NRA: We’re on a mission from Gahd


We’ve got an overnight car chase with comically absurdist dialogue, jokes about cigarette lighters, and providential mayhem in the service of a divine mission. Am I just imagining this, or is proud Chicagoan Jerry Jenkins deliberately referencing “The Blues Brothers” here? [Read more...]

NRA: A second time through customs


The author’s explanation for this mass conversion seems to be that, prior to the Rapture, these thousands of diverse religions all taught something that was not real, true Christianity. The Antichrist’s One World Faith also is not real, true Christianity. So converting from one form of not-RTC to another form of not-RTC, the authors assume, couldn’t be that big a deal for any of these non-Christians. [Read more...]

Bad Theology makes for bad movies: ‘Left Behind’ is a story with no place for real humans

Screenshot 2014-10-03 at 3.05.42 PM

Theology is the story of God’s relationship with humanity. The parts of that story that pertain to God will always be, at some level, speculative — marked by assertions and contentions that can never be wholly proved or wholly falsified. But the other part of theology — the part of the story that tells us about humanity, about people — is something we can verify, measure, confirm or disprove, based on our own experience and our observations of the experience of others. [Read more...]

‘Left Behind’: The Critics Speak (and weep, and snicker …)


Anticipation is building for the premillennial dispensationalist movie event of the year. Left Behind arrives in theaters tomorrow, but today, we get the reviews. [Read more...]

First two reviews for ‘Left Behind’


Gannett’s Bill Goodykuntz says, “‘Left Behind’ is a terrible movie, bad in almost every way, not even qualifying as so-bad-it’s-good material.” While Elizabeth Weitzman of The Daily News calls it a “failed epic — really, an epic failure.” [Read more...]

NRA: Prayer chain

If a prayer leaves Chicago at 5 p.m., traveling heavenward at the speed of sound ...

This is like one of those time-loop paradoxes from a time-travel sci-fi story. God intervenes to compel Loretta to pray for God to intervene to save Buck. Was someone else praying for God to “prompt” Loretta to pray? And, if so, was that person praying on their own, or were they also responding to divine prompting? How many loops and layers are at work here? [Read more...]

NRA: Suspending suspense

Soul Harvest

This stock scene is familiar — we already know how it’s supposed to go and where we’re supposed to feel the beats of suspense. That lets readers connect the dots, volunteering the emotional response it seems Jerry Jenkins was trying to elicit. But while we’re still the ones who have to connect those dots, Jenkins has, for once, supplied just enough of them for us to be able to make those connections. So compared to most of what we’re reading in these books, this section is relatively successful. Relatively. [Read more...]

NRA: When I get to the border

How do you say "Pie in the sky when you die" in Hebrew?

So, then, it’s two-on-two. A fair fight. This escape across the border bit is, after all, a stock set-piece from action movies, and in a substantial percentage of those movies, the scene ends with the two guards tied up, wearing only their underwear, while the heroes escape wearing their uniforms. [Read more...]