Kevin Sorbo gets Left Behind
Kevin Sorbo plays the lead role in a new entry into the Left Behind series of Christian films, released in the US and Canada in late January.
In Left Behind: Rise of the AntiChrist, Sorbo (Hercules, God’s Not Dead) plays a man who was left behind because he was a non-believer.
“I love the tagline,” he told Charisma Magazine.
“It’s a true story that just hasn’t happened yet.”
“I think it’s perfect for the time we are living in right now. You see the craziness of what governments are doing around the world right now. The fear, the pandemic, the anger, the hate, the cancel-culture, and wokeness,” Sorbo said.
He joked, “If the rapture hasn’t already happened it feels like it’s on the way.”
Despite several Twitter posts criticising COVID-19 vaccines, Sorbo agreed to be vaccinated in order to travel to Canada for filming in 2021.
Nicolas Cage previously played the lead role in the 2015 Left Behind film, which rebooted the series.
The Left Behind series of novels were first released between 1995 and 2007 amidst growing popularity in the Rapture.
The books are set during the End of Days, and depict the Rapture, where God is said to remove Christians from the earth before the world ends.
US televangelist Jerry Falwell once described the impact of the series’ first book as, “greater than that of any other book in modern times, outside the Bible.”
The series’ eschatology, however, has been criticised by the likes of Sojourners’ Jim Wallis as being unbiblical.
Writing in Christian Century, John Dart described the books’ viewpoint as, “beam me up theology.”
British scholar N. T. Wright, wrote in August 2001 that the success of the Left Behind franchise, “appears puzzling, even bizarre” for audiences in the UK.
Wright argues that the series misunderstands scripture.
In particular, he argues that the scenario of believers being snatched up into heaven is an incorrect interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Accoridng to Wright, the passage about meeting the Lord in the air, “should be read with the assumption that the people will immediately turn around and lead the Lord back to the newly remade world,” similar to residents meeting a visiting emperor, then escorting him into the city, he said.
Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, according to Wright, are not the same as Gospel passages about “the Son of man coming on the clouds” (such as Mark 13:26 and 14:62), which “are about Jesus’ vindication, his ‘coming’ to heaven from earth.”
The books have sold 65 million copies and have been translated into multiple languages.
The film is playing in select theatres across the US and Canada. An Australian release date has not been confirmed at the time of writing.