L.B.: The Lex Luthor factor

Left Behind, pp. 23-24 Here are some of the things that Buck Williams, the greatest investigative reporter of all time, is thinking when he first realizes that dozens of people on his airplane have suddenly disappeared midflight: … His mind searched its memory banks for anything he had ever read, seen, or heard of any [Read More...]

L.B.: Welcome to the Hellmouth

I must apologize for the extended pause in our journey through the world of Left Behind. Dwelling in this abysmal novel is like working with lead paint — one needs the occasional break to avoid the dangers of prolonged exposure. I have, as a kind of antidote, been re-reading Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life [Read More...]

L.B.: Jerry’s book tour

Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author with Tim LaHaye of the Left Behind series, is promoting his new book, Soon, which was written without having to split the profits with the valued assistance and spiritual guidance of LaHaye. Soon isn't set during a dispensationalist's "tribulation" period, but Jenkins is still sticking closely to his lucrative winning formula. [Read More...]

L.B.: The Naked Truth

Left Behind, pp. 21-25 Here we read with greater detail — although less detail than we might like — of how LaHaye and Jenkins envision the bodily rapture of believers, but not of their clothes. Thus: Harold’s clothes were in a neat pile on his seat, his glasses and hearing aid on top. The pant [Read More...]

L.B.: Not creepy enough

Left Behind, chapter 1 The remarkable thing about LaHaye and Jenkins’ description of the rapture in this first chapter is how very creepy it isn’t. The events they’re attempting to describe are so audacious, so potentially unsettling, that this chapter should make your flesh crawl and the hair on the back of your neck stand [Read More...]

L.B.: There’s a New World Coming

Before Left Behind, before LaHaye and Jenkins, there was Hal Lindsey. Lindsey wrote some of the best-selling books of the 1970s — titles like There's a New World Coming, The Late Great Planet Earth and The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. That last title, understandably, has been out of print for about 13 years. Lindsey didn't [Read More...]

L.B.: The Hypothetical Bus

I don't remember much of Donald W. Thompson's series of rapture movies from when I saw them back in middle school at Hydewood Park Baptist Church. I do remember that they were pretty scary. Thompson was a low-budget hack, but he had an eye for haunting detail — the drone of an unattended lawn mower [Read More...]

L.B.: Tony the flight attendant

Left Behind, pg. 18 Rayford and Hattie are milling about the plane, full of panic that so many passengers have vanished, yet also strangely serene in their incuriosity about what may be happening. Then Hattie discovers that one of their crew is among the missing: She lifted a blazer, shirt and tie still intact. Trousers [Read More...]