Over the past year, The Harbinger and its author, Jonathan Cahn, have experienced an almost unprecedented rise to prominence, influence and fame in America by a Christian book and author. Its status as the #1 Christian book for 2012, with over 75 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and one million copies sold is impressive by any measure.
The Harbinger has struck a chord with many Christians because of its call to repentance in the face of present or impending judgment by God. Cahn claims this judgment is evidenced by a series of events which began with the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 and which have continued since then, following what he says is a “template” found in Isaiah 9:10. The case the author presents for parallels between events in ancient Israel and present-day America has persuaded many that it is impossible for this correspondence to be mere coincidence and therefore it must be a message from God, making it a “must-read.”
Ultimately, the level of The Harbinger’s success can be attributed largely to the support and promotion from a wide array of ministry leaders who have also become convinced that God is using Cahn as a prophetic voice and who have combined constituencies numbering in the millions. Jonathan Cahn has been interviewed countless times, with one writer referring to him as “one of the most interviewed Christian in America.”1 and has appeared (sometimes multiple times) on some of the most highly watched programs on Christian television such as The Jim Bakker Show with Jim and Lori Bakker, The 700 Club with Pat Robertson, It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth, Prophecy in the News with Gary Stearman, This is Your Day with Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord on TBN and many others. Last year he was interviewed on two consecutive days by Glenn Beck, and within the last few weeks he has been interviewed on the radio by former Gov. Mike Huckabee of FoxNews and also by Dani Johnson (Secret Millionaire).
However, there has also been a significant amount of controversy within the Body of Christ over The Harbinger and Jonathan Cahn as not everyone has shared this enthusiasm for the book. That such a book would generate at least some controversy isn’t entirely unusual in today’s theological climate. However, what is unusual regarding this particular controversy is the sharp division within the evangelical community.