‘One will be taken, and one will be left behind’

Tim LaHaye has died at the age of 90. The death of any long-lived End-Times “prophet” is always an inherently awkward thing. Each, in turn, is disproved by their own longevity, just as each, in turn, is exposed by their own well-planned retirement and well-structured estate. [Read more…]

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NRA: How not to evangelize, Step 1

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins frame this whole conversation as some steely contest of nerves — a high-stakes negotiation, a struggle for dominance, and an exercise in brinksmanship, with Buck and Verna staring one another down to see who blinks first. That’s probably not the best way to think about evangelism. [Read more…]

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The Left Behind franchise is coming for your children

“Vanished: Left Behind the Next Generation” is coming to theaters in September. Because religious tribalism means even very bad, money-losing movies get to be a franchise. Let’s look at the trailer. [Read more…]

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NRA: ‘The Fugitive’ meets ‘Mad Max’

Tsion Ben-Judah is being hunted down for preaching about Jesus. So he goes into hiding — at a church that is very publicly preaching about Jesus. This seems like a bad idea. It’s like being chased by dogs and then hiding in a Snausages factory. [Read more…]

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NRA: Get back Loretta

My imaginary backstory for the character of Loretta is elaborate, fanciful, and largely unsupported by the text of this story. But it’s still more credible than the official version of the character, which is too inconsistent and contradictory to make any sense. We’re forced to read between the lines to find and flesh-out “meta-Loretta.” And she turns out to be pretty cool. [Read more…]

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NRA: A piece of bread would buy a bag of gold

An obsessive vigilance worrying about the imminent Mark of the Beast plays a large role in the day-to-day culture of Rapture Christianity. So it’s a bit odd to have seen so little mention of it thus far in the Left Behind series. Most fictional Antichrists jump right in 666-ing everybody’s right hand and forehead in their first 100 days in office, but thus far in this story, neither Nicolae nor the members of the Tribulation Force seem to have given the matter much thought. [Read more…]

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NRA: A grief ignored

As the lone church elder presiding over the viewing of his late friend Bruce Barnes, Rayford Steele has the opportunity to minister to a congregation racked with grief. But that’s boring. So instead, “Rayford let his mind wander” and he and the authors ignore the grieving in order to awkwardly cram in some strange exposition. [Read more…]

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NRA: Buck’s clever plan

Buck hopes that his lying to Verna and preventing her from speaking to the greatest evangelist in the world will lead to her accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. That would make life so much easier for Buck and the rest of the Tribulation Force. If Verna only converted like they had, then maybe she’d at last agree to help keep all their secrets secret. And maybe she’d start wearing some heels once in a while. [Read more…]

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