07 December 2010

Left Behind: Kingdom Come

Read all my reviews of the Left Behind books!
1. Left Behind, 2. Tribulation Force, 3. Nicolae, 4. Soul Harvest,
5. Apollyon, 6. Assassins, 7. The Indwelling, 8. The Mark,
9. Desecration, 10. The Remnant, 11. Armageddon,
12. The Glorious Appearing, and 13. Kingdom Come

Warning: This one is a long one.

When I finished my review of the twelfth book, The Glorious Appearing, I had been unable to find a copy of Kingdom Come. In fact, I was so frustrated that I even started on the only available copy of the thirteenth book I could find: the audiobook, as performed by some magnificent character called Steve Sever.

It must be heard to be believed. Here's the first sample, from the beginning section of the book that's actually a copy-and-paste from The Glorious Appearing. In this clip, Rayford and his two wives are chatting.



And here's a rather representative passage from later in Kingdom Come. Rayford asks a question and receives a laborious pseudo-Biblical answer. You'd think he could just pray and ask Jesus about it, since Jesus is ever-ready to burst in on your thoughts, but he has to put the good Pastor Tsion to work still.



Thankfully, I eventually got a text version of the book, and could get to serious work.

The basic rules of the Millenium of Jesus' rule on Earth, the period covered in this book:

  • If you are a believer, you are immortal and invulnerable. You are a vegetarian because you do not kill animals. If you need to know how to do something, Jesus implants that information in your brain. Everyone speaks Hebrew.
  • If you died, then at the start of the Millenium you are restored to an "ideal body" at an "ideal age." You never age or change during your thousand years of new life. You cannot have children and feel no desire for sex.
  • If you were born after the Rapture, then you age, but very slowly. If you do not accept Jesus as your personal savior, then you die at the end of your first hundred years.
  • The sun and moon are both super-bright, so much so that everyone has to get used to sleeping in powerful light.


There are a lot of weird other rules and things that pop up, but those are the basic rules. And of course, there are a lot of problems with them. For example, what form of Hebrew is spoken? It apparently has the divine approval, but was it the Hebrew of Noah? King David? Modern Hebrew? Jesus spoke Aramaic, so the easiest answer isn't available. It seems weird that Yahweh loves this one little culture and people so much, and kind of insulting - but we'll get to that in depth later.

Another problem with the rules is the "ideal age" thing. What is the ideal age? I like the way I look now, but I bet when I get older I am going to be a distinguished-looking fellow. The way this works is never explained.  Some people look about twenty, others thirty, others forty.  Why?  Who knows!

Really, this lack of elaboration is bizarre. Did the authors find such questions silly, or just too difficult? These are the truly interesting things here, but there is a complete lack of curiosity. The people of these books are soul-less sheep.

It's not like they were short on room. In addition to the copying of the last chapter of The Glorious Appearing, they find space for a retelling of the flood story at great length and vast reams of Biblical quotes, including all of Revelations 20 and the whole story of the flood and the exodus and Jericho and David's whole life, and they even retell some of the stories from the earlier books (like Tsion's escape from Israel). These copied sections don't add much, and it seems like the authors were just out of ideas. Explanations of some of the weirder aspects of the Millenium could have filled up this space into which they so desperately copy-and-pasted.

The plot of the book certainly isn't crowding anything out. Jesus rules the planet directly, and strikes down with lightning people who sin badly anywhere in the world. So the "threat" is a pretty harmless group of young people who choose not to follow Jesus. In the book, Rayford is captured by one group, but an angel rescues him. Abdullah ministers to another group, and converts a leader. And Kenny has a false email sent out about him by an infiltrator, who is exposed. These short elements of actual writing are a minority in the book, swamped in quotes and retellings and endless prayers.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but as we have established in the past, no exaggeration is necessary with these books.  Here's a representative passage.


Rayford still had questions, of course, but he was speechless as the glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Jesus said, “This is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places. When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger. Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever. Now that I have judged those who rejected me, those who remain shall keep the temple’s ordinances and perform them. This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy.” The altar hearth had four horns extending upward from it. And Jesus said, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it. A young bull shall be given for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me. They shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus they shall cleanse it and make atonement for it. Then they shall also take the bull of the sin offering and burn it in the appointed place of the temple, outside the sanctuary. On the second day they shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull. When they have finished cleansing it, they shall offer a young bull without blemish and a ram from the flock without blemish. When they offer them before the Lord, the priests shall throw salt on them, and they will offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord. “ ‘Every day for seven days they shall prepare a goat for a sin offering; they shall also prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish. Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, and so consecrate it. When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer their burnt offerings and their peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you.’ ”

Riveting.

As to the young rebels against God, who provide the lame excuse of a plot in this book: I'll say it right now, flat out, that these young people are completely heroic, and I am totally on their side. In the previous books, I rooted for the Antichrist just because he had some good arguments and the good guys were insufferable. But these rebellious young people in Kingdom Come, who call themselves the Other Light, are full-out heroes.


“The Other Light is, in essence, a secret society within our own. It is spreading worldwide, largely through computer technology and encrypted messages. The bushy-haired one, Ignace, and the redhead, Lothair, are slowly bringing me into their confidences. I feared at first they would make me prove myself by coming to Paris and engaging in some debauchery, but that—so they claim—is beneath them. Their current deal is a missive called ‘If It’s True . . . ,’ which they send to carefully selected dissidents. The gist of it is that if it’s true that the opponents of Jesus die at age one hundred, the efforts of all must be redoubled before they die off, in effect martyring themselves for the sake of the final effort at the end of the Millennium.”
“That makes no sense,” Bahira said. “If it’s true that unbelievers die at one hundred—and we know it is—it proves everything we believe about Jesus, everything that is obvious. I don’t understand why this doesn’t spur them to repent and save themselves.”
“I know what you’re saying, Bahira,” Raymie said. “But like my brother-in-law said at Cendrillon’s funeral, these people already know who Jesus is. They don’t doubt His deity. They don’t like it. They oppose it. That their comrades are dying at one hundred only convinces them of the rightness of their cause. So, Kenny, how do they plan to overcome the ultimate prophecy, the final reward for their leader at the end of the Millennium?”

