Left Behind: 8. Apocalyptic Technologies of Control and Resistance

CTheory Books: Left Behind

LEFT BEHIND

Religion, Technology, and Flight from the Flesh

Stephen Pfohl

8
Apocalyptic Technologies of Control and Resistance

The use of technology to command, control and communicate is pervasive throughout the Left Behind books. Much of what takes place in the novels, much of the plot, is advanced by characters communicating to, or spying upon, one another through a variety of technological means. Everybody is constantly trying to connect by cellular and satellite phones, speakerphones, e-mail, videotapes, intercom, radio, television, broadcasts on the Web, video conferencing, and by leaving messages on voice-mail and answering machines. Everyone is also always worried that communications are being tapped into by the Antichrist’s vast surveillance operations. Carpathia is able to interfere instantly with media broadcasts anywhere on the planet, substituting his message and his image for what is being shown. News reports covering events that contradict GC’s one-world religion, or expose Carpathia’s treachery, quickly disappear from the screen. It is as if such dissonant events had never taken place.

Technological control of communications is a core component of the Antichrist’s plans for world domination. “All banking, commerce, religion, and government will start and end right here,” declares Nicolae Carpathia. “The greatest challenge in the … world is in communications. We have already begun rebuilding an international network…” Rayford Steele, undercover as a “mole” within the inner circle of Global Community, interrupts Carpathia. “Communications is more important than people?” inquires Rayford. “More than cleaning up areas that might otherwise become diseased? Clearing away bodies? Reuniting families?” Nicolae responds as follows.

‘In due time, Captain Steele. Such efforts depend upon communications too. Fortunately the timing of my most ambitious project could not have been more propitious. The Global Community recently secured sole ownership of all international satellite and cellular communications companies. We will have in place in a few months the first truly global communications network. It is cellular, and it is solar powered. I call it Cellular-Solar. Once the cellular towers have been re-erected and satellites are maneuvered to geosynchronous orbit, anyone will be able to communicate with anyone else anywhere at any time.’[1]

The Antichrist, we are told, was unable to disguise his glee. “If this technology worked, it solidified Carpathia’s grip on the earth. His takeover was complete. He owned and controlled everything and everybody.”[2] Well, not exactly everybody. As indicated previously, the Tribulation Force also deploys a wide range of technologies in efforts to counter the Antichrist. Inside the cockpit of Carpathia’s Global Community jet, loaded with the latest state-of-art technologies, Rayford commands a hidden device that enables him to listen to the conversations of Carpathia and his henchmen in the plane’s interior. Later, “through the miracle of technology” and the “expert maneuvering” of Chang Wong (another mole working at Global Community Headquarters in New Babylon), the Tribulation Force secretly records and projects on “a big screen TV” an early morning meeting between Carpathia and his ten regional potentates. “[E]verybody in the Global Community assumed, because it was a closed-door session, it was also private.”[3]

The Tribulation Force uses many of the same information technologies as the Global Community when disseminating its message of hope and salvation. Buck Williams publishes The Truth, an on-line cyber-magazine, and Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah communicates regularly to an audience of over a billion people via untraceable Internet broadcasts. For Tsion, religion and technology go hand in hand. “I envision thousands of technological experts creating a network of resources for believers,” Ben-Judah explains to Rayford, “informing them of safe havens, putting them in touch with each other. We know we will lose many brothers and sisters, and yet we should offer what we can to keep the gospel going forth.”[4] “Tsion often expressed to Rayford his satisfaction with his new computer — a light, thin, very portable laptop that plugged into a docking station that gave him all sorts of handy accessories at home. It was the latest, fastest, most powerful machine on the market. Tsion spent every day communicating with his international flock.”[5]

Information technology also plays a crucial role in the survival of Christians during the years of tribulation. Christians who refuse to be implanted with Global Community microchips are forced to live in underground networks. When implanted under the skin, the tiny microchips, each bearing the insignia of the Antichrist, enable GC citizens to buy and sell commodities. But those who accept this “Mark of the Beast” (Revelation 13) are also forever subject to panoptic surveillance and electronic monitoring. Those who refuse the demonic implants are not only denied access to the market, they face beheading, decapitation by means of a Loyalty Enforcement Facilitator (or guillotine). To facilitate the survival of those who resist being incorporated into the Antichrist’s one-world system of religion, government and finance, Ken Ritz, an “economics expert” with a degree from London School of Economics, devises a “world commodity co-op” as a “lifesaver for millions of saints.”[6] The co-op enables believers to barter with each other for food, oil, and a range of other needed commodities. Following Ken’s death (he is declared a terrorist and killed by GC peacekeepers), Chloe (Steele) Williams assumes responsibility for the Internet-based global co-op.

