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Rapture Fiction: And the Evangelical Crisis (Emmaus) [Paperback]

By Gribben Crawford (Author)
Our Price $ 11.89  
Retail Value $ 13.99  
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Item Number 47113  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.41 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2006
Publisher   EVANGELICAL PRESS #532
ISBN  0852346107  
EAN  9780852346105  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
Jesus Christ will soon return to the earth. This book, like the rapture fiction novels it discusses, finds its hope in that statement's truth. Nothing that this book argues should therefore be understood as in any way underplaying the significance of our Lord's second coming, or its central importance in consistent Christian living. The New Testament documents shine with the anticipation of glory, and this book must not dull that hope. Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis seeks to retain rapture novels' enthusiasm for the return of Jesus Christ at the same time as it examines their presentation of the gospel. Its most basic argument is that rapture novels have emerged from an evangelicalism that shows signs of serious theological decay. In their descriptions of conversion and Christian living, rapture fiction novels demonstrate a sometimes inadequate understanding of the gospel, the church and the Christian life. These novels are some of the best-selling 'evangelical' titles in the world, but the faith they represent cannot be identified with the historic orthodoxy of evangelical Protestantism, the 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3). The novels' combination of theological inadequacy and massive popularity is evidence that evangelicalism is now in serious crisis.

Publishers Description
This book describes and assesses the best-selling novels in early twentieth-century America - the Left Behind novels, a series of evangelical apocalyptic fictions, which have sold over 60 million copies since 1995.

No-one can doubt the series' success, but many are challenging their representation of the Gospel. This book is written with the concern that Rapture novels might be a much less reliable guide to the Christian gospel than their many millions of readers suppose.

Buy Rapture Fiction: And the Evangelical Crisis (Emmaus) by Gribben Crawford from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780852346105 & 0852346107

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Tiptoe Thru The TULIP  Aug 29, 2006
Did you ever get invited by a friend to what you thought was a social event and it turned out to be an 'opportunity meeting' for a multi-level marketing plan? This book is a somewhat like that. It's not really about the Left Behind series or 'franchise' (meaning all the Left Behind books and their spinoffs) but about the state of evangelicalism in general and how the Left Behind series represents the good and the bad in the evangelical world today. If you're looking for a critque of the Left Behind eschatological veiwpoint, there's not much here. In fact, it would seem that the author is basically a dispensationalist himself who feels Left Behind are dispensationalists gone wrong. His standard for evangelicalism and dispensationalism is, curiously enough, John Nelson Darby. He faults the Left Behind for forsaking the 'Calvinism' of the original dispensationalists. One of the biggest offenses of Left Behind is that they are Arminian in their view of salvation. I am not Calvinist, though I consider them friends and true brothers & sisters in Christ, but please, can we get over this idea that if you're not Calvinist, you don't believe in the Sovereignity of God. BOTH Calvinists & Non-Calvinists believe in the Sovereignity of God. They just believe God CHOOSES to apply his Sovereignity differently. A King can be sovereign over His people and allow them to make decisions with whatever parameters He wants to allow. It does not diminish his Sovereignity one iota. It was disappointing to have him tiptoe thru the TULIP in this book.

Having said that, I totally agree there are many problems with the current state of evangelicalism and Left Behind reflects many of them, but they are certainly not limited to Left Behind books. His critique of the 'Sinner's Prayer' is very valid. He takes Left Behind to task for their stance on 'regenerational baptism', although I would be surprised if either Jenkins or LaHaye really promote that. He also faults them for not promoting the sacraments in the tribulation church, that they are treating the church as some spiritual club rather than the eccleiastical body it is supposed to be. These are all probably quite valid but it's a little like faulting Left Behind for not being a body of systematic theology, something I doubt it or any Christian fiction series intends to be.

In summary, I think the author used today's interest in the Left Behind genre (both those that support it and those who don't) to write a book he wanted to write but probably didn't need to be written. He also refers a lot to the sequels and prequesl which were written after the series was finished and it became a little confusing because there are different authors involved in all of them. I think the average reader of Left Behind books will be very bored and say 'so what?' and the scholarly person reading this will say 'what's new?'
Excellent examination of the Left Behind series  Aug 17, 2006
Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis by Crawford Gribben is one of the best books which critique the popular "Left Behind" series and its ilk. Having just read "Left Behind? The Facts Behind the Fiction" by LeAnn Flesher and being very disappointed (see my review) I was wary of another flop. Instead I found a very scholarly and thorough investigation of the subject.

Gribben's historical study of this genre of Christian fiction - before LaHaye - was particularly enlightening, as was his balanced historical investigation into the origins of pre-tribulation rapture concept. He does not attack Dispensationalism or the rapture idea as such, but invites the reader to put them into historical context. In fact, he reveals how the Left Behind books has actually strayed from it's Dispensational roots in many ways, especially in its understanding of the church.

Chapter 4, "Left Behind and the Gospel" is one of the best chapters I have ever read describing how popular evangelicalism has departed from the historic evangelical understanding of salvation. His analysis of "the sinner's prayer" will insure that I will never see that prayer in the same light again.

The only thing bad about this book is that it takes so long to order it through this site. I ordered several books by Evangelical Press directly from the publisher through its website, and got them very promptly, as opposed to the 4 to 6 weeks promised here. I wish this site would simply keep books by Evangelical Press in stock. It is one of the best publishers of evangelical books around today.


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