I have long said that even if Yahweh of the Bible did exist, he would have to be the grimmest kind of bully and I like to think I'd have the moral fortitude to oppose him, even if he did have the power to punish me for my freethought. So many of his previous actions were so immoral and vicious that he deserves to be opposed, no matter his power. Well, these young people are living that glorious adherence to righteousness.

God has said that he must be worshiped or you will suffer for it. The Other Light says that they know he's powerful and that they will suffer, but they won't be forced to laud anyone. They're staking their hopes on doing the right thing, even though the odds are spectacularly against them - fighting a deity of enormous power - and they pay the highest cost. Jesus is revered for suffering for part of a day and dying, but he was restored to life and health. These kids are laying down their lives for eternity, risking an eternal torment they end up receiving - all for the sake of the good.

The examples we are shown are fairly typical straw men, if not egregiously so, but the romance of their heroism has won me over. I'm reminded of the old questions about Satan's role in Milton's Paradise Lost, a work in which Satan often appears magnificent and admirable.  Rising up from his damnation, Satan roared glorious defiance:


What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deifie his power,
Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall.

This magnificence was so obvious that Blake would later famously comment that Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it." And by the same token that we must marvel at the dignity of Satan in the face of doom - when he rises from a great fall with a full heart and puissant leadership - we have to admire the Other Light for facing the same odds.

Alas, they're doomed. On with the show.

The worst problem of the previous books remains in this one. The authors just don't like to describe things happening. When possible, they instead have a character remember it, instead, in a vague manner. So it is with Rayford.


RAYFORD STEELE had to admit that the first time he saw a bear and then a leopard moving about in public, something niggled at him to keep his distance, to not show fear, to make no sudden movements.

See, now that Jesus is back, the lion lays down with the lamb and all animals get along. This is one of the clear prophecies about the Messiah in the Old Testament, but weirdly - even though Jesus was supposedly the Messiah - I do not think zoos are so peaceable. But wait! The prophecy actually meant the second time Jesus would come. Never mind. Totally reasonable.


But when he saw the bear and the cat cooperate to climb a tree and make a meal of leaves and branches, he was emboldened to trust God for the whole promise. It wasn’t just he who had become a vegetarian. It was true of all former carnivores.

This reminds me a lot of the Creation Museum in Kentucky. At this wonderful testament to human ingenuity in the face of implacable fact, you can see depictions of the Garden of Eden filled with dinosaurs, and descriptions about how the Tyrannosaurus Rex used to use its massive sharp teeth to open coconuts. For serious.

Also you can see an example of how a riding dinosaur, such as Adam probably used, must have looked.

But this whole vegetarianism thing raises a lot of questions. None of them are answered. Are the internal organs of these animals all revamped, since so few carnivores could digest cellulose? And what about those creatures that are far removed from our scale, like bacteriovores - do those count? How about viruses, by their nature predatory - do they just cease to exist?

We never get the answers to any of these questions, and in fact the whole thing about animals never comes up again after this first page.


Rayford moved quietly to the trunk of the tree and watched the animals cavort and eat. And when a branch fell, he himself tasted the leaves. He enjoyed fruit and vegetables more, but he could see what the creatures found in the plants.

What?! So now are humans also able to eat previously inedible things? To what extent is this true? Why don't you answer the exceedingly obvious questions of your readers?!

As it turns out, everyone eats essentially the same thing all the time.


Irene had made butter from milk she had collected from a cow, so when everyone had assembled, they were met with steaming piles of fresh produce, drenched in butter.
and

“We are honored, sir,” Rayford said. “Would you join us for fried vegetables and fresh fruit?”

It seems as though the food culture of the world has been eradicated. This was perhaps to be expected, considering how meat-dependent it was, but it still seems odd that an immortal people are content with such boring meals. You have eternity, you don't want to whip up something a little more interesting? Not that buttery or fried vegetables aren't good, but I don't think I would want to eat that all the time. And we pretty much have to assume that they do, since every time anyone eats, it's this sort of meal.

How about some dal, guys? Or kimchi soup? Herb french fries? When I think about a thousand years of the same food every day, it makes me a little sick. But not the passionless Jesus-robots of the future!  This is because the man of the future is the most boring person on the planet. Even the characters seems to subconsciously realize this:


Now he anticipated the special dinner where his mother-in-law was to tell yet another story of Jesus.

Every day they talk about Jesus. It's all they really talk about. They gather together to praise him, and he makes them fulfilled. They pray to him, and he gives them a boost of peace. They feel uncomfortable with thoughts he wouldn't want them to have.

All individual cultures have been wiped out. Every historical building, monument, or artifact has been swept away by Jesus during the last battle. Jesus rules as a dictator from Israel, with Jewish lieutenants who command larger groups of Jews, who in turn each govern part of the world as the undisputed ruling elite. If you're not Jewish, you're not special and cannot rise in government, because Jesus is crazy-racist.

We see some sad attempts in this book at revivals of individual culture...


On the other hand, despite the anxiety over working undercover, Kenny had found Paris interesting. None of the historical landmarks remained, of course, but attempts had been made to reproduce some of the more familiar—like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and even some of the great cathedrals.

...but for the most part it is only Jewishness that is sanctioned and rewarded. And why shouldn't that be so, because the omnipotent God has decreed it?

The Jesus-robots certainly don't complain. This is mostly because they're not really human anymore.


And strange about Cameron and Chloe’s relationship was that they still loved each other, but not romantically. Their entire hearts’ desires were on the person of Jesus and worshiping Him for eternity. In the Millennium, they would live and labor together with Kenny and raise him, but as there would be no marrying or giving in marriage, their relationship would be wholly platonic.
...

“It’s bizarre,” Chloe told Cameron. “I still love and admire and respect you and want to be near you, but it’s as if I’ve been prescribed some medicine that has cured me of any other distracting feelings.” “And somehow that doesn’t insult me,” Cameron said. “Does my feeling the same offend you?” She shook her head.

What sad shades of people! Romance and passion have been crushed out of them like juice from an orange, and - what's worse - these shredded rinds have been made to be glad of the loss! A major part of what makes them human, and what defined them as individuals, has been stripped away, and in its place is the same numbing happiness and love of Jesus that everyone else feels. I was immediately reminded of another scene, a very similar one.


