Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Problematic Manifesto of Jonathan Cahn — Part 7

This is part 7 of a multi-part review and critique of Jonathan Cahn's latest book published in 2023. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, and Part 6 here


 In this part of the book, Jonathan Cahn continues to do what he has done previously in this book (and, from what I understand, in his previous books): make the United States out to be a “new Israel,” taking events from the Old Testament and forcing parallels to historical and contemporary events in America. He begins by talking about Moses, the first great national leader of ancient Israel, who was born at a time when the Hebrew boys were being slaughtered under orders from the Pharaoh. “So it was a child born in the midst of the Egyptian slaughter who, years later, would be used to break the ancient powers that carried it out. Is it possible that a child born of the American slaughter would be used to break the modern powers that carried it out?” (126)

Cahn then proceeds to point out that Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s final appointee to the Supreme Court, was conceived and born in the middle of the “critical three-year window” between the introduction of legislation to legalize abortion in New York state and the Roe v. Wade decision. He claims that “without her coming onto the court at that exact time and without the casting of her vote as she did in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, Roe v. Wade would never have been overturned” (127). He speculates that she was “likely conceived in the same month the case that would overturn Roe v. Wade would also arrive at the same court” (128). As for the month of Judge Barrett's conception, there was a 1 in 12 chance of her being conceived in the same month (but decades earlier) that Dobbs arrived at the Supreme Court. It is also interesting that since the month of her birth didn't line up nicely to fit Cahn's penchant for patterns, he had to go and guesstimate the month of her conception, so he could pin one more piece of red yarn on his wall connecting the events. 

This raises an important question: does Jonathan Cahn believe he has insight into all possible outcomes, all possible worlds that might result, from different past decisions or turns of events (what is known as “middle knowledge” by philosophers)? He seems to be saying that the only way Roe v. Wade had a chance of being overturned was for Barrett to be placed on the court when she was—that if Barrett had been killed before birth (or in infancy as the Hebrew baby boys were), then God would have lost His chance to reverse the 1973 ruling.

This interpretation seems to fly in the face of Mordecai’s words in Esther 4:14:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (NIV)

While it is entirely possible, and even probable, that God used Amy Coney Barrett to overturn the landmark case that had made abortion legal throughout the nation, God was not dependent on Barrett to fulfill His plan. If it had not been Barrett, the omnipotent Creator of the universe was perfectly capable of putting other pieces in place to achieve the outcome. It seems that Cahn believes all this had to happen when it did so that Roe would be overturned in “the year of the abortion Jubilee, when all is reversed, inverted, and undone” (128).

At the beginning of chapter 34, Cahn makes the assertion that Barrett rose to the Supreme Court during “her fiftieth and Jubilean year” (129). He again is using his own idiosyncratic definition of the Jubilee, rather than what God through Moses actually laid out in the Torah. If Cahn only happened to misstate and mistakenly define the Jubilee in just one instance, I might could let that slide. After all, we all make mistakes (although, errors in published writings, where one has a chance to review the work and submit it to review by knowledgeable editors, are not as easily forgivable as errors when speaking live in the moment). But the fact that Cahn keeps repeating the same flawed interpretation of the Jubilee, and seems to base the majority of his book around that interpretation, eliminates any chance of cutting him some slack. If the foundation is flawed, the whole building is at risk of collapsing.

Read part 8 here


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