Book club


I like it when people do my dirty work for me. Like the dishes, my taxes, or buying gas. I don’t know if this constitutes dirty work (because it hardly needs to be done at all), but some journalist in Philly has taken it upon himself to read the entire Left Behind series so that I (and you) don’t have to. In between more traditional posts on his blog, Slaktivist, this guy indulges in lengthy (and often amusing) criticisms—both theological and literary—of this important piece of American literature. Left Behind, for those of you who aren’t up on the literature that sells in this country, is that famously bad fiction series about, uh, Christian stuff. Like the second coming, the rapture, and the imaginary Pan-Continental Airlines.

The Left Behind critiques proceed three pages at a time through the series. The tirade began on October 17, 2003, with a post entitled “Left Behind is Evil.” The following day, a second post appeared, entitled “Left Behind: Pretrib Porno, Pages 1-3.” His first comment on the book regards the protagonist’s name: Rayford Steele. “It sounds like a porn star’s name—and in a sense it is,” he wrote. And thus began Slaktivist’s own personal holy war against Left Behind—three pages at a time.

The best part of this website, however, is that this guy is a Christian. Living, breathing and believing. Plus, he is a writer (and a good one as a matter of fact). This means that the fun he is making, the righteous rage he is feeling, is not gratuitous liberal yabber. While he may be joking, he is also earnest and, in his own way, defending his faith from idiocy, and his profession from stupidity. A good deal of the criticism is legitimately theological (taught me a thing or two, in fact), but the funnest parts are when he’s simply making fun of shoddy writing. Or maybe I just like those parts because I’m going to hell.