This is but one of many ways by which the technologically savvy Tribulation Force subverts the diabolical power of the Antichrist, protecting believers and “harvesting” new souls for Christ. Indeed, heroic Christians not only use technology, they also “use it better and use it smarter. Inside the Antichrist’s empire, the best technological minds are actually Christians, hiding their identities to help the cause.”[7] But there are dangers, as well as advantages, to using technology in this manner. “The ability of believers to act depends on Antichrist first providing them with the necessary data… Believers are not strong enough to confront Carpathia directly, but move within his space, purloin his data to interrupt his schemes.”[8] For Glenn Shuck, this represents an allegory about challenges faced by contemporary evangelists, including LaHaye and Jenkins, when operating within the seductive terrain of technology-driven popular culture. Believers feed off a system designed to control them, attempting to subvert and even parasitically transform the system with tools made available by the existing structures of power.

They are, in a sense, parasites. Antichrist is not the only one who can infiltrate the enemy. Believers can also invade and use his technological dependence against him… Antichrist operates a superior surveillance network. Yet the same tools Antichrist deploys to tighten his grip on the world also make him vulnerable to the parasites gnawing at his flank… [T]he Tribulation Force utilizes the tools available to them to … infiltrate Carpathia’s ‘always-on’ network, deploying a legion of operatives wielding state-of-the-art laptop computers, secure cellular phones, and even, through the help of insiders within Carpathia’s computer network, fraudulent identities certified by the Global Community’s own computer databases.[9]

Shuck’s analysis of the parasitic character of the Tribulation Force’s engagement with technology is, by analogy, an inquiry into a dilemma faced by contemporary evangelists. Is it possible to maintain a distinctive Christian evangelical identity, while simultaneously depending on network-based technologies of communication that erase clear boundaries between the insides and outsides of virtually all social institutions and systems of belief? Previously, social institutions and beliefs appeared — at least to those most blessed by power — to be relatively fixed, stable and autonomous from other social institutions and beliefs. This distinctiveness is undermined by the emergence of network society, a concept Shuck borrows from Manuel Castells.[10] This is a society of technologically configured networks and nodes, a society of fast eroding boundaries and destabilized identities. Network society is ruled by digital rather than legal codes, governed by what is technologically possible whether legal or not. This is a complex society organized around fast flows of money, people, weapons, and things.

The technological extraction and circulation of information are core features of network society. “Like high waves pounding across a sandy beach, information continuously erodes and reshapes our understandings of ourselves and our cultures. The network culture demands dynamism and flexibility. Permanence is not one of its traits. Not surprisingly, some groups feel ‘left behind’ when their cultural moorings are swept away in the ceaseless flows of information.”[11] Network society is also a society whose primary forms of power include not only fearful but fascinating forms of technological control; not only technologies of meaning and belief — backed up by threat, punishment, and militarized death — but also technologies of seduction and self-loss — backed up by magic, mesmeric enchantment, and terror. This is a society governed by both technologies of the word — the pale encasements of transcendental reason — and also by technologies of the senses — the energetic pulsations of bodies in motion and at rest.

The Left Behind novels do not explicitly use the term network society to denote the demonic technological force-fields of deceptive words and alluring sensations in which Tribulation Force members struggle for religious purity and salvation. Nevertheless, the world of tribulation depicted by LaHaye and Jenkins — a global society dominated by the Antichrist — resembles the most nightmarish kind of society to possibly emerge from a global circuit of power composed of profit-driven networks and nodes. Manipulative technologies of the word enable Carpathia and those loyal to the Antichrist to distort language to the point where peace becomes war, freedom constraint, reason blind obedience, religion secularity, and community the worship of the ego. But the power of persuasive rhetoric goes only so far. After Carpathia is assassinated and resurrected from the dead (by Satan) live on CNN, the GC accelerates its seductive use of image-intensive technologies of fascination as a supplement to its efforts to control words and discursive meanings.

