Timothy LaHaye, son of a Detroit autoworker who became an internationally known author and Christian activist, died today at the age of 90.
We would be remiss if we did not recognize the death of LaHaye, particularly as I am in the middle of a blog series on the subject of Christian Zionism. If you have ever wondered where the combined set of ideas of a pretribulational Rapture, a one thousand year literal millennial reign of Christ after the Second Coming, and a fascination with modern day Israel became such a recognizable part of American evangelicalism, and American culture at large, then you would be hard pressed to identify anyone more prominent than Tim LaHaye.
Lahaye did a lot in his long life, notably promoting Christian schooling, Young Earth Creationism, and promoting family values. But he probably will be long remembered for co-authoring, with Jerry Jenkins, the ever-popular Left Behind series of novels, a fictionalized representation of End Times events based on the theology of dispensationalism. The book series that began 21 years ago still sells about six figures annually.
Though Tim LaHaye did not experience the pretribulational Rapture he envisioned, it is appropriate to say that he nevertheless has experienced his own personal “Rapture” with the Lord. Christianity Today published a remembrance of LaHaye.