A crossover from today’s Bible Challenge blog, just because Leftovers:

Readings for today were Isaiah 7-9, I Thessalonians 5, Psalm 28, OR Judith 15

The day of my graduation from seminary was supposed to be the Rapture (according to the late Harold Camping). Cue a few juvenile jokes at commencement, and my own attempt to get an ad campaign going for the next day – Sunday – “Still here? All are welcome.”

Anyway, some people say that the closing words of Saturday’s Thessalonian chapter are all about the Rapture – being caught up in the air. Others point out that those who attempt to predict such events, however, have it all wrong; chapter 5 is much more in line with the rest of scripture when it asserts that no one knows the Day of the Lord, which comes suddenly, swiftly and silently, like a thief in the night.

I heard recently that a Tom Perrotta novel, The Leftovers, has been made into a tv series, with the author himself at the helm. I have never read the Left Behind series (I keep thinking I should, for research), but I have read Perrotta’s book, and enjoyed it. Whilst a reviewer of the tv show (who should know) bases the storyline firmly in rapture mythology (, the novel itself allows its characters to believe one thing or another at will, and the narrator does not choose or force an explanation of the Sudden Departure upon a reader. It is an exploration of loss, love, and how life lives with them in tension, rather than a theological novel. In fact, reading a few other Perrotta books, I would venture that he tends to “redeem” characters from the extremes of evangelical religion to something more ordinary, to find the wonder in a life lived for the sake of life itself, as, one might think, God intended.

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