As if taking a page from the playbook of Jean Baudrillard,[12] the Antichrist declares that, “despite its lofty goal of unifying the world’s religions,” the “Enigma Babylon One World Faith failed” because, ultimately, its tolerant, inclusive, and highly rational god proved too “nebulous and impersonal.” What is needed, declares Leon Fortunato, Carpathia’s publicist, is for the GC to go beyond rational persuasion in order to cultivate an “outpouring of emotion.” What Fortunato has in mind is something akin to old fashioned idol worship. The False Prophet recruits Guy Blod, an “outrageous and flamboyant” gay artist to construct a huge statue of Nicolae in New Babylon, and later orders life size exact replicas (simulacra) of the World Potentate erected in all major cities of the world.[13] The goal, it seems, is to seduce the senses of people made anxious and uncertain by the catastrophic events of the tribulation.

In addition to the captivating simulacra of Carpathia, the “lascivious” allure of television and the global entertainment industry is another tool in the Antichrist’s mesmerizing technological stockpile of weapons. Not long after global warfare and (super)natural disasters have knocked out much of the world’s electricity, television returns “full force” by means of the “astounding” technological power of the GC’s “Cellular-Solar networks.” What is broadcast may fascinate much of the population, but it horrifies the saintly Rabbi Tsion Ben Judah. In a sermon posted in his untraceable Webpage, Tsion decries the devilish enchantments of a sensate “entertainment medium” that now goes beyond all restraints, boundaries, and limits.

‘Our television accesses hundreds of channels from all over the world, beamed to it by satellite. Every picture on every channel representing every station and network available is transmitted into your home in images so crisp and clear you feel you could reach inside the screen and touch them. What a marvel of technology!

But this does not thrill me… I shall no longer apologize for my horror at what has become of the entertainment medium … vile language or lascivious images… Stopping even to criticize them would have subjected my brain to poison… — final proof that society has reached rock bottom.

I am neither naïve nor prudish. But I saw things today I never thought I would see. All restraint, all boundaries, all limits have been eradicated. It was a microcosm of the reason for the wrath of the lamb. Sexuality and sensuality and nudity have been part of the industry for many years. But [we now] see not just simulated perversion but actual portrayals of every deadly sin listed in the Scriptures left us feeling unclean. Real violence, actual tortures and murders, is proudly advertised… Sorcery, black magic, clairvoyance, fortune telling, witchcraft, séances, and spell casting are offered as simple alternatives to anything normal, let alone positive.

Is this balanced? … Ask yourself if the message I write today would be allowed on even one of the hundreds of stations broadcast to every TV around the world? Of course not. I fear the day that technology will allow the Global Community to silence even this form of expression, which no doubt soon will be considered a crime against the state.’[14]

Tsion’s admonitions about the dangers of seductive technologies of sensory captivation closely resemble the admonitions of LaHaye and Jenkins in Are We Living in the End Times? “Who can deny that this world has gone crazy over pleasure?” ask the authors. “From topless dancers to Hollywood entertainment … millions spend money they cannot afford on events that consume hours of their time and energy. The whole world is becoming addicted to entertainment, …[turning] the Western world into a sex-obsessed cesspool of immorality … just like that of the Tribulation. It is hard to believe that sexual immorality can get any worse than it already is — but it will.”[15]

Nevertheless, for both LaHaye and Jenkins and the tribulation saints in Left Behind, the power of technology — even its enchanting or fascinating aspects — is bivalent. It is, at once, demonic and an instrument of redemption. As Glenn Shuck remarks:

LaHaye and Jenkins — far from technophobes — are obviously fascinated by the power of new technologies, especially communicative technologies. Unlike many of their predecessors in prophecy fiction, LaHaye and Jenkins attribute positive roles to technology… Yet the authors also recognize that the same networks that support … resistive [evangelical] activities also make the Antichrist’s rapid rise to prominence possible. For the authors, technology is a double-edged sword.[16]

