"Left Behind" Books

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: "Left Behind" Books
By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 04:33 am: Edit

Over the weekend, Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed on the "Left Behind" book series. In it, he stated that they were the best-selling books for adults. For those of you who do not know, the books are about the return of Jesus and all non-believers (non-Christians) being thrown into "everlasting fire." I personally found the popularity astounding, but I am interested in responses from those who have read these books or Christians.

By Killertofu (Killertofu) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 08:43 am: Edit

I really liked the books. I've read all of them except the last one. And I'm not going to read it.


None of the characters I care about are still alive and all that's left are a bunch of extras that haven't been properly characterized.I'll just leave the series with my good memories of it and leave the ending to my imagination.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Apparently, these books are very much works of fiction, and only based in christian teachings in the loosest and inacurate way. Nonetheless, the are supposedly very very good reads--- and the author has made a fortune!

Have not read them myself tho

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:34 pm: Edit

I prefer the Forbidden Doors. I really like those.

*opens eyes* Why are my tarot cards on top of my Bible? *hides them under bed mattress*

By Jello_Froggie (Jello_Froggie) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:43 pm: Edit

I started reading them a few years ago I am almost done with the last book...it's not as good as the rest because there's no action in it, only the return of Christ. (I know I just sounded like such a sinner...) But anyway, I really liked them because they were suspensful and brought me closer to my faith. They also made the characters like real people and not all holy monkish. Plus, it mostly took place in the wonderful state of Illinois, except when they traveled, which made it easy for me to connect with the books. I did NOT, however, like how almost all of my favorite characters died.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:50 pm: Edit

Jello, if you thought you sounded like a sinner:

I was at Great America and there was a Christian radio station broadcasting on-location. Now, I'm religious (weekly Church going Catholic), but I'm not a fan of preachers on the radio, Christian rock, etc. So as my friend and I walked by the station, I mentioned to him, "I hate God radio." Which soon turned into (thanks to my friend) "I hate God...radio" and finally "I hate God...". All in all, an amusing time :)

Sorry for being off topic, but I had to work that story in somewhere.

By Killertofu (Killertofu) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 01:00 pm: Edit

I did NOT, however, like how almost all of my favorite characters died.>>

Which is why I'm not reading the last book. There's no one I care about.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Well, the article (Kristof, Saturday NY Times) certainly was not as positive as your responses:

"If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" and publish it in Saudi Arabia, jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eyes."

"As my Times colleague David Kirkpatrick noted in an article, this portrayal of a bloody Second Coming reflects a shift in American portrayals of Jesus, from a gentle Mister Rogers figure to a martial messiah presiding over a sea of blood. Militant Christianity rises to confront Militant Islam."

"No, I don't think the readers of "Glorious Appearing" will ram planes into buildings. But we did imprison thousands of Muslims here and abroad after 9/11, and ordinary Americans joined in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in part because of a lack of empathy for the prisoners. It's harder to feel empathy for such people if we regard them as infidels and expect Jesus to dissolve their tongues and eyes any day now."

"People have the right to believe in a racist God, or a God who throws millions of nonevangelicals into hell. I don't think we should ban books that say that. But we should be embarrassed when our best-selling books gleefully celebrate religious intolerance and violence against infidels."

Those are just a few excerpts.

By Anglophile (Anglophile) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 04:20 pm: Edit

Wow, that is a fascinating article Craigk10. Thanks for sharing :) He's absolutely right that america would be having a fit if the tables were turned.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit

I am curious to see what people who have read these or similar books think about the excerpts from above.

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

I've read 'em all. They are generally well-written and Biblically sound.

As far as the exerpts...I can never understand why people don't realize that the Bible is not politically correct. You can't transform God into who you want Him to be. I personally that this 'religious tolerance' is a form of censorship. I have no problem with people practicing their religions. However, I do have a problem with people telling me why mine infringes on their's.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit

First comment: you do realize that these books are almost entirely fiction.
Second comment: I don't care what you believe, but don't you see beliefs reflected by these books as
a. hypocritical considering how we would respond to something similar from the Muslim world
b. a potential problem considering what the consequences could be
Third comment: there was nothing in the article or anywhere else that said they shouldn't be out there so your censorship article is a little pointless.

