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"left behind" rapture novels

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Toasted, Jul 26, 2005.


  1. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    What are your impressions of the "left behind" series by Tim F. LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins.

    Please dont let this thread go to a religeous debate, Im asking for actual thoughts, not fights :)
     
  2. Hmmmm. My wife enjoyed them.

    Mike
     
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My brother, an avid science fiction fan and devoted Christian, bought the whole set based on recommendations from some friends. He read the first two pages of the first one and gave them all away. The writing was that bad. And this is from someone who has enjoyed Hubbard's science fiction! :eek:

    The reviews on Amazon.com are hilarious.

    I wouldn't touch these books with a ten foot pole personally.

    I read an absolutely hilarious send-up of these books recently, I wish I could find it!
     
  4. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    1. Villains do something awful.
    2. Christians flail about helplessly.
    3. Situation gets worse until there's just no way out.
    4. a. God performs miracle, extracting Christians from difficulty.
    or
    b. Christians die and are happy to be with Jesus.
    5. Go back to 1.
    6. Repeat for 11 books or whatever.

    (They're just Tom Clancy novels with angels.)
     
  5. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Thanks... looks like this thread might not be OT suitable. If it needs moving if someone did it, that would be nice.

    Im considering them as Lit. dissertation material. People seem to get quite carried away by them. Which is good.
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I understand that they're incredibly horribly written. That could be really funny for your dissertation. Why would people eat up such incredibly bad books? :help:
     
  7. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I used them in a course concerning modern-day pop cultural apocalyptism (if you can say that five times fast, you can probably have my job...). If you're doing a popular culture or reader-response kind of dissertation, they could work fine.

    If you're using a more critical or Continental approach, I honestly don't think there's enough there to work with. They just aren't deep enough to support those kinds of reading strategies very well. Not that you couldn't do it, but I think the rewards-to-effort ratio would be seriously out of whack.

    If you used them in the context of other apocalyptic texts ("I got a little list...") to examine our cultural moment, well, that was my course -- they worked just fine.
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    My mother-in-law has a copy of the Left Behind movie starring Kirk Cameron.....needless to say, I haven't watched it.
     
  9. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There is at least one parody out there somewhere but I can't remember the title. I heard a friend give it a glowing review earlier this month. How interested are you in tracking it down?

    As far as the LB series go, my opinion is that they've got about as much factual basis as, say, Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. Both are by and large pretty easy reading potboilers and it would probably do ardent advocates of both to get together and realise how much they've got in common.

    If you want a work of fiction that has religious connotations to subject to intense scrutiny, how about the excellent The Black Angel by John Connolly? I'm up to the last few chapters and I'm suprised to find myself agreeing with Daily Mail critic who called it a "literate and beautifully written page-turner". It would probably work better as the subject of a dissertation, with stuff like the LB series perhaps being worthy of a longish footnote.

    Wulf
     
  10. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    I think they're horrible. Aside from the theological inaccuracies they contain they're just poorly written. The guys is a clown. Why people have been so swept away by these things, is so beyond me.

    This of course is all just my opinion. I'm sure some of my fellow Christian TBers enjoy the books, and I don't mean any of this in an offensive way - unless your LaHaye...then you can go ahead and be offended.

    One of the funniest books I've ever read on the subject was one called "Right Behind." Check it out if you get a chance, Toasted.
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Right Behind... that might be the one I was thinking of.

    Wulf
     
  12. I believe you meant apocalypticysm. Making you an apocalypticysmologist. Unless you are irrationally afraid of apocalypses, in which case you're an apocalypticysmaphobic. :D

    I think the FAA should require pilots to be Evil, otherwise they may vanish midflight in the Rapture. Or at least require an Evil Copilot (pinky to mouth like Dr. Evil... ) Or could you at least be an Evil Stewardess with flight training? "NO, Dad!!!"

    Randy
     
  13. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    You'd be suprised guys, but in "literary circles" there's alot of fairly promising theory behind them.
     
  14. A book I read a long time ago was interesting, an Ironworker (works on steel structures of skyscrapers) gets bumped off the beam he's on by a swinging beam on a crane, so he grabs it. So he's suspended hundreds of feet in the air, about to fall. This other ironworker grabs the other end of the beam, pushes off to rotate the beam so the first guy rotates back over a beam, gets off safely. The 2nd guy ends up falling.... BAM.... land without a scratch. Catholic church thinks it might be a miracle, he might be 2nd coming of Christ, kidnaps him to check his body for the 666 sign, doesn't find it, and declares him the real deal. Meanwhile the Ironworker doesn't have a clue what's going on...

    Pretty interesting novel.. I think it might have been called the Second Coming or something like that.

    Wife has another book, Lamb (the Gospel According to Biff). A story written by Biff, childhood friend of Jesus as they grew up. More like "Life Of Brian (Monty Python) than "Left Behind". If you liked the Left Behind series you may not like Lamb....

    One story, how Biff met Jesus, they were 6, Jesus little brother was playing with a lizard, would bash its head with a rock, killing it. Jesus would resurrect it. His little brother would play with it for a while, bash its head with a rock again, Jesus would resurrect it again... Biff comes by says "I want to do that too!" Jesus says "Which part?" Its apparently full of tongue in cheek humor like that. You either love it or hate it probably.

    Randy
     
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Could you elaborate that? I've only read the first paragraphs, but it's already getting hard to read (and not because of the religious topic).
     
  16. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    As the professor, I have the privilege of being right regardless of my correctness, at least in my class. We ended up calling the promoters of apocalypse apocalyptics, so apocalypticysm would seem to refer to them rather than their beliefs, and how irrational is it to be afraid of apocalypse, anyway? (In my book, that would be "apocalytiphobic" I guess) I'm certain we should be afraid of apocalyptics, so I guess your word, "apocalypticysmaphobic," applies to me, although I'm pretty certain I'm rationally afraid of them.

    Now, let's talk about eschatology, eschatologists, and the eschatalon.

    "...and you tell me
    over and over and over again my friend,
    that you don't believe
    we're on the eve
    of destruction..."

    "any man left on the Rio Grande
    is the King of the World, as far as I know"

    etc.
     
  17. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Interestingly, my wife, the pastor, loved Lamb. I've got one upstairs, We All Fall Down which, in my mind, is what the Left Behind series could have been if it had been written by someone talented. And he does it in 250 pages, a bonus. It's scary rather than didactic, cartoony, and bombastic.
     
  18. Based on being the professor, I will yield to your expertise. That and the fact I made up the word in the first place. Just a snarky comment mocking those that seem to pathologically correct others spelling and grammar in posts...

    Is that related to study of scatological references? Except for the Escatalon, obviously an Olympic Event involving skills in said topic....

    Great post about Mythbusters and the mythical "Brown Note" here... Mythbusters vs the Brown Note

    Randy
     
  19. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Don't think for a minute that I didn't run a spell check before I publicly claimed "professor" status. "Eschatology" doesn't scan for the checker, though. Eschatology means the study of the story of the end of the world, usually Christian but not always, although often, none the less, full of crap. So perhaps "escatological" would do.

    "Escatalon" is a word I borrowed from Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus books, in which the villains were trying to "immanetize the escatalon" -- end the world. You could probably read Illuminatus as a comment on Left Behind except for the problem that it was written 35 years earlier. It would sure be more fun as a dissertation topic.
     
  20. :spit: Well thanks a LOT for crushing my Olympic Escaton dream... THAT was something I'm clearly World Class at.... :D

    Randy