Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 53: ‘Finishing Chapter 6′

It seems like Chloe is taking a cab from the airport. You know, the airport that’s shut down. The airport where one of our main characters is a pilot who is now idle at home because no planes are flying. The airport that our other main character fled in order to charter an expensive private flight to New York because no planes are flying. That airport. Chloe apparently flew there. On a plane. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 52: ‘Making the cut’

Screen shot 2015-09-24 at 7.49.01 PM

In the world of “Left Behind,” simply attending church isn’t enough. It seems you have to attend the right kind of church — the kind of church where they teach you the specific formulas and the precise propositional content of belief that will enable you to say the magic words, compelling God to extend you his grace. It’s a matter of learning the spells that can bind the djinni-God to do your will. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 51: ‘No change of power’


“Let me tell you something major,” Dirk says. In the immediate aftermath of the mass disappearances, it takes someone with an unhealthy tunnel-vision to think that “something major” could mean anything other than, say, revealing what happened to all those people, or what might happen next. But what Dirk means by “something major” is instead this: an unscheduled special election in Romania. [Read more...]

As one by one the lights go out


The “Jade Helm” military training exercise ends without anything like any of the right-wing conspiracy theories about it coming true, thereby confirming those theories for the right wing and ensuring that the name Jade Helm will live on, like Whitewater and Benghazi, in the endlessly invoked litany of non-existent proofs of liberal nefariousness. Also: Ranking holiness; glib and woolly moralizing; the arrest of a gamergater; and the Worst Movie Break-In of All Time. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 50: ‘Spiritual girly-men’


“It wasn’t simply Raymie’s age and innocence that had allowed his mother’s influence to affect him so. It was his spirit. He didn’t have the killer instinct, the ‘me first’ attitude Rayford thought he would need to succeed in the real world. He wasn’t effeminate, but Rayford had worried that he might be a mama’s boy — too compassionate, too sensitive, too caring. …” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 49: ‘Explicit content’


The conversion scenes in Left Behind, like all pornography, require the reader to overcome an instinctive reaction to look away when stumbling across such intimate scenes, choosing instead the trespassive thrill of voyeurism. These scenes have something else in common with pornography: They take an event that is — or ought to be — primarily about love and portray it as something from which love is absent or irrelevant. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 48: ‘Holy Spirits’


Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine [Greek: oinos], which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” For evangelicals, the word “wine” here refers to wine, which is evil. But in the second chapter of John’s Gospel, when Jesus changes some 30 gallons of water into “wine” [oinos] that’s really just nonalcoholic grape juice — because what’s a wedding feast without at least 30 gallons of nonalcoholic grape juice? [Read more...]

Where you gonna run to? Tim LaHaye and Billy Graham vs. Peter Tosh and Nina Simone

Same words. Different sermon.

Nina Simone learned the song “Sinner Man” from her mother, who was a revivalist Methodist preacher. White revivalist preachers sang that song too, but even though most of the words were the same, the meaning was very different. [Read more...]