TEoD: Chapter 27: A Little Dangerous

Of all the Starbucks in all the world, you had to walk into mine…

So must Michael Murph think when Shane Barrington bumps into him at Starbucks.  Yep, the media mogul who lives in Manhattan has come to a random Starbucks in college-town North Carolina.

And he’s caught Murphy at such a busy time in the adventurer’s life!

[Murphy] was sipping his Starbucks coffee and daydreaming about finding Aaron’s Rod and the Golden Jar of Manna.  It would be an archaeological find that would stun the world and put Bible critics on the run.

Yep, I’m sure we all remember those thrilling scenes in Indiana Jones movies, when he would stand around coffee shops and daydream about finding artifacts.  Those daydream moments are what made the audiences come back again and again.

I hate to harp on this (oh come on, I love to harp on this!), but this seems an almost self-aware admission by LaPhillips that NOTHING has happened in this book yet.  He has gone nowhere except on a date with his girlfriend (who is not really his girlfriend, and who he puts right out of his mind when leggy blonde surfers enter the room), and to a couple of tent revival meetings.  And as for what he’s done, it’s basically just preach at his archaeology students, using lectures that he admits are just mirrors of what his pastor is preaching about.

Is it possible to take a coffee break when you have nothing to take a break from?

Anyway, Barrington comes in and bumps into Murphy, and for a book that won’t name bands, it has no problem pumping the Starbucks name (which is ironic when you consider that a few years later, RTCs would have their first field day whinging and whining about Starbucks holiday cups).

“I guess we both like a good cup of coffee.” [said Shane]

*insert Starbucks joke here*

Shane is also being extraordinarily nice and polite here, considering that the last time he and Murphy spoke, Murphy was incredibly and unnecessarily rude, insulting everything Shane did and was involved in.  (And bear in mind that no, Murphy still doesn’t know that Shane works for The Seven (TSAN!).)

And we remember this because Murphy reminds us—a half-page is spent recounting the encounter and the insults Murphy made, though he amusingly characterizes it as “[the encounter] turned less than cordial,” which is certainly one way to share some of the blame to Shane, when it was Murphy who went uncordial.  But whatevs.

Shane is in town to close the deal on a local station he’s purchased, and asks Murphy, out of the blue, about his new show promoting Constantine De La Rosa.  Murphy is surprised that Shane cares about his opinion, but I’m not: in the last chapter, we were reminded of De La Rosa, and now LaPhillips needs to reiterate that he’s the AntiChrist by creating a situation in which Murphy can spout off about him.

Murphy snidely remarks that De La Rosa’s goals: diversity, tolerance, environmentalism, and peace, are all “a little dangerous.”  Bizarrely, Shane doesn’t laugh in his face at this and head off with his Starbucks to avoid further wasting of his time, but lets Murphy prattle on how De La Rosa just might be one of the False Prophets of the End Times (ha-HA, so we know our intrepid hero doesn’t have it quite right…yet), and Shane just stands there harping and thinking about how much he admires “Murphy’s ability to not mince works and to speak honestly.”  Because that, dear readers, is what everyone will be thinking of you when you ramble about the End Times to them.

On a related note, this a very timely chapter.  Because just last week, the Slacktivist covered the moment in Left Behind when Buck Williams miserably fails to witness to a woman sitting next to him on a plane, a woman who very clearly wanted to be witnessed to.  And now Shane is asking questions of Murphy about De La Rosa.  This would be a perfect opportunity to open up to Shane, tell him about the Good News.  Pull out his Bible that he always has on him and show Shane chapter and verse about false prophets, instead of making crazy-sounding claims that environmentalism and peace are “dangerous.”

