Crossover

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 (http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/06/opinion/parini-rapture-real), 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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