LEFT BEHIND (posted 5-23-02)
The LEFT BEHIND series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins has experienced success in Christian publications, exceeded only by the Bible. Gross sales for the nine books published to date now exceed $50 million. I have read them all, partly out of interest, and partly out of self-defense, i.e. so I can answer the questions I am asked about this series. I highly recommend them.
I understand the authors have donated most of their royalties to Christian ministries. A major recipient from LaHaye has been Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. In February of this year, LaHaye was there to help dedicate a new building and speak on prophecy. He expressed his surprise at the success of the series but praised God that many had come to salvation as a result.
In the LU prophecy conference, LaHaye also shared the titles of the last four books in this series, #10 The Remnant (scheduled for release this Summer), #11 Armageddon, #12 The Glorious Appearing, and # 13 Jesus Wins, now set for one new release per year. When he announced the last title, the partisan audience stood, cheering, not for LaHaye, but for Jesus Christ and His victory!
I am often asked if I think the Left Behind series is biblical. While there are some detail interpretations I question, my answer overall is Yes, these books (so far) are consistent with what I understand the Bible says about end time prophecy.
Of course, when anyone writes historical or Bible fiction, they must have a degree of freedom to interpret where the source is not specific. Such writing, however, must not contradict any clearly known facts. That still leaves a lot of latitude between the Bible facts and how the events described could really happen.
From time to time I plan to revisit this series, dealing with some of the questions concerning controversial interpretations, such as the forehead seal of all Christians saved during the tribulation. More about this later.
© 2002 D. B. Martin
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