More on the Ridiculousness of Left Behind

Fred Clark is continuing his series that takes apart the unintentionally comical character of the Left Behind books in slow motion. His latest post on Nicolae: The Rise of the Antichrist is a gem. It includes wonderful statements like this:

Tim LaHaye wants his readers to recognize that he, Tim LaHaye, is uniquely correct about the meaning of the Bible and of “Bible prophecy,” and so his story includes Moses and Elijah as characters who stand around preaching that Tim LaHaye is uniquely correct about the meaning of the Bible and of Bible prophecy. They stop just short of mentioning LaHaye by name, but still.

And this:

They’ve just described a scene in which the entire population of the world witnesses a series of explicit, undeniable and unambiguously supernatural events. And then everyone simply ignores them. No awestruck wonder. No curiosity. No skeptical probing to try to figure out how the trick was done. Just a giant collective shrug. That’s impossible. Humans don’t work like that.

But according to the authors, humans do work like that. Or, at least, Christ-denying, unsaved, non-RTC, damnation-deserving humans do. In their view, unbelievers are not simply unconvinced, but obstinate, willful deniers of evidence every bit as overwhelmingly clear as the miraculous fire-breathing killers in this story. (Just read Josh McDowell or any other “apologetics” book — it’s obvious, so anyone who doesn’t immediately convert is just stubbornly rejecting what they know to be true.)

And this:

That “come nigh” and “go forth” business is what the authors actually meant by “the language and cadence of the Bible.” For the authors, the language of the Bible is English — but only English as it was spoken before Friedrich Schleiermacher was born.

But even if you read the Bible in King James English, it’s hard to explain how Ben-Judah could be counted among the “144,000″ mentioned in the book of Revelation. “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins,” Revelation 14:4 says. And yet, verily and forsooth, the authors themselves hath written that Ben-Judah had taken unto him a wife, and gone in to her and knew her and uncovered her feet, and lo, in the fullness of time, she bore unto him many children.

Click through to read the whole thing!

 

  • Preston Garrison
    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      That’s excellent!

  • Herro

    Although LB is indeed very silly, I wonder if this Fred Clark (and you James!) as a ‘progressive Christians’ would also treat his cherished Bible in the same way.

    Surely many of the flaws with LB are also to be found there, e.g. the cartoon-ish stupidity of the evil opponents of Jesus (e.g. how the Jews react to Jesus resurrection in Matthew). Isn’t the New testament also ‘ridiculous’?

    • Gary

      My biggest complaint of Tim Lahaye (LB), and his successor at Shadow Mountain church, David Jeremiah, “money maker, show me the money!” Slick productions, more books that you can shake a stick at, “keep calm and carry on”, “this is the worst of all possible times”, scaring the heck out of old people to get more money for themselves. It is a very successful business, nothing more or less. Any relation to God is simply coincidental.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Using caricature in debate has a long history, and one can debate its usefulness, but it isn’t a phenomenon limited to the Bible. But I don’t get the impression that Tim LaHaye is aware when Left Behind is a distorted caricature, and that is what makes it silly in its own special way.

      • Name

        You guys realize that Left Behind is fiction right?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          You realize that the authors and many readers think that it is a fictional but realistic interpretation of the Book of Revelation, even though it isn’t, right?


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