NRA: Moses and ELIZA


I sympathize with Buck a bit here. He’s just trying to get a straight answer, but the Witnesses can’t give him one because they’re unable to speak except by quoting unrelated snippets of Bible verses. I’m starting to think that Eli isn’t short for Elijah, but for ELIZA — the early chatterbot computer program that recited lines from its scripts in a way that sometimes almost sort of mimicked human conversation. [Read more...]

NRA: Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

There's something vaguely familiar about that "Moishe" guy.

They’ve just described a scene in which the entire population of the world witnesses a series of explicit, undeniable and unambiguously supernatural events. And then everyone simply ignores them. No awestruck wonder. No curiosity. No skeptical probing to try to figure out how the trick was done. Just a giant collective shrug. That’s impossible. Humans don’t work like that. [Read more...]

NRA: A lesson for the ladies


But then it hit me. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins haven’t forgotten about their women readers. This passage is intended for those readers. It’s directed toward them. This whole survey and summary of Hattie Durham’s history is meant to be a lesson for the ladies. [Read more...]

NRA: Bored with Plank


Remember Steve Plank? He used to be Buck Williams’ best friend — his only friend. And yet here we are in Book 3 of our series and it seems that Buck, and the authors, have grown weary of Steve Plank. Poor Steve’s days are numbered. [Read more...]

NRA: Throwing Chaim under the (hypothetical) bus


It took centuries of hard work to transform the Bible into a manual of Hell-avoidance. It would be more credible, and far easier, to claim that the central theme of the dictionary is Hell-avoidance, since the dictionary mentions Hell more often than the Bible does. The Hebrew scriptures and the Pauline epistles of the New Testament have nothing to say on the subject. If you’re looking for Hell in the Bible, about the only place you’ll find it is in a handful of the semi-Pelagian parables of Jesus, wherein Hell is never the default destiny of the “unsaved,” but always rather the deserved punishment for selfish rich people. And yet none of the people who preach a gospel of Hell-avoidance seem to believe in that idea of Hell. [Read more...]

NRA: Steppin’ Out With My Baby


In Chapter 3, the authors destroyed the city of Chicago. Here we are, opening Chapter 8 with Rayford Steele “trying to figure a way to get back to Chicago by Sunday.” That’s not merely a continuity error. That’s a rejection of the entire principle of continuity. [Read more...]

NRA: Chaim is one of my Jewish characters

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The authors only need two Jewish characters because they only need to illustrate the two possible outcomes for Jews in their End Times mythology. So we get Tsion Ben-Judah, the rabbi who repents of his Judaism and converts to fundamentalist Christianity, and Chaim Rosenzweig, the “nonreligious, nonpracticing Jew” who rejects Jesus and embraces the Antichrist [Read more...]

NRA: Bible-prophecy and phlebotinum


It’s one thing to say, “I’m telling a story, and in this story there are wizards, or warp drives, or Kryptonian supermen, so please just accept those as part of the terms required for enjoying this story.” But it’s quite another thing to say, “The Word of God, as interpreted by me, declares that certain actual events are about to happen, here in reality, very soon, and these will in fact involve miraculous fertility formulas.” The willing suspension of disbelief is something we readers should grant to storytellers, but if the “Bible prophecies” of a “Bible prophet” require the suspension of disbelief, we should not be quite so willing. [Read more...]