Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom: More news from the End of the World


We had a plague of locusts across the Middle East, at Passover no less. Then we had a two-headed shark. So it’s no wonder that National Public Radio is asking “How Close Is Doomsday?” or that books about “The Antichrist” are big business all over the world. Here’s a roundup of some other news and commentary about “Bible prophecy,” the End Times, etc., including how Tim LaHaye helped the NRA kill a gun safety bill favored by 90 percent of Americans. [Read more...]

The entrepreneurial activism of Tim LaHaye’s theologized politics

Some call me ... Tim.

Throughout his decades-long career, Tim LaHaye has always been three things: an entrepreneur, an evangelist, and a right-wing political activist. If you want to understand LaHaye, the role he played in creating and expanding the religious right, and his ongoing influence on American culture, then you need to appreciate all three of those things and the way they are bound together, inseparably, in LaHaye’s long life. [Read more...]

It’s ‘Left Behind Saturday’ this week, sorry


It seems I won’t get today’s installment up today. I want to step back from the pages of Nicolae this week to look at Steve Fouse’s helpful, if somewhat confused, profile “Tim LaHaye, the Bible Belt, and the Sun Belt: More Complex Than Kansas.” Unpacking Fouse’s valuable research and his misplaced conclusions is taking a bit longer than I’d planned, so we’ll get to that tomorrow. [Read more...]

NRA: God Bless You, Dr. Rosenzweig

Nicolae Carpathia's not-quite global one-world government (gray).

Tim LaHaye’s prophecy scheme tells us that after the Rapture, during the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will rule over the entire world as the all-powerful dictator of an all-encompassing one-world government. LaHaye’s prophecy also tells us that the first thing this Antichrist will do as head of the OWG is sign a peace treaty with the nation of Israel. See the problem here? [Read more...]

NRA: Don’t smile for the camera

"Leon Fortunato instructed everyone on the plane when to get off and where to stand for the cameras when they finally reached New Babylon."

This is a pattern in these books. We’re told that Buck Williams is a master journalist, but since the authors couldn’t be bothered to learn what good journalism looks like, we’re shown that Buck is a clumsy hack (“like saying the Great Wall of China is long”). We’re told that Nicolae is a great orator, but since the authors couldn’t be bothered to learn what constitutes good oratory, we’re shown that Nicolae is a droning bore (“Afghanistan, Albania …”). [Read more...]

NRA: A responsive reading


Taken by itself, the beginning of Chapter 7 is almost bearable. Unfortunately, though, we can’t take this passage entirely by itself. Chapter 7 follows the previous six chapters, and those were pretty eventful — at least in terms of body count. [Read more...]

NRA: Mojo rising

A "literal" reading of the Bible never says that the Antichrist will have hypnotic super-powers. But then, of course, a literal reading of the Bible never mentions "the Antichrist."

It won’t help us to sort this out by skipping ahead to later volumes or to the prequels, where the authors imagine they settle this question. The story so far is too firmly committed to both answers for the contradiction to be resolved that way. Based on his actions and his agenda thus far, Nicolae has to know that he is the Antichrist. And based on his actions and his agenda thus far, Nicolae cannot know that he is the Antichrist. [Read more...]

NRA: Not of this world


I think this all flows out of the authors’ misunderstanding of the idea of “worldliness.” For them, to be “worldly” is to be evil. And thus to be good is to avoid “the world” — to shun it lest it’s contaminating contagion of “worldliness” infect them with its evil. [Read more...]