LBCF, No. 144: ‘Two Swell Guys’

“The scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward” (I Timothy 5:18). So tip 20 percent. At least. Divide by five and round up. If you also plan to: A) say grace aloud before the meal; B) ask your server if he/she is “saved;” and/or C) leave a gospel tract on the table when you leave, then make that 40 percent. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 143: ‘Care less’

In order to consider such scenes on their own terms — in order to keep turning the pages without throwing this inhuman book against the wall — we end up having to accept Left Behind’s premise that trauma does not traumatize and that human suffering is peripheral, inconsequential and meaningless. This is the book’s great moral theme, its moral instruction. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 142: ‘Cruel to be kind 2’

Rayford is lying about his “physical” interest in Hattie. This is the “woman he had never touched,” the woman he had fetishized like a collector, stringing her along, unopened in the original shrink-wrap packaging. Nothing has changed. He’s still playing the same kinky control game that he’s played all along. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 141: ‘Cruel to be kind, 1’

Rayford Steele, in this scene, is divinely guided here to become the ideal evangelist. He has been transformed through prayer into a soul-savin’ mofo with a spirit-led mojo. If readers want to know how to witness/evangelize/proselytize/lead-others-to-a-saving-knowledge-of-Jesus-Christ-as-their-own-personal-Lord-and-Savior, then these pages here are where Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins show them how to do it. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 140: ‘Bucky’s in love’

Those of us who have served time in conservative Christian youth groups recognize this theme from the many, many Why Wait lectures we heard. Your purity and innocence, the lecture always said, are the Greatest Gift that you can offer to your spouse on your wedding day. Setting aside the merits of this particular pitch for chastity, the strange thing here is finding that the inner monologue of jet-setting, secular, un-saved Buck Williams sounds like a True Love Waits seminar. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 139: ‘Worlds collide’

There would be, post-Event, some kind of ritualized exchange that would acknowledge this common ground of loss and bewilderment, some way of asking and answering the “where were you when?” and “who did you lose?” questions. Nothing like this ever happens post-Rapture with any of the characters in Left Behind. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 138: ‘Buck & Hattie & Ray & Chloe’

For the first time, Jerry Jenkins brings all four major characters together in the same place. And yet, somehow, he still manages to have that scene include several phone calls among them. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 137: ‘Buck’s soul-searching’

The authors want to treat Buck’s dawning faith as a typical representation of a typical conversion experience, but Buck is far from typical. The game here is rigged. Unlike those of us here in the real world, Buck has already seen proof of God’s existence. He has seen the hand of God swatting aside nuclear missiles like snowflakes. Buck’s report on that undeniably, unambiguously supernatural event, the authors say, won him a Hemingway Prize. It would also have won him a $1 million check from the Amazing Randi. [Read more…]

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