There’s a Tim LaHaye reader born every minute

John Birch Society true believer and “Bible prophecy scholar” Tim LaHaye will soon unveil his next book revealing the secret codes of Revelation. “‘Left Behind’ Author Tackles ‘Great Bible Mystery’ of Revelation Prophecies,” Charisma magazine reports — managing to beg the question twice in a single headline.

The Book of Revelation is an enigma even to many serious students of the scriptures, but Dr. Tim LaHaye, originator and coauthor of the bestselling “Left Behind” series, and renowned puzzle master Timothy E. Parker will publish a book this summer that will remove the shroud of mystery surrounding the Bible’s 66th and final book.

The Book of Revelation Made Clear: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Understanding the Most Mysterious Book of the Bible … was released July 8 by Thomas Nelson.

Here’s the thing about the “mystery” of the “most mysterious” book in the New Testament: It’s not really very much of a mystery.

This is Tim LaHaye’s umpteenth book of charts, graphs, timelines and checklists in which he purports to help readers of Revelation decipher the impenetrable mystery of what that book might possibly mean when its speaks cryptically of “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

This time around, LaHaye has enlisted the skills of a “renowned puzzle master.” Timothy Parker is the senior crossword puzzle editor at USA Today, so at long last the church will have the crossword-puzzle-editor’s commentary on Scofield’s notes on Revelation that we have so long and so desperately needed.

I have to give Parker some credit, though. He’s managed, somehow, to still be employed by Gannett in 2014, and that’s pretty impressive. It means he survived about 10 more rounds of layoffs than I did there. (I made it through four rounds of Gannett layoffs — and I’m proud to say that even after the first two, the handful of remaining copy editors were still dutifully skimming more than half of the stories the paper published.)

So out of former professional courtesy, let me offer a puzzle for the puzzle master that might help his attempts to decode the mysteries of John’s Apocalypse:

Hint: Don’t try to buy a vowel.

And don’t listen to LaHaye, because “Trilateral Commission” really doesn’t fit here and “International Conspiracy of Jewish Bankers” is clearly too many words.

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