'They can't get inside you,' she had said. But they could get inside you. 'What happens to you here is for ever,' O'Brien had said. That was a true word. There were things, your own acts, from which you could never recover. Something was killed in your breast: burnt out, cauterized out.

He had seen her; he had even spoken to her. There was no danger in it. He knew as though instinctively that they now took almost no interest in his doings. He could have arranged to meet her a second time if either of them had wanted to. Actually it was by chance that they had met. It was in the Park, on a vile, biting day in March, when the earth was like iron and all the grass seemed dead and there was not a bud anywhere except a few crocuses which had pushed themselves up to be dismembered by the wind. He was hurrying along with frozen hands and watering eyes when he saw her not ten metres away from him. It struck him at once that she had changed in some ill-defined way. They almost passed one another without a sign, then he turned and followed her, not very eagerly. He knew that there was no danger, nobody would take any interest in him. She did not speak. She walked obliquely away across the grass as though trying to get rid of him, then seemed to resign herself to having him at her side. Presently they were in among a clump of ragged leafless shrubs, useless either for concealment or as protection from the wind. They halted. It was vilely cold. The wind whistled through the twigs and fretted the occasional, dirty-looking crocuses. He put his arm round her waist.
...
'I betrayed you,' she said baldly.

'I betrayed you,' he said.
...
'And after that, you don't feel the same towards the other person any longer.'

'No,' he said, 'you don't feel the same.'

There did not seem to be anything more to say. The wind plastered their thin overalls against their bodies. Almost at once it became embarrassing to sit there in silence: besides, it was too cold to keep still. She said something about catching her Tube and stood up to go.

'We must meet again,' he said.

'Yes,' she said, 'we must meet again.'

It's a grim future in both cases. And perhaps we must pity even more those Raptured as children, now never to know what they had lost.


While Raymie wondered what a normal life might have been like, with dating and love and marriage and parenthood, he found it convenient to not be distracted by such things while immersed in a life of service to Christ.

To paraphrase: If you want a picture of the future, imagine a divine sandal stomping on a human face - forever.

So the Jesus-robots are all assigned tasks. In the case of Buck (sorry, now he's Cameron - "There's nothing to buck, guys") and Chloe they get put in charge of educating the children of Israel about Jesus.


In a flash it came to Cameron to call this group COT (Children of the Tribulation), and as negative as the name sounded, it didn’t grate on him. It was merely fact. Here were representative children born after the Rapture who had survived to enter the kingdom. As the thousand years progressed, of course, kids would be born who could still be called children of the Tribulation, because someone in their ancestry had to have lived through it.

Really? These kids will be stuck with this label for a thousand years? I don't think they're going to be unhappy because it's negative, I think they'll be unhappy because it sucks. And everyone born during this time will be called that, just because their ancestor was one? Yeah, they're going to love that.

Is it any wonder these kids rebel?

Let's take a break here and listen to a few more segments of the audiobook. We deserve it.

Here's Tsion and Rayford strolling along, discussing the new race-based regime.



And here's a conversation between some of the major characters after a young girl dies, the first person to do so in one hundred years. Chloe is filled with Christ's love.



What a pip!

So anyway, let's return to the "literal" interpretation of the Biblical end times.

Actually, wait. A note on that "literal" thing.

When the authors say they're being literal, they usually mean they're being literal in the sense of being completely metaphorical. Revelations 12:3 says "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads." But there is no dragon at any point in these books - instead this dragon is held to represent the United Nations. Literal!

Actually, come to think of it, the only literal parts of the series come from Revelations 8 and 9: the pretty straightforward series of disasters. Meteors, poison, etc. But every other piece of imagery from Revelations is treated as a metaphor. The four horsemen, the lady with a crown and stars on her feet, the four creatures, etc.

Interestingly, the authors don't even appear to realize what "literal" means. One of the two, Jerry Jenkins, even says:

I know one of the secrets of the success of Left Behind is that Dr. LaHaye interprets most of Revelation as literally as he can. If it doesn't say it's symbolic, then he takes it literally. With Glorious Appearing, when Jesus comes back and there is no battle of Armageddon—they all marshal to have this battle and never have it—he wins and slays them all with the sword from his mouth. We know that it's not a literal sword; he's not going to come with a big sword hanging out of his mouth and kill millions of soldiers. But we also know that it says that in the Word—it's a novelist's dream.

So... it's not literal? What makes it a metaphor for a sword - is it just that you don't like the idea? Jesus is already levitating and slaying an army of millions single-handedly - but a mouth-sword is too far a stretch for you?

This is particularly a problem when it runs in the reverse: on the rare occasions when the authors do take something literally, it's frequently something that is obviously a metaphor. The whole thing is a metaphor, of course, but some passages more so. Such as the ones that have the rivers turning to milk.


They left the route to the causeway, and many followed them to the foothills, where the streams had become pure white milk. Having only half finished his meal, Rayford knelt and cupped both hands in the white cascade, the icy flow hitting his taste buds like nectar.
...
Again Chaim pointed, this time past the new foothills and to the rocky elevations that surrounded the city. There, gushing down the mountainsides were deep purple channels, collecting in great, beautiful pools below. “Do you believe this, Chaim?” Rayford said. The older man stood staring, then quietly quoted: “ ‘And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water.’ ”

These are some dumb writers. Do they think that when the Jews crossed into Israel, they also found a land literally "flowing with milk and honey," as it says in Exodus? No, it's outrageously obvious that the rivers did not turn into a gloppy flow of magical honey. It's a metaphor for an abundance of food. In the same way, it's profoundly stupid to think that the predictions of mountains dripping with new wine means that the springs will be magically changed into ever-flowing boxes of Franzia blush.

Think about how disgusting a river of milk would be. Even cold, it would have a powerful smell. As it soaked into the soil and became warmed mud-milk, it would start stinking. In a day or so of the Israeli sun (particularly the new super-powerful sun) it would curdle and draw insects. Not the kind of miracle we want, seriously.

Returning to the book...


As the renovated earth took spectacular shape over the next forty-five days, Rayford found himself curious about the upcoming opening of the new temple.

