Now, I know this book series/movie has been slagged to death re: its literal interpretation of symbolic Biblical passages, its endorsement of the dubious concept of the rapture, its anti-[insert your non-born-again-Xian group here…Catholic, Jewish, etc…] slant, and its crappy writing. But I’m not talking about that.
Instead, I’d like to discuss the (IMHO) mistaken notion held by its authors and supporters that this book will in some way cause nonbelievers to reexamine their lives and possibly become born-again Christians.
I’m an atheist. I just finished reading Left Behind. I found it a fun read–but mostly b/c I like trashy fiction about the apocalypse/Satan. I loved The Stand (book and mini-series) as well as John Carpenter’s movie Prince of Darkness. Did LB cause me to reexamine my life? Nope. Challenge my doubts about the existence of God? Nope.
Why did I not react like Rayford Steele and his friends did in the book?
Because nothing that has happened in the real world leads me to believe that anything miraculous–requiring any sort of God, much less the God of fundamentalist Christianity–has happened.
If the Rapture does occur, and suddenly people vanish worldwide, you’re damn straight I just might convert. But it ain’t happened yet. And there’s nothing happening to make me feel that the Christian apocalypse is any more likely than the Muslim judgment or some end-of-the-world scenario posited by the shamans of some tribe in Papua New Guinea.
In short, it’s flawed thinking to assume that an obvious piece of science fiction, involving several crazy miracles (Russian nukes/air force being decimated in mid-flight w/no loss of Israeli life, the massive disappearances, the two untouchable witnesses) and major scientific advances (the fertilizer that makes desert sands bloom) would cause anyone who didn’t believe to reconsider. The book is preaching to the choir, period. Anyone disagree? FoG? You seem to be the most vocal supporter of LB.