L.B.: Selective literalism

Left Behind, pg. 165 Rayford Steele has not yet, himself, converted to what Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins call "true" Christianity, but he's already started trying to convert his daughter Chloe. "I always called myself a Christian, mostly because I was raised that way and I wasn't Jewish." "Now you're saying you're not a Christian?" [Read More…]

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L.B.: Leap of Proof

"It's hard to accept the idea that there cannot be an order in the universe because it would offend the free will of God and His omnipotence. So the freedom of God is our condemnation, or at least the condemnation of our pride." — Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose" Left Behind, pp. 159-165 [Read More…]

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L.B.: Suspicious phone call

Left Behind, pp. 156-159 Dirk Gently Burton, you will recall, was Buck Williams' college roommate and is now his off-the-record source about the machinations of a powerful conspiracy of behind-the-scenes financiers. Burton's fringe theory has two parts. First, he believes that international bankers seem to be concerned about discussions to unify the global economy with [Read More…]

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L.B.: The Blair Witch Video

Left Behind, pp. 154-156 Rayford Steele is anxiously awaiting the safe return home of his daughter, Chloe. It's kind of strange that he is not also anxiously awaiting the safe return home of his wife and son. Readers of the book know for certain that those who suddenly disappeared will not be coming back, but [Read More…]

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L.B.: Executive Intelligence Review

Left Behind, pp. 151-154 The opening sentence of Chapter 9 clearly establishes that this is not a flashback: Buck's subconscious waking system failed him that evening, but by 8:45 p.m. he was back in Steve Plank's office, disheveled and apologetic. So it's not a flashback. This scene occurs after the mass disappearances. We are in [Read More…]

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L.B.: Downpresser Man

Sinead O'Connor has recorded a nice version of the Peter Tosh song "Downpresser Man." Hearing it yesterday, I was struck by how Tosh's lyrics capture the meaning and the spirit of the apocalypse better than anything Tim LaHaye has ever written. If you haven't heard it, "Downpresser Man" is an explicitly apocalyptic song. It describes [Read More…]

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L.B.: Regarding Hattie

Left Behind, pp. 144-150 Rayford's saintly dead wife has been plucked away by the very hand of God, thus elevating her above even the chaste pedestal on which he had kept her. This makes our hero's madonna/whore complex that much worse. He thinks back again to when he "indulged in that make-out session at the [Read More…]

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L.B.: Narcissus reflects

Left Behind, pp. 142 – 144 Our narcissistic friend Rayford at last takes a long look in the mirror. I mean "narcissistic" in the clinical sense, as in NPD, the description of which reads like Cliff Notes character summary for Rayford Steele: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and [Read More…]

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