L.B.: Fire-breathing Martians

“Unless you take the book of Revelation literally, you will never understand it,” Tim LaHaye says. And he insists that he does exactly that here in “Left Behind,” with a literal portrayal of the book’s literal prophecies. But he doesn’t — not even when the literal portrayal of “fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies” would be way more fun than what “Left Behind” gives us instead. [Read more...]

L.B.: Ben and Glory

Suddenly we’re reading a book with spellcasting and magic in it. I tend to like books with spellcasting and magic in them, and I have no problem with crossbreeding genres, but this hadn’t been that sort of book up until now and it doesn’t seem fair for the authors suddenly to be changing the ground rules like this. The authors are violating the bargain they had established with the reader. [Read more...]

TF: Karma police

Buck Williams hates and fears the Antichrist because he remembers that Nicolae Carpathia murdered two people in cold blood at the end of the last book. What Buck forgets is that Nicolae did this because Buck asked him to, begging Nicolae to protect him from those two men and agreeing to bury a story in exchange for that protection. [Read more...]

L.B.: Still unsaved

So let’s recap, according to Bruce: 1. The Antichrist can control the minds of anyone who isn’t born again; 2. Buck isn’t born again; 3. Buck is about to meet with the Antichrist. Given all that, Bruce decides the best course of action is to tell Buck all about his super-secret anti-Antichrist guerrilla squad and to provide him a list of the founding members. [Read more...]

L.B.: Is the pope Catholic?


In “Left Behind,” most Catholics don’t count as real, true, Rapture-worthy Christians. But Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins made an exception for their fictional stand-in for Pope John Paul II, including him among the disappeared. That’s an improvement, I guess, over decades of “Bible prophecy scholars” suspecting every pope of being the Antichrist. [Read more...]

Left Behind Index (now with working links!)

Volume 1 of "The Anti-Christ Handbook" includes everything about the first 200 pages of "Left Behind" in convenient e-reader format.

Here’s a one-stop portal to everything in the Left Behind series here covering the first two books and movies. The previous versions of this index all have broken links. This one doesn’t (I don’t think). [Read more...]

NRA: Conspiracy theories should be fun


Conspiracy theories are supposed to be fun. A well-constructed conspiracy theory should offer the same rewards and entertainments as any good puzzle. It should confront the true believer with a series of disparate facts and then provide the sense of delight and satisfaction that comes from seeing how all of those pieces can be made to fit together. Tim LaHaye refuses to put the pieces together, and that takes all the fun out of it. [Read more...]

NRA: Fulfilling our evangelistic duty


Rayford Steele seems to think of lecturing pregnant women about abortion the same way he thinks about evangelism — it’s an unpleasant duty he is obliged to perform in order to exempt himself from the guilt of others’ damnation. That’s how he approached his awkward attempt to “witness” at Hattie back in the first book and it’s how he approached his anti-abortion sermon here. [Read more...]