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Puddle Jumper
11-03-2005, 08:35 AM
What is your impression of end-times fiction or apocolyptic fiction. Stories about the end times (Revelation based) of Jesus coming back and all of that. Like the Left Behind series.

I was inspired to start this thread after reading a comment in the "Why do you write Christian fiction" thread.


I've given up Christian fiction after the Left Behind series. They were awful. Christian romance is all the same anyway. Maybe I'll go take another look.
I think I read about the first half of the first Left Behind book and just lost total interest.

I don't like apocolyptic fiction. I don't like people fictionalizing the end times. The biggest reason why I don't like it is because it comes across as a scare tactic to get people to believe and I don't think people should become Christians because they're scared of the alternative but because they understand Jesus loves them and desires them to be with Him. I think people who become a a Christian due to being scared like that are at a higher risk to fall away because fear only grips us for a time and then we lose that fear. For example, immediately after 9-11 there was a great scare in the country of more terrorist attacks. But as time has moved on we're not as scared anymore, we've let our guard down again. As time passes, fear passes away too. If you become a Christian because you're scared of being left behind or are scared of hell, as time passes that fear will pass too and you'll be left with no reason to continue being a Christian because it won't be in the forefront of your mind. But if you become a Christian because you understand the big picture of God and His love and His purpose for mankind from the beginning, you're more likely to continue in the faith.

I also don't like it because those who write it come across as authorities on the subject saying, "This is how it will happen." And typically it's this rapture, then these years of tribulation, then the second coming which may then be followed my a millineum of peace on earth with Jesus being here physically.

My problem with that is there are too many ways to interpret the end times pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, non-trib, all-trib, pre-mil, post-mil, all-mill, non-mill, etc..., etc..., etc... And all the different interpretations I've heard I can see how scripture backs it up. I've heard so many good arguments it made my head spin until I just decided that nobody has it right, God's going to surprise us all, and I really don't care how it's going to end, Revelation was written not for us to figure out the details ahead of time but was written to comfort us in knowing that He will be in charge to the end of the world and we don't need to fear or feel forgotten. And we don't need to be pointing to a speculative future to scare people into becoming Christian (especially considering they may very well die before the end of the world) and that we need to be pointing to a very real, very loving, compassionate, and forgiving Savior who wants to walk with them in today's world and for the them and the Lord to fall deeply in love with one another so that they'll feel complete and loved and not alone in this world.

So I don't like end-times fiction and I do wish they would stop making it.

September skies
11-03-2005, 08:38 AM
I tried reading those books and just lost interest. Not too interesting for me.

But I do love end-time movies such as "The Day After Tomorrow" and "War of the Worlds" -- not necessarily Revelation movies but kind of about the end of mankind or the world..... exciting movies.

Puddle Jumper
11-03-2005, 09:02 AM
I tried reading those books and just lost interest. Not too interesting for me.

But I do love end-time movies such as "The Day After Tomorrow" and "War of the Worlds" -- not necessarily Revelation movies but kind of about the end of mankind or the world..... exciting movies.
I didn't like "The Day After Tommorrow" because it just looked too fake and unbelievable to me. The tornados in Hollywood, the ice chasing them down the halls of the library as they race for the fireplace, and those wolves looked so totally fake. They should have went for real wolves, not CGI. I was actually laughing at the movie most of the time for how fake and unreal it all looked. :p

"War of the Worlds" was okay but weird. And I'm just not a Tom Cruise fan. I would have rather seen his part played by someone else.

Usually world-ending movies are depressing, so I think that's why I don't generally like them.

Shwebb
11-03-2005, 05:01 PM
Hate end-times fiction, except as comic relief before I get too angry to continue reading any more of it.

People who think they know how the end-times will appear to us do a great disservice. I agree that they set up preconceived notions, and people start looking to that stuff instead of looking where they are supposed to--to God for their answers.

LightShadow
05-18-2006, 10:33 PM
I think that any book about the Christian struggle in today's world could be considered end-times fiction...

MadScientistMatt
05-19-2006, 12:35 AM
The way I see it, we've been living in the end times ever since Jesus went back to Heaven. We just don't know how close the end times are to ending. :)

Puddle Jumper, it looks like we share a very similar opinion of apocalyptic fiction. I've occasionally toyed with writing a story that takes the usual "all the Christians disappear, completely vanishing, and then the Antichrist enters stage right," and twists it just enough that people who stick to the usual interpretation of it probably wouldn't recognize it. Picture a bunch of people suddenly dropping dead of unknown causes, and then a "Christian" preacher shows up who makes every bad stereotype of Christianity a tenant of the faith and claims there's an impending disappearance-style rapture. Call it rapture fiction for people who hate rapture fiction. :)

That's one point I wish they would emphasize more: We don't really know how it's going to end. God made it incredibly murky for a reason. And he made how we are supposed to live in the meantime a lot clearer.

I once heard a teacher give his summary of "All you really need to understand about Revelation," and I'll end my post by quoting that.

"In the end, God wins."

Puddle Jumper
05-19-2006, 08:34 AM
I think that any book about the Christian struggle in today's world could be considered end-times fiction...
I like that. :)

Lyra Jean
05-19-2006, 09:29 AM
I generally don't like christian fiction. Except when someone does a novelization of a Bible story and then only if it's done well. Christian fiction in general is too comfy cozy and happy. Very blase and predictable. As far as "Left Behind" series. Totally blah.

Gravity
05-19-2006, 05:00 PM
[quote=rosemerry] Christian fiction in general is too comfy cozy and happy. Very blase and predictable. [quote]

Check out my CBA stuff! I'm frankly surprised it was ever published. Mwah-hahahhh!! :D

InspiredWriter
05-19-2006, 07:25 PM
I read the Left Behind series while studying Revelation at a local Community Bible Study. The woman who taught the study followed the three most mainstream interpretations of Revelation, never expressing one or another as correct or more accurate, letting the attendees come to our own conclusions.

The study was an awesome experience. I am more excited about Heaven than I have ever been in my life.

The beauty of the Left Behind series is that it initiated conversation about God, Jesus and the Bible among people who would not commonly converse on these topics. It was written for the masses (meaning the cookies were on the bottom shelf, you didn't have to be a prolific reader to follow them). And the masses ate them up!

We as Christian writers owe a debt of gratitude to Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye for what they have done in the world of Christian Fiction! They broke the glass ceiling, and created a new vision for what is possible in reaching millions with a Christian message through Christian fiction.

Blessings,

Elizabeth