Tim LaHaye, coauthor (with Jerry Jenkins) of the Left Behind series, is publicly airing his displeasure with his publisher. Tyndale House is selling The Last Disciple, a novel with a distinctly different take on the Book of Revelation than that of the Left Behind series. LaHaye says he feels betrayed and told The Dallas Morning News, "They are going to take the money we made for them and promote this nonsense."
The Last Disciple was coauthored by Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer, and teaches that most prophecies in Revelation have already been fulfilled. The Left Behind series, however, is grounded in a premillennial, dispensationalist view of the end times, which includes a pre-Tribulation Rapture. "I guess you would say I am disappointed, perplexed, and confused," LaHaye told Christianity Today.
Ron Beers, Tyndale's senior vice president and publisher, said his company wants to promote healthy dialogue on eschatology. Beers said, "We haven't come up with a consensus on end-times issues."
LaHaye is continuing the Left Behind series with Tyndale, having agreed with Jenkins to produce three more books. LaHaye also signed a lucrative deal with Bantam Dell, a division of Random House, to write a four-book biblical adventure series, with Babylon Rising being the first installment. LaHaye said press reports that the deal was worth $45 million were exaggerated. "It is less than 60 percent of that amount," LaHaye told CT.
The controversy has been covered in Time and on Good Morning, America. The fuss has helped sales of The Last Disciple reach 60,000 in hardcover over the first two months, Beers said.
Hanegraaff, radio's "Bible Answer Man," said LaHaye's reaction was a surprise. "The goal of our book is to tell a good story and to recognize that Revelation is a great and glorious book that gave Christians hope in the midst of persecution."
Copyright © 2005 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Hank Hanegraaff & Sigmund Brouwer's The Last Disciple is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
More about Hank Hanegraaff's Christian Research Institute is available from their website.
The Left Behind website has more information about the books and the authors.
The Dallas Morning News article on the dispute is now available from The San Diego Union Tribune.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.