Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Left Behind: or, Right Ahead

I've never read any of the Left Behind series. My initial contact was hearing of my sister-in-law being freaked out by a church youth group screening of the first movie when she was visiting relatives in the US a few years ago. I generally avoid passing on comment or criticism of books with which I'm not more familiar, but having grasped the basic assumptions and storyline of this one, I think I can be quite confident in saying that thoughtful reviews like this ought to get more airplay. For those too lazy to read a good review of a scary phenomenon, suffice to say that I'm not a fan. This, good people, is not how to read Revelation.

Christain eschatology is about hope, not fear, because God by his Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.

UPDATE: Kyle has recently posted a good summary of the theological and biblical problems of the Left Behind phenomenon.

10 comments:

Aaron G said...

Readers might like to check out Barbara Rossing's The Rapture Exposed...that is, after they've finished reading the Left Behind Prequels.

Mister Tim said...

That's an excellent review. I've studiously avoided the Left Behind books as well, but I know plenty of people who have read them. Thanks, Byron.

Rev Sam said...

You should check out Slacktivist's running commentary, it's hilarious (eg this. I actually managed to read three of the LB books before giving up - a window into a whole other world, which, given their success, is rather too influential for my liking.

Rob said...

I read almost all of them before God got a hold of my heart. ;) I thought they were an entertaining read, but it's silly exegesis all the way through.

kevin beck said...

It is great to see someone have a positive take on eschatology for a change. you're apparently familiar with wright, moltmann, scott mcknight, max king. Thanks for this post.

One of Freedom said...

But fear sells man!

Really I have had more than I can stomach in exposure to this kinda stuff. We unaffectionately call it Christian horror in our circles. It is also the world I came out of, and part of why I left the Pentecostal church. Its companion Restorationist theology is equally scary.

byron said...

Here's another funny swipe at it, but what we need are not preaching to the choir indulgent indignation pieces, but critical writing that is incisive yet accessible to the readers of LB. Anyone recommend anything in this vein?

byron said...

Frank: 'Christian horror'. Very apt.

Kevin: (I realise this is months too late, but oh well) Yes, that's us. Come and join us... :-)

vlr said...

For those of us in ministry, we've got to read them because people ask. Along with a buddy, I've decided to preach seven weeks on Eschatology just to get it through to folks (started today).

nd right on Byron, hope is the watch word, not fear.

byron said...

vir - I've thought about reading them, but in Australia they haven't made nearly the same splash as in the US, so it has never quite happened. From a distance, I can nonetheless see why it would be necessary to do so in many contexts. Hope your series goes well - thanks for linking to it.