TF: What if that was me?

Tribulation Force, pp. 354-356 "Rayford's day -- and, he felt, his future -- were both set," Chapter 16 begins. While Nicolae Carpathia signs his peace treaty with Israel, Rayford Steele will be getting Antichrist One ready for a flight to Baghdad, and then, after a brief tour of the ancient ruins set to be rapidly transformed into the new Global Capital City, for a flight west to New York. That peace-treaty signing, we have been told, is the most important prophecy-check list event in this … [Read more...]

TF: Trust-busting

Tribulation Force, pp. 352-354 Here's where Buck finally finds out what everybody else already knew about the coming One World Media of Nicolae Carpathia's One World Government. I wouldn't work for Carpathia," Buck said. "Then you won't be in communications." "What are you talking about?" Borland told him of the announcement. To Buck's credit, he regards this news of a global media monopoly as a Bad Thing. The authors, too, seem uncomfortable with the idea of a single media conglomerate … [Read more...]

TF: Proof and madness

Tribulation Force, pp. 346-352 The set-up: The man at the counter handed Buck a message from Rayford, but since it was not marked urgent, he decided not to call him until morning. Rayford Steele had just learned about the implausibly rapid takeover of every media outlet in the world by Nicolae Carpathia, creating a global monopoly -- the Antichrist's One-World Media. Jerry Jenkins devotes quite a bit more space and readers' time to this set-up, orchestrating a situation in which everyone else … [Read more...]

TF: Eli is the straight man, so he gets 60 percent

Tribulation Force, pp. 336-346 Buck and Tsion Ben-Judah are headed back to the Western Wall to talk to the Two Witnesses whom the authors identify, following one tradition, as Moses and Elijah. Yes, that Moses and Elijah. Most authors would balk at the difficulty of enlisting two such figures as characters in a novel. It's one thing to write a screenplay for The Ten Commandments, supplying dialogue for Moses in a retelling of the biblical story, but it takes a lot more chutzpah to lift … [Read more...]

TF: Slurs and epithets

Tribulation Force, pp. 331-336 Rayford watched the news and was certain Chloe had been correct. It had indeed been Buck Williams, not more than 30 feet from the witnesses and even closer to the gunman, who was now little more than charred bones on the pavement. Commas can be tricky. The sentences that follow the ones above make it clear that Jerry Jenkins didn't mean to say, "It had indeed been Buck Williams … who was now little more than charred bones on the pavement." What he … [Read more...]

TF: Suspending suspense

Tribulation Force, pp. 325-326 Rayford returned from a quiet dinner with part of his new crew ... Oh no, here we go again. Let me guess -- a quiet dinner with the young, single, female part of his crew. Just an innocent candlelit dinner during which much is implied but nothing is overtly stated and Rayford is able to reassure himself that it's all perfectly appropriate because he never touched her. Eventually, after months of such quiet dinners, she'll confront him and demand that he … [Read more...]

TF: Sweet fire-breathing Moses

Tribulation Force, pp. 317-325 Here, at last, we come across some of the standard vocabulary of a thriller. It's late at night outside of a hotel room in Jerusalem. The mysterious professor stands beside a waiting car. "Get in," he says. Not a frightfully original set-up, but at least it is a set-up. This book, after all, is billed as an "End-Times thriller." A thriller is supposed to thrill or, at least, to attempt to thrill. But we've slogged through nearly 800 … [Read more...]

Clobberin' time

Wheaton College grad Cathleen Falsani asks, "Is Evangelical Christianity Having a Great Gay Awakening?" That's an optimistic question, and Falsani wants to give an optimistic answer. "A growing number of evangelical leaders," she writes, are publicly refusing to categorize homosexuality as a sin. As an example of this rising tide, she cites Jay Bakker, son of former televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye, and now pastor of The Revolution church in New York. I first met Jay … [Read more...]