End Times Fiction, Gary DeMar (Thomas Nelson, 2001), 232 pages, $14.99

Earlier this year the Left Behind series topped the 50 million mark in sales. Everyone who has read the Left Behind series owes it to himself to read a critique which explains in simple terms why there is no biblical basis for the basic premise of the books. Nowhere does the Bible teach a pretribulation rapture of the Church which occurs seven years before Christ returns. If there is no pretrib rapture, then no one is left behind.

DeMar demonstrates in this book that the biblical passages referring to the general resurrection cannot be used to prove a special rapture of the Church. The assumption of a seven-year gap between the two returns of Christ, in which all of the Left Behind books take place, is based upon a mistaken interpretation of Daniel's Seventh Week. DeMar devotes ten pages to explain that these seventy weeks do not contain a two thousand-year gap.

Then DeMar devotes some forty pages to a verse-by-verse explanation of Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse. Although Jesus spends much of the chapter explaining the destruction of the temple and the circumstances surrounding the fall of Jerusalem, which occurred in A. D. 70, LaHaye and Jenkins, in the Left Behind series, operate from the premise that this all refers to the second coming of Christ.

In all, DeMar examines ten major components of the pretrib rapture theory, showing no only the lack of biblical support, but also showing that leading dispensational authors often contradict each other.

Ironically, in light of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, they also sue each other. Tim LaHaye is suing the makers of "Left Behind: The Movie." Also named in the lawsuit is Cloud Ten Pictures, the Canadian production company run by brothers Peter and Paul Lalonde, that was hired by Namesake to make the movie version of the first book in the series. Apparently one of the sore spots was the poor quality of "Left Behind: The Movie." But the movie quality only reflected the poorly written books. And with almost $100 million in royalties, apparently quantity is more important than either quality or biblical accuracy. Perhaps this is why LaHaye refuses to debate the issues in a public forum.

In a review of #9, Desecration, David Kipen concluded, "The main problem with Desecration is that the thriller form and fundamental Christianity just don't mix. One is based on suspense, the other on predestination."