The bivalent approach to technology taken by the Left Behind series — its “double-edged sword” — may surprise those who today view Christianity and technology as perpetually at odds. From debates about the ethics of stem cell research to divergent understandings of the nature of creation, contemporary culture is replete with numerous instances of conflict between religion and technology. Yet, over the longer course of history, this is far from the case. Although distinguishing Left Behind from earlier rapture fiction, the series’ Christian affirmation of technology is hardly unique. Indeed, as David Noble has shown, for centuries Northwestern approaches to technology have been guided by an “enduring, other-worldly quest for transcendence and salvation.”[17]

In The Religion of Technology, Noble demonstrates the continuing presence of deep-seated religious imaginings as an animating force behind our society’s enchantment with various forms of technology and technological change. Behind such enchanted imaginings lies a dense web of ancient spiritual guilt — the guilt of failing to mime or imitate God — his image and likeness; the guilt of failing to obey the lawful dictates of God’s Word; and the guilt of having fallen at the beginning of time from the Edenic garden of God’s good graces. As such, while “today’s technologists, in their sober pursuit of utility, power and profit, seem to set society’s standard for rationality, they are driven also by distant dreams, spiritual yearnings for spiritual redemption.”[18] Noble is also attentive to the “gendered construction” of the dominant Christian religion of technology, “tracing the ideology and institutions to their roots in the celibate, misogynist, and homosocial clerical culture, and to suggest that the legacy of this lineage persists in today’s scientific milieu.”[19]

Noble’s important study documents the influence of millenarian and apocalyptic Christian thinking on the technological imagination of Northwestern society from medieval innovations in agriculture to state-of-the-art contemporary research in genetics, artificial intelligence, space travel, and military science. In this regard, it is important to note that thinkers as diverse as Joachim of Fiore and Roger Bacon, Giordano Bruno and Tomasso Campenella, Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and Joseph Priestly, Michael Faradday and James Clerk Maxwell, each explicitly ground their work in a Christian theology of redemption. Each links the technological domination of nature to the restoration of Edenic harmony, a reclamation of what was lost with Adam and Eve’s fall from paradise. Many of these technological innovators also cite specific passages from the Book of Daniel and Revelation as inspiration for their efforts, the same passages cited by LaHaye and Jenkins.

This is also true for such giants of twentieth-century techno-science as weapons inventors Edward Teller and Livermore Lab’s Lowell Wood, rocket pioneers Robert Goddard and Wernher von Braun, and the influential stewards of biotechnology and human genetics Theodosius Dobzhansky, Arthur Peacocke and Donald Munro. While scientists in the field of artificial intelligence typically claim a more secular basis for their labor, Noble points to unrecognized or unconscious theological longings nestled into leading AI scientists’ pursuit of immortality and flight from this mortal coil. At issue is the historical triumph of religiously orchestrated “technologies of transcendence,” knowledge-based forms of power that deny the reality of human immanence within nature, suppressing the systemic complexities of human-animal participation within the interconnected throes of living energetic matter.

Human immanence within nature — this is not our true destiny, declares the Bible! Technologies that have long dominated Northwestern society share the Bible’s vision on this matter. What Noble calls “the religion of technology” informs us that neither people nor things begin in complex systems of living energetic matter. They begin with the Word. In the beginning, we are told, was the Word. And, in the end, there is the Word as well — alpha and the Omega Code, St. John’s Gospel and Revelation. At the end of the Left Behind books, the last technology standing is the Word. Everything else is burnt to a crisp, vaporized by the Wrath of the Lamb, impaled by judgment spewing forth from the Word. The landscape is littered with the “splayed and filleted bodies of men and women,” as Jesus descended from the heavens “shining, powerful and victorious… And the sword from his mouth, the powerful Word of God itself, continued to slice through the air, reaping the wrath of God’s final judgment.”[20]

Although LaHaye and Jenkins articulate technology’s demonic as well as transcendent side, the evangelical triumph of technology over all things material in the novels is ultimately, absolutely, backed up by the apocalyptic technology of the Word. As a scholar of religion, Glenn Shuck worries that, like other forms of contemporary evangelism, the Left Behind books err in the direction of deifying technology. According to Shuck, the books come “perilously close to worshipping the Beast they seek to resist… Too often … the authors suggest that the solution lies in who controls technology, ignoring the inherent qualities of technological tools… Although the Tribulation Force believes they are fighting Antichrist using his tools, … they are tragically unaware that they are inside the Beast, co-participants in his infernal system. This tragic lack of awareness,” is said to represent “the central tension of the Left Behind novels.”

