Saturday, August 03, 2002

I finished The Remnant, the latest book in the Left Behind Series, last week. It's not great literature, but it's suspenseful. Even if the series is starting to show it's age, I still found The Remnant a compelling page turner. That said I'm glad the series has moved the story a head to the last year of the tribulation, they can wrap things up with out beating the plot devices completely to death. The rescue mission sub plots, and the run from the safe house sub plots really need to be retired.

On the plus side there was a vivid retelling of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego story, with an extra million people thrown in to the fire for good measure. The authors do a great job of describing a fire that does not consume. I also like how character Tsion Ben Judah, the spirial leader of the remnant, balances God's mercy with God's judgment. I'm not a pre-trib type of guy, but when the authors go beyond the details of the tribulation I find the spiritual view they present compelling.

As I read this book I realized part of the appeal is seeing God in action as he was in Biblical times. The characters talk in the book about how exciting it is to see God do miracles, just like in Biblical times. It is exciting, it's action adventure with God as one of the main characters. There is something about this that bothers me.

It not that they've God performing cheap tricks, they don't. The miracles are in keeping with what God has done, and it keeps with the spirit of the scriptures where some are saved, and others are put to death by the sword.

So what is it that bother me? Calling it God-Porn, is too harsh. Maybe it's closer to the people who went looking for Jesus the day after the feeding of the 5000, looking for more bread.

 Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread". - John 6:34

Reading about the amazing miracles in the Bible, I am left wanting more and so I find it in the fictitious miracles of the Left Behind Series. I don't think it's as simple as that, but it's part of it. An other part is the longing to see God exert himself in the world in an obvious way, to silence the critics, to silence my moments doubt. This longing appears often in the Bible, but the one that comes to mind is

They cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" - Revelation 6:10

And in the Left Behind Series I don't have to wait, I can read the future judgment today. But then in Revelation I can read about the coming judgment

Fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever -Revelation 20: 31-37

So why does it bother me in Left Behind Series? The honest answer is I don't know, it's just where I'm at right now.


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