Are Apocalyptic Novels Overrated?

Christian fiction had not been popular until 1995 when Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye released their famous Apocalyptic novel, Left Behind that year. Originally, the story was pitched as a novel, then a trilogy, then a seven book series which then turned to be a twelve book series ending with Glorious Appearing. If you are like me and thought that they would be done with twelve, then you were wrong. From the series came two side series which totaled seven books, and then a kids series was released. This totaled forty books. So if you add all that together, you get 59 books from Jenkins and LaHaye about the End Days.
The Left Behind series began a new era in Christian fiction. And then it went from there. Now Apocalyptic novels are coming out in hordes. LaHaye is writing The End Series with Craig Parshall. The first two novels, Edge of Apocalypse and Thunder of Heaven, are available now. Along with his novels, many other authors are writing in the same genre.
With all these Apocalyptic novels releasing and making their ways to the shelves of bookstores and the hands of readers, there is one question that begs to be answered, and it is this:
Is Apocalyptic fiction overrated?
Now, before we look into this, I am not against Apocalyptic fiction, nor am I against the authors who have written and are writing it. I am glad that they have found a subject they can have fun with and entertain others. But with so many of these novels, it seems that maybe the genre is losing its thunder.
One must wonder why many Christian authors have been drawn to the genre. Maybe it is the advantage of having material to base their novel from; in this case, the book of Revelation in the Bible. I am not saying that this is the case for all authors. Many of these sort of books such as the Left Behind series have served the purpose of bringing into light what is in Revelation, bringing it in a way that many people can enjoy.
Novels like these are usually meant to serve a good purpose, but we must take in consideration if books like these coming out in the speed and abundance that they are is a good thing. We all have different takes on the End Days, and this includes authors. There is no way that each series contains the same order of events and or take as each other. The danger of this is if a new Christian reads these things, they might take the stories in almost a literal sense. Authors need to be sure that they know the effects their novel will have on their readers. Luke 14:28 says this, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” The tower is the author’s novel and they need to be sure what the costs of the novel are and will be when it makes its way into the hands of readers. Will it show them the right direction, or will it lead them astray?
I often wonder if there have been enough of the Apocalyptic genre and that the world is in need of something else. Something that readers can learn something from and relate to. There have been many novels that have changed their reader’s lives, such as Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker, which showed readers how to love and how much they are loved by God. To me, these kind of novels, ones that we can take something from, are the most important.
Now that I have given my opinion on this matter, what do you all think? Is Apocalyptic fiction overrated?

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3 thoughts on “Are Apocalyptic Novels Overrated?

  1. Arkatox says:

    I can’t read Tim LaHaye’s novels in the same way ever again, after an “incident” that I heard about recently, but all in all he’s a great writer and writes great fiction. I can’t say, though, that his Apocalyptic books interest me at all. Or anyone else’s, for that matter. They’re just not the type of fiction that I like to read, because after Left Behind, which I didn’t care for that much (though still a good book/series), almost all Apocalyptic novels I’ve read have been cliche up to the rim. Other authors have taken what LaHaye and Jenkins have created and just changed it slightly, it seems. In truth, people take Revelation too literally. If I ever write an End Times novel, which is doubtful, I will make it very different from what anyone would expect.

    Anyway, just a few comments. I’d add more, but it’s getting late.

  2. Call Me Heretic says:

    I personally didn’t finish the series. The books entertained, but I never wanted to pick up the next one. I also found myself temporarily forgetting that the books were just fiction, not Gospel. All in all, I prefer reading Christian fiction that deals more with situations and challenges of life and faith that I face now.

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