Shuck is concerned that, without a tragic awareness of the limitations of technology, contemporary evangelism will fall prey to a kind of fatalism or “bad faith.” This is particularly the case for versions of evangelism fueled by a prophetic imagination of predestined apocalypse. This kind of fatalism is glimpsed in the later part of the Left Behind series as technology-based attempts to intervene within the global drama of tribulation yield to an absolute acceptance of the Word’s inevitable triumph over the flesh and over the contingencies of human history. In this, “the delicate tensions the authors maintain throughout much of the series fall away as their anxious protagonists insist upon absolute certainty in a world that simply cannot give it.” Such insistence results in an abstract form of transcendence, one that “despairs of human possibilities for growth and change, while deploying an aggressive form of political rhetoric designed to bring forth the commands of God through naïve obedience to contemporary and controversial interpretations of ancient prophecies.”[21]

Other religious critics of Left Behind share Shuck’s concerns with the series’ drift toward absolutism and the inevitability of global destruction. The novels are also criticized for erroneously interpreting or being highly selective in their use of the Bible. Nonfundamentalist church organizations, including the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, have passed resolutions decrying the books’ apocalyptic scenario. Other theological writers have accused the series of encouraging “sadism, indifference to suffering, and a ‘lust for power.'”[22] Secular critics of the books, on the other hand, underscore politically conservative and fear-mongering aspects of the texts. While agreeing that such concerns are often justified, Amy Johnson Frykholm reminds us that readers should not be viewed as passive consumers, manipulated by the suggestive texts.

Frykholm emphasizes the creative agency of readers and the social contexts in which people interpret the Left Behind novels. This does not imply that interpretive freedom is unlimited. For prophecy believers, the “story of rapture and tribulation” also has a “policing function. It binds readers, “consciously or unconsciously,” to highly specific religious “strictures of power and authority,” inducing conformity “to expectations placed on them from outside through fear, insecurity, and religious fervor.”[23] This limits readers’ interpretative imaginations, increasing the likelihood that people will make sense of the books in some ways but not others.

Interpretive constraints of this sort are not arbitrary. They are rooted in a literal approach to the Bible and symptomatic of the fearful flight from the flesh that is a hallmark of dominating Christian approaches to technology and power. Consider the following excerpt from Glorious Appearing, the last of the Left Behind books. The excerpt alludes to the Book of Genesis and to the putative transcendence of the Word over embodied human material and spiritual participation in living energetic nature. In closing this essay, I will reflect upon the sociological meaning of this excerpt and the biblical passages to which it refers. The text depicts a confrontation between Jesus, the Warrior King, and Satan. Rayford Steele witnesses the confrontation. “Reeling,” Rayford remarks that, while he “knew these things were supposed to happen, … he … never imagined being an eyewitness to all of it.”

Satan had been “indwelling” the flesh of Nicolae Carpathia, helping the Antichrist extend his global empire of power. Then, after seven years of tribulation, Jesus returns to earth and lays waste to the Antichrist’s army, striking down his enemies with the mighty sword of God’s Word. “With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire.” (Revelation 19) For many Christians, this violent figuration of Christ may seem somewhat surprising. This is hardly the Jesus who preached love, patience, and forgiveness, and who urged his followers to turn the other cheek when assailed by those who do them harm. “This doesn’t sound like compassionate Jesus, … the suffering servant of Isaiah 53,” states Gary Frazier, a colleague of Tim LaHaye’s and founder of the Texas-based Discovery Ministries, Inc. “This is the Warrior King. He judges and makes war.”[24]

The punishing military technology of God’s Word leads Satan to change shapes. At first he assumes the form of a lion. Later he transforms into a “titanic, hissing serpent.” The monstrous serpent coils around the arms and legs of St. Michael the Archangel, “its tongue darting between shows of its elongated fangs.” St. Michael and the angel Gabriel are present at the Battle of Armageddon to assist the Warrior King as He vanquishes the devil. The voice of Gabriel rings out, “Lucifer, dragon, serpent, devil, Satan, you will now face the One you have opposed since time immemorial.” Jesus then orders Satan to kneel at His feet.

