Harold Lee Hal Lindsey (born 1929) is a controversial American evangelist and Christian writer.
A graduate of the Dallas Theological Seminary, a prominent Christian Zionist and dispensationalist, he expresses this theology in his writings. He currently resides in the Palm Springs area of Southern California.
Born in Houston, Texas, Lindsey dropped out of the University of Houston to serve in the Korean War, then worked as a Mississippi River tugboat captain. His personal web site describes that when "his first marriage broke up, he contemplated suicide, but instead found a Gideon New Testament and was converted. Lindsey became an avid reader of Scripture, particularly prophetic sections, which convinced him that the Bible was truly the Word of God."
He entered Dallas Theological Seminary in 1958 (with the help of "Colonel" Robert Thieme, pastor of Berachah Church in Houston, which Lindsey had attended) where he studied with John F. Walvoord, author of the 1974 best-seller The Late Great Planet Earth.
Published in 1970 by Zondervan, The Late, Great Planet Earth became one of the best selling works of non-fiction in that decade. Coming on the heels of the Six-Day War, the book fueled the popularity of dispensational theology and its support of ethnic Jews as the "chosen people of God". It has been published in 54 languages, has reported sales of over thirty-five million copies, and is still in print. Many of Lindsey's later writings are sequels or revisions and extensions of his first book.
He formerly hosted the International Intelligence Briefing on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and serves on the executive board of Christian Voice (USA). Lindsey also promotes various conspiracy theories regarding either the USSR or the European Union being the home of the Antichrist and describes liberals as an "enemy that hides in the shadows, doesn't play by any of the rules, and is determined to use any means to bring about our literal annihilation." The International Intelligence Briefing has been removed from the air on TBN for the entire month of December 2005. Lindsey claims that this is because "some at the network apparently feel that [his] message is too pro-Israel and too anti-Muslim." TBN owner Paul Crouch however contends that "TBN has never been and is not now against Israel and the Jewish people." Crouch said that Lindsey's show was pre-empted for Christmas programming, and that it was never canceled, unlike what Lindsey claimed (Even TBN's two-hour flagship program, Praise The Lord, was canceled for holiday shows).
Lindsey resigned from TBN on January 1, 2006, and indicated that he would pursue another television ministry. Starting February 5 as production schedules allow, Lindsey's new program, The Hal Lindsey Report, focused on Bible prophecy and current events, will be carried on the Sky Angel nationwide.
He has been divorced three times, and is currently married to JoLyn Lindsey.
In The Late, Great Planet Earth, Lindsey wrote that he had concluded that since there was no apparent mention of the United States in the books of Daniel or Revelation, that the USA would no longer be a major player on the geo-political stage by the time the tribulations of the end times arrived. Lindsey also predicted that the European Common Market, which preceded the European Community, was destined by Biblical prophecy to become a "United States of Europe", which in turn was destined to become a revived Roman Empire ruled by the Antichrist. (The fact that there were seven countries in the Common Market related them to a beast with seven heads mentioned in Revelation.)
A later book bears the title The 1980s: Countdown To Armageddon, which implied that the battle of Armageddon would take place shortly after that decade. Lindsey's earlier predictions all assumed that the Cold War would continue indefinitely, and had eschatological significance; he explicitly identified the former Soviet Union with the apocalyptic figure of Gog. He also assumed that the 1960s counterculture would eventually become the dominant culture, and become the source of prophesied "immorality" that would lead to the establishment of a false religion.
Hal Lindsey forecasted the end days would be within the generation of the establishment of Israel. That was 1948, he concluded a generation in the bible was 40 years, therefore; 1988 Jesus would establish his kingdom.
Virtually none of Lindsey's verifiable predictions have been confirmed by history.