Left Behind

From Academic Kids

Left Behind is a series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, dealing with Christian dispensationalist End Times: pretribulation, premillennial, Christian eschatology.

LaHaye and Jenkins cite the influence of Russell S. Doughten, an Iowan film-maker who directed a series of four low-budget feature-length films in the 1970s and 1980s about the Rapture and Second Coming. The films' popularity among Christian fundamentalists have led to increased study and speculation as to the events described in the Book of Revelation.

Contents

Books

Note: The books are listed in story-line order but numbered in order of publication.

  1. The Rising: Before They Were Left Behind (ISBN 0842360565)
  2. Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (ISBN 0842329129)
  3. Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind (ISBN 0842329218)
  4. Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist (ISBN 0842329242)
  5. Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (ISBN 0842329250)
  6. Apollyon: The Destroyer Is Unleashed (ISBN 0842329269)
  7. Assassins: Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist (ISBN 0842329277)
  8. The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession (ISBN 0842329293)
  9. The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (ISBN 0842332286)
  10. Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (ISBN 0842332294)
  11. The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon (ISBN 0842332308)
  12. Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (ISBN 0842332367)
  13. Glorious Appearing: The End of Days (ISBN 0842332375)

Two more prequels are planned (taking place between The Rising and Left Behind) and one final novel taking place after Glorious Appearing. There are also graphic novels, CDs, and a Left Behind series for children. Audio dramatizations based on the first twelve titles have also been produced for broadcast on Christian radio.

Two spin-off series have been written; a political series by Neesa Hart, and a military series by Mel Odom.

Summary

The books deal with the rise of the Antichrist: a Romanian named Nicolae Jetty Carpathia, whose political rise leads him from membership in the Romanian Parliament to the Presidency of Romania, and on to the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations. Under his rule, all the countries of the world merge into a single political entity under United Nations administration. Armies are disbanded, and an era of world peace established. All media are consolidated under the "Global Community Network" and religions are merged into one faith. Finally, Carpathia is proclaimed "Potentate of the Global Community," and becomes revered as a god.

Throughout the series, Carpathia and the world at large become increasingly antagonistic toward any group that does not follow the newly established religion of "Carpathianism". The world also experiences many cataclysmic judgements sent by God.

Carpathia's efforts are resisted by a group of people who call themselves the "Tribulation Force", centered around a church in Chicago.

Response

The books have sold very well in the United States, many topping The New York Times list of bestsellers. Nick Parmley, a charismatic Baptist minister from Portland, OR, has called on Evangelical Christians to adopt this series as "required reading". In other areas, such as continental Europe—where dispensationalism is largely non-existent—the books have been far less successful.

In an article enquiring into the series' popularity, Salon magazine writer Michelle Goldberg described what she believed was one of the series' attractions [1] (http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2002/07/29/left_behind/):

On one level, the attraction of the Left Behind books isn't that much different from that of, say, Tom Clancy or Stephen King. The plotting is brisk and the characterizations Manichean.

However, she considered the books to be an attack on Judaism and liberal secularism, and pointed out that the near-future "end times" the books are set in seem to reflect the actual worldview of millions of Americans, including many prominent conservative leaders.

External links

Secondary literature

  • Forbes, Bruce David and Jeanne Halgren Kilde (eds.), Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times: Exploring the Left Behind Series. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. ISBN 1403965250
  • Frykholm, Amy David. "Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America". Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0195159837pt:Deixados Para Trás
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