Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 41: ’10 pages in the men’s room’

Here’s how Chapter 5 begins: “Buck Williams ducked into a stall in the Pan-Con Club men’s room to double-check his inventory. Tucked in a special pouch inside his jeans …” As a general rule, it’s probably best not to begin a chapter by having the protagonist enter the stall of a men’s room. If Buck needs to “double-check his inventory,” I don’t want to read about it. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 40: ‘Ars poetica’

Sorrow is the main reason this section of the book sort of works. Rayford here seems to stumble across an insight that eludes Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. He realizes that this “Rapture” idea doesn’t make any difference. Irene and Raymie are gone, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference — to him, or to them — whether it’s due to a Rapture or to an aneurysm. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 39: ‘Nero’s fiddle’

It’s one of the most awful and awesome panoramas of human suffering ever imagined in a work of fiction. But the audacity of the wholesale suffering that LaHaye & Jenkins imagine is dwarfed by the greater audacity of their wholly disregarding the very scenario they have presented. The authors and their protagonists seem wholly unperturbed by all of this death and destruction, save in how it presents a logistical inconvenience and cramps the travel plans of our heroes. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 38: ‘Cursed are the peacemakers’

Peace is a pretty major theme in the Bible. But that doesn’t matter to the prophecy nuts who are convinced that the Antichrist will be a “man of peace.” And since they believe that the most important thing for Christians to do is to be on the lookout against the Antichrist, and vigilantly opposed to his evil ways, they believe that Christians must oppose anyone who speaks of, pursues, or tries to make, peace. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 37: ‘Unmotivated close-up’

By fortuitous coincidence, Buck had already learned a great deal about the Antichrist. It turns out that in his interview with Rosenzweig, the doctor had gone off on a tangent about one of his hobbies. When he’s not busy inventing miracle formulas that make the deserts bloom, Rosenzweig apparently likes to study “the lower house of Romanian government.” Who doesn’t? [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 36: ‘Get in line’

Our hero journalist does not behave like either a hero or a journalist. Instead, a bit absurdly, he sets out to charter a private plane by getting into the very long line at the counter of an airline that does not provide such a service. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 35: ‘Nice people finish last’

Fear of a doctrine of “works righteousness” — salvation through good works — has led to a fear of good works themselves. This is not unique to LaHaye and Jenkins, although they do exhibit a particularly virulent strain of the disease. They believe the road to Hell is paved not with good intentions, but with good works. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 34: ‘Dr. Dives is bored’

The authors, like all of their characters, seem to have forgotten entirely about the scene of tragedy and suffering they have just left behind them. It’s out of sight and out of mind. For LaHaye and Jenkins — as for Rayford, Buck and the doctor — those other people and their suffering and need simply do not exist. Lazarus is invisible. Lazarus does not exist. [Read more…]

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