L.B.: Over at the Frankenstein place

The effect here is like watching the beginning of a bad horror movie, where the honeymooners whose car has broken down are happy and relieved to spot a light up ahead in what they don’t seem to notice is an incredibly creepy looking mansion. The filmmakers seem to intend such scenes to be suspenseful, but the audience instead is usually thinking that the young couple are idiots for seeking assistance from such an obviously malevolent source. Instead of thinking “Oh no! They’re heading into danger unawares!” the audience is thinking “That does it, these morons deserve whatever happens to them in there.” [Read more…]

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L.B.: Fizzbinsationalism

Billings doesn’t care about the resurrection of the dead. He’s hoping for something he thinks would be even better — not dying at all. Thus where the majority of Christians for 2,000 years read Paul as saying “We shall not all SLEEP, but we will all be CHANGED,” Billings and L&J read Paul as saying “We shall not ALL sleep, but WE will all be changed.” [Read more…]

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L.B.: The Undead

The distinction between dead and dead-like is immaterial. It does not matter to Rayford and it does not matter to Irene and Raymie. But it is desperately important to LaHaye and Jenkins. It is central to the appeal of their Rapture theory. “Sinners die, but Christians fly” is the core of what they believe. [Read more…]

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T.F.: Subjective miracles

What are we to make of Buck’s apparent notion that the rabbi needs to be informed of the Christian belief that “Messiah has already come”? Does he imagine that Ben-Judah has never heard of this Christian belief before? I mean — Jesus Christ — the guy has surely heard the phrase “Jesus Christ.” [Read more…]

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T.F.: The ever-present absence of absence

The world of this story has no children. This story takes place IN a world without children and yet it is not the story OF a world without children. That simply doesn’t work. In a world without children, no other story can be told. Jerry Jenkins tries — he tries to tell us stories of airline promotions, of secretive diplomacy and of mistaken-identity romantic blunders, but none of those stories seems possible in a world without children. None of those stories can be reconciled with the supposed setting of a world without children. [Read more…]

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T.F.: Section 4

Sections of this book: 1. Rayford Steele and Buck Williams are summoned to meetings at which they are offered highly paid jobs working for the Antichrist; 2. Buck vows never to take such a job; 3. Rayford vows never to take such a job; 4. Repeat sections 2-3; 5. Repeat section 4. … [Read more…]

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T.F.: The Religion Editor

For LaHaye & Jenkins, the conspiracy — the framework of End-Times prophecy and all that it imagines — trumps what even their five senses have to tell them. The requirements of the conspiracy overrule and outweigh reality. This is true whether the subject is the U.N. or reporting on Israel or religion cover stories or even fundamental human nature responding to the disappearance of the world’s children. [Read more…]

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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…]

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