The Rise of Babylon: Sign of the End Times. By Charles H. Dyer with Angela Elwell Hunt. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1991. 236 pp. Paper, $8.95.
More and more in recent decades the world has been watching the Middle East. The Bible leads us to believe that more and more we will continue to do so. As we do, we will want more information and biblical insight into the key players in that region, both its countries and its leaders.
Charles Dyer, Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, has provided that information on a crucial power that figures in the end times-Babylon. Dyer’s book cannot be accused of capitalizing on recent events; Babylon has been a subject of study for him for some time. Besides having written a master’s thesis on Babylon in the Book of Revelation, he is one of the few Americans to have visited modern Babylon in Iraq. This uniquely qualified him to write this book and to provide firsthand some very interesting photographs of modern Babylon.
Most of the book traces the beginning, demise, and modern rise of the city of Babylon. Babylon’s ancient history is traced through the Bible. Modern history draws on Dyer’s experience, news accounts, and the ambitions of dictator Saddam Hussein. The contrast between Babylon and Jerusalem runs throughout the course of history, and Dyer succeeds in convincing the reader that this contrast is a key to understanding the future.
Dyer is balanced and restrained in his interpretation of the prophetic significance of current events. He never stoops to speculations or sensationalism at the expense of sound biblical scholarship. Amidst the barrage of questionable books and fast-talking preachers straining to gain an audience, this book will provide an oasis of sound biblical information.
Whatever the long-term results of the recent conflict between Iraq and the Allied Coalition, this book will be a valuable resource in understanding the role of Babylon in biblical history. If interest in Babylon and Iraq should subside, Dyer’s work will remain relevant because of its biblical orientation.
The book is written on the popular level and is very easy to read. Its phenomenal sales have attested to its popularity. I was delighted to see that Dyer concludes with a clear presentation of the Gospel. With time running out for the world, this book can be used as an effective witnessing tool to win people to Jesus Christ and to give them hope.
Charles C. Bing
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Pastor, Burleson Bible Church