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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ends and a beginning

I found this list of bestsellers to be more than a little amusing and I wonder how many authors have had their books stuck on the bestseller lists behind both Richard Dawkins and Tim LaHaye. Anyhow, thanks to everyone who made the release of the three ebooks a successful one, as all three hit the top 25 in their category and War even hit number 11. I hope you find them enjoyable, or at the very least, occasionally thought-provoking. And, if you've got the time, I hope you'll consider posting reviews once you finish them, Wrath in particular could use some since it has only two.

This was probably my favorite review, coming from Publisher's Weekly concerning Shadow: "Some of the best (and most disturbing) writing occurs in the sections that try to imagine the inner worlds of the killers". I'm not sure what it says about me that I am apparently better at imagining and describing the mindset of a murderous, demon-possessed psychopath than a happy and well-adjusted cheerleader, except I may be listening to too much Mushroomhead.

Best Sellers in Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy

1. Left Behind
Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
2. Tribulation Force (Left Behind)
3. Nicolae (Left Behind, No. 3)
4. SCARS: An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel
Patience Prence
5. Soul Harvest (Left Behind, No. 4)
6.Assassins (Left Behind, Book 6)
7.Armageddon (Left Behind)
8. Apollyon (Left Behind, No. 5)
9. Glorious Appearing (Left Behind)
10. The Indwelling (Left Behind)
11. The War in Heaven (Eternal Warriors)
Theodore Beale

Labels:

46 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous July 10, 2012 9:05 AM  

Very impressive to be on a top 20/40 list. The price is good as well.

- Apollyon

Anonymous TLM July 10, 2012 9:05 AM  

After reading that list, one can understand why so many churchians are Biblically ignorant.

Anonymous O.C. July 10, 2012 9:36 AM  

Can we come up with a new term for those people who toss out the entire rest of the Bible and get totally fixated on Revelations? Revelationists? Apocalypticans? Screwballs? 'Cause I for one am getting tired of having Christianity be thought to be synonymous solely with Revelations and a couple of carefully selected verses from Daniel.

Blogger Spacebunny July 10, 2012 9:45 AM  

pssst O.C. it's Revelation not Revelations...... ;^)

Anonymous O.C. July 10, 2012 9:56 AM  

I figured I'd save time and use the common misnomer, rather than the full Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, or any of the other names this book has been known by over the past two millennia.

Anonymous Houston July 10, 2012 10:01 AM  

I've read several of the Left Behind books and seen a film adaption. The former were almost a parody of bad fiction writing, whereas the latter was memorable only for its appalling cheapness.

Blogger Peter Garstig July 10, 2012 10:12 AM  

This begs the question: How many do you have to sell to land in the top 20?

Anonymous Houston July 10, 2012 10:20 AM  

"And none of them are actually good."

American churchian culture is inimical to good art.

Anonymous Leatherwing July 10, 2012 10:36 AM  

"I wonder how many authors have had their books stuck on the bestseller lists behind both Richard Dawkins and Tim LaHaye"

Reminds me of a book reading by Larry Correia. At the time his books were stuck behind Stieg Larsson's on the bestseller lists. Larry said "The guy's been dead 7 years and he's still beating me!"

Blogger vandelay July 10, 2012 10:47 AM  

I only watched about 15 seconds of that video, and I've already way too much Mushroomhead. Vox you have issues.

Blogger vandelay July 10, 2012 10:48 AM  

Already *seen*

Blogger The Aardvark July 10, 2012 11:02 AM  

"Apocalypticans"

Only if their opening the Bible is accompanied by the transforming sound from the '80s "Transformers" cartoon.

Blogger The Aardvark July 10, 2012 11:08 AM  

"I wonder how many authors have had their books stuck on the bestseller lists behind both Richard Dawkins and Tim LaHaye." -- VD


This immediately sprang to mind.

Anonymous TLM July 10, 2012 11:26 AM  

"""Can we come up with a new term for those people who toss out the entire rest of the Bible and get totally fixated on Revelations? """

The Cameronites, after Kirk Cameron, as he is the chosen one when it comes to unBiblically based cheesy "Christian" film making. See Left behind & Fireproof.

Blogger Michael July 10, 2012 11:28 AM  

Left a review for 'Wrath'. It's a favorite. Well done.

Blogger RobertT July 10, 2012 11:48 AM  

After reading this and before tackling the Hazlitt post, I listened to Malcolm Gladwell talk about his new book. One of the things he said reflects on a subject we have touched on here. VD believes the older you get, the less innovative you become, or the less brilliant or whatever. But MG believe the more time you spend in your pursuit or career, the less innovative you become at it. This ties in with my feelings that once you've exhausted your innovative ideas, you've exhausted them. but someone who continually changes his pursuit is constantly innovative. LaHaye and Jenkins were certainly no spring chickens when they published the "Left Behind" series. Perhaps, for one of them at least, it was enough of a change in pursuit to trigger new and more innovation.

Blogger Vox July 10, 2012 12:25 PM  

Thanks, Michael. Pleased to see you enjoyed it so much.

