Entertainment


It’s become very vogue to chortle at the Left Behind series of books by LaHaye and Jenkins and their subsequent movie adaptations.  Even many who share a dispensational (i.e., pretrib premil) eschatology, seemingly in order to fit in with the hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money über-relevant cool kids crowd have taken up the laugh track.

Oy.

You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes.

I’d like to go on record as saying that I liked the series overall.  Granted, the prose was…pedestrian.  And the theology was a bit sensationalistic and took some fairly healthy leaps of poetic license.  But come on, guys…it was a series of fiction books.  Let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath, step back a bit, grab ourselves a nice, tall glass of ice-cold milk, and just chill.

Eh?

Can we do that, mayhap?

Understanding that it was written for the broadest audience possible, I can excuse the somewhat less-than-inspired writing. (On that note, I find it more than a bit ironic that all the hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money über-relevant cool kids, who put such a galactically huge emphasis on “contextualization” and “reaching and engaging the culture, duuuuude” got and get their underbritches all in a bunch over the purposeful accessibility of the Left Behind series… Things that make you go, “hmmmmmmm…”)  And I can excuse the leaps the series makes – they’re adapting a prophetic scenario that, quite frankly, defies full visualization, and the authors didn’t do a singularly terrible job of filling in the gaps.

Mostly, the reaction against Left Behind has its genesis in and is fuelled by that segment of the church which hates severely dislikes isnt’ a huge fan of dispensational eschatology.

Okay, fair enough. Come up with your own fiction series, then, which emphasizes your own eschatological distinctives and go about your way.

What the Left Behind series illustrated (and actually continues to illustrate) is that there is a vast reservoir of interest in Biblical prophecy in America – people are very curious about what the Biblical scenario is and how it intersects if at all with their lives and current events in general.  Should they rather get that information from the Bible itself – or at least from good, solid scholarly sources? Sure. But the fact that they’re so obviously and hugely interested in the subject in the first place is a very telling thing – and, frankly, when someone gets interested in Left Behind, they usually want to dig deeper – which means that they usually begin to ask questions that they didn’t even know how to ask before and seek out the answers in more reliable avenues.

Or at least, that’s been my experience here on the glorious west coast of Michigan.

Which is an incredible thing; West Michigan is a hotbed of both Reformed (and therefore usually a- or post-millennialism) and Emergent Christianity – two houses which in today’s climate tend to be decidedly hostile to dispensationalism (with, of course, notable exceptions).  The hippest churches tend toward a very decidedly nonchalant attitude towards eschatology altogether.

And yet, even here in West Michigan, Left Behind remains a very popular fiction series.

That says something.

Oh, yes, I know, you can shake your head in mock despair and say that what it reveals is the rampancy of Biblical nescience, if only they’d get a hold of towering theological treasures like Blue Like Jazz and The Apocalypse Code they’d be cured of their benightedness…

…I choose not to assume that it means that the rank-and-file are, as a group, idiots.

Instead, I believe it speaks to a real hunger to know more about the Lord, and about what His Word says about history – they want to know, especially now, that there is a God in heaven who knows, who cares, and who is sovereignly moving the great and small events of life toward a determined (and ultimately very hopeful) end.

Left Behind tapped and continues to tap into that vast groundswell.

And so I say again, overall, I liked the series.

Excellent job, Tim and Jerry.  Excellent job.

And to the hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money über-relevant cool kids who spare no hauteur attacking both the books and their authors – get a hobby.  Seriously. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

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I must see this movie.

All the more so because the dude who plays Michael {insert Mark Driscoll colorful language here} Moore gets slapped around – a lot.

Yes, yadnom.

I figure that makes about as much sense as the über-hep-cat-yo-dog-g-money ECMmer “Manic Music Monday” type of spiffy-artsy, My incredible cultural relevance can beat up your honor student blogpost.

So…let’s get our yadnom on.

Yo.

Some of the things round ’bout the ‘net that have piqued my interest, and should pique yours

And there you have it.  To both of my readers: enjoy.

A lot of pastors whose blogs I read make oblation at the altar of Getting Things Done, which is all well and good if that’s your thing (personally, I’m a FranklinCovey-aholic – I have PlanPlus on my HTC PPC6800 to keep me in line and beep at me to remember to… do stuff… that I need to remember… stuff…), though I have to wonder how much of the “effectiveness” fad among my brethren-in-the-cloth is (ironically) counterproductive to the real work of the Kingdom (which is often messy an disorganized) and really little more than a more-than-vaguely amusing and ultimately futile attempt to look “proffessional” and “respectable” to the world…

But anyway.

One of the couples in our fellowship forwarded me a great post on The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains. Tongue-in-cheek, very entertaining… but also somewhat insightful.

With the glaring exception of Habit 3, the habits and lessons learned can with only minimal tweaking be applied to pastors – and to ministry in general, both vocational and lay.

Though, sadly, some pastors have indiscriminately lived out Habit 3 with individuals other than their respective wives. And are still pastors. Which I will never get. But I partly digress.

The language of the post is mildly Mark Driscoll-ish, which means it’s probably best rated “PG-13”. So if worldly word usage wigs you way out, don’t click on the above link. Remember: You can’t expect unbelievers to act (or speak) like believers – you can barely expect believers to act (and speak) like believers these days. This is NOT a Christian post. On that note, if you’ve never been in the Navy and therefore are unused to sailor-speak, avoid the comments as well.

But if you can forgive the occasional ECM-like verbiage, it’s a funny, interesting, and strangely applicable post.

As an avid Trekkie (note: Trekkie, not the more “I don’t want to sound too geeky” Trekker — an über lame PC-ism if you ask me…) I got a huge kick out of this article on space-dot-com. Even after 40 years, and a failed franchise (ST:Enterprise) that somewhat lost the Trek vision along the way (but got it back near the end there – yay, Manny Cotto), Star Trek is still very much a part of the American legendarium. Even other sci-fi shows pay homage to the excellent, if often cheesy Star Trek corpus; did anyone catch the utterly hilarious episode “200” on Stargate: SG-1…? How about that “set… weapons to… maximum” Kirkian quote by Lt. Col. Mitchell??? Tee hee hee…