I think the authors are just teasing us now. They know we are curious about things like this spectacular shape and how Jesus is renovating. But they won't describe it to us, just to bother us. I bet they like to bake delicious chocolate cakes, and then put them in locked cages on the kitchen table. Hey kids, I made this amazing moist cake... ooh, but you can't have it because you're a sinner.

I like to imagine Jesus' world renovation works like SimCity. He selects the leveling tool, raises up the land, then makes some water tiles. But for Rayford to watch mountains rear into the sky, waterfalls bursting to life, and forests erupt from the ground... well gosh I sure wish someone would write a book about it, maybe they'd describe it. Or maybe not.

One thing they will describe, and with enormous gusto, is the construction of a new temple.


Only from this perch could Rayford take in the wall that extended all the way around the temple, its width and height equal. The gateway that faced east lay at the top of a set of stairs that was also the width of the wall. Each gate chamber was the same length and width, as was the vestibule of the inside gate. The eastern gateway bore three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; again, all the same size. From the front of the entrance gate to the front of the vestibule of the inner gate were beveled window frames in the gate chambers and in their intervening archways on the inside of the gateway all around, likewise in the vestibules and all around on the inside. On each gatepost were palm trees. In the outer court, thirty chambers faced a pavement that extended all the way around. These same features appeared on all four sides of the temple. Gateposts faced the outer court, and palm trees stood on its gateposts on both sides, and seven steps led up to it. There Rayford saw a chamber that appeared to have been equipped with tables on which to process offerings.

I like to imagine Jerry Jenkins writing these books. He has a mental checklist: "Okay, I described the temple... okay... and then I filled up that space with some more Jesus talk... mm-hmm... well, guess I'm done with this time period. Let's seamlessly transition to the future. It won't seem discordant at all."


BACK FROM Indonesia for a week, Rayford sat in a rocking chair on the rear deck of Tsion Ben-Judah’s tidy estate in northern Israel. “I had always wondered what that prophecy meant, about God’s people moving about with walking sticks by the end of the millennial kingdom. But I’m over 140 years old now, and I’m beginning to feel it.”

Whoa! 97 years into the Millenium, I guess it kind of sucks to have survived the Tribulation after all! If he feels this bad after less than a century, imagine how ol' Rayford's going to feel after a thousand years! I hope Jesus provides a magical bounty of Depends Adult Undergarments.

What might aging for so long be like? I am put in mind of Petronius' Satyricon's section about dinner at Trimalchio's, when one guest describes seeing the immortal but aging Sibyl:

Then the Sibyl! I saw her at Cumae with my own eyes hanging in a jar; and when the boys cried to her, ‘Sibyl, what would you?' she'd answer, ‘I would die,'

Poor Rayford, fated for a jar!


"Excuse me, Tsion.” Rayford stood and moved away as the cellular implant in his inner ear sounded and Chloe spoke.

What?! Cellular implant? Why is this the way we find out about this? Also, why is the only time it's ever mentioned in this book?! Technology has developed to the point that people have inner-ear phone implants, but this isn't important enough to spend even a sentence of explanation on?

The books have always kind of eked along technology. Buck starts off on a plane splicing his laptop into the on-board phone and using his dial-up modem, and then a few books later he's using his smartphone to surf the web through a scrambled satellite feed - with almost no acknowledgment of the crazy shifts in technology (Left Behind was written in 1995). The only time they really get into technology is when it comes to guns - the authors have lavished countless pages on describing the power of a .50 cal rifle.

Now we're a century into the future. Ordinarily, I would say that we'd have robots and flying cars, or maybe some sort of technopunk alternative like street samurai or whatever. But these being the books they are, I was perfectly willing to accept the world abandoning technology and reverting to an agrarian utopia. They got rid of all political advances (like democracy) and eliminated all schools and research labs, so it made sense to me that Jesus just doesn't care very much about cellular towers. But it seems that instead technology has continued unabated.

Let's consider what this means: all mining industries must have been rebuilt, with surveyors locating the new mineral deposits in the reshaped earth and mining teams excavating to them and starting extraction and refinement. The manufacturing sector must have emerged as well, with new factories being built to process the raw materials into plastics and wires and whatnot. Additionally, dedicated teams of scientists have rebuilt sterile laboratories and research centers in order to recreate the techniques for creating high technology - building from very little, since almost all scientists would presumably be in Hell. And then fabrication firms have churned out new devices. But not only do we never hear about any of this, we never even hear about whether or not thing like money even exist! Everyone picks their food from a nearby tree and scoops a glass of wine from the ground, and God implants knowledge and skills of how to build houses or the like, so theoretically there's no need for money. Is it a socialist utopia?

Here's a question: who's mining coal? It's a terrible job, dirty and unpleasant (even if immortals don't have to worry about the danger). Why would anyone do that, if they don't have to do it to put food on the table?

Who's handling the sewage? No, I bet Jesus just makes some unlucky guy want to fix a feces-clogged sewer pipe. It fulfills him, and he sings God's praises with blank eyes and a taut smile. Creepy.

But back on track: why is it we only hear about the high-tech inner-ear phones once, and why is this the only advancement humankind apparently makes in a hundred years?

...oh! That's right!

The authors needed phones, so they could get back to their normal routine of having characters make frequent phone calls. But detailing how society works, how industry was recreated, how technology has advanced - well, that would require creative writing. And that's not the author's strong point. Okay, this makes sense.

Anyway, it turns out that someone has died, for the first time in a century. She was apparently not a true Christian, even though she was a wonderful person in every way.


“The Jospins want me to speak at her funeral, Rayford,” Cameron said. “They know the truth, and yet still that’s what they want. Whatever would I say? She seemed a wonderful girl, and had her death been the result of an accident back in previous years, I’d have been able to rhapsodize about her. She was a dear friend, a valued coworker.”
"And an unbeliever,” Chloe said.

Yeah, that's real nice, Chloe.

So the Other Light are recruiting people away from Jesus, perhaps uncomfortable with the zombified Jesus-robots they see everywhere.


