I really liked this book, and I like Jimmy Carter all the more for writing it. Very matter of fact...he doesn't apologize for his personal beliefs but...moreI really liked this book, and I like Jimmy Carter all the more for writing it. Very matter of fact...he doesn't apologize for his personal beliefs but they do not get in the way of the ideas he is trying to get across at all. I like the way this was written. Carter doesn't pull any punches and he tells it like it is in a way that inspires trust. Every American should read this book, if not for the ideals then for the startling truths that are revealed. I am all the more impressed because I didn't expect to enjoy this book at all.(less)
I was a little shocked at myself for wanting to add this to my list of five star reads. As I perused the other reviews, it quickly became obvious that...moreI was a little shocked at myself for wanting to add this to my list of five star reads. As I perused the other reviews, it quickly became obvious that the one stars came almost unanimously from 'nonbelievers,' outraged by the concept that the only way "in" is through Jesus, while the five stars were mostly people who appear to be planning to do just that. I hate to put a wrench in the system but I am giving LEFT BEHIND five stars and I am not a believer. If you read this as science fiction, which is what it is, then it seems ridiculous to get so wrapped up in the more disturbing aspects of this dystopian world. And it is disturbing. In this fiction series, there is a god, and it is HIS way or the highway. This creates a conflict...but isn't that what makes the best dystopian novels?
The characters' responses to what's happening are actually quite beleiveable. Is there scripture quoting? Yes...but it comes from the characters, and reflects their beliefs. And yet, this work of fiction is centered on the concepts in Revelation of an inevitable 'end of the world' scenario that will enable 'God' to take back control of his world. This is where it gets tricky. It reads like a 'true' story (as all good science fiction should), but I think this may be what is irritating many of the nonbelievers out there. The story is convincing, but it is still fiction. There were instances where I thought the authors were a bit heavy handed in their delivery...but again, it was hard to pinpoint where it was coming from--the authors, or the characters. I happen to enjoy theology and mythology without being threatened by it, so I was able to enjoy this book (and I'm actually moving forward with the rest of the series). I understand that many people are so put off by religion that they just don't want anything to do with it at all. But personally, I really liked this spin on the Revelations myth. (less)
Bill Bryson's Short History is well written, witty and packed with interesting details. A few of the things I liked best about Short History were Brys...moreBill Bryson's Short History is well written, witty and packed with interesting details. A few of the things I liked best about Short History were Bryson's frank observations about the science community (very interesting) and I appreciated his objective clarity regarding theories and scientific facts. Sadly, this is missing from many science books these days and this made the book more credible for me. This should be required reading for all first year college students, particularly those who plan to major in science.(less)