Friday, May 02, 2008

Huzzah for Left Behind Friday!

I remember back in high school reading Left Behind, the first book in the widely popular Christian apocalyptic series. I didn't like it. I can't tell you why I didn't like it (and I probably couldn't have at the time either), but I certainly remember not wanting to read any more of the series. Of the two works of Christian fiction I'd ever read in my life, I much preferred The Oath, a Stephen King-esque book about a dragon in a small town who eats people.

Of course The Oath wasn't without its dull points. It was a work of Christian fiction, so it had to work in the Christian plan for salvation somehow. This was accomplished through a plot twist which revealed that the dragon was sin (or the devil; I read it 10 years ago so I don't remember which), and the only way you had any chance of killing it involved accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Of course you still had to stab the dragon in the heart with a big fucking metal spear welded to a car, but you needed to do the accepting Jesus step before you could even think of moving to the stab the dragon in the heart with a car step. I'd always felt the Christian aspect of the book felt bolted on, but it was still a more enjoyable book than Left Behind by orders of magnitude.

Anyways, the fact that I don't remember why I didn't like Left Behind is in part why I'm so grateful for Left Behind Fridays. For a number of years the author of this particular blog has written a rather thorough criticism of a couple pages of Left Behind each Friday. Suffice to say, he hates the book (and the theology behind it) with a passion, and I enjoy watching him tear it to shreds every week. Interpret this statement as you will, but I can honestly say that part of the reason I look forward to Fridays is to read Left Behind Friday. The fact that the author works in print media (as does one of the protagonists in Left Behind) gives some extra perspective to flaws in the book I'd otherwise miss if I reread it. The author's a Christian so I sometimes find myself fundamentally disagreeing with his reasoning and conclusions, but most of the time I find his analysis of the problems with Left Behind's theology and worldview spot on. Which is kinda funny to hear me say since it wasn't too long ago that I thought a friend's statement that the Rapture isn't supported by Scripture was controversial. Funny how time, a change of worldview, and a very primitive knowledge of modern Biblical scholarship changes things.

Now you have been made aware of Left Behind Friday. Do with this knowledge what you will.


Blogger staticfoo said...

Eurgh. I can't even get through reading Left Behind Friday, the quotes from the books are so bad. How can anybody stand to read those books, or worse, like them?

5/03/2008 4:36 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

I don't know, but I remember them being all the rage back in high school. Though I do remember there being some who recognized the writing (if not the theology) for the dreck it is.

One of the commenters from yesterday's post linked to an excerpt from the latest book in the series. How you become a worse author as time goes by is beyond me.

5/03/2008 11:27 AM  

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