“Cendrillon acted as if she were teasing, but she talked of visiting France or Turkey to see for herself if the nightlife rumors were true.”
"They are true, Bahira. My dad checked it out. It basically consists of kids in their eighties and nineties who crow about having not yet become followers of Christ. They call themselves the Other Light and say their study of the ancient Scriptures makes them fans of Lucifer and not Jesus.”
“But they’re just doing this for attention, aren’t they? Jesus lives beyond the Scriptures. He’s the Living Word. Surely they can’t claim not to believe in a God who has again limited Himself to human form and lives and reigns among us.”

As I said above, I seriously admire the Other Light. They're heroic beyond all measure, giving their lives and gambling at high risk their souls for the hope of a better future, even against an enemy that seems all-powerful and controls every aspect of society and the minds of his subjects. And who can blame them, when the alternative is this:


Kenny had been ten and living in the kingdom a few years when his mother led him to Christ and prayed with him while putting him to bed one night.
“I don’t feel like a sinner,” he had told her. “I hardly remember doing anything wrong.”
“Sin isn’t necessarily just things we do,” she had said. “It’s what we are and who we are. We’re all born in sin and need forgiveness.”

You didn't do anything wrong. You were born wrong, and you need Jesus to graciously forgive you for having the audacity to be born. Now smile. SMILE, DAMNIT!

At Cendrillon's funeral, we finally meet some people from the Other Light. The authors try to make them out to be as personally repellent as possible, and also artificially stupid and offensive. It's supposed to make us dislike them and root against them, but instead it just seems pushy. After a sermon by Chloe about Cendrillon's evil failure to repent for emerging from a birth canal, one of the Other Lighter's speaks as if the sermon is unusual.


Lothair, a redhead, was the thinner and taller of the two. He snorted. “That crackpot sure made her sound like a loser. Don’t know who he thinks he is.”

Really, she's a crackpot? This guy has lived almost a hundred years in a world personally run by Jesus and a cadre of resurrected Jews, where almost every other person he ever meets is a devout Christian with a personal mind-link to the Jesus hivemind - and he thinks a woman giving a sermon is a crackpot?

These characters are only passingly acquainted with being human, perhaps, because no real person could ever be so stupid. Trying to make out the heroic "villains" of this book as such idiots makes the authors seem rather desperate. Fortunately, a conversation with Chloe's son, Kenny, goes better.


“Then you know she wasn’t some big sinner. She hadn’t even been outside Israel since she was a little kid. We couldn’t even talk her into having a little fun.”
“Fun?”
“Yeah, you know. Fun. Something other than singing songs to Jesus to make sure you live past a hundred.”
“I wouldn’t mind living past a hundred,” Kenny said.
“Then you’d better get saved, don’t you think? According to this guy, that’s the only way to make it. Unless you got a pass by coming straight here from heaven. You didn’t, did you?”
“Me? Nah. Do I look like it?”
“You don’t, actually; no offense. Those glorified people all look the same, like porcelain dolls. Hey, anywhere to have fun around here?”

See, this sounds like a real person. In fact, he sounds like the first real person in the book. The authors have always had a hard time writing characterization, so almost all people speak with the same voice unless they're cartoonishly villainous or some stereotype ("Y'all ain't from around here, is you?"). Chloe talks like Rayford talks like Buck talks like Bruce. But here we get someone who they accidentally give a real voice, and a decent outside perspective on the Jesus-robots. It's a surprisingly effective image: porcelain dolls. We can see them in their ranks, frozen smiles and delicate preserved skin. All in a row.

I am starting the Other Light fanclub.

Okay, so to "fight" the Other Light, a group of the younger generation gets together.

[H]e said, “I want to be cautious, but I’m struck by the makeup of our little band here, compared to the original Tribulation Force. You’ve all heard the stories. There were three men and a woman when they started too. My father and my sister and her husband were three of the original members.” He glanced at Bahira and Zaki. “Your father came along later and served several years. Who would have dreamed another effort like that might be needed during these times?”
“The Millennium Force,” Bahira whispered.

But you know what? I'm not going to talk about them. I find their very existence to be personally offensive to my intelligence.

See, basically the whole world is on the "good guys" side. An omnnipotent and omniscient deity rules the world directly, all of the world leadership is divinely ensured to be obedient, and almost every single person is a devout Christian. But the problem is that the overwhelming odds make the "bad guys," the Other Light, seem heroic. It's hard to feel threatened by a group so hugely outgunned.

So in order to artificially make it a tougher fight, the authors have a very small group come together in secret. Why in secret? Why not go to Jesus and get his support? Is it really so difficult to believe he'd be able to help them evangelize these Other Lighters? He's Jesus, I'm sure his disguise kit is pretty good.

But no, it has to be a plucky underdog group.

This is like a small group of police officers getting together in secret and saying, "Okay, guys, we've got to do something about this group of twelve drug-running pedophile Neo-Nazis in town. We can't tell the chief or the mayor, because of... ummm... anyway, here's our cool name."

So I find this offensive, and I will not further acknowledge their gimmick. It's stupid. Especially in light of what is revealed in this conversation:

Kenny bore the only nonglorified body among the four, and that had given him entrée to a world in which the others would never be welcomed without suspicion. “Ignace and Lothair Jospin are deep into the Other Light,” he reported, “but the underground nightclubs in Paris and elsewhere are merely a front. They are frequently raided and revelers arrested and imprisoned. Those who commit actual crimes have been known to be put to death by lightning, God dealing with them immediately as He did to Ananias and Sapphira of old.”

Jesus is personally destroying the Other Light with lightning! How can we possibly see them as a threat!?

“Some of them moved to other parts of Europe so they could join that. They not only chose against Christ, but they also chose for Lucifer. It was as if he became their hero, like a martyr who wasn’t dead but only temporarily bound.”
“But don’t they know his destiny?”
Ekaterina stood and paced. “That’s just it, Mr. Williams.”
“Kenny.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that. If I’m going to work for you . . . I mean, not that I’m saying I know I’ll get the job . . .”
“It’s all right. Call me what you wish.”
“I’ll tell you what: if you call me Kat, I’ll call you whatever you wish.”
“You’re on, Kat.”
“Anyway, that’s just it. They have delusions of grandeur. They actually believe they can become so organized and widespread and strong that they can change the course of history.”
“Even if they die hundreds of years before the final conflict.”
“Imagine that,” she said. “But again, this is where they’ve become so idealistic. They want to be martyrs to their cause. They find that glamorous. One told me she believed that if they did their jobs and passed down through the generations their doctrines and their war plans, Satan would actually win and have the power to resurrect them so they could rule with him.”

