Dr. Couch, what do you think of the influence of Hal Lindsay’s best seller of the 1970s, The Late Great Planet Earth?
ANSWER: I am sure I think of his book what the Lord thinks! Since I believe in God’s sovereignty, the Lord works in all our works that are done for His name sake. While the book is certainly not perfect, neither is anything you or I will ever do! However the book was translated in about a dozen languages, and at the last count, sold over twenty million (or even more) copies. I believe it was Time magazine that called that publication during the social revolution of the 1970s: "the handbook of the Jesus people movement."
I think it would be safe to say that millions of young people came to Christ because of the book’s message, which was: the prophesied coming tribulation followed by the dramatic return of Christ the Savior to earth to reign and rule!
Hal did pull a faux pas (a blunder) in the book, however. He wrongly calculated in the Bible a "generation" as being forty years from Matthew 24:34. Lindsay calculated that the nation of Israel came into being in 1948, and therefore, forty years later (1988) the tribulation events would take place! This was a big goof! The Covenant guys, the allegorists and preterists, loved this and have gone about crucifying Lindsay ever since.
Matthew 24:34 is an easy passage to explain but that is not the purpose of this question.
Always thank God when the truth goes forth, especially when that truth holds fast to the integrity of the entire message of Scripture. Hal’s book does that, but again as I wrote, imperfectly so!
Thanks for asking!
Dr. Mal Couch