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    Buck's exhaustion 

  • Buck becomes exhausted after walking less than two miles. That... is not realistic for anyone even slightly close to healthy.
    • The problem in the book seems to be that the authors believe Manhattan is much, much larger than it actually is, though, rather than Buck's inability to handle a couple miles of walking. Maybe they confused the size of the entire NYC metropolis with that of the Manhattan borough.


    Russia vs Israel 

  • What happened to Russia after their inexplicable first strike on Israel failed? Did Israel retaliate? Did they go nuclear in response? I don't recall the book ever mentioning what happened to the country itself after its military was destroyed, nor was it clear whether their entire military was annihilated or merely the forces attacking Israel (Which, logically, could not have included their entire land army). Did the government survive the inevitable popular backlash over such a spectacular defeat? Evidently the State still exists in some form, since it is later mentioned in passing during various UN functions, but seriously - what did they do after attacking a sovereign country unannounced and failing catastrophically? Shrug awkwardly, announce "nichevo!" and stroll away? Surrender? Rebuild and attack again?
    • The same goes for Ethiopia, although they probably didn't have many planes and long-range missiles to contribute in the first place, so their defeat would be much less remarkable.
    • The maneuvering between China and Russia after an event like that could make a book series of its own.
    • Russia attacked Israel to steal the bio-restorative forumla, though it's not clear how they were thought to steal something after they planned to nuke the entire country; the formula would have been destroyed along with Israel (and their invading airforce). All that aside, Nicolae established the Global Community after acquiring the bio restorative formula. He then offered it to every nation on Earth to buy their allegiance, this includes Russia. Russia now has the very thing that they went to war with Israel for. Probably in the interests of peace, both nations dropped the whole incident.

    Crop formula 

  • Why did Carpathia have to negotiate with Chaim Rosenzweig for the formula for crop growing in order to take control of the world through their bellies? Carpathia is in regular contact with Satan, who is a spiritual entity. If Chaim Rosenzweig's formula is just science, then Satan should be intelligent enough and knowledgeable enough to have figured it out. If not, then he could just send some invisible demons into Chaim Rosenzweig's laboratory and steal the secret for themselves.
    • It's all part of Carpathia fulfilling what the book of Daniel says about "the prince that shall come" in the "70 weeks" prophecy. In Daniel 9:27, it says that the prince "shall confirm a covenant with many for one week", which is a period of seven years. The book of Isaiah also speaks about Israel making "a covenant with hell" which they believe promises them protection, which as interpreted by the Left Behind books is Nicolae Carpathia promising Israel peace for a seven-year licensing agreement for the synthetic fertilizer formula. The book series seems to require that you are either well-studied in futuristic end-times theology or that you do your homework and seek out the answers for yourself.

    Israel and the One World Government 

  • If Israel is part of the One World Government, why did Carpathia sign a peace treaty with the Israeli government? They're explicitly referred to as being subject to the OWG when Carpathia visits in Tribulation Force, and have been demilitarized with the rest of the planet. So how can they possible treat with Babylon as a sovereign nation state?
    • In the same vein, why are the Jews apparently exempt from the Enigma Babylon One World Faith? (If they aren't exempt, why did they get to build their own temple?)
    • The Enigma Babylon One religion works way better if you imagined it like some church registration service or the UN. If you're a religion or a church, you are required to register with them and agree to some mission statement. After they join, gradually the other religions are supposed to lose their distinctness and fall into line with the nebulous doctrine of the Enigma religion, which is just "All of Humanity is inherently good," and "There is a higher power that created everything." If you don't, technically you're breaking the Global Community laws, but it's loosely enforced. That explains why Bruce Barnes is never persecuted, nor any one really cares about Rayford being a Christian. There are still Christian churches under the umbrella of the Enigma banner, and Judaism as well.
    • Could it be in recognition of them handing over the miracle grow formula to Carpathia?