‘I have fought against you from shortly after your creation,’ Jesus said.

‘My creation! I was no more created than you! And who are you to have anything against me?’

‘You shall be silent.’

The angel of light appeared… Jesus continued, ‘For all your lies about having evolved, you are a created being.’

The creature violently shook its head.

‘Only God has the power to create, and you were Our creation. You were in Eden, the garden of God, before it was a paradise for Adam and Eve. You were there as an exalted servant when Eden was a beautiful rock garden. You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty… But you defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities… You deceived Eve into sinning. During the next millennia you attempted to pollute the bloodline of Adam… I lay at your feet all the suffering of mankind. The earth was created as a utopia, and yet you brought it into sin, which resulted in poverty, disease, more than fifteen thousand wars, and the senseless killing of millions.’[25]

Notes

[1] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1998. p. 68.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003. p. 290.

[4] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, The Remnant. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2002. pp. 119-120.

[5] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Apollyon: The Destroyer is Unleashed. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999. pp. 256-257.

[6] Ibid., pp. 199, 204, 346-348.

[7] Amy Johnson Frykholm, “What Social and Political Messages Appear in the Left Behind Books? p. 189.

[8] Glenn W. Shuck, Marks of the Beast, pp. 174-175.

[9] Ibid., pp. 174-175, 176-177.

[10] See, Manuel Castells, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, 3 Vols. Vol 1, The Rise of Network Society. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.

[11] Ibid., p. 93.

[12] For an argument concerning the superior force of image-intensive seduction over the power of discursive reason see, Jean Baudrillard, Seduction. New York: St. Martin’s Press,1990; and also The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney, Australia: The Power Institute of Fine Arts, 1987.

[13] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession, p. 60. It is hardly an accident that the self-absorbed Guy Blod and his small entourage of “clones” are portrayed as gay. For the authors, gays and lesbians are not only relegated to the realm of the “unsaved,” they are pictured as a perverse and unnatural “abomination.” See, for instance, Tim, LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times?, pp. 332, 337. The “audacious” Guy, like the masculine lesbian Verna Zee, is also described in stereotypical terms bordering on parody. Each either serves the Antichrist or functions as an obstacle to the divinely ordained mission of the Tribulation Force. In The Indwelling, Guy flutters his fingers in the air, makes catty remarks, waxes poetically about the beauty of the human form, and unabashedly declares, “I love new clothes.” (p. 66) In Nicolae, Verna, who competes with and is jealous of Buck, admires Carpathia and is prevented from revealing secrets about the Tribulation Force only when Buck threatens to inform her employer that she is a lesbian. Although these homosexual characters irritate the novels’ heterosexual Christian protagonists (Buck declares that Verna gives him the “willies” and David Hassad admits that tormenting the sarcastic Guy gives him joy), members of the Tribulation Force eventually end up praying for their salvation.

[14] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1980. pp. 324-326.

[15] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times? pp. 341, 332.

[16] Glenn W. Shuck, Marks of the Beast, p. 202.

[17] David Noble, The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention. New York: Penguin Books, 1997. p. 3.

[18] Ibid., For Noble, dreams of technological redemption date back to the “Carolingian age” of early ninth century. Of particular significance here was the introduction of the plow as a new form of agricultural technology.

[19] Ibid., p. 209.

[20] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Glorious Appearing, p. 208.

[21] Glenn W. Shuck, Marks of the Beast, pp. 205-206.

[22] Theologician Marva Dawn is here quoted in Amy Johnson Frykholm, Rapture Culture, p. 176.

[23] Amy Johnson Frykholm, Rapture Culture, pp. 178, 187. Frykholm also provides a concise overview of a variety of religious, secular and popular culture analysis of Left Behind. See, pp. 176-178.

[24] Frazier is quoted in Craig Unger, “American Rapture,” p. 206.

[25] Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Glorious Appearing, pp. 218-219.

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