This sample from the introduction of my new book is provided to you free of charge through JB Shreve & the End of History. The new book was designed for specific easy reading using your favorite e-reader, with short chapters and multiple interactive features. Order your copy here.
One afternoon in 2015 I happened to be watching the news and saw images of the red rafts full of refugees who were moving across the Mediterranean toward Europe. These were refugees from the wars and violence of the Middle East and North Africa. Many of the rafts were upending at sea and the would-be refugees were dying. In other instances, the rafts were being intercepted by authorities and the people returned to their lands of departure. As a result of this, the refugees were becoming the human inventory for a burgeoning slave and sex trafficking trade out of North Africa.
The politics of Europe were in a state of massive upheaval, largely in response to the refugee crisis. Several European countries were looking to nationalist candidates in the upcoming elections thanks to rising xenophobia. This was before Brexit. France, contrary to its proud history of liberal democracy, was outlawing the public use of religious symbols on one’s attire to combat the burka among Muslim immigrants entering the country.
I knew enough about the refugee crisis to recognize Europe was barely being impacted by this event compared to nations like Turkey, Lebanon and others who sat at the borders of the nations that were bleeding displaced people that summer.
And the refugee crisis was only one of the multiple parts of chaos afflicting the globe at that time. I released a podcast series on the civil war in Syria and another about the collapse of the Middle East around this time. In Venezuela, the once prosperous nation was collapsing. Corruption was wrecking Brazil’s economy and political system.
As I watched video footage of this raft full of refugees move across the Mediterranean Sea and contemplated all of the chaos occurring in the world at that time, the thought hit me, this is like a disaster movie! In this light, the refugees are our characters jumping from the Titanic or racing away from the exploding volcano. The scenes of this disaster movie have only worsened since that time. And once you see our modern chaotic global landscape in this light, you cannot un-see it.
That is where this book comes from. It is from a realization that much of the media, much of our politics, and much of our local-based perspectives keep us from seeing the weight of what is taking shape today. Once we finally see it, the natural questions we respond with include, why is this happening and what do we need to do about it? As I dug into the research regarding the many different crises impacting the globe in the years since 2015, I identified three core crises: population, food, and water. All of these areas of the world where chaos is the most overwhelming today are being pummeled by these three root issues. But as the chaos works out from these societies, it morphs and takes the form of newer crises and chaos. Examples of these newly formed byproduct crises include terrorism, refugees, disease, and many other issues that are not confined to the lands where population, food, and water crises are most severe. These are the means by which the chaos is spreading across the globe.
This is the story I share in the pages of this book. This is a story about how the world is coming undone and far from a search for solutions, I contend it is too late to do much to stop this unfolding chaos. It is only going to get worse. Civilization as we know it cannot go on for another fifty years. This is not a prediction. It is a simple assessment of the spreading chaos already racing through the global system and order.
This book was designed to stand on its own. The research, the facts, the honest and non-political focus which I offer to readers were meant to break through our polarized perspectives of the day and warn about what is coming. It was meant to give my reader an understanding of the chaos taking shape in the world today and supply readers with the knowledge needed to develop their own worldviews independent of polarized and politically biased agendas so rampant in our culture today.
But I could not stop there. As I recognized the underlying systemic flaws that are at the root of the modern chaos of our world and which explain so much of the collapse we are experiencing, I also began to see other more important trends. The core drivers moving us toward global collapse are not political ideologies, climate change, or natural disasters. When we dig all the way to the bottom of the chaos, we find the corrupted heart of man.
My original intent was not to write a book that included insight into my personal faith or even the utilization of scripture. It was meant to stand alone as a nonfiction analysis and explainer discussing what is going on in the world today. I wanted to help readers better understand the world. But the deeper I got into my exploration of the issues, the more difficult I found it to separate them from the truth. The system is corrupt because the heart of man is corrupt.
To that end, this book is a perspective drawn from my own worldview. It is not designed to be preachy or insist this is the only correct perspective out there. My hope is that readers will be empowered in these pages through knowledge, analysis and educated insight to develop their own worldviews.