    Heroes and sexual purity 

  • Why are the authors so obsessed with keeping the heroes sexually pure? Rayford is married, but kind of thinking about maybe starting something with Hattie before the Rapture - but doesn't go through with it and remains celibate until he remarries. Even worse offenders are Chloe and Buck. Chloe is a beautiful, smart college student and Buck is a handsome, outgoing, brilliant, jet-setting investigative reporter, and also a college graduate. Neither of them has any moral scruples about sex before they convert, but somehow they are still virgins when they meet. Chloe is only slightly unlikely at 20 years old, but Buck is 30! Do Jenkins and LaHaye think that giving Buck a sexual history would make him unsympathetic to the intended audience? If so, then why bring it up at all? You don't have to inform the reader that Buck's a virgin. In Rayford's case, going through with the affair with Hattie is treated as a Moral Event Horizon that he narrowly avoided, and in Buck's case the story strains Willing Suspension of Disbelief to establish him as a virgin when it really doesn't need to. It's especially odd within the theme of the series - everyone left behind is by definition an unrepentant sinner, and must seek redemption or be destroyed. So even if the authors believe premarital sex is wrong, why is that sin the one that must be avoided at all costs? Even within PMD Christianity, sex outside of marriage is not supposed to be an unforgivable sin.
    • The point is probably that once one becomes a Christian, they would come to regret any sexual history that they once had outside of marriage, as there was a middle-aged hooker in Glorious Appearing who regretted being a hooker for drugs when she became a Christian. Hattie regretted her relationship with Nicolae when he proved that he was less interested in marrying the woman that would end up carrying his stillborn child, and that was before she became a Christian. If they entered into Christianity still being virgins, why shouldn't that be a reason to celebrate? It's just one less sin that they have to stain their conscience and memory with.
    • It might be a relief, but what makes it stick out (and what OP seems to be getting at) is that it's an arbitrary place to draw the But Not Too Evil line in the sand when there are six other Deadly Sins to choose from, and to anyone who's ever interacted with a modern American outside this particular subcultural bubble, it strains Willing Suspension of Disbelief . Singling out premarital sex also works against two of the biggest intended messages of the books, that "there is no one righteous, no, not one" (i.e. they believe all sins cause unrighteousness alike) but at the same time that there's no sin that God can't wash away for believers.
    • Well, remember that 'premarital sex' is a big Fundie bugaboo, and when you think about it, you'll realize why. First, it is VERY popular amongst society, so it's something well known. Two, It is something that is without 'legitimate' excuse to do. A lot of other sins you have a reason. This one comes down to an honest choice. (Now, there ARE reasons...but they tend to be dismissed by fundies. It's less than 'I need money to eat'). Three, it's got a VERY specific cut-off. "Did they put it in". Fine otherwise. Fourth? It's one the fundie himself can use as a 'Well, at least I'm not doing this'. It's also a great way to 'disguise' other sins.

    Immune to death 

  • Just how was the supposed immunity to death supposed to work in later books? Those scenes where the villains use swords or guns, and the bullets miss or go right through? What, do true Christians just become intangible ghosts for a brief period?
    • If God created the laws of nature, physics, and science, and He is Lord over all creation, then He has authority to supersede those laws for His purposes whenever He wants to and leave us puzzled over how it's actually accomplished.
    • Before the series even begins, Russia fires its entire military arsenal at Israel and manages not to hit a single person. Comparatively, making a bullet or sword miss is child's play for God.
    • God Did It is all the explanation required, if you accept the worldview of the novels.


    Antagonist motivations 

  • What are the motivations of the antagonists, other than being antagonists? You have a prophecy of the End Times that is pretty clear in how things are going to go down, and so far, since the Rapture, events have been playing out like a checklist. Why would Nicolae rule for 7 years, half of that barely in control, then suffer all eternity in Hell? Why would The Other Light go against Jesus, if that means they all go to Hell? The Book of Revelations states that they cannot win. They get nothing. They lose. So what's the point of rebelling if rebelling is impossible? There's one part where Nicolae gets chided for using his powers for evil instead of good. God had one of his followers see how events unfolded. There was no room for Nicolae to be able to NOT use his powers for evil, because he's the Anti-Christ. This was all pre-ordained. Nicolae had virtually no choice, except in how he carried out his evil.
    • Fanfic.Left Beyond answers some of this - The Other Light is actually a diversion.
    • Outside of Fanfics? The antagonists are utter idiots who are under an inexplicable delusion they have a chance... solely so they will lose. It, unintentionally, points out one of the MAJOR CRITICISMS of Lucifer. He's... surprisingly sympathetic, considering his destiny.
    • Imagine you are Lucifer. God has sentenced you to eternal damnation, endless pain. You are terrified at that prospect. And he says that nothing you can do can possibly enable you to escape that fate. Salvation and repentance is not possible for your kind (angels), only humans. And yet, this same very God has given you a few thousand years of freedom to do whatever you want. Under these circumstances do you: (A) Do nothing for millennia? Go fishing? Wander around and see the sights of Creation? You could, but then your time will eventually come and then you get an eternity in the Lake of Fire regardless. (B) Do everything in your power to try to prevent that fate, even with the knowledge that it's almost certainly all for not? I mean you're condemned anyway, so what really do you have to lose? So you might as well as try. Perhaps if you get as much of Creation on your side as you can you have a shot. That's what Satan and his minions are trying to do. They have already been condemned to the ultimate punishment and have literally nothing to lose by attempting to avert it and everything to gain if they manage to succeed. They are trapped in a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and know it, even if at times they can convince themselves that they can change the outcome by managing to defeat the one who laid down the sentence and wrote the prophecy to begin with. Left Behind is set in a Calvinist-influcenced cosmology. All of the characters' fates are already predestined. Nicolae was condemned to the Lake of Fire eons before he was even born. He couldn't escape his fate to be the Antichrist even if he was aware of it and tried to avert it.