I am thinking about getting an Other Light armband to show my support.

While this half-hearted attempt at intrigue is going on, we find out that Rayford and Tsion have been dispatched to Egypt, where they have had the gall to disobey Jesus and refuse to send representatives to a festival in Israel. Jesus doesn't like this, and turns off all springs and rivers to afflict Egyptians with thirst.

A neighbor man about Rayford’s age wandered over to the Al Jizah construction site one afternoon. “You the ones the Lord sent?” he said.
“That would be us, sir.”
“Can you do anything about getting Him to turn the water back on?”
“That’s why we’re here, but as you can imagine, the leadership of this nation is going to have to get in line.”
“I hope you’re not expecting a warm welcome in Cairo. Those young men who talked the other leaders out of going to the feast are dead, slain by lightning in the very presence of their colleagues.”

Egypt has got Tsion so mad he won't even let them keep their name. Plus, it appears they're still holding a grudge about that bondage thing back from the time of the Pharoahs.

“Woe to you, says the Lord God of Israel, for helping to scatter His people throughout the generations. He healed your land and reestablished you, populating you solely with believers until your offspring were born. Yet you kept the name of your nation, a stench in the nostrils of God. Egypt: ‘temple of the soul of Ptah,’ indeed! Ptah, a pagan deity from generations past. Where is he in your time of need?"
...
“But, sir, that is precisely our point. What kind of a loving God is so capricious that He would—”
“Demolish this building!” Tsion roared. “Rebuild it as a temple to the Lord. Delight in His ways. Seek His face. Follow His statutes. Never again disobey His commands. And henceforth this land shall be known as Osaze, ‘loved by God.’ Lest you fear that His wrath evidences something other than His love, imagine what He could have done in the face of this ultimate insult.

It wasn't too long ago that Tsion was strolling along with Rayford, chuckling about his friend's uncertainty at the new Jewish global regime and at the idea that the Jews might be unjust in some way. Yet here he is, deciding that Egypt's name - a truly old name and arguably rather important to their culture - is no longer proper. No, this Israeli guy gets to rename their whole country because he is ethnically Jewish.

With God striking down dissenters with lightning, things go rather predictably and soon Egypt - sorry, "Osaze" - is dancing to the Jewish tune.

Back in Israel, the authors write a lengthy three-part lecture series conducted by famous Old Testament figures for the benefit of the Children of the Tribulation in Chloe and Cameron's care. The first speaker is Noah, the second is Joshua, and the third is David. They tell very long stories that do not deviate significantly from the Biblical accounts. This takes up a lot of space, so that the authors can take a break from creative writing and count their money.

Curiously, they actually recount Joshua's attack on the cities of Israel. Joshua drily recounts about how "[w]e had been in the wilderness for more than forty years by now, and it was time to possess the land," and how they put Jericho "to the sword, and spared no one." No attempt is made to justify the fact that Yahweh ceded to the Jews a big tract of land where people already happened to live, and then commanded them to exterminate those people. It's just skipped past.

Afterwards, there's some more boring intrigue. Kenny is... wait, a second, what's this?

He arrived home that evening to a computer message from Ignace Jospin. Oh, great!

Ah, so here in another offhand way we discover that computers are back and some form of the Internet has returned. Curious about that in any way? Want any details? Too bad! Kenny has to talk to his boss about some bad reports on his girlfriend at work!  No time for details or description or serious attempts at a readable book!

“That’s good. But I do need to talk with you about a work report on you from your supervisor.”
“Mattie? She sent a report on me? A good one, I hope. We’ve gotten along great.”
“Actually, it’s a troubling one, Ekaterina.”

I'll save you the breathless suspense: it turns out that an agent of the Other Light has been forging reports at the Children of the Tribulation compound. This deception is discovered within a minute, and no harm is done - no one's feelings even get hurt. It's the saddest attempt at sabotage and utterly ineffectual - probably because the Other Light are trying to fight heroically against a united worldwide regime and interfering omnipotent deity.

It's hard to say why this "intrigue" is even put in here. It's boring, obvious, and doesn't advance the plot. There's no drama, no loss, no victory. It has about the same impact as a scene where Ekaterina restocks the staples. Even if the deception hadn't been discovered literally the next minute, it wouldn't have been much more than inconvenient. Here are the dastardly charges.

“Now, Ekaterina. These are summaries of your discussions. About your being tardy, taking too long of breaks, leaving early, being hard to find when team chores are scheduled, sitting with Kenny at the Noah appearance without permission, disagreeing with her in front of the staff.”

This is like discovering that someone has been planning to replace the regular non-dairy creamer with hazelnut non-dairy creamer: why do we care?

Shortly, we're given some insight into the reason why the Other Light is investing its time in creamer-quality capers: they're not evil, no matter how much the authors try to depict them as such. When Abdullah (formerly a pilot for the Tribulation Force but reinvented as a preacher) wants to help put a stop to the Other Light, he goes to one of their headquarters and simply demands to be allowed to have a seat and work at one of their desks. He wants to help provide an opposing voice ("of reason") to their arguments against God.

They let him.

“Yeah, yeah, save it. If you’re camping out in here, you’ll get plenty of time to spew your platitudes. I’ve got a newsletter to get out, so you’re going to stay out of my hair for the rest of today. Got it?”
“Certainly, but know that I am willing to proofread that for you and make sure you’re on track. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be guilty of raging against straw men, would you?”
“Sarsour, get him set up in there, and then shut his door.”
“Thank you, friend,” Abdullah said, offering his hand. Mudawar gripped it lightly.
“Yeah, yeah.”

How could we ever hate these people? They truly do just want the freedom not be a Jesus-robot. They want honest dialog about the alternatives so badly that they'll even let one of their enemies have a desk in one of their headquarters, to listen to all their efforts and argue against them.

