Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis
Paperback, 160pp. Published by Evangelical Press, Faverdale North Ind. Est. Darlington. DL3 0PH. Price £7.95, ISBN 0-85234-610-7.
This book takes a critical look at the extremely popular ‘Left Behind’ series of novels and other products that have emanated from them. Whilst coming from a ‘Reformed’ background, Dr. Gribben’s main issue is not with the eschatology but the faulty theology of ‘Conversion, the Church and Christian life’ portrayed in these novels – a problem traced to the shallow evangelicalism from which the books spring.
Whilst censuring most ‘Rapture Fiction’ novels, the writer insists on the importance of the Lord’s coming and its effect on Christian living. Most of the criticisms are valid and some very important. Issues such as the sovereignty of God, the wrongs of ‘The sinner’s prayer’, the second chance theory and baptismal regeneration are dealt with. One should admire the writers desire to defend ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’. However, due to the Reformed (Calvinistic) theology, some of the issues are not dealt with in a way with which this reviewer could agree.
The preface claims the book is not an attack on the dispensational school per-se. It is disappointing, then, that the writer later dismisses the Dispensationalism of Darby as a product of his socio-political environment, but fails to examine it in the light of scripture. In one appendix the writer gives a number of ‘alternatives’ to Dispensationalism, but does not tell us which he believes! Although the concerns dealt with are significant, the writer’s clear Reformed bias means that this is not a book the present reviewer could recommend. It would be helpful to see a scholarly dispensationalist critique of the theology of the ‘Left Behind’ series!
[Our thanks to John Stock of Redditch for this review]