Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 30: ‘Thank Heaven for little girls’


Consider Rayford’s use, again, of the word “emergency” here. Parts of the airport are actually still on fire. The runway is littered with wrecked planes and dead bodies. They have run out of room for incoming planes to land, but more planes are arriving every moment. To Rayford, none of that constitutes an “emergency.” An emergency is something that affects him. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 29: ‘Sorrow Floats’


The “Rapture” idea, ultimately, is a pretty flimsy device for the denial of death. The scripture passages Tim LaHaye cites in support of this idea were written to give believers hope in the face of inevitable death. For LaHaye and his followers, the fear of death overwhelms that hope. Thus “we will not all SLEEP, but we will be CHANGED” is twisted into “we will not ALL sleep, but WE will be changed.” [Read more...]

Setting half the trends we know

Two of these guys are still acting.

When somebody claims to be just like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that’s usually a big clue that they’re nothing like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Also: A premillennial dispensationalist “Bible prophecy scholar” explains how Psalm 83 disproves the nuclear deal with Iran; the deadliest enemy force; the undifferentiated “we” strikes again; and an excuse to revisit Brian Ritchie’s bass solo on “Please Do Not Go.” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 28: ‘Shackled’


Here is a young man without faith, without hope. He is convinced the world is meaningless — there is no God, death is absolute, life is absurd and love is a delusion. Then the fateful day arrives. In the twinkling of an eye, his teammates and opponents vanish. He is confronted with stark, incontrovertible proof of the existence of God. Life, he realizes, does have meaning — there is a basis for faith, hope and love. And so he kills himself. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 27: ‘Pagan Babies’


As a Christian, I believe that our best indicator of the character of God comes from the example of Jesus Christ, and I have a rather hard time picturing Jesus roasting pagan babies on a spit. But again, this is a belief based on the nature of God, not on the forensic calculus of an abstract age of accountability. I don’t know if the concept is a wrong answer, but I’m pretty sure it’s an answer to the wrong question. [Read more...]

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...]