Saturday, November 20, 2004

Tim LaHaye feels "disappointed," betrayed

A little bit of justice in the world: Tyndale's publishing a new fiction series founded on an honest and reasoned reading of Revelation, which hold that the book is symbolic of things that were happening in the first century.
Rev. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the Left Behind books, called the decision by his publisher "stunning and disappointing" and said he felt betrayed. "They are going to take the money we made for them and promote this nonsense," he said.
Still more:
"The Bible, in particular the Revelation of John, is open to many dramatic readings," said Harvey Cox, a professor at Harvard Divinity School. "Unfortunately, some are merely a paste-up of what the Bible actually says, a pulling from various passages to craft a theology that the bulk of New Testament scholars do not support. [Revelation] was a polemic against the corruption, debauchery and greed of the Roman Empire ... meant to be an encouragement for the people who were living under persecution. Christians were being fed to the lions. John was writing in exile, fearful for his life."

Dr. LaHaye said the viewpoint expressed in his books is backed by "300 years of church teaching." But Dr. Cox said dispensationalism was considered heresy in ancient times and suppressed. It re-emerged in the 19th century, thanks to "a New Age-y, mystical type sect in Scotland."

Read it all, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News


shoes said...

does it bother you that the bible is a work of fiction. the catholic church decided what was to be in it and only picked items that agreed with what they wanted the masses to believe. you would be better off trying to find a divine message in harry potter (the story is way more interesting)

The Archer of the Forest said...

Seems to me like Mr. LaHaye forgot what he was writing was in fact fiction. I have serious problems with the whole Left Behind theology, so I can't say it surprises me much.

Anonymous said...

You posit that Tyndale House's new book is an "honest and reasoned reading of Revelation" implying that LeHaye's books are NOT an "honest and reasoned reading of Revelation."

There have long been differing interpretations of what Revelation "really" means. Pre/Post Tribulationists. Last year I heard one that was new. Very interesting. Maybe troubling. Certainly different from what I'd been taught.

But who are we to say who is right and who is wrong? There is room for all interpretations. The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in different ways. He speaks toyou and me in a different way about the same thing b/c we are in very different places and stages. That's not to say what you hear is right and what I hear is wrong. I leave that with God.

I learned, during the homosexual issue in our Anglican communion, that God wants me to love and be under the authority of my church. Period. I needn't be concerned about another's interpretation. I'm willing to listen. To share. To discuss. I want to remain in fellowship with those who have different interpretations but many of them refuse to stay in fellowship with me. Interesting.

Kyle, you are so intelligent and so gifted. I really appreciated everything you brought to the SF traiing. Just don't become one of those who refuse to remain in fellowship. Hesitate before declaring that one interpretation is right and the other is wrong. Share your opinions but don't tell me I'm wrong. That's God's job.

Linda Wardle

Kyle said...


Thank you for your kind comments. While I appreciate the spirit in which they are made, I disagree with your arguments.

Ideas have consequences, some good and some bad. Some wrong ideas are merely illogical or unfounded, but have no ugly consequences in peoples’ lives. Other wrong ideas are harmful. (I think premillenial dispensationalism (rapture theology) is one of the latter. That seems beside the point for the moment, however.)

Questions about what God intends to do in the world and what his creative and redemptive intent for sexuality are not indifferent matters. It is needful and urgent to discern God’s truth because lies are always destructive. I don’t see such matters in terms of differing “interpretations,” but rather as “harmful lies” or “liberating truths.”

The notion that “the Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in different [i.e. contradictory, mutually exclusive] ways” is without basis in the historical Christian tradition, either in the original apostolic proclamation or later interpretations by teachers and reformers. I could be corrected in this, but I don’t see it anywhere. Likewise with the idea that only God may correct someone’s thinking. I find that particularly troublesome; if one will only be corrected by “God,” one only receives counsel from the God of one’s own private understanding.

You can find written on the seal of the Anglican Communion this Greek inscription: “the truth will make you free.” As I have argued before, the idea of an active truth would seem to imply the liberation from a lie. And lies are always someone else’s “truth.”

Anonymous said...

We'll have to agree to disagree. The basic elements of the Apostle's creed are without question, not open to debate. However, one's interpretation of Revelation, women in ministy, homosexuality and so on are open to interpretation. I can seek God diligently, which I did, on the issue of homosexuality. Read his word, listen to the Holy Spirit, and "know" what God is saying to me. He didn't say the same thing to me that he seems to have said to many others. Who am I to say that they are "wrong" and I am "right?" We cannot do that. "Don't judge lest ye be judges." On this and many other issues Christians are divided. There is Biblical support for both sides. The Bible is full of contradictions. My job is not to say that one interpretation of Revelation is wrong or a lie, not to say that homosexuality is right or wrong. My job as a Christian is to react in Love, Christ's love. This is what God and Holy Spirit is saying to me as I search for answers to hard questions. My job is never to judge or say "you're wrong", "I'm right." My job is to accept other's views and show God's love. I can only say what is "right" or "truth" for me as God has shown me. Too, I have placed myself under the authority of the Episcopal church and therefore accept the church's decisions, whether I agree with them or not. For the differences and my questions I take Rilke's advice: the questions and some day... you my live into the answers.

On another note, today's you live in a community situation? it sounds like it. How neat the way you were diverted from your anger about LeHaye et al by showing God's love to your neighbor. That's what it's all about.

Linda Wardle

Anonymous said...

and by the can pre- or post-milleniansim be a harmful idea? I disagree on that premise.


I would enjoy talking with you in person about your ideas, which abound and are refreshing. Online conversations are difficult, often misunderstood, take too long. Could you meet for lunch some weekend? Mark Herbert might enjoy it too.