Left Behind: The Facts Behind the Fiction

News release from RNS July 6, 2006

 

NEW BOOK EXPOSES THE MISUSE AND ABUSE OF SCRIPTURE IN LEFT BEHIND SERIES

LEFT BEHIND?
THE FACTS BEHIND THE FICTION
LeAnn Snow Flesher

“The ‘Battle for the Bible’ continues, largely in a context where fear feeds ignorance. Flesher presents a careful, well-informed comment on dispensationalism in general and “left behind” eschatology in particular. Flesher shows the way in which Scripture is distorted to serve a political ideology that is grounded in fear. Her book is an accessible invitation to find out what the real scoop on the matter is. There is much to unlearn, and Flesher contributes to that task.”
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Millions of readers have bought, literally and figuratively, the Left Behind fiction series, co-authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Although the books are fictional, they are based on a particular understanding of end-times events drawn from the authors’ interpretation of Scripture. These interpretations are not shared by an overwhelming majority of Bible scholars. Here, Flesher casts doubt on both the interpretive foundations and the conclusions that serve as the basis for the popular Left Behind series, and provides alternative understandings–rooted in Scripture–of end-times events.

Flesher outlines how to read the Bible with integrity, offers background to the books of Daniel and Revelation, and examines the literary genres of prophecy and apocalypse. She also discusses the ideology that surfaces in the Left Behind series as it relates to issues such as family values, homosexuality, racism, misogyny/feminism, abortion, terrorism, war, and natural disasters. In two chapters on end-times events, she exposes the abuse of Scripture to support the doctrines of rapture and tribulation in the Left Behind series, then ends witha chapter on reclaiming the message of Revelation for a postmodern world. Left Behind? The Facts Behind the Fiction is must reading for anyone familiar with the Left Behind books.

About the Author
LeAnn Snow Flesher is Professor of Old Testament at American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California, and also serves on the faculty of the Graduate Theological Union. She is the author of the entries on Job and Lamentations, published in the IVP Women’s Bible Commentary. Professor Flesher holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Drew University.

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