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Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind Paperback – September 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (December 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025832
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"With the scalpel of a trained biblical scholar, and the inside knowledge of a former fundamentalist preacher, Dr. Price is fully equipped to issue this relentless exposé of how the Left Behind series, among other Christian musings on the apocalypse, actually represent attempts to hide one of the greatest prophetic failures in history." -- Hector Avalos,author of The End of Biblical Studies

About the Author

Robert M. Price (Selma, NC), professor of scriptural studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is the editor (with Jeffery Jay Lowder) of The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave and the Journal of Higher Criticism. He is also the author of Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms; The Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind; The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? and many other works.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
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3 star
17%
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See all 12 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book to every reader.
J. Green
Along the way we get a perceptive and funny review of every significant novel in the apocalyptic genre.
Scott Knickelbine
Sure enough, the computer program that indexed the book has an entry for "Squat, Jack"!
Jim Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knickelbine on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh what fun it is to read Robert M. Price skewer modern apocalypticism in general and fundamentalist pretribulationism in particular, with his rapier-like wit and his daunting scholarship. Not content to point out the biblical errors and theological absurdities in the Left Behind Series, Price takes us on a guided tour of the whole notion of the End-Times, from the first stirrings of biblical apocalyptic to its appropriation by 19th century fundamentalists who invented the idea of the Rapture. Along the way we get a perceptive and funny review of every significant novel in the apocalyptic genre. Price closes with his own, side-splitting contribution to the genre, a "lost" final chapter of the Left Behind series, in which Rayford Steele and the rest of the Trib Force begin to suspect that the Millennium isn't all it's cracked up to be. A wonderful, enjoyable read.Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (Left Behind #1)
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. Green on December 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book won't be read by the people who need to read it. It will be read by those who really don't need to read it. Price is mostly preaching to the choir. Having said that, this is entertaining reading. Price has an axe to gring with the Christian faith and he does that with great effect here. I wish he had been a little more objective. But it wouldn't have been nearly so much fun to read if that were the case. Price uses reverse apologetics in trying to prove the negative. As a Christian, I readliy admit the Bible has its problems and Price is very effective at homing in on those problems and exploring them in great detail. I find his writing challenging, informative and entertaining all at the same time. What more could you ask from an author? I even learned a new word! Verisimilitude seems to be a favortie of Mr. Price. Get used to it. You will see it a lot here. I highly recommend this book to every reader. It will encourage the non believer, challenge and inform the open minded believer, and infuriate fundamentalists.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on February 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are few more arrogant statements out there than the one I've seen on a few bumper stickers: "In case of Rapture, this car will be empty." Even assuming you are an ardent Christian who believes in an upcoming End Time, it is the height of pride to assume that you know exactly what God is thinking when he passes judgment. And, as Robert Price argues in The Paperback Apocalypse, chances are if you believe that the Bible (in particular, Revelation) promises a soon-to-come end of the world, you're going to be disappointed.

The motivation for Price's book are the popular Left Behind books by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, which Price demonstrates have more than a few problems from a Biblical interpretation standpoint. First, however, he provides a history of the Apocalypse and shows how Biblical chapters and verses have been misread (often intentionally) to promote the idea that the End is Coming. Hence, history is filled with people promising a Judgment Day at a certain time, only to have that day pass without even minimal fireworks.

Price deals with related concepts (such as the Second Coming) and shows the flaws in literal readings about them. He then discusses various apocalyptic novels: first, early ones which are generally more interested in preaching than storytelling, then later ones written by more adept authors. He also discusses mainstream novels such as Stephen King's The Stand that use apocalyptic ideas.

Finally, he gets to the where The Paperback Apocalypse is really leading: a dissection of the Left Behind books. Actually, it's more of a tearing apart. La Haye (the idea man for the books) is particularly criticized, and justifiably so.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cactus Ed on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
However, this book, as others have already written here, will not be read by those who need to read it - the millions who have already bought ( and actually read!) the Left Behind books and have bought the whole story, hook, line and sinker. And unfortunately it has fueled an entire political movement, featuring a whole bunch of people in the military up to and including the guys whose fingers are poised above the buttons that will launch the nuclear Armageddon these End Times freaks are so excited about. Price may be "right" about the BS of all this in the Bible, but the ones who are wrong don't care, far outnumber us, and they have the WMDs. I can take no comfort in my enjoyment of this book - unless it somehow gets read by those Christian Whackjobs. But we know their motto already - Why let the Truth interfere with a good story? And that's the problem: they actually believe their little story is Reality. And where does confusing Story with Reality take us? Every mass murder in the name of God, for starters.
One positive thing to note on this date: Americans overwhelmingly did NOT buy the End Times rhetoric of one Sarah Palin! Thank God she's been sent back to Alaska and not to Washington DC. There is hope, after all...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Saganite VINE VOICE on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Price is always a good read, and a very fine speaker. He's in excellent form here, taking on a topic he clearly enjoys. The book could have used a tighter focus to be more pragmatic, but the cost would have been some of the gleeful reviews of doomsday books and films that presaged the horrible "Left Behind" series. Perhaps what I was expecting would have been too dry--a "fisking" (line-by-line refutation) of many assertions in the "Left Behind" books. But as useful and entertaining as "Paperback Apocalypse" is in its own right, I hope that someday Price might return to this theme in a more sober state of mind and produce something a tad more scholarly for the shlubs among us.
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More About the Author

Robert M. Price (Selma, NC), professor of scriptural studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is the editor (with Jeffery Jay Lowder) of The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave and the Journal of Higher Criticism. He is also the author of Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today's Pop Mysticisms; The Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind; The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? and many other works.

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