Release Date:  June 5, 2007
Rating:  Unrated
Genre:  Christian Educational/Documentary
Run Time: 58 min. with 120+ minutes of special feature interviews
Director:  Daniel Lukso
Narrators: Joel C. Rosenberg and Skip Heitzig

“We were blindsided by 9/11,” says best-selling novelist Joel C. Rosenberg.  “The question is: Are we going to be blindsided by events that are coming?”  Thus hypothesizes Epicenter, a one-hour DVD which promotes Rosenberg’s non-fiction book by the same name, which links current events with ancient Bible prophecy.

With Epicenter, Rosenberg elaborates on his end-times theology, which is currently popular among Dispensationalists like Tim LaHaye (Left Behind series) and Hal Lindsay (The Late Great Planet Earth).  His DVD unfolds to the tune of a creepy, doom-and-gloom musical score.  And just in case that doesn’t scare you, director Daniel Lukso throws in some heavy-handed lighting to match.  Interviews with LaHaye and Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque, for example, are done in full sunlight.  Footage of Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist, on the other hand, is framed in near darkness (despite the fact that he is named).

Rosenberg bases his beliefs (and the plots of his books) on Ezekiel 38-39, which describe an apocalyptic battle between Israel and “Magog and Gog.”  Like LaHaye and Lindsay, Rosenberg believes that Russia and Iran are the nations being described by Ezekiel, and that they are currently bringing this prophecy to fruition by plotting to destroy Israel.  The DVD also gives a snapshot of Israel’s modern history from the Holocaust and the rebirth of the Israeli nation to the Six Day War of 1967, citing them as “evidence” of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, along with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent vow to “wipe Israel off the map.”

Ahmadinejad, Rosenberg claims, is a former member of a Shiite Muslim sect who believes that he is called to lead the coming of the long-prophesied Islamic “Twelfth Imam.”  This Islamic eschatology, or end-times theology, promises a final Jihad which will annihilate Israel and usher the radical Muslims into world domination.  In Islam, Rosenberg further explains, there are really only two types of people: true followers of Allah—who are committed to Jihad—and infidels.

“Islam is not just a religion or a faith.  It’s a way of life,” says an Iranian pastor.  “And even though some claim that it is a religion of peace, it has not brought peace.  It has not brought peace to its nations, its people, or to its families.”  Muhammad, he says, initially claimed to be the prophet that Moses had predicted would come after him, and who would be greater than him.  The Jews rejected that, so Mohammad turned against them, thus creating an eternity of animosity between them and the Jews.

Most terrorists, the DVD goes on to say, believe that the end of the world is coming very quickly—perhaps in the next two or three years even.  And not only Israel but also the United States, who are seen by them as “Satans,” are at the crosshairs of this coming war.  Muslims believes that they are to give infidels a warning that they will die.  If they do not head that warning, then they will hasten that end by launching an apocalyptic war—the war of Gog and Magog, say these “end-times prophets.”