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."