If you aren’t familiar with the series , this book was written as a counterpoint to LaHaye and Jenkin’s Left Behind. Brouwer and Hanegraaff argue a preterist eschatology. According to The Last Disciple, the book of Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the tribulation took place in the first century.
The well-written and well-developed plot revolves around Vitas, a Roman noble who has the ear of Nero and the trust of the Senate. He can only maintain this delicate balance because he is completely trustworthy. Oh yeah, and he is falling in love with a Jewish Christian. The three sides pull against him and create intriguing conflicts.
There are quite a few characters developed throughout the book. And, like many good novels, this book has many threads that intertwine to form a enticing tapestry. From Maglorius the Iceni gladiator to Chayim the rowdy son of an important Jewish priest, these characters are continuously contrasting with each other and creating engrossing conflicts.
There are two reasons that people might object to this book. First, many will (and have) complained about the level and description of violence found in this series. With all due respect, I appreciated the violence, but not because I enjoyed the violence. Au contraire, the violence was repulsive, but it helped me appreciate the martyrdom of the early Christians. In some ways, this book was similar to reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It brought to life the persecution that other Believers suffer for the cause of Christ. It made me question my own resolve to obey the Lord.
Second, some will object to the theology taught in the book. It is my belief that everyone should read dissenting opinions, particularly when those who dissent are Christian brethren. No one Believer will get it all right. Since that is so, one should never categorically deny any dissenting position unless that position contradicts the clear and explicit teaching of Scripture. One’s eschatology does not affect one’s salvation. One’s belief in the deity of Christ does. Therefore, I give no quarter on the deity of Christ, but I will not fight over my eschatology. One is critical to salvation, the other is of a much lesser importance.
You should read this book. I found it enlightening from a theological standpoint and from a spiritual perspective. This is worth your time.