Instead, Murphy goes on a bizarre guilt-tripping tangent, to the effect of: if Shane doesn’t totally support and believe in De La Rosa, why is he giving him a show on his network?  To which Shane gives the very sensible answer that De La Rosa is news, a famous religious figure just like Mother Teresa.  And it just makes Murphy look naive, because even religious stations have disclaimers before some shows saying that the network execs might not agree with everything that you’re going to see.  It’s a silly, time-wasting point to make.

(Oh, and Shane is also promoting De La Rosa because The Seven (TSAN!) told him to.  But again, Shane has done an awesome job of keeping this all a secret from Murphy, who still has not idea who TS are, what they want, and that they have one of the most powerful media moguls on the planet working for them.)

But all this annoying, probing, do-you-support-him talk puts Shane right off, and the two men go their separate ways.

In the car, Murphy prays:

Lord, why did You bring him into my life today?  Am I supposed to have some kind of influence in his life?  He’s power hungry, arrogant, and difficult to like.


Help me to be tolerant.

And God smote Michael Murphy on the spot for using That Word.  The End.

Actually, apparently unaware of irony, LaPhillips cuts to Shane’s reaction to the conversation.  But Shane, though of course admitting that Murphy is Right (though only about there being something sketchy about De La Rosa) is mainly focused on his anger towards The Seven.  And he reflects on how they ordered the murders of Stephanie and his son, the Ambiguously Gay Arthur.

Because events like those can be easy to forget.

So, you readers don’t have to spend any of your precious sympathy on Shane Barrington. He’s just filled with rage and vengeance, just like all evil atheists are.  So it’s no reflection on Murphy’s skills that he couldn’t witness properly.  Or at all.





Posted on January 3, 2018, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. LaPhillips cuts to Shane’s reaction to the conversation. But Shane, though of course admitting that Murphy is Right […] is mainly focused on his anger towards The Seven.

    Darn; here I was hoping we’d see him quietly repeating the exact same prayer as Murphy.

  2. finding Aaron’s Rod and the Golden Jar of Manna. It would be an archaeological find that would stun the world and put Bible critics on the run.

    Huh? I mean, we know that Jericho is a real place, but that doesn’t mean “Bible critics” have to grant that the sun stood still in the sky for 24 hours. Finding a rod and a jar in a box doesn’t automatically make the Exodus real, or mean that Aaron was a real person, or indicate that any of the artifacts have or ever had magical powers.

    These guys are so wrapped up in their bubble.

  3. if Shane doesn’t totally support and believe in De La Rosa, why is he giving him a show on his network?

    This from a college professor who routinely butts heads with his boss over the contents of his class without getting fired.

  4. The primary purpose of this kind of scene is clearly to tell the intended audience that they should be talking about Jesus (and the end times and all the rest of it) all the time, even to complete strangers. After all, if they got killed by a hypothetical homicidal bird of prey…

    And yet, first, there’s this curious point about how they don’t actually try to witness, which I see as a tacit admission that buttonholing strangers works about as well to sell Jesus as it would to sell cars. (Perhaps with a side line that the Wicked wouldn’t listen anyway.) But, second, these RTC heroes always seem to end up “winning” the conversation, at least in their own minds; and the juxtaposition of that with reality is a variant of the classic Christian approach, that You Are Not Good Enough. Someone who reads these books and tries to put them into practice will end up being laughed at. Gee, guess you’re not up to the most important task in the world EVAR. Better get more holy!

    • To be fair,they also like to juxtapose the hero thinking their conversion spiel went nowhere with their targets being secretly moved by their passionate sincerety. You could see that as reassuring a pat on the back. Or as a stern “Keep trying, even if you get laughed at, perhaps it’s secretly working.”

  5. I had completely forgotten this book was about the jar of manna and Aaron’s rod (don’t even remember what the latter is) or that Murphy knew the Antichrist guy. So is the Antichrist the guy holding tent revival meetings?

