I have. Although I'm a premillenial tribulation believing progressive covenantal dispensationalist/stewardshipalist I thought that the books sensationalized a lot of stuff and probably did more damage than good. I like that each book made a point to include the Gospel, crystal clear, which was interesting when working with the prison ministry in NYC that the guys were actually using the books as tracts.
Anyway, some of the theological proposals in the books (murder-planning Christians, saved rejectors post-rapture, hidden rapture of the Church) are debatable issues but I honestly I think most (if not all) of us are going to be surprised by Jesus' actual parousia.
A lot of theologians looking at their charts and thinking "well that wasn't on there."
all in all I thought it was a good book series, the 1st 3 books I thought were great, I had to force myself though the last 4. but I agree with you I think a lot of people are going to saying "well I didn't see that coming" but I think that is the point if you read Christ words about the second coming I don't think we will see it coming.
I read some of the books, but got so bored with it that I never finished them. I don't find them to be all that well written. A much better (and shorter) series is the Christ Clone Trilogy by James Beauseigneur. They are very believable, scary at times, and are written from the perspective of the unsaved that are going through all of the end times stuff. They have now been picked up by a major publisher, but back when they were self-published, the author had a guarantee that if they were not the best end-times books that you had ever read, he'd refund your money. Can you see Jenkins and LaHaye offering that claim? I can't.
True. When I read them years ago, it began apparent that at some point, it stopped being about the story and started to be about the series. How did they stretch a seven year period into 12 books? If I recall, one book covered a whole year and a half, then another book only covered two weeks! Then, once the series was over and they started a pre-Left Behind series (not to mention the Left Behind kids... which is interesting because I thought the kids all were raptured? You don't hear a thing about kids in the original series.), I knew what their purpose had become. But I bought into it at the time.
Like Michael said, great entertainment (at the beginning). Unfortunately, at the time I read them, I had absolutely no familiarity with Revelation so I took their word for truth. It's sad that that series is probably the only education many Christians will ever get on the end times. They'll never even hear about preterism, post-millinial, or amillinial, much less mid-trib and post-trib rapture. To think, I actually had a desire to renounce faith in Christ so I could be a post-rapture tribulation hero against the anti-Christ. Needless to say, I was young and stupid when I read them...
I wasn't able to read em... They kinda bored me lol... I am not a book person... I liked the movies though... The theology in it I think is accurate to that view... I don't really have an end times view... I am like my mom a pan mill... It will all pan out how God has planned it.
I Read this book and thought that it was good christian fiction. One cannot however use it to form a theology or promote one. While it draws a person's attention to the fact of the end times, and the fact that there will be a lot to deal with, an individual must use scripture and scripture rooted teachings to form or develop ones theology. Using a christian fiction for this is not the way to go.
I have read the first two books of the series and disliked both on theological and literary grounds. The dispensationalist system is a 19th century invention that imposes a hermeneutic that is completely foreign to the natural reading of the Biblical text. As a novel, they fail even worse. The writing is atrocious with character development so incredibly shallow and dialogue so contrived that at points I had to laugh out loud at the sheer absurdity of it all. Awful, just awful.
I thought they were a great way to introduce the premillennial view to those with little knowledge of eschatology although it does depart from the view premill view that I was familiar with. i.e. once the church is raptured, there are no second chances unless you are an Israelite.
I think it is important to learn all the different views before making any kind of assessment or choice. I have been studying this stuff for years and still haven't made up my mind.
I got to half way through book 7 and just ran out of steam, I had heard enough. If they were smart they would bring out a one volume abridged version.
I bought one book but never got very far with it. Not used to considering theology through fiction. Can be dangerous to go on eventhough I read 1 or 2 books by Tim LaHaye before.
Quite a new and creative way to communicate on subject. I do not think they promote a theology but throws a challenge to conventional thought (or theology). More people are beginning to see the possibilities of being 'left behind'. I now thought it possible ie. to be left behind but when you miss the First Resurrection (which I believe is the Rapture) you miss heaven already no matter what you do in God's favour after that.
However, I have never really read the stories though I thought basically this should be what the stories are about ie. the shocks of being left behind & be caught in the fierce fights against Anti-Christ, etc. I do not know what are the stories conclusion whether 'left behind heros can still make it to heaven or not'. Appreciate very much if someone who has read can tell me.
I'm afraid I'm with Albert on this one. Poorly written, but more importantly, I believe they're harmful. They might have taken the warning at the end of Revelation, to neither add nor take anything away from the book, more to heart. The fanciful interpretations they give distort rather than attest to the Scripture.
As a side note, in some countries overseas they ran the movie as a science fiction film, which is rather appropriate in my view.