Top critical review
172 people found this helpful
on March 6, 2005
Even though I am a huge fan of the Left Behind series and feel that it has done much to advance the cause of the Gospel throughout the world, I must admit that I rolled my eyes when I heard that Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye were releasing three more books. I felt that people had waited long enough for Glorious Appearing. I have actually talked to more and more people who liked the Left-Behind series but have felt that it should go quietly into the night.
So I was surprised at the aim and direction of Rising. Jenkins could have rolled out the same script and characters as Left Behind, inserted some forward-looking prophecies by Tim Lahaye, threw a few dozen Bible verses in and called it a day. Instead what comes forth is a reasoned, deep, character-driven, rich novel of intrigue and suspense.
Jenkins takes us through the rather sordid events that surround the conception of the one who will be the antichrist, tapping into a well of mainstream evangelical theories as to the origins of his birth. A dowdy teacher's aid is chosen by the Satan-worshipping organization that is setting itself up to rule the world. At the same time, we're taken through the very average life of one Rayford Steele, who will emerge, post-Rapture, as a hero and nemesis of Carpathia.
I was mildly disturbed and surprised by the detailed events of both Carpathia's conception and the juvenile college relationships of Rayford Steele. For that reason alone, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16-17 and even in that, I would hesitate. The book is clean, but some of the subjects discussed are appropriate for adults.
I was also delighted to see that Rising shares the clear Gospel message and takes a poke at the modern evangelical church who inspires and warms the heart but never seeks the salvation of the soul. To me it reveals the deeping longing in the heart of the writer to see more people added to God's Kingdom.
On the whole, Rising is a great prelude to the Left-Behind series, a wonderful read, but not a necessary companion to the twelve brilliant end-times volumes.