A couple of weeks ago, Johnny and I interviewed Brian Godawa about his newest novel, Tyrant: Rise of the Beast, and it’s non-fictional companion piece, End Times Biblical Prophecy: It’s Not What They Told You. Brian takes a preterist stance, meaning that he sees most Biblical prophecy, including the Olivet Discourse, as being fulfilled at or immediately after the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE. Tyrant is the story of how Nero attempts to destroy a subversive document making the rounds which just so happens to have been written by a guy named John on a little island called Patmos. Only it’s much more than that, because it’s not just the human tyrant who is trying to destroy the Revelation, but also the powers and principalities that rule the Roman Empire from the spiritual realm.
First of all, I’d like to say that Brian is a fantastic novelist. I’ve enjoyed his work since the first book in this series, Noah Primeval, which Derek Gilbert has described as a Lord of the Rings retelling of the events leading up to the flood. Brian is actually a screenwriter by trade, having written the script for To End All Wars as well as quite a few Christian-themed movies. Consequently, while his descriptions sometimes feel like they were written for a movie script rather than for a novel, his books never get bogged down, very effectively use action to drive the narrative forward, and his characters and dialogue are always well-written and memorable.
Brian adheres very strongly to Dr. Heiser’s “Divine Council” theology, and gives not only the human characters, but the supernatural entities personalities, dialogue, action, and conflict. His style is very reminiscent of Frank Peretti’s in that respect–which isn’t a surprise, given that Brian wrote the screenplay for the movie adaption of Peretti’s The Visitation. If you’re a Peretti fan, you’ll love Godawa.
What makes this interview fun is that I think Brian’s view on prophecy is largely correct, but incomplete. That is, I do think that the destruction of the second temple is within the scope of Yeshua’s prophecy–and yet I also believe that the Olivet Discourse will be fulfilled even more completely and more literally in the future. Brian in turn was previously a premillennialist, so he knows the ins-and-outs of that position quite well. Both of us respect the other, and both of us are tired of people whipping out the “heretic” label on us, so we got along swimmingly. There’s enough common ground that we could discuss the issues directly instead of just talking past each other, but enough differences to make the discussion fun and interesting. In fact, we’re continuing to discuss the issue via email, and I think we’re both enjoying it immensely. (I know I am.) I’m tempted to rewrite the emails as a series of dialogues and post them to this site, but I’ll wait until we’re a bit further into the discussion to ask Brian if he’d mind.
TL/DR: Go buy Brian Godawa’s books–all of them–and enjoy Johnny and I having the chance to interview him on The Iron Show.