Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 8: ‘The Babel Fish’

“Here you have God appearing center stage. A direct, incontrovertible divine miracle witnessed by millions. Absolute, doubt-destroying, skeptic-shattering proof of the existence of God. There’s freaking divine flame in the sky. Yet it produces nary a ripple of wonder, awe or spiritual searching. Alone among the millions who witnessed this event, Buck Williams is slightly prompted to be more ‘spiritually attuned.'” [Read more…]

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NRA: Can’t wait for the funeral

This discussion of Verna seems intended to be a pep-talk for readers regarding the duty of evangelism. The present-day Christian readers of these books are meant to identify with the members of the Tribulation Force, whose behavior here is meant to serve as a model for how they can witness to or share the gospel with their own unsaved co-workers and acquaintances. But this pep-talk fails to recognize the difference between the starkly supernatural context of this story and the context of readers’ lives here in the real world, where such supernatural evidence is a bit harder to come by. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 7: ‘The literal donkey’s penis’

“This is how the entire book works. They seek out every opaque piece of apocalyptic imagery in the Bible, assemble these into a seemingly arbitrary sequence (Revelation, then Ezekiel, then Revelation again, then maybe Daniel …), and then cloddishly transcribe this imagery into an unimaginatively literal series of events. So if, in the authors’ view, Ezekiel says that Russia and Ethiopia have to attack Israel then, by gum, that is how their story will go.” [Read more…]

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NRA: By him all things consist

Maybe Jerry Jenkins’ jarring refusal to maintain even the broadest, most basic consistency in his fictional world is some kind of theological experimental fiction. Maybe these huge contradictions and massive continuity errors are actually his literary attempt to convey a world in which divine grace has been withdrawn — taking with it the consistency, coherence, logic and non-contradiction that we now, by God’s grace, take for granted. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 6: ‘Peace in the Middle East’

“Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins sincerely believe that we are now living in the End Times. They wrote Left Behind in the hopes of convincing others that this is so. Yet on page after page the reader is confronted with jarring illustrations of how glaringly, insurmountably incompatible this End Times world is with the actual world we are living in. The more you read, the more this book undermines the argument that our world and the world of the End Times are the same thing.” [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 5: ‘Weird Science’

“What’s telling is that LaHaye and Jenkins can’t seem to make a distinction between science and magic. When you’re afraid to engage anything that might challenge your belief that the earth is only 10,000 years old, you don’t end up reading a lot of science. This keeps you clueless enough about biology to think it’s perfectly plausible that a few drops of Dr. Rosenzweig’s Miracle Gro can turn sand into soil. And clueless enough about economics to think that agriculture would be more lucrative than Israel’s existing high-tech industrial economy.” [Read more…]

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If you had to pick one of these …

So, OK, two things: 1. Any preferences among these cover options? Or would the general consensus be “Ugh, none of the above”? and; 2. This would be a collection of the first couple years’ worth of Left Behind posts, covering the first 200 pages of the first book. (At about 80,000 words I suspect it’s actually longer than the first 200 pages of that book.) Anybody have a good sense of what a fair price would be for something like that? [Read more…]

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NRA: I love it when a plan comes together

The final chunk of Chapter 13 will be familiar to anyone who grew up watching the TV shows of Stephen J. Cannell. These pages offer gunfire, explosions, and a mad scramble across the tarmac fleeing Bad Guys with bad aim. It’s almost like an episode of “The A-Team.” The main difference, though — and here’s a phrase I never expected to write — is that the writing was far, far better on “The A-Team.” [Read more…]

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