Update July 9, last part of interview discussed below.
This is really distressing. I do not understand how so many reputable Christians can be so wrong while feeling so right about what they are saying about The Harbinger.
How can there be a problem with hermeneutics about one simple verse in Isaiah (9:10) that simply demonstrates that God brought judgment against Israel, in the form of an invasion that destroyed buildings and trees, and that Israel's attitude was defiance?
There is nothing complicated about the verse, and nothing is changed in its interpretation by including the entire context before and after it either.
Yet they continue to treat it as if Jonathan Cahn himself had made up the "harbingers," the events that so uncannily repeat the elements of that verse, and get carried away about his supposedly wrong hermeneutic in applying the verse to modern America. How can they get this SO wrong? Cahn didn't apply anything to America, he DISCOVERED the harbingers existing in REALITY. The harbingers are simply THERE, out there in REALITY.
What is the matter with these people?
As for "mysticism" there is ONE dream toward the end of the book that was the fictional device for introducing the consecration of America to God by George Washington. Jimmy DeYoung actually says this accounts for a "major portion" of the book. Again, this dream occurs at the very end of the book after all the harbingers have been demonstrated to exist and the dream is simply a way to introduce the idea that God does have a special relationship with America. Of course they also refuse to accept the idea of such a relationship no matter what various founders had in mind, both the early Puritan settlers and the federal government of Washington. The problem here is their dispensationalism that denies that God would take such a role toward any nation other than Israel.
Then there is the discovery that Jonathan Cahn quoted the mystical writing The Zohar in a talk he gave, expressing enthusiasm for the fact that the Zohar in its reference to "Golgotha" appears to recognize something yet to come about the crucifixion of the Messiah. Cahn tries to explain this in terms of the testimony of a hostile witness carrying a great deal of weight in a court of law and they can't hear it. To them if he quoted the Zohar that only means he's promoting the Zohar.
Please, this is stupid. These men aren't stupid but this is stupid and most of what they are saying about Jonathan Cahn and The Harbinger is stupid. They even resort to appealing to their training and their credentials as if that can make stupid statements intelligent.
Well, all I'm doing is repeating myself. Same conclusion I came to below.
This is exhausting. This is insane. Today (July 5) Brannon Howse is replaying some of the interview with Jonathan Cahn from his program on the 3rd, with Jimmy DeYoung there to give his answer to it.
I'll just jump to my conclusion because it would be exhausting and probably futile anyway by now to try to wend my way there through the thicket of bizarre misunderstandings:
Jonathan got put through a theological shredder, drawn into the completely irrelevant theological proccupations of Howse and DeYoung, and I hope at least he now knows he has to avoid this sort of thing in future: stick to the message of The Harbinger, stay off the rabbit trails, which ALL these theological preoccupations are in the context of The Harbinger. There was no way to know this in advance, but it's painfully clear now that no good can come of trying to answer them.
As I keep saying, what the critics MUST account for is the reality of the events called "harbingers" as they appeared in REALITY, in AMERICA, in the wake of 9/11, events which UNCANNILY precisely repeat the elements of Isaiah 9:10. Their reality, the uncanniness of them, needs to be drummed into the heads of these people who keep getting mired in extraneous concerns. They ARE extraneous to the meaning of the book. The book stands completely apart from such theological considerations.
Isaiah 9:10 makes a very simple statement about destruction brought by God to ancient Israel, and Israel's refusal to take this as judgment from God, declaring that they will rebuild the destroyed buildings and replant the destroyed trees. It's SIMPLE.
And then those same events described in Isaiah 9:10 that happened in Israel also happened in America, including the same attitude of defiance toward God, all these same elements showing up in America IN REALITY in connection with 9/11. IT'S SIMPLE.
Amazing, mind-blowing, but SIMPLE.
In this sort of situation all you can do is KEEP IT SIMPLE, even painfully repetitive if necessary.
