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Although not an Evangelical ( a term which seems to be negative to some), I
believe I am an evangelist, and I have read the entire series (also saw that
dreadful movie). The quote from Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is so
ludicrous that it must be dismissed. It is faulty theology of the worse
kind... "born again Jesus"  don't think so  - that would be impossible.

They are a good read and very popular in my area. Students who enjoy The
DaVinci Code usually enjoy the series as well. Is the theology my theology?
No. It is however the theology of many of my students and churches in the

I believe they should be in school libraries, both public and private.


Dr. Allan O'Grady Cuseo (Brother Donogh Allan, MGC)
Bishop Kearney High School Library
125 Kings Highway South
Rochester, New York 14617

585-342 - 4000 x231
585-342 - 4694  (FAX)

Education in the tradition of the Christian Brothers and the School Sisters
of Notre Dame
FAC OMNIA BENE (Do all things well)

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----- Original Message -----
From: "edward nizalowski" <enizalowski@NVCS.STIER.ORG>
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 4:21 PM
Subject: [LM_NET] Gen: Left Behind Series (commentary - a bit long)

        I had a student mention this series early in the year.  Anytime a
student mentions a book of some kind, it presents a lead that you definitely
want to pursue.  I accidentally came across a reference to the series in the
Labor-Community Reporter (December 2004) published by Opportunities for
Broome (Broome County, NY).  The author was quoting Nicholas Kristof of the
New York Times:

        "According to Kristof, these books tell how the born-again Jesus
will return to earth to destroy the Hindus, Muslims, Jews, certain
unborn-again Protestants, Unitarians, of course the agnostic's, and yes,
even the Catholics, (notwithstanding the Bishop's recent tilt to the
Political Right in favor of our best known born-again living in the White
House), by throwing them all into an everlasting fire pit."

        Since both the Labor-Community Reporter and the New York Times are
left of center, I checked into some websites for other views.  Here are some
other opinions:

Fundamentally unsound
Left Behind, the bestselling series of paranoid, pro-Israel end-time
thrillers, may sound kooky, but America's right-wing leaders really believe
this stuff.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Michelle Goldberg
"Left Behind cloaks itself in the conventions of ordinary airport thrillers,
but it does far more than just provide a Christian alternative to decadent
mainstream entertainment. It creates a Christian theory of everything, one
that slates current events into a master narrative in which the world is
destroyed and then remade to evangelical specifications. It's an alternate
universe in which conservative Middle Americans are vindicated against
everyone who doesn't share their beliefs -- especially liberals and Jews.
"There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to their fantasies.
But LaHaye and Jenkins are at pains to show that the Left Behind books are
meant as more than fiction. They write on the Left Behind Web site
<>, 'While it is true that in the broad spectrum
of Protestant Christianity there are multiple views of the end-times
scenario, the pre-millennialist theology found in the Left Behind Series is
the prominent view among evangelical Christians, including their leading
seminaries such as Talbot Seminary, Trinity Seminary and Dallas Theological
"So the rest of us can ignore Left Behind, or chuckle at its over-the-top
Christian kitsch. We should keep in mind, though, that for some of the most
powerful people in the world, this stuff isn't melodrama. It's prophecy."

A comment from Wesley Clark, found on this website:

                "Now, there's one party in America that's made the United
Nations the enemy. And I don't know how many of you have ever read that
series of books that's published by the Christian right that's called the
'Left Behind' series? Probably nobody's read it up here. But don't feel bad,
I'm not recommending it to you. I'm just telling you that according to the
book cover that I saw in the airport, 55 million copies have been printed.
And in it, the Antichrist is the United Nations. And so there's this huge,
ill-informed body of sentiment out there that's just grinding away against
the United Nations."

                Apologetics Index

                        "A seminary professor who has delved into the Book
of Revelation believes the "Left Behind" fiction series has some positive
points but a raft of faulty theology.

                        Loren Johns, academic dean at Associated Mennonite
Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., told a Feb. 28 convocation at Bethel
College that the popular end-times books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
'exude an evangelical warmth and passion that I find encouraging.'

                        At the same time, he said, because of the
consumerist, militaristic values expressed, 'I view the series as a
rejection of the good news of Christ.'

                        Johns believes the popularity of the series, and the
public's penchant for end-times prophecy, spring from a basic misreading of
                        Source: Professor critiques 'Left Behind' books
<> <<ole0.bmp>>  <<ole1.bmp>>
By Robert Rhodes, Mennonite Weekly Review

        The publishers of Apologetics Index reject the end-time theology
promoted by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

                It would seem to me that the Left Behind series in not in
the tradition of Christian literature as written by C. S. Lewis, Lloyd
Douglas or Morris West.  I see no problem in having literature that promotes
a particular religious view or is meant to attract new converts, but if the
philosophy crosses the line into bigotry and/or superiority, this becomes
another issue.  Here is where your selection criteria can become very
                        Although our school's selection policy is quite old
and needs to be updated, such matters are addressed.  The New York State
Education Department has this reference that is applicable: "Biased or
slanted materials may be provided only to meet specific curriculum
objectives".  This is from a publication that probably dates from the early
                        The school's internet policy, formulated relatively
recently,  is more specific.  Students or staff are not allowed to "access,
transmit, or retransmit material which advocates or promotes violence or
hatred against particular individuals or groups of individuals or advocates
or promotes the superiority of one racial group over another."  This same
criteria should apply to any other media as well.
                        Not having read any of these books, I have to
withhold final judgment, but I do have to question whether novels of this
type belong on the shelves of a public school library.

                Ed Nizalowski, SMS
                Newark Valley High School
                Newark Valley, NY

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