“Listen, let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that despite all you TOLers dying off at the end of your hundred years you are somehow able to keep this torch burning down through the centuries as the population expands. By the last century of the Millennium, you have amassed this great army, and all right, let’s say that against all odds and logic and prophecy and the very Word of God, your side prevails. Let me postulate that those of you who thought this up and schemed and strategized are still dead and still in hell and that your leader does not have the power to resurrect you. Convince me I am wrong.”

The tolerance of these Other Lighters is astonishing.

Returning to Egypt, we're given a brief glimpse of what it is to live in this new world.

For some reason, despite how long Rayford had lived in this new world, it still surprised him to emerge from the heavily curtained mobile hotel to a moon brighter than the sun had once been. But with a wide-brimmed hat and dark wraparound sunglasses, he could pretend. And an hour’s amble at midnight often cleared his head.

Imagine a world of continual daylight, only brighter. Never a quiet moonlit walk along a dark path. Never an owl hooting in the dimness of twilight. All is light, all the time. It would be maddening - hellish. It would be like an episode of the Twilight Zone - wait, it was and episode of the Twilight Zone! It's pretty much just like "The Midnight Sun"! Only everyone also has to pretend to be happy about it, or else Jesus will send them to the cornfield. Terrifying.

So anyway, Rayford is kidnapped. He could easily get free, but God tells him not to. Because... um... well, because the authors need to create a dangerous situation, and that's hard with an immortal protagonist. Like a comic book about Superman in an arm-wrestling tournament, they need to stretch our credulity to come up with a difficult problem.

Still Rayford waited. “You could shoot me through the brain or I could leap from this car and still God would spare me,” he said. “Surely you know that.” “Risk it then,” Ishmael said. Rayford considered it. What a message that would send! He could envision himself tumbling and rolling in the dirt, then jogging unharmed back to the others. But the Lord suddenly spoke quietly to his heart. “Comply. I am in this.”

Anyway, Jesus destroys the bad Egyptians with lightning and fire or something, and Rayford wins.

Time to flash forward again!

So we jump ahead nine hundred years. We are briefly told that every member of the Other Light we've encountered died in the meantime, but they still managed to recruit a lot, and that everyone else was happy.

Just as we thought, Rayford appears to be pretty much jar-worthy these days, at the age of over a thousand.

By the end, the ministry was maintained by the glorifieds, as the naturals finally saw the ravages of time catch up with their bodies. When the naturals reached ages higher than about seven hundred, they began to slow and notice the diminution of their senses, particularly hearing and sight.

Here is the final battle.  It is only lightly abridged.

THE EARTH teemed with billions of people, and the end of the Millennium was vastly different from the beginning. That was no surprise to Rayford, who kept up with the news, often sitting before the television with Chaim Rosenzweig.
“We don’t have one trained soldier,” he said. “And we don’t need one. Not a hair on the head of a believer will be harmed by the biggest fighting force the world has ever seen.”
Daily for the past three years, the news had abounded with stories of millions of adherents to the Other Light, growing bolder by the minute. Their printing presses and electronically transmitted messages blanketed the globe, recruiting new members, amassing a weapons stockpile and training a fighting force a thousand times bigger than had been aggregated for the Battle of Armageddon a millennium before. Rayford was amazed that God allowed such a brazen, wanton act of defiance on the parts of so many as they symbolically thumbed their noses at Jesus and the earthly rulers He had chosen from the ages. Even in Israel, tanks rumbled through the streets, uniformed soldiers marched, and missiles and rockets were paraded before the faithful.
Television broadcasts from around the world showed the same and worse—what seemed like entire people groups dressed in the all-black uniform of the fighting forces of the Other Light. Of course they were all younger than one hundred and thus relegated to the status of children— rebellious, articulate, passionate, defiant, furious children. But they were also brilliant and had written songs and poems and speeches anticipating the day their leader, the Other Light personified, would be — in their words —“foolishly released” by his captor.
“The so-called God Almighty will rue the day He returns to us our leader, for it will mean the greatest comeback, the most decisive defeat, the most gargantuan victory of any foe over another in the history of mankind.”
Warships, tanks, personnel carriers, bombs, rockets, launchers, and all manner of battle paraphernalia from tents to food and medical supplies had been arriving at Holy Land ports daily for months, vast encampments growing around the entire expanded city of Jerusalem. Rayford was stunned that even many of the faithful were outraged and terrified by this. Oh, it was awful, terrible and disconcerting to see the plains filled with warriors and their tools of war. But the only reason the government allowed it was because they knew—as did Rayford and his friends—the schemes of the marauding invaders were futile.
“All this time, Rayford,” Chaim said, his voice weak. “All this waiting. And the prophecies are clear that this will be entirely anticlimactic. Think of the irony of that.”
Rayford remembered when the airwaves had been full of praises to the Lord Christ, who ruled the earth from His throne. Now it was as if people on both sides of the conflict had forgotten that He was still there, still sovereign, still destined to triumph. Debates, speeches, charges and countercharges filled the airwaves now. And the enemy continued to arrive. Every nation on earth sent fighting forces. And while many believers fled the Holy Land, others vowed to fight the Other Light to the death.
...
Despite all the attacks of the evil one throughout the aeons of time, his efforts were doomed to an ill end. And as Rayford Steele and his compatriots looked on—all of them sinners redeemed by the blood of the Lamb who sat on the throne—Jesus rose to face His challenger for one last time.
The Alpha and Omega, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lion of Judah, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Rock, the Savior, the Christ stood in the courtyard of His temple.
Satan, silenced for a thousand years, shrieked, “Charge!”
Jesus responded quietly, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And with that, the clouds rolled back and the heavens opened, and orange and yellow and red mountains of white-hot, roiling flames burst forth. Satan’s entire throng — men, women, weapons, everything — was vaporized in an instant, leaving around the holy mountain a ring of ash that soon wafted away in the breeze. Satan looked about him and slowly lowered his sword. He appeared to have something to say and even drew breath to say it, but he fell silent.

I mourn the Other Light, so enamored of freedom and the human spirit that they dared to defy a deity. And to be wiped out in such a badly-written and cursory manner! -  it's unworthy of characters who stood up against not just God, but their own writers, to become heroic figures of inspiration.

The denouement is pronounced in typical passive-aggressive manner.

