This is how Counting the Days to Armageddon came to be written:
I grew up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses and by the time I left school I was deeply involved in that religion. While my old school friends were at university or beginning their careers, I was a full-time knocker on doors. By the time I was nineteen I was appointed to the elite rank of special pioneer and sent to Scotland. Definitely going places.
After a little more than a year as a special pioneer I was back home. I had been seduced – by books. I preferred to spend my time in the public library rather than knocking on doors selling Watchtowers. And then I discovered the writings of Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Watchtower movement. The whole system of belief fell apart. Its origins were not as I had been led to believe. I could no longer accept the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
During the early years after leaving the Witnesses I began to write a book about my new beliefs. It never got very far, and I am glad of that now for it was the work of a young man who had a long way still to go.
But I could not leave that project alone forever. Years later, as a newly ordained Methodist minister (that’s another story – I’ll tell it one day) I was accepted as a post-graduate research student at Durham University. My research topic was the origins and development of Watchtower doctrine. And as soon as my thesis was finished and accepted I set about finding a publisher. The rest of the story is in the book.
Counting the Days was published as an academic work and priced accordingly, but I can let you have a copy for a much reduced price. Just send £12.00 (UK) £14.00 (Europe) or £16.00 (Rest of World) via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org and email me with an address when you’ve done that. And a copy will be on its way to you.
Here’s what some readers had to say:
As a former JW researching my religious heritage, I found this book to be an excellent non polemical work with the attention to detail to recomend this as scholarly. It follows the development of teachings refering to Christ’s second presence following the disapointment of William Miller’s predictions.It shows how the internal harmony of CT Russell’s dispensational interpretations (many borrowed and adjusted) made sense but how the recurring disapointments of the adventist hopes have shifted the dates of fulfillment from one date to another and how the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society’s interpretations now show a lack of internal harmony with antitype’s at times clutched out of thin air and many teachings completely discarded as false when at one time they were “Truth”.This joins the calm,non ranting ,scholarly works of Raymond Franz,Carl Olaf Johnson and Edmond Gruss. (“WT Researcher” on Amazon.co.uk)
Crompton offers one of the best descriptions available of the development of the doctrinal system of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The author has succeeded in approaching a controversial subject strictly analytical and offers deep insight on how the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses have developed from Russell’s adapted version of Millerism right into the contemporary framework where controversy is largely avoided or at least toned down. Interesting aspect is the way the author estimates the future of the Watchtower-Society (and its doctrines). When the leadership of the Society takes his view in account and applies the offered possibilities, it will remain existing deep into the 21st century.
(M. van Elburg on Amazon.com)
And this from a professional scholar:
Readers who wish to pursue these issues [of doctrinal as well as organizational developments] further can be referred to Robert Crompton’s meticulous analysis in Counting the Days to Armageddon: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Second Presence of Christ (1966). George Chryssides:
Historical Dictionary of Jehovah’s Witnesses (2008) xiv