Left Behind?

Here’s a shocker. Apparently, those Left Behind books are not particularly good unless you are a fundamentalist premillennial dispensationalist (say that three times fast!). The twelfth, and final, volume Glorious Appearing has been released. Carl Olson over at National Review Online isn’t impressed:

After nine years, twelve volumes, forty million total copies, two movies, and an endless flood of apocalyptic merchandise, readers of the “Left Behind” series have reached the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately for them, episode #12, titled Glorious Appearing, is underwhelming and pedestrian, poor qualities for a novel about a Big Event . . . Having read many of the other “Left Behind” books, I readily admit that I expected Glorious Appearing to be bloated, stilted, and corny. As it turns out, that combination would have been a welcome relief from the 400 pages of repetitive, numbing bombast that assaulted my weary eyes. Nevertheless, I fully expect this latest episode (of what once was going to be just a trilogy) to top the charts and sell a quadrillion copies.

Maud hasn’t read them but she understands from personal experience where the fundamentalists are coming from:

There’s something about the apocalyptic message that works on the most fearful among us. LaHaye and his ilk scare people shitless and then offer them the Ultimate Salvation: Christ, and by extension Heaven, and Eternal Life!

She recommends Neal Pollack’s review of the series instead. First of all, did Pollack really read twelve volumes in and hour and a half? I think that might have involved a little skimming. No matter, he offers a quick review of each book if you are interested.

I did want to mention Pollack’s conclusion. Here it is:

You may not have heard it here first, but you’re hearing it now. These are not people of faith, or true Christians. These are lunatics bent on the destruction of civil society by using us as pawns in their Armageddon passion play. And our President is one of them.

Let me state for the record that I don’t share LaHaye’s theology and have some real problems with his perspective on politics (reconstructionism, etc.), but Pollack’s slam on Bush is just a cheap shot. Just because there are some connections between LaHaye and Bush doesn’t mean Bush shares his theology or his worldview. I don’t believe that Bush is a fundamentalist in the LaHaye vein and he is certainly not a Christian reconstructionist. This is just a lazy guilt-by-association drive by. Not that Pollack will care but I wanted to note it for the record.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).