Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Coded Blueprint to Armageddon

Thanks to Robert Cunningham for calling my attention to a review of Glenn Shuck's book, Marks of the Beast: The Left Behind Novels and the Struggle for Evangelical Identity.

Shuck, a member of the Religion Department at Williams College, says the Left Behind "novels contain a coded blueprint for the machinations of the New Christian Right." The themes of doomsday prophecy and imperative political activism "to make the world safe for evangelicalism" are of primary concern in the novels.

I share Shuck's concern that the series' prophecies can be "self-fulfilling." The more the current administration asserts its influence in the Middle East, the more I fear that certain "readers searching for signs of end-times prophecy may find it where it is not and, in the worst case scenario, they may create it themselves."

5 comments:

Tig said...

There does seem to be a boomerang effect happening in the Middle East, inspite of all the blunders Bush has made in the area positive results are happening. Maybe the Christian Fundamentalist agenda with all its doom and destruction scares the Muslims more than it does the Moderate Christians?

Joe G. said...

I agree with your concerns. There is something to be concerned about regarding "self-fulfilling" prophecies.

Of course, when I was part of a fundamentalist church, we always had the sense that others, due to their sinfulness, would push things along.

It wasn't until later that I started to wonder at how much authority and power we gave to the devil and humanity's sin in predicting the future.

People tend to travel in the direction in which they are faced.

Dignan said...

Bruce,

I think you give too much credance to the influence of the Left Behind series. I've been thinking about this since you mentioned that I underestimated the power of dominionism.

I think the vast majority of people who read these wretched books don't know a thing about the theology. I think most evangelicals read these boosk because they are the Christian version of stuff like John Grisham books. It is just one more way to "be in the world, not of the world". So I think that it is a mistake to view the popularity of the books as an endorsement of the horrible theology behind them. The Frank Peretti books in the late '80s - early '90s were similar in that many Christians read them even though most would disagree with the theology if they took the time to understand the theology.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Dignan,

I think you are right about most of the readers of the Left Behind series not understanding the theology.

I'm really worried about the political influence of the people like LaHaye, Falwell, Robertson, and others who do understand the theology and have demonstrated a willingness to exert influence on our foreign policy to see that it accords with it.

Faithful Progressive said...

Thank-you for posting this and for everything on your first-rate site.

FP