RobertT, I think switching things up can help with innovation. But I am confident that age, too, plays its part.

Anonymous Kickass July 10, 2012 12:49 PM  

Why arent The Christ Clone Trilogy listed here? Way better then left behind. Amazing actually. It will be interesting to read Vox's take on christian fiction. I loved The Deported. How weird to read it right before the zombie stuff happened.

Anonymous Skunk River Slim July 10, 2012 1:04 PM  

Dissing Mr. LaHaye just because he happens to be a prolific Christian writer and prophet who has struck a chord with a vast swath of the flock?

For shame!

I'm going to have to have a Conversation with God over this unloving attitude.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 10, 2012 1:04 PM  

It is the Revelation of Jesus, not John.

Some of us find the basic per-trib idea to be the only one consistent with the entirety of the Scriptures. Perhaps not the text of a fiction series, but the concept is far more sound than critics (or some proponents) realize.

It seems this category is a bit narrow if Left Behind books dominate the top.

VD, are your books as dark as it seems? I was thinking of piling them in my Kindle queue, but The comments have me concerned. (I find I buy some things I may read at that price point, though $1.99 or even $0.99 makes that more likely.)

Blogger Vox July 10, 2012 1:24 PM  

VD, are your books as dark as it seems?

Shadow is dark, War and Wrath not so much.

Anonymous Nihilus July 10, 2012 1:29 PM  

I wonder if Christians in the middle east and Africa are waiting to be raptured from some future tribulation, even as they are murdered by the thousands.

Blogger IM2L844 July 10, 2012 1:36 PM  

Can we come up with a new term for those people who toss out the entire rest of the Bible and get totally fixated on Revelations? Revelationists? Apocalypticans? Screwballs? 'Cause I for one am getting tired of having Christianity be thought to be synonymous solely with Revelations and a couple of carefully selected verses from Daniel.

O.C., more than 25% (that's more than 8,000 verses) of the bible concerns prophecy. That makes it more relevant than any other single topic contained in the bible. About half of the prophecies contained in the bible have been very accurately fulfilled, providing us with unequivocal reasons to trust it's authenticity and reliability. It also provides us with solid assurance that the yet to be fulfilled prophecies (i.e. the Revelations of Saint John) and the promises contained in the bible will someday be actualized.

For those reasons and more, a lot of very rational people find it not only extremely relevant, but enormously interesting as well.

I'm disappointed that you appear to believe these "screwballs" are too focused on what you seem to think of as somewhat extraneous material, but the evidence of that being the case is not weighted in your favor.

Anonymous III July 10, 2012 1:55 PM  

Meh. Revelations is the new Christian excuse to think rebellion against tyrants is disobedience to God, and to be complicit in the face of evil is divine. After all, tomorrow we are all going to be raptured. Or next week. Maybe next month. A year. Who knows... but until then, it is Jesus desire that we all be in bondage to the State until the whenever happens.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 10, 2012 2:07 PM  

What is described in John Book of Revelation is God's pouring out of His wrath on the earth. The other tribulations are truly nasty, but nothing compared to His wrath. He has also stated that He keeps His wrath for His enemies, not His redeemed.

That shows a misunderstanding of the point of the book.

Many do glamorize the suffering, but we all have the wrong focus at times.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 10, 2012 2:09 PM  

Thanks for the reply Vox. I will still considering picking up the set. No time to read them now, but I like to have things available when I feel like it.

Ironically, many publishers have not gotten the clue that impulse purchases are much easier to justify with a cheap price. I would rebut lots of classic science fiction books if I could get them cheaply.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 10, 2012 2:11 PM  

That should say "rebuy". I hate the iPad's auto correction at times.

Anonymous skunk River Slim July 10, 2012 2:14 PM  

So how does one weed out the legion of "screwballs", cranks, zealots, megalomaniacs, and profiters who all claim special divine insight into Biblical prophecy?

Do I spend half a lifetime studying and becoming a theologian specializing in The Book of Revelation (studying in the original Greek language of course) so that I can interpret Revelation myself?

I am interested in Revelation too but I just can't stomach the various LaHayes, Campings, Lindseys, Armstrongs, VanImpes,Grants and other assorted prophets-in-the-wilderness all braying for my attention while contradicting each other.

Anonymous Nihilus July 10, 2012 2:22 PM  

@R Bradley

No. You show a misunderstanding

Anonymous freddy July 10, 2012 3:23 PM  

Dispensational Evangelicals love this religious fiction, fantasy of the "Left Behind" because that absolves them of any hard work of engaging the dying culture with the hope of the gospel and its leavening effects on society.

The gospel does not change history in their fantasy misreading of Revelation, rather all must go down hill until Christ returns to kick his enemies' ass.

Our view of the future directly affects or beliefs regarding the here and now. LaHaye keeps the Evangelicals in the ghetto of "I'm checking out....soon."

Anonymous freddy July 10, 2012 3:26 PM  

Skunk River,

Check out this essay as LaHaye gets dissed:

http://americanvision.org/1746/mark-of-beast-or/

Blogger IM2L844 July 10, 2012 3:36 PM  

I am interested in Revelation too but I just can't stomach the various LaHayes, Campings, Lindseys, Armstrongs, VanImpes,Grants and other assorted prophets-in-the-wilderness all braying for my attention while contradicting each other.

