Marks of the Beast: The Left Behind Novels and the Struggle for Evangelical Identity
The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins has become a popular culture phenomenon, selling an astonishing 40 million copies to date. These novels, written by two well-known evangelical Christians, depict the experiences of those "left behind" in the aftermath of the Rapture, when Christ removes true believers, leaving everyone else to suffer seven years of Tribulation under Satan's proxy, Antichrist.
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I enjoyed this book, although it was a bit steep on concepts, more of an academic piece than anything else. But I enjoyed the way Shuck tactfully pointed out the contradictions in the writings of Jenkins and LaHaye in this novel series.
As for myself, I never read a single one of the 12 or more Left Behind books. To me, it would have been a waste of time. I mean, as Shuck notes, if everything is fixed, then I'm afraid I know where I'm fixed at, and unfortunately for me, I'm not in with the In Crowd. Oh, well.
But reading Shuck's book (aw shucks), I got the gist of the entire series of 12 books. It was pretty much what I imagined it would be, the plots, the characters, the tensions.
Shuck cites some interesting sources to prove his own points. One of these secondary sources noted the importance of tension in keeping a church congregation alive. Without tension, between the church and society in general, there's no "purpose" in the church, in many senses.
This may explain the American exodus from the mainline churches.
I recommend this book, but be prepared for a heavy read, with many footnotes. This is good for some but maybe not good for others, who prefer lighter reading without such complete documentation.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - satyridae - LibraryThing
My species frightens me more than a little, and this book makes me despair of us ever getting anywhere worthwhile. Read full review
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