Know your millennialisms (and how to avoid them)


Religion Dispatches is a reliable site for smart commentary, and Jay Michaelson seems like an engaging fellow, but his latest RD article — “Why I’m Grateful for 2012, The Rapture, and Other Millennial Delusions” — is an unholy mess. Michaelson gets his eschatology scrambled, reversing pre- and post-millennialism, and thereby also garbling American history beyond recognition. [Read more...]

NRA: The running man


Finally, Buck Williams wants something. That gives this chapter a momentum and a life that’s usually lacking in these books. It’s the one big thing that Jerry Jenkins gets right in this chapter that allows readers to hurdle past all the other things here, large and small, that he gets horribly wrong. [Read more...]

Climate change is both a hoax and a sign of the End Times


“Bible prophecy scholars” insist that the Rapture and the End of the World are prophesied to occur in our lifetime. That’s what makes us special. It means that the Bible was written mainly for and about us — for and about the special 21st-century white Americans in whose special lifetimes these prophecies were ordained by God to occur. [Read more...]

NRA: A whoopee cushion on Hitler’s chair

Tribulation Force scientists have developed a new secret weapon in their battle against the villainy of the Antichrist.

The superlative evil of the Antichrist creates a challenge for Bible prophecy storytellers. It Godwins the thread. If the Antichrist is to be the greatest monster ever in the history of the world, then he’ll need to be obviously worse than any of the actual usual candidates for that title. It won’t work to have your Antichrist wind up seeming almost as bad as Mao, or nearly as bad as Stalin, or merely “kind of Hitler-y.” [Read more...]

NRA: Just Let It Go

The secret to any successful marriage is having a good Antichrist.

In order to get through this logjam of absurdities here in Chapter 4, I’ll need to just buck up, as it were, swallow hard, and make “just let it go” my mantra for turning pages. Otherwise I’ll never be able to plow through this so that we can discover the glorious absurdities awaiting in Chapter 5. [Read more...]

Dr. Sarah Hammond on Left Behind


Religious history scholar Sarah Hammond died last Thanksgiving, too soon. Tributes marking the anniversary of her death this week highlighted her perceptive, generous and clear-eyed assessment of the Left Behind series, which Hammond saw as an important window into the culture and theology of American evangelicalism. [Read more...]

The curious incident of Elementary, Left Behind, and the paradox of ‘Bible prophecy’


That’s the paradoxical problem in all stories like this. In order to present a setting in which Sherlock Homes can seem real, that setting cannot allow for the existence of the fictional Holmes. And a world without the fictional Holmes can never seem wholly familiar or real. [Read more...]

NRA: Life during wartime

It's not just a cell phone, babe, it's a UNIVERSAL cell phone.

“Write what you know,” the old adage says, and what Jerry Jenkins knows is business travel as a commercial airline passenger. So that’s what he gives us here in Nicolae. As a result, his account of World War III ends up being less exciting, and less eventful, than the average story about routine travel through airports. [Read more...]