Remember when the Left Behind novels were big? Yeah, me too. As a Christian who holds exclusively to doctrines not dreamed up in the last 175 years, I found them incredibly embarrassing. I listened to the first four of them on my Walkman (because I was hammering traffic counting hoses into the road for a living and, having already exhausted all of my good books on tape, started borrowing from others), and spent the duration keeping score between three teams: Bad Theology, Bad Story Telling, and Downright Boringness. (Bad Theology won by a nose.)
Well, it's been almost fifteen years since they made a splash, but some of us still aren't over it. And so, my wife Erin, my buddies Ted, Brad, and Ronnie, and myself have started the serialized dispensational end times blog-novel, Beauty and the Mark of the Beast: A Dispensational Thriller.
Why even bother to parody a genre that peaked in 1997, you might ask?
There are several valid answers to this question, as follows:
1. We’re a little bit lazy. When you parody a living, growing, changing phenomenon, you have to stay on top of the latest developments. And it pays to work fast in such circumstances. Having already done satires of more recent phenoms (e.g. the emergent church and the New Calvinism), we thought we’d take a little break and just kick a dead horse while it’s down.
2. It’ll be back. Soon. Mark my words. Then we’ll appear to be way ahead of our time.
3. To us, pop dispensationalism kind of stands in for everything that’s tacky, embarrassing, and mockable about modern day Evangelicalism.
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