So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Thursday, April 07, 2005

End-Times Holy War

Back in the 70s through early 80s there was a series of "end-times" films, beginning with A Thief in the Night. Then in the mid-90s, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins figured out how to make money off the concept. (Well, Bob Dylan did pretty decently with Slow Train Coming somewhere in there, but nothing like LaHaye & Jenkins's franchise 1 and franchise 2.)

Then, at the end of last year, Tyndale House (publishers of the Left Behind behemoth) decided to make mo' money, mo' money, mo' money off our end-times fascination. Hanegraaff & Brouwer's The Last Disciple takes a different approach than the Thief in the Night and Left Behind serieses (or is that serii?). Instead of speculating about future events, TLD speculates that many events in John's book of Revelation found fulfulment in the First Century A.D.

"Oho!" you say, "How can that be? Clearly these events take place in the future. Left Behind said they would."

Except that Left Behind is fiction.

It's not real.

Will Christ return someday? Yes, that part is real.

Will a horndog airline pilot get left behind and never have another lustful thought in his life? I have my doubts.

Will people, particularly those who have life and that more abundantly, work scripturisms into their conversation and never notice how awkward it sounds? Please, no.

Will women in conservative, male-authored fiction be continually marginalized, even though their storylines have more interesting possibilities than those of the men? Probably, but it's a shame.

Will co-authored books ever be as good as Stephen King's 1984 team up with Peter Straub: The Talisman? I hope so, but things aren't looking so good if LaHaye/Jenkins, Hanegraaff/Brouwer and the King/Straub follow-up Black House are indicative of things to come.

On his blog, Chris Well (author of Forgiving Solomon Long; ask for it wherever crime fiction is sold) has an interview with Sigmund Brouwer. At the beginning of Part One*, Well links to some articles about Tim LaHaye's reaction to the new kids on the block** and their contrary theory of end-times prophecy. Some people don't grasp the difference between what is real and what they think is real. Perception may define reality, but it doesn't make it necessarily true.

People at Amazon seem to have problems grasping this concept as well. My review of Last Disciple is currently ranked at 5/9 (five out of nine people have found it helpful - and that's with me logging on as Dina and casting her vote in my favor). Recent reviews slamming the book's theology are at 8/12, 21/27, 31/34. Reviews supportive of the theology are at 9/51, 7/43, 10/30.

All this to say, VOTE FOR MY REVIEW! GoogleAds (at right, near the top) may not want me begging for clicks, but Amazon has no restriction on embarrasing shallowness.

Two more things:
  1. Mark Bertrand has a good blog entry on the subject, as well
  1. DaVinci Code readers: It's fiction, too!

*Be sure to check out Parts Two, Three, and, if I've deciphered the archiving code correctly, Four of Well's interview. Part Four will be available tomorrow, 4/8/05.)

**Specifically, Hanegraaff & Brouwer, not the late 80s/early 90s boy band. Many speculated NKotB represented a sign that the apocalypse was imminent, but failed to recognize that additional horrors like the Spice Girls and actresses under contract with Disney becoming "recording artists" were yet to come.


0 Snarky Remarks:

Get snarky