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Does Misuse and Abuse of Scripture in Left Behind Series Have Implications for Mid East Relations

Contact: Kim Shimer, Judson Press, kim.shimer@abc-usa.org, 610-768-2458

VALLEY FORGE, Penn., Sept. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Millions of readers have bought, literally and figuratively, the Left Behind fiction series, co-authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Although the books are fictional, they are based on a particular understanding of end-times events drawn from the authors’ interpretation of Scripture. These interpretations are not shared by an overwhelming majority of Bible scholars. LeAnn Snow Flesher, a respected professor of Old Testament, casts doubt on both the interpretive foundations and the conclusions that serve as the basis for the popular Left Behind series.

“Pastors and seminary professors are interpreting and teaching the Bible from one set of understandings while the self-designated ‘prophecy teachers’ are teaching from a very different theological basis. Consequently, laypeople who engage teachings from both arenas are receiving mixed messages, from which they are building their own working theologies. In the end, faithful church attendees embrace a working theology that is inconsistent at best and dysfunctional at its worst. ” —Dr. LeAnn Snow Flesher

In Left Behind? The Facts Behind the Fiction, Dr. Flesher proclaims the following:

1. There is a misuse and abuse of Scripture to support the doctrines of rapture and tribulation used in the Left Behind series.

2. The dangerous ideology that surfaces in the Left Behind series affects issues such as family values, homosexuality, racism, misogyny/feminism, abortion, terrorism, war, and natural disasters.

3. The theology in the Left Behind series can have devastating implications for the forward movement of the contemporary church and individual Christians.

4. The Bible must be interpreted with respect for history, context, and literary genre.

Left Behind? The Facts behind the Fiction challenges the theology in the Left Behind series, outlines how to read the Bible with integrity, offers background to the books of Daniel and Revelation, and examines the literary genres of prophecy and apocalypse.

About the Author
LeAnn Snow Flesher is professor of Old Testament at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California, and serves on the faculty of the Graduate Theological Union. She is the author of the entries on Job and Lamentations, published in the IVP Women's Bible Commentary, and has contributed articles to The Living Pulpit, and Interpretations: A Journal of Bible and Theology. Flesher holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Drew University.

Author interviews available. Review copies available upon request.