Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger is marketed as “Christian fiction”, but proceeds to present an immediate conflict in that while the format may adhere to a literary style proposed to be “fiction”, in the end the story is nonetheless supposed to be taken as not just being true, but a literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The essence of the book is to connect not just the events associated with 9/11 but the subsequent economic milestones in its wake with the fulfillment of specific prophecy in Scripture, asserting that the United States is in the process of losing its divine status as God’s most favored nation, and additionally in danger of completely losing the supernatural hedge of God’s protection provided since the nation’s inception as the only other nation in history with which entered into a covenant relationship with God. What might be normally delivered as a sermon or short work of non-fiction is therefore in actuality thinly disguised with this notion of being fiction, but in the end the reader is supposed take the information presented in the plot as being a real and true revelation of God’s prophetic Word for this present time. It does not take more than a minimum of logic to know that Cahn cannot have it both ways.
Especially when one takes into consideration all that the author has presented through various appearances and writings subsequent to the publishing of the book, it would appear that Cahn himself desires a hedge of protection against critics by claiming on the one hand the book is “only fiction”, while on the other somehow maintaining that the contents are to be seriously received as a new and literal revelation of the truth. This presents quite a conundrum when the absolute propositional truth of God’s Word is presented within a claimed framework of fiction. But what removes the dilemma of whether or not to treat this book as protected, subjective literary material as opposed to the claims of a modern-day prophet providing a new revelation from God’s Word is the résumé of its author, who cannot be characterized as a fiction writer who just happens to also be a Christian.
Jonathan Cahn is the President of Hope of the Word Ministries and ascribed the title of “Messianic Rabbi of the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel” in Wayne, New Jersey. According to the Beth Israel website, “His teachings are widely known for revealing the deep mysteries of God’s Word”. From the very outset we must negotiate past the conflict that The Harbinger is not authored by a noted fiction writer but a self-described “Rabbi” and head of a Christian ministry. This becomes even more complicated in that the content of the book, said to be rendered as “fiction”, is completely based on the interpretation of God’s inerrant Word and, in the end, encouraged to be accepted as anything but a mere work of fantasy. Once the absolute truth of God’s Word is introduced into the story’s plot, much less so prolifically referred to over and over again as the author’s proof of its validity in real life, it cannot be accepted as a mere script and there is simply no hiding behind the façade of “it’s only fiction”. Does Cahn really think he can assert a new, literal revelation from God’s Word and somehow avoid examination of his handling of Scripture simply by publishing it as a claimed work of fiction? This is but one of the many paradoxes presented to a biblically discerning reader.