Seminary (1952–86). He is an influential scholar and prolific writer, having written or edited 27 books, many of them on eschatology (the doctrine of last things).

Walvoord writes as a leading spokesman for dispensationalist theology, which views history as a sequence of dispensations or stewardships of God. He is also an articulate representative of the pretribulation and premillennial positions—that is, the views that maintain Christians will be “raptured” before the Tribulation, and that Christ will return before establishing a literal thousand-year reign on Earth (Rev. 20). This view has been accepted by many, if not the majority of, fundamentalists and evangelicals, has been taught at many seminaries and most Bible colleges, and has been popularized in earlier generations by the Scofield Reference Bible and more recently by televangelists ...

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