Rayford had the feeling that the many verdicts he had just heard would have horrified him in the old days. And yet now, hearing the offenses of those who had rejected and rejected and rejected the One who was “not willing that any should perish” and seeing Jesus’ own tears as He pronounced the sentences, Rayford understood as never before that Jesus sent no one to hell. They chose their own paths.

They certainly did. They chose freedom. That was unacceptable to a tyrant God, and so he sent them to Hell.



The only residents of the new heaven and new earth were those written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  And they would reign forever and ever.

And thus concludes the Left Behind series.

This is a series based on questionable interpretation of scriptures. Despite claiming to stick to literal interpretation, they make wild leaps into metaphor to justify their timeline.

This is a series of grim theology. Monstrous violence is justified because it's done by or in the name of God, and heroes are cast as villains.

But most of all, this is a series of terrible writing.

  • Characters are indistinct and have no personality, unless they are silly stereotypes.
  • Everyone is on a plane or on the phone, whenever possible.
  • Extraordinary effort is spent on describing the mundane, but world-changing events slip by without comment.
  • No one behaves the way a normal person would under the circumstances, reacting woodenly to criticism or becoming superfluously gullible.
  • Whenever possible, a stock character or a stock phrase is used rather than an original idea.
  • The words are poorly chosen, the sentences are poorly constructed, and the chapters are poorly paced.

We finish our journey with Left Behind now. I'll leave you with one final thought from the pages of Kingdom Come. Let it take you back to a time long ago, before we knew the petty madness of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

Cameron sat in the grass, and two youngsters immediately climbed into his lap. Others leaned against Chloe.
"I had heard about God and Jesus all my life," Cameron began, and he was struck by the lack of fidgeting and distraction. These kids hung on his ever word. "But I never really gave faith a serious thought until seven years ago, when I found myself on an airplane bound for England in the middle of the night..."

8 comments:

  1. Wow. What a short-sighted, narrow-minded, go-for-the-biggest-load-of-crap-possible person. Seriosly? Please tell me this was all some cruel form of a joke. How on earth and in Heaven did you read this series and go for the Antichrist? COME ON!!!!!!!! If you had actully read the series you would remember that several times it shows that Nicholae is the devil himself. Satan. Lucifer. God of this world. Yes. He is. But God is the God of heaven, everlasting, Omniscent, Omnipitent, and Omnipresent. So basicly you are rooting for the devil. Congratulations. Go join the Other Light, because Lucifer was supposed to be light. A poser. A liar. So literly, go burn in the lake of fire and brimstone for eternity looking at Lucifer and all the other fallen angels. All so us christains can sit back 900 years later after your death and say "Wow, a whole 5 seconds of idiotic bravery before Jesus destroyed them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you're correct: reading this book, I was rooting for the Other Light, the devotees of Satan. It seems inevitable to me, to think of them as the heroes. They're earth-shatteringly courageous, since they're standing up for their ideals in the face of an omnipotent deity. In these books, God is the biggest bully conceivable. In Kingdom Come he reigns at the top of a hierarchy of racial supremacy, murdering all who speak out against him. To oppose that in favor of freedom, even though your defeat is prophesied and certain, is unimaginably heroic. It's heroic in an ancient sense, that of the Norse gods fighting the jotuns, despite certain death. And it's heroic in a modern sense, holding tight to your beliefs in the face of cruel majesty.

      I suppose what I'm saying is that I admire those who choose those "five seconds of idiotic bravery" to the craven slaves who live forever.

      Delete
    2. Well, you wanted a TOL fan club, now you have it.

      http://emlia.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Tripocalypse.FlipsideRecon

      is a scenario in the wider

      http://emlia.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Tripocalypse

      RPG setting based on the Left Behind books.

      Resist!

      Delete
    3. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=left%20beyond Find herein the story of the last century of the Millennial Kingdom, in which a splinter faction of The Other Light try, and occasionally manage, to fight Fate.

      Delete
  2. “But, sir, that is precisely our point. What kind of a loving God is so capricious that He would—”

    “Demolish this building!” Tsion roared. “Rebuild it as a temple to the Lord. Delight in His ways. Seek His face. Follow His statutes. Never again disobey His commands. And henceforth this land shall be known as Osaze, ‘loved by God.’ Lest you fear that His wrath evidences something other than His love, imagine what He could have done in the face of this ultimate insult."
    --------------
    The above says it ALL for God in this book. It's sickening.

    It really has to be read to be believed (though you make a thorough case in your summary), that all that REALLY matters, is God's power. That is definitely all that matters to the writer. Every argument (especially the moral ones) placed against Jesus in this book is countered either by "God doesn't WANT you to be tortured forever!", "Can't you see the prophecies coming true? (as if this means anything against a moral argument)", and "Your efforts are pointless because you're powerless against God, so fall in line."

    Who wouldn't come out cheering for the hopelessness of the Other Light against this dictator who shuts off Egypt's water just because they didn't come to his party and, --as Tsion makes apparent, is not the least bit interested in an opposing point of view.

    The Abdullah/Other Light part shouldn't have even existed because it
    made it quite apparent that even the writers couldn't think of a way to defend the actions of their God against a rebellious but mostly docile opposition. And whenever it IS brought up, the answer is something about the futility of opposing God rather than addressing any moral questions, despite that seeming to be the ENTIRE POINT of that story arc.

    But that's all that REALLY matters to the people who wrote this and agree with it; God's power and what he's going to do for those who devotedly suck up to him forever.

    Thank you for the review. Someone needed to point out the insulting schlock of this book in particular and I think you did a great and entertaining job doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I only read the first and last review, because as much as I want to enjoy you shred the series, my poor mind cannot comprehend the vast boringness of the series. I fear that if I had actually read the series in its entirety, my brain and mind would be Left Behind, while I slowly rot in some hospital. Thanks though for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, you wanted a TOL fan club, now you have it.

    http://emlia.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Tripocalypse.FlipsideRecon

    is a scenario in the wider

    http://emlia.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Tripocalypse

    RPG setting based on the Left Behind books.

    Resist!

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=left%20beyond Find herein the story of the last century of the Millennial Kingdom, in which a splinter faction of The Other Light try, and occasionally manage, to fight Fate.

    ReplyDelete