A Word on Worldviews
There is an erroneous assumption in our society that worldviews derived from a primarily spiritual outlook upon life are illegitimate. The reality is that a host of inputs contribute to every person’s perspective of the world, even if many are unaware of the impact of those inputs. The spiritual basis for my own worldview and that shared by many Christian believers today is a deliberate selection of the philosophical inputs that contribute to how we see the world. There are many leaders, statesmen, and philosophers in our generation who make deliberate selections of the philosophical inputs that contribute to how they see the world. I contend the basis for their worldviews is far more fragile than a worldview built upon the values clarified in the Bible.
In 2008, at the height of the economic meltdown, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan sat before a United States Congress committee and explained his own confusion at what was taking place. “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said. “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.” Political leaders and bureaucrats seldom confess to error. In response, Congressman Waxman sought clarification from Mr. Greenspan. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said. “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.” (1)
What was Mr. Greenspan’s worldview? Free markets and capitalism were a big part of it, but Greenspan was also a lifelong disciple of Ayn Rand. This was the philosophical input that contributed to the development of his worldview. He was part of the philosopher and author’s inner circle when she was alive. Followers of Rand, known as Objectivists, believe in the power of individual strength. They believe charity is pointless, even stupid. Right and wrong are defined by anything that frees or limits individual expression and fulfillment.
In 2019, a Democratic candidate for the presidency, Marianne Williamson attributed the problems in America to “dark psychic forces” at work in the American culture. She was described in the New Yorker in this way:
“Williamson, a nondenominational psycho-spiritual leader, who mixes references to Christianity with quotes from philosophers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Deepak Chopra, has based her Presidential candidacy on an unspoken premise: that the country might be experiencing an epidemic of mental illness. Actually, it’s not that unspoken: “We have a problem with the psychological fabric of our country,” a section on her campaign Web site, titled “The Issues Aren’t Always the Issue,” says. “A low level emotional civil war has begun in too many ways to rip us apart.” (2)
We all have worldviews and the facts, revelations, experience and other contributors that help shape that worldview varies. In the end, the strength and validity of a worldview should not be measured by its popularity or the lack thereof but by its merits. What does your worldview build and how does it endure in both the short-term and the long-term? To that end:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I see it as the very power of God working for the salvation of everyone who believes it…Romans 1:16 (Phillips Translation)
My hope is that this book will empower you to see the world differently. That means also seeing the growing chaos across the globe differently. In the place of complacency, fear, or anxiety, I hope you will find knowledge, understanding, and purpose. Most importantly, it is my hope that people of faith will take confidence in the midst of the growing chaos, their minds enlightened with understanding, and seek out a deeper partnership with God that is needed in this pivotal day.
JB Shreve, September 15, 2019
7 Objectives of This Book
By the end of this book the following objectives should be achieved among the readers.
- You will better understand the scale of the chaos engulfing our world. This is unlike anything we have ever seen, and you will recognize that fact when you pay attention to the news after reading this book. You are going to be more aware than most of your friends and peers.
- You will better understand that the reality behind the chaos is often more than what is reported in our sound bite media culture today. There are deeper issues at work. You will begin to see those issues for yourself. The facts that are reported, usually do not accurately reflect the bigger picture and the fuller story.
- You will understand how the world works and why the growing chaos is evidence of the world no longer working. Systems are indeed already collapsing, and you will see this for yourself.
- Because you understand what is taking place today, you will be able to develop your own educated worldview and perspective. This worldview will help you better defend yourself and your home from confusion and fear brought on by the increasing chaos.
- You will see the deeper impact of the corrupted human heart that is taking a toll on the collapsing systems of the earth. The global order is not being destroyed by an external force. It is self-destructing.
- You will begin to see there is a competing design for life and the world, ordained by God, that is in opposition to the world systems and order that are collapsing today. This God ordained design for life and society is strong and impervious to the growing chaos.
- You will be equipped to seek the design of God for yourself and your home and build a response system that can hold strong in the face of the growing chaos. This is not achieved on an individual level alone. It is accomplished in the company of your Christian brothers and sisters.