  6. Hey there, Ruby, hope you enjoyed Wintermas. I’ve followed this blog as a all knowing, secret ghost since beginning of september, so I figured it was about time to write a comment 😉

    I’ve now followed all your total destructions of this shitty series, and boy how I love it. While I myself am a christian, I am still able to recognize insanity when I see it, and this book series is the most insane, crazy, deluded ah*t I’ve ever encountered. I am an author myself, right now working to get my first novel (YA) puplished, and if there is one thing I despise more than anything else, it’s how sh*t like this can have the audacity to call itself “litterature”, and how so called christian “authors” can write this garbage and still call themselves authors. They’re not authors. They’re not even close to being authors. They’re not even hacks. They’re completely ignorant of everything not ensconced in their christian bubble or ignorant of everything that isn’t LaHaye’s crazy fever fantasies.

    Never have I seen more horrible authors as LaJenkins and LaPhillips. It’s almost as if they haven’t lived in the real world. Almost as if they’ve never encountered real pain, real knowledge, real people. They almost seem like children ignorant of the world outside the street of which they live. Like, they don’t even seem to know anything about what it really means to BE a christian. And as a proud european – born and living in Denmark in Scandinavia – it’s just … jarring and shocking to see how LaHaye views people from Europe. It’s as if he thinks American LaHaye’ian RTC-ianity is the only form of christianity that exists, and Europe is a dark and heathen and anti-christian place that will never be as great as God’s Own Country. I know a lot of believers, some that are even quite conservative (by Danish standards), and they pale in comparison with the absolute insanity that is RTC’ianity according to LaPhillips. Every christian I know, including myself, would be considered too “librul” and too “not Real True Christian”. EVERY christian. But then again, christians here in Scandinavia lives in the real world and is a part of (and contributing to) society just as much as every one else.

    Really, has LaHaye and Phillips even MET other people than those from his own church? Judging from their complete lack of understanding with regards to psychology, science, human nature, the society, other countries (goddamn it, even other American STATES), I really freaking doubt it. Jeez. I am so ashamed to have people of his ilk as fellow believers…

    This is so hilarious and I absolutely agree with most of what you write. I think you, Fred Clark and Mouse from Mouses Musings are the three people on the internet that I absolutely agree with the most.

    And I am so excited to read the new chapters of this amazing destruction of the shittiest series I’ve ever encountered (worse than even Left Behind, and that’s a helluva feet, because those books are pretty bad to begin with).

    Oh, and The Seven (TSAN!) are villians that doesn’t know how to even Villain. DO they even Villain? Like seriously? XD

    How anyone can write this trash without shooting themselves in pure shame, is a damn mystery to me O.O

    • Thanks for the lovely compliments! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it here! This is the last book in the Michael Murphy saga, and I have a few ideas for what to do next. Not that it’ll be terribly soon–Murphy hasn’t even left to find the artifacts yet.

      • Yeah, but if I see the trajectory these books are going, Murphy will trip over the artifact 7 pages after getting on the plane to MoarArabLand. Can’t have our archeological adventures taking up precious word counts that are better spend rehashing LaHaye’s Edge of Apocalypse and Left Behind books.

  7. I had completely forgotten that this book was supposed to have a plot about Murphy finding some biblical artifact, probably because LaPhillips appear to have forgotten about it as well until this chapter. They really don’t know how to write a coherent story at all.

    And I don’t think I’d ever react like Shane to hearing someone like Murphy ranting about End Times nonsense. I don’t care how sincere or “honest” someone is about their beliefs, I’m not going to admire them for sincerely believing in ridiculous ideas.

    • I Like Turtles

      It’s wishful thinking on the part of the authors, I bet ya. They’re probably masturbating to the thought of the greatness of their own convoluted theology 😉

    • I think the only way I’d take an End Times ranter seriously is if he showed some self-awareness. “Yeah, I know those horrible people say a lot of stuff that sounds like this, but I’ve got some actual evidence.”

      But that’s a hard thing to do effectively in fiction.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for January 5th, 2018 | The Slacktiverse

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