As the Slacktivist blogger has noted, in the first book (Left Behind) we read that young Chloe somehow got from Stanford to Chicago to be with her dad, even while the Rapture’s aftermath made travel virtually impossible–meaning she has accomplished an amazing feat all by herself. But we don’t see how she did it.
On pages 249 and 257 to 259 of this book, we finally get to see how she did it, and yes, she is quite resourceful.
Yet another example of what should have gone into Left Behind, rather than endless phone conversations and other frustrating filler, but did finally make it into this last book.
On page 261–after several of the early books, before her death, depicted her as dumb and narcissistic–we get a surprising revelation about Hattie:
Hattie Durham enjoyed the delectable secret that she was not quite as ditzy as she seemed to be. How people reacted to her–particularly men–she had recognized so many years before that she couldn’t remember not using it to her advantage.
Women seemed to baby talk to her, as if because she was a beautiful blonde she couldn’t have a brain. And men seemed to talk to her with their eyes, as if their gibberish was meaningless, which it often was.
It was, however, not true that Hattie was other than calculating. She had largely charmed her way to senior-flight-attendant status just after her twenty-seventh birthday–no small feat–but these jobs were not just handed out.
She had had to study, to be a quick learner, to gain favor with passengers, fellow crew members, and superiors. They didn’t give such a title to a body, a face, a hairdo, and makeup in uniform.
What amazes me is how often we’re told that blondes and other beauties are treated as dumb just because they’re pretty. I’ve never based my opinion of another’s intelligence on how attractive she is or is not.
Several of my best friends in college, all very intelligent, were also blondes. The only time I heard them called a “wind tunnel” (when sitting next to each other) was by Shawn, but he knew they were smart.
Hattie certainly is not helping herself–or women’s lib–by pretending to play into the stereotype.
Another revelation is that Hattie never intended to be a cheap fling for Rayford: No, she was in love, and wanted him to give up his wife and marry her.
On page 271, Raymie realizes that the judgments are giving him a “crash course in church history.” Yet we go from second-century martyrs Polycarp and Papias to fourteenth-century Bible translator John Wycliffe!
Where’s everything that happened in church history in the intervening 12 centuries? Or does it not count until the beginning of the Protestant Reformation?
All of chapter 26 (other than the breakaways to scenes in Heaven) is what happens on the plane after the Rapture. It is full of emotion, fear, and how the flight crew handles the sudden disappearance of dozens of passengers.
It also goes more into how Hattie and Rayford relate to each other, when they had planned to take their relationship to the next level, but instead were thrust into this crisis.
Where was this in the first book?
On page 309, we get into the thoughts of Rayford’s co-pilot Chris Smith (and soon find out why he killed himself in Left Behind); we read, “[The disappearances weren’t] going to be something he could watch on TV and gas about with his poker buddies.”
Er–what? What th’ heck is “gas about”? What generation used/uses that term, because it sure isn’t Gen-X or the Millennials? If you’re going to use slang, shouldn’t it at least be from the 21st century?
We also learn about Smith’s wife, plain Jane, a good woman–whom Chris cheats on at every port (including recently with Hattie, as we learn on page 317).
Chris also has another wife and family (yes, a bigamist). He thinks, “And [Jane] was a servant.” What? a servant? What, your wife waits on you hand and foot? Some guys are never satisfied….
On page 319, Raymie, who has a big globe in his heavenly mansion, uses the globe to go back in time to watch the beginning of the world. Sure enough, he starts in the Garden of Eden, and thinks, “It had all been true, the biblical record, and Raymie could immerse himself in every incident and see as it played out.”
Take that, evolutionists! Even with all your fancy science, which has been proven to be correct again and again, yer wrong!
As we continue, the description of events on the plane is, yet again, what we should have seen in Left Behind. Where was all this adventure and emotion back then? I feel cheated!
On page 341, the apostle Paul is next up to be judged. He “seemed eager to meet Jesus.”
But–Wouldn’t he have already met Jesus when he died and went to Heaven? That’s how most of the Christian denominations seem to teach it: that when you die, you go to Heaven (or Paradise, the “holding tank” before the judgment), but not soul sleep.
Are the authors now telling us the correct teaching is soul sleep, which belongs to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists, not the Christian mainstream??
The end of the book leads into the second book of the series (Tribulation Force), as these last three have been prequels to Left Behind.
And then we get the author’s note, where we are assured that the authors’ version of the End Times is correct and anyone who would tell you different is a false messiah and false prophet deliberately teaching error and led by Satan (p. 348).
Which would include a large number of Christian denominations, including the most conservative ones, Catholic and Orthodox.
So we must follow the authors’ two keys to understanding the Second Coming, which are “You must take the Bible literally, including prophecy” and “You must keep in mind that there are two stages to the Second Coming.”
Never mind that both keys are just plain theologically WRONG.
And, of course, when the authors are asked why the books are “the most popular fiction series ever,” they say it’s “based on the Bible’s forecast of the last days,” “which many find fascinating”–and, of course, that’s “aside from Jerry’s incredible fiction-writing gift.”
Er–his what? If it’s so incredible, then why is it mocked by the Slacktivist and so many others across the Net? Why have I often felt like, “Why, again, am I slogging through these books?”
On page 350, LaHaye refers to his “nonfiction prophecy books”–I don’t think “nonfiction” means what you think it means….
Then he writes that “after you compare them” (the Rapture and the Glorious Appearing, as described in his books) “you will realize that they cannot possibly be describing the same event.”
Er–I’ve read many other books, including the Bible, and realized that they cannot possibly be describing TWO events.
And now on, FINALLY, to the LAST book! Yippee!
Find all my Left Behind book reviews here.