There is NO need for any discussion of hermeneutics, there is no need to get into differing opinions of eschatological events, there is no need to argue about the gifts for today -- NONE of that matters in the context of the message of The Harbinger. The Harbinger is ALL in the REAL appearance of the events called the "harbingers" that so precisely repeat the events of Isaiah 9:10.
They need to acknowledge this reality and then it's THEIR problem how to fit that reality into their theology and their eschatology. It's not Cahn's responsibility to answer all their questions. But of course, again, this wasn't apparent at first, it only seems right to try to account for your beliefs since they are making so much of them, but it turns out there is nothing constructive in the effort.
THEY NEED TO BE MADE TO ANSWER THE MAIN POINT.
IF you can get across the simple truth of the amazing uncanniness of the harbingers based on Isaiah 9:10 THEN you can try to go on to their further implications such as their appearance at the site of Washington's consecration of America to God, the Buttonwood Agreement and the other Old-Testament-based signs connected with the Shemitah, but with people who are determined to throw out the whole lot based on their own irrelevant preconceptions, the point is to get the simple stuff acknowledged FIRST. Spend a whole hour on the sycamore alone if necessary. If they try to deny that the harbingers ARE precise echoes of Isaiah 9:10 I don't know if there is a cure for that degree of denseness but simple hammering at the facts seems about all that can be done in any case. Again, all those questions are only a distraction from the message of The Harbinger and confuse listeners.
This is just a species of Categorical Thinking, of Howse and DeYoung having such an iron grip on a particular way of construing theology they can't even hear an opposing viewpoint. The mind has hardened to concrete around its categories and there is no point in trying to break through it. You're just beating your head against all the preconceptions. They have the ability to grind to bits any opposing point of view as it comes at them.
Just stick to the simplest simplest simplest possible statement of facts.
They need to acknowledge the reality of the harbingers and then it's THEIR problem how to fit that reality into their theology and their eschatology.
THEY NEED TO BE MADE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS CENTRAL POINT.
Aside from that general assessment, a few words about a couple of the main points that were discussed:
Howse and DeYoung make much of the fact that there is a dream in the story, both of them apparently very confused about the fact that Jonathan says the dream is not real in the context of the statement at the front of the book that the facts are real.
The dream as part of the fictional narrative is the FICTIONAL source of some of the FACTUAL information in the book. Cahn is VERY clear that it's fiction, part of the story but that the FACTS, what is TRUE in the story, which they seem to be so crazily confused about, did not IN REALITY come from a dream. None of the FACTS came IN REALITY from a dream. The dream is a FICTIONAL DEVICE, period.
But because Howse asks what Jonathan thinks about receiving truth from God in dreams he feels obliged to try to answer honestly that he thinks God can speak in that way as well as many other ways these days because he does not believe the theology that says all such ways of God's speaking to His people stopped with the closing of the canon.
So Jimmy DeYoung takes the opportunity to spell out his own theology about how it DID all stop, leaving no room for respectable dissent from his theology -- no, it IS as he says it is and Cahn is a heretic for believing otherwise. Cahn is trying graciously to allow disagreement on these things, but Howse and DeYoung aren't willing to allow disagreement on these points, or even allow a lack of having studied the issue sufficiently to have a clear opinion.
This theology has nothing whatever to do with the message of The Harbinger, which went begging in the interview by Howse and is going begging again today.
Same with the character of The Prophet. The Prophet is part of the STORY, he is not REAL, but what he is leading the protagonist Nouriel to discover IS REAL. DeYoung even insists that if the Prophet's message is real, the Prophet himself must be real too -- or was it, if the Prophet is fiction the message must be fiction too --either case is so absurd I'm speechless. For half a second anyway.
Is all this clear to me only because I heard Jonathan speak on these things without the fictional structure of the book to interfere?
I don't think so because thousands have read the book and not been confused by these things.
What's left here?
Well, there's more that could be addressed, if there's any point.
Otherwise, prayer I guess, a lot of prayer, for wisdom of course, and that God will bring about what He wills from this theological train wreck.