The Bible Study at the End of the World (Part 1 of 2)

Recent novels by evangelical leaders say more about popular American Christianity than about the end times.
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The Third Millenium, by Paul Meier
Thomas Nelson, 1993
311 pp.; $12.99, paper

Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
Tyndale House, 1995
468 pp.; $12.99, paper

The End of the Age, by Pat Robertson
Word, 1995
374 pp.; $12.99, paper

You have miraculously made it onto the last flight out of L.A. before a kilometer-wide flaming meteor hits. Every link to your adult life—your home, job, friends, assets—will soon be drowned by a mile-high wave, melted by nuclear reactors gone bad, and shaken by earthquakes that exceed Californians' worst nightmares. You find yourselves at a crowded terminal in Albuquerque where you watch on TV while the President shoots himself in the head. You meet Dave, a nice Christian NBA star, who takes you to the home of Charley, an ex-coach and savvy investor who is now a multimillionaire.

How do you possibly cope with this much chaos and trauma? Where do you start? What do you do?

You have a Bible study. An inductive one, with "hearty laughter" accompanying the questions. "Open the Bible to the very last book. That's Revelation . …Now turn to chapter eight."

"It is surreal," admits one participant.

So begin the adventures of Carl and Lori, our escapees from L.A. It turns out that Charley is an amateur prophecy expert and that Revelation predicts these amazing current events accurately—so accurately that Carl and Lori become Christians.

Such is the premise of Pat Robertson's novel, The End of the Age. And this ex-presidential candidate and head of cbn and host of The 700 Club is not the only evangelical leader who has taken up the sport of end-times novels. Paul Meier, a psychiatrist and cofounder of the Minirth-Meier Clinics, has written The Third Millennium, and Tim LaHaye, ...

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