It's the same as with anything else. It may take some time, but it certainly doesn't take a lifetime to garner enough information to satisfy your curiosity and form your own unbiased educated opinion.

The book of Revelation is not all weird symbolism and mystical allegory. There are some straight forward admonitions and promises that can be taken at face value as well.

Sorting through other people biased opinions, is just part of the learning process. In fact, it's most of the learning process, in my opinion. The information you get from a university professor is not, by necessity, intrinsically less biased and more valuable than the information you can get from Wikipedia, YouTube or your local library.

You just have to sort through it with some discernment, apply a little judicious discretion, try and corroborate what you can and adopt what makes sense to you while discarding what doesn't until you get more information to work with.

Anonymous Lysander Spooner July 10, 2012 3:44 PM  

Teh Pocky Lips really gets dem dumb Churchians going...lol.

Anonymous paradox July 10, 2012 4:56 PM  

On the graphic novel side of things, Doug Tennaple has written some good GN's with a Christian theme. Creature Tech is one of my favorites along with Gear. My son really likes Ghostopolis.

Anonymous freddy July 10, 2012 5:45 PM  

"You just have to sort through it with some discernment, apply a little judicious discretion, try and corroborate what you can and adopt what makes sense to you while discarding what doesn't until you get more information to work with."

Sounds like a "crap shoot" to me.

What about some sort of hermeneutical system to interpret this book written mostly in apocolyptic language? If you apply a literal, newspaper interpretative method you get "cobra" helicopters and all sorts of nonsense that LaHaye espouses.

Go back to your Evangelical ghetto and hunker down, disengage from the culture and wait, and wait, and wait. Oppps, Jesus never did come back in our life time as they all said he would.

No, he already came back in great power and glory to that "generation" whom he said he would (Matt.24:34), as judgment for their unbelief...in the destruction of Jerusalem in one generation.

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. July 10, 2012 6:18 PM  

humph....for some reason I immediately thought you were referring to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up7ZRxc6Aik

Blogger IM2L844 July 10, 2012 6:31 PM  

Sounds like a "crap shoot" to me.

And how, exactly, did you arrive at that conclusion without gathering and processing information in a manner similar to what I've described? Instinct? Was the information embeded in your genetic code? Maybe you somehow aquired it osmotically. Perhaps you had a vision or dreamed it. Do tell.

Blogger Eric Mueller July 10, 2012 9:20 PM  

Have the books changed substantially since I downloaded and read the PDF files about 4 years ago? If not, I'll post reviews.

How are ANY Left Behind books still on the best seller list? I read those about a decade ago. I'm pretty sure the Christian publishing market has pushed new books out since then.

Anonymous Kickass July 10, 2012 9:26 PM  

Freddy, might want to read it again. The whole thing is a maybe (that they meant to write 66 as 60 and 6 instead of.....66) and you have to try hard to missunderstand Matt 24 (here is a hint .....it has not happened yet). What is truly hysterical about your link is Cameron's poster with him and the statue of liberty on it, which is a pagan idol, talking about getting back to this country's biblical roots. Which it does not have. Aint fleecing the ignorant easy? Seriously, the devil does not have to even break a sweat.

Anonymous Kickass July 10, 2012 9:34 PM  

First pray for wisdom, understanding and discernment. Next read only the Bible to learn. Next, if you listen to or read anyone do so with Bible in hand and check not only the verse, but the entire chapter and book they are quoting for context. Next cross reference the topic to see what else the Bible says. Th en laugh hysterically about how easily you have been deceived before. And know you need no teacher but The Holy Spirit. Last watch Know Your Enemy on youtube with discernment (he has been called out on getting emotional regarding celebrating clearly pagan holidays). Hear, see and be free!

Anonymous Kickass July 10, 2012 9:37 PM  

Wow, I had no idea coming as a perceived bastard and born in a manger was coming in power and glory. Did you miss the part about riding on clouds as well?

Anonymous Kickass July 10, 2012 9:42 PM  

Hmm, and the don't tread on me rebellion flag with SNAKE on it clearly has something to do with another snake inciting rebellion in the Bible. How easily some are deceived.

Anonymous freddy July 10, 2012 10:34 PM  

Kickass,

The aruments have to do with preterism you stupid dolt.

Why don't you bone up on some theology.

Anonymous VD July 11, 2012 3:17 AM  

Have the books changed substantially since I downloaded and read the PDF files about 4 years ago? If not, I'll post reviews.

Aside from fixing a few typos, they haven't changed at all.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 11, 2012 11:57 AM  

Freddy, that is BS. Many who hold a pre-trib view area quite active in reaching out to people in this world. Believing that God dumps His wrath on His Church is ludicrous, as is the idea that the current church will ultimately take over the world and use Jesus back.

Both are the alternatives to the belief you disparage.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews July 11, 2012 5:22 PM  

That should have said "usher Jesus back."

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