By Benjamin (Benjamin) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Craig, how we would react to a Muslim book of sorts is purely speculation. I personally wouldn't care. Its their right to write the book if they want to, but I certainly wouldn't read it.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

There would be a total outcry if there was a book in which Christians were thrown into "everlasting fire." Sure it's speculation, but I think most people would agree with me.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:05 pm: Edit

Oh, by the way -- the problem that I have is not that it's written and out there. What scares me is that it is unbelievably popular (60 million copies).

By Desrtswimer (Desrtswimer) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit


I dont know what you want people to say to your article. There really isnt much to argue against even if you do believe in the books.

Militant Muslims and how we would be offended.

Yes, most americans would be offended if a book like that came out. However, those who believe in the Bible probably really wouldn't care because they wouldn't believe its the truth. The other part of America would be gasping and astonished. But do you think Muslims really care that we read these books? They are so strong in their faith it probably doesnt even bother them.

Jesus and Mister Rogers

Jesus NEVER said he came to bring peace to the world, but instead he came into the world with a sword to seperate daughters against mothers and sons against fathers and husbands against wives. He never came to be peaceful. When he was in the world he causes much turmoil and pain to his followers and to others. Why should it be any different the second time? The bible never shows God as a God who does not inflict judgement. That is what the Second Comming is about. People who dont have a proper understand of the Bible and most of America will not understand the second comming. thats fine.

Paragraph Three

Now he is confusing the glorious appearing times and todays times. I have many friends of different faiths and I dont think Jesus is going to come now and slit their tongues or whatever he said. In the end times he will do that or whatever, but that doesnt affect how i treat my friends now.


Actually, the best selling book in America is the Bible, which in itself is a religiously intolerant book. The end times books, to most people, are religious fiction that they enjoy reading. I, however, have even stopped reading the books because i lost too much track of what was going on with each person (I stopped around book 5) and because I didnt judge it to be the best use of my time. Most people who read the book probably DONT believe in what they are reading but enjoy the storyline. To them it compares to Sci-Fi: a good read but improbable. If it shows the intolerance of America, then so be it. Obviously it is the kind of reading that America likes but I really don't think its going to have lasting affects on people and cause them to act differently to muslims or people of differnet faiths. The books have been out for YEARS AND YEARS and each book has been a New York Times best seller. I havent seen any problems so far so i dont know what "potential problems" may suddenly occur years after the books have been published. I think the writer of the original article is starting to stir up trouble.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit

I wholeheartedly disagree -- my only point is that the popularity of these books could breed a climate that the United States would be better off without during these particularly turbulent times.

I could respond to each thing you said (some just don't make sense like what the Muslim world thinks about it -- no one ever argued that that matters), but I'll leave it at that for now.

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

>>>you do realize that these books are almost entirely fiction.

Coming from a person who hasn't read them, it doesn't mean a whole lot. I said the books are generally Biblically sound, meaning that they generally match up with the interpretations of what will happen in the end times from the Bible. I would consider it to be to the future what a Gore Vidal book is to the past.

>>>a. hypocritical considering how we would respond to something similar from the Muslim world

I am wrong, or does the Koran advocate killing the 'infidels' (i.e. Christians)? The Bible says absolutely nothing about killing those of another religion...when Christ comes back to judge the earth, those who are not Christians will die, plain and simple.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit

There really is no arguing over this issue with people who have a religious bias so I don't think this will go anywhere because you seem to see the books as truth and are unable to step away from that perspective. I would like to hear from others however.

By Desrtswimer (Desrtswimer) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 03:18 pm: Edit

"my only point is that the popularity of these books could breed a climate that the United States would be better off without during these particularly turbulent times."

You're right Craig they could. I dont know how anyone could argue against that. Potentially dangerous books that argue for an absolute truth. Of course they coudl breed a climate that most believe the United States is better without.

