Thursday, May 6, 2010

Olsen: Must reading for would-be novelists

As anyone who frequents this blog knows, I enjoy a good laugh at the expense of dispensationalists, probably more often than I should. Carl E. Olsen, however, appears to have bested me, taking impish pleasure in flaying the popular but dreadfully heretical teachings of Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and other dinosaurs of dispensational doom in his latest post for Insight Scoop.
Did you know that Tim LaHaye just "wrote" his 666th Rapture novel? No? But you want to know all about it? Great! The novel is Edge of Apocalypse, and is co-authored with Craig Parshall (the guy who does the actual writing), and is published by Zondervan, who published LaHaye Hits such as Revelation Unveiled, How To Win Over Depression, and The Act of Marriage (Tyndale published the Left Behind books, as well as several other LaHaye Hits). The web page for Edge of Apocalypse states:
In Tim LaHaye—creator and co-author of the world-renowned Left Behind series—and Craig Parshall’s Edge of Apocalypse, Joshua Jordan’s new weapons defense system will secure America against an array of new enemies, including a nuclear strike on New York City by North Korea. But global forces are mounting and corrupt government leaders will go to any extreme to prevent an impending economic catastrophe. As world events begin setting the stage for the “end of days” foretold in Revelation, Jordan must weigh the personal price he must pay to save the nation he loves. ...

Edge of Apocalypse pulls you into an adrenaline-fueled political thriller laced with End Times prophecy. From Tim LaHaye, creator and co-author of the world-renowned Left Behind series—the most successful adult fiction series ever written—and Craig Parshall comes an epic story ripped from the headlines of world events and filtered through Scriptural prophecy. Set in the near future, Edge of Apocalypse chronicles the beginning of The End—the earth-shattering events leading up to the Apocalypse foretold in Revelation.

That is, the Apocalypse foretold in The Apocalypse. Well, at least they don't call it "The Book of Revelations," which is common among some Rapturites. When I first read the phrase, "an epic story ripped from the headlines of world events and filtered through Scriptural prophecy," I thought, "What a great description of popular dispensationalism!" I would simply change "epic story" to "hokey mythology", and "ripped" to "ripped off and forced into a crude paradigm of countless conspiracy theories", and "Scriptural prophecy" to "crude and outrageous acts of hermeneutical violence," but otherwise it is right on the money.

And then I thought how helpful it would be if I could show readers how they too could write really rotten "end times novels" and makes tons of dough, just like Tim LaHaye. After all, it really doesn't take talent, at least not as talent is traditionally understood; that is, as an exceptional ability or aptitude in a specific realm of thinking or acting. No, on the contrary, as someone who has read far too many of LaHaye's books, has written a lengthy book on premillennial dispensationalism (aka, "Left Behind theology"), and who showed how the basic template for the first Left Behind novel was likely taken from a 1970 book, 666 (also published by Tyndale), I think it is only fair that I help share information that will further destroy literacy in general and biblical literacy in particular. And so, with that said, here are the seven steps to fame and fortune, also known as, "How To Write an End Times Novel Before the Rapture Takes Place!"

All you would-be novelists out there need to read his seven steps before your write your first paragraph.