I'm reading a novel now, called "The Last Seven Years" by Carol Balizet. It was written in 1979. The author novelizes the time immediately prior to the rapture and goes through the next 7 years of the prophesied Tribulation. I am about a third of the way through and I am enjoying it very much. I find it so interesting that despite being published 33 years ago, and perhaps written some time before that, the events she is showing as the status quo on earth prior to the rapture are exactly the conditions we are experiencing now. It is spooky, really. She even nailed the colony collapse disorder. Though CCD was known beginning in 1972, the proportions of bee disappearances didn't reach drastic levels (with attendant impacts) until 2006.
It is interesting to read such conditions as an extended and inexplicable heat wave, that, combined with astronomically high utility bills people cannot pay, means people are suffering in heat and tempers are short. That the inflation of food is so high that grocery stores are fairly empty and robbers wait in the parking lots to steal housewives' bags. That the police are so overwhelmed with crime that vigilante 'protective agencies' are springing up. That nudity, drugs, and immorality are such a part of the landscape that people barely detect it any more. That parents are hesitant to discipline their rebellious teens because the public schools have a powerful agency called Student Rights Services where parents can be arrested on the basis of child complaints.
It takes a special author to be able to project ahead the conditions from three decades ago. Her book was written before even the strong emergence in the US of the homosexual agenda, but the book shows the ill effects of a culture adopting and accepting all manner of perverse lifestyles.
I liked the way she handled the rapture itself. A giant meteor hit the island of Cyprus, and causes global earthquakes and tsunamis. It was during the height of the impacts that the people disappeared. Some were seen leaving, by having a white glow just before disappearing, others were simply not found when the rescuers came to clear rubble. In that way, the disappearance of millions were just part of the general havoc and in some cases, not even the primary news.
It was interesting to read that in the aftermath the officials were writing a news report, and were developing theories on where the disappeared people went. The usual theories that we are familiar with were discussed. The one that was discussed the briefest amount of time and given the least credence was the rapture. It was stated that there were a good many clergy remaining, along with their congregations, so a Christian rapture couldn't be the answer. Sad!
The book is out of print but available through sellers on Amazon and of course your local Inter-Library loan would be able to get it for you. It is my kind of book.
What is NOT my kind of book are most Christian novels. I'm not a sentimental person and usually avoid books with quilts on the cover, or sisters, or sunsets. I loathe triteness. An essay I'd read this morning linked from Challies titled Master craftsmen 2012 Books Issue talks about how Christian novels are not all treacly or badly written, that they can deal with mature themes and have a gritty undercoating but remain moral and sensitive. A list was offered of recommended books. You can click on the master Craftsmen link for that reading list and synopses of each book. I haven't had much luck with enjoying a recent Christian book lately, except for the classics that are on his list, such as CS Lewis, John Bunyan, Tolkien, and several others. I remain skeptical. But the list is there for you to check out, it's a long one, and likely there will be something on it for your quality summer reading.
I do recommend John Grisham, who doesn't write Christian legal thrillers but his Christian background produces a moral book clean of language and sexuality. They're just good stories. I've enjoyed Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. Actually one book with a sunset on it was pretty good. It was authored by Tracie Peterson and Michale Landon Jr called One More Sunrise. It was very well written. Another good series is the Tides of Truth Series by Robert Whitlow. They are slow moving but then again, in the summer, it is a slow moving time anyway :)
A non-Christian series I really enjoyed was the Barker and Llewelyn novels starting with Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas. They are clean but gritty underbelly detective novels of the early Victorian era. Thomas promises his next Barker and Llewelyn is due out soon!
As I finish Balizet's "Last Seven Years" I'll let you know if the later portions hold up with continued good writing and good theology. Don't settle for bad theology! I know it is a struggle these days, and women are swooning over Justin Bieber and watching Magic Mike. Stay pure.
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