Pop Eschatology: Bible Prophecy Sales Boom

Whether scholarship or fiction, prophetic books are top sellers after September 11.
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In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, books on Bible prophecy—whether works of scholarship or fiction—are top sellers.

Tyndale House reports that it has already printed and sold 50,000 copies of an expositional study of Revelation called Are We Living in the End Times? The authors are Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, whose Left Behind series has sold 30 million copies.

Desecration, the ninth volume in the Left Behind series, reached sixth on Amazon.com's list even before copies were shipped. Dan Balow, director of business development for Tyndale, says advance orders for Desecration shot up in the four weeks after the attacks.

Videos of Late Great Planet Earth author Hal Lindsey's talks "are just screaming off the shelves," said Larry Crabtree, CEO of Lindsey's Web ministry and publishing house in Murrieta, California. Sales of the video Where Is America in Prophecy? have increased from 500 copies per month before September 11 to 1,500 copies per month. Sales of the book have doubled, according to Crabtree.

"What we're dealing with here is a fad," says William Alnor, a former Calvary Chapel pastor and author of a 1989 book, Soothsayers of the Second Advent. "I think that it's probably good because it is getting people into the serious study of prophecy."

However, Alnor says, the possibility of disappointment remains: "What if Jesus doesn't come back in another 100 years? It could wreck a lot of people's faith."

Tyndale's Balow says the current spike in prophecy book sales somewhat mirrors a boomlet in 1991. Tyndale's The Rise of Babylon, a book by Dallas Seminary professor Charles Dyer, sold 400,000 copies ...

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