Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 26: ‘Go to Hell’


Most evangelical fiction has conveyed this evangelistic impulse — albeit with the unfortunate awkwardness and fecklessness that characterizes too much of their evangelism. But that’s not what one finds in Left Behind. Here you find little concern — and even less of a sense of responsibility — for the plight of the untold millions. What one finds instead is a sense of triumphalism. Those “inside the fold” feel no sense of obligation to those on the outside — they are bad people who are getting what they deserve and the godly remnant gets to watch, more in delight than in sadness. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 25: ‘Yesterday’s news’


The preoccupation with pay phones seems anachronistic to us now because LaHaye and Jenkins failed to anticipate the cell-phone revolution. But the biggest reason that the beginning of “Left Behind” seems dated and unreal has nothing to do with technological change. [Read more...]

Dig this


Since I’m not yet sure that I can recommend the new USA Network show “Dig,” let me instead recommend three alternatives — a book, a TV series, and an album — that are all kinda sorta related. [Read more...]

Jesus is not like Joseph. God is not like Pharaoh.


John Hagee’s weird little “prophetic overlay” about Joseph and Jesus thus highlights the way his “Bible prophecy” scheme turns the book of Revelation on its head. It portrays God as Pharaoh. It portrays Jesus as Joseph — saving the world by enslaving it by force. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 24: ‘Inhumanly pro-family’


“Here we see the “pro-family” ethic of Timothy LaHaye’s brand of religious conservatism at work. Rayford is, first and foremost, a husband and a father. The dead and the dying who surround him at the airport are strangers, untermenschen. They are not his family and therefore, according to LaHaye’s pro-family view, Steele is right to ignore them on his way back to Irene and the kids. (Even though, by now, Steele has a pretty good idea that Irene and the kids are long gone.)” [Read more...]

‘The Anti-Christ Handbook’ … in my pants


The “In My Pants” game is quite simple. Just take the name of any book and add the phrase “… in my pants.” This is juvenile and inexcusably crude. It can also be a lot of fun. [Read more...]

NRA: Conspiracy theories should be fun


Conspiracy theories are supposed to be fun. A well-constructed conspiracy theory should offer the same rewards and entertainments as any good puzzle. It should confront the true believer with a series of disparate facts and then provide the sense of delight and satisfaction that comes from seeing how all of those pieces can be made to fit together. Tim LaHaye refuses to put the pieces together, and that takes all the fun out of it. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 23: ‘Scream morality’

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“All around were ambulances and other emergency vehicles trying to get to ugly wreckage scenes,” LaHaye and Jenkins tell us. Yet Rayford ignores them all. He walks through and past all of that ugly wreckage, ignoring the suffering of those around him, and all the while congratulates himself for being the kind of heroic, upright, morally superior man who would always be “first to volunteer for emergency duty.” [Read more...]