I really dont know what other perspective you want. You seem to have posted this with the intention of just being vindicated in your beliefs because there really is no disagreeing wtih that.

and i responded the way i did before because you wanted answers to the article. Sorry if you didnt like my answers and sorry if no one asked about muslims it was a side note i put in there because i wanted to add more than was asked.

and i really dont know who else you will argue with besides those with a religious bias. most will agree with you who dont have a religious bias that is not truth and is dangerous. those who do have a religious bias will say it is truth and is still dangerous. you win either way.

and so far i would say that the books HAVENT bred a climiate that would be dangerous. they have been out for more than four years and never ONCE have i ever heard anyone change their beliefs about people of other religions based on this book. Americans are reading it but i dont think it is breeding a bad climate. 60 million copies, thats what, 1/5 of the country? More than 1/5 of the country professes to be Christian and yet we are still fine.

But you are right in that they could potentially start a bad climate. anything could. dont worry, be happy.

By Nmoreno1 (Nmoreno1) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit

The books are only ok. Tribulation Force was incredibly stale, the only good book of the series being the first, having established a tone that was not to be sustained throughout the series. Why is the first book so good? It's the most believeable of the entire series. If you are a Christian (notice, i did NOT say "if you are religious," since this angers many of my Christrian friends), then you will enjoy the books. However, to most other people, they will find the dialogue bad, and they will also find they can skip several chapters of the book and not lose their place in the story line (most of the parts that are "skippable" are stories of how someone came to Christ, which just doesn't make for popcorn eating or page-turning brother). Like i said, the first book was great, the 2nd was stale, and the rest were too literal to the biblical text; i would have liked to have seen some interpretation going on instead of "the sun actually turning black" or "the locusts having x properties as described in the Bible."

But hey, the books are, I hear, very good at bringing people to "accept Jesus" (a phrase that is NOT endorsed by many preachers for many reasons, u can search on the internet for it, but anyway...) and becoming born-again.

My beliefs are irrelavant to this converstation. bye

By Katiya (Katiya) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit

everlasting fire.
so that's where i'm going. okayyyy.

christians scare me. why would they want to read about non-christians being thrown into a fire and a dead guy coming back to life again?

yes, these books offend me. why do millions of people want to read about me dying?

stephenpmi: "I am wrong" ... yes.

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit

The Koran:

5:17 Unbelievers are those who declare: "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary." {51} Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. Allah does not guide the wrongdoers. {54} Your only friends are Allah, His apostle, and the faithful: those who attend to their prayers, pay their alms-tax, and kneel down in worship. Those who seek the friendship of Allah, His apostle, and the faithful must know that Allah's followers are sure to triumph. {57} Believers, do not seek the friendship of the infidels and those who were given the Book before you, who have made of your religion a jest and a pastime. {66} If the People of the Book (i.e. Christians and Jews) accept the true faith and keep from evil, We will pardon them their sins and admit them to the gardens of delight. {71} Unbelievers are those that say: "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary." Unbelievers are those that say: "Allah is one of three." There is one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those that disbelieve shall be sternly punished. The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle: other apostles passed away before him. His mother was a saintly woman. They both ate earthly food. {82} You will find the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say : "We are Christians." {116} Then Allah will say: "Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind: 'Worship me and my mother as gods beside Allah?'" "Glory to You," he will answer, "how could I say that to which I have no right? If I had ever said so, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my mind but I cannot tell what is in Yours. You alone know what is hidden. I spoke to them of nothing except what You bade me. I said: "Serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord."

The Bible:
Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Interesting contrast, wouldn't you say?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

I don't see how pointing out militancy in Islam (interpretation mind you) excuses the rise in similar attitudes in Christianity.

I don't know what your problem is but no one is defending militant Islam. It really has nothing to do with this discussion in any way.

If nothing else you have just proven your hypocrisy.

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 12:18 am: Edit

Katiya: stephenpmi: "I am wrong" ... yes.

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