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Insight #166 — A Negative Review

A few days ago (in Dec., 2007), on Amazon’s page for “Nobody Left Behind,” I noticed that a William Barnard gave my book a negative review. [As of July, 2020, his review is no longer on Amazon. Some of my original response that follows is also out of date. I have updated in 2020 brackets.]

It is sad to notice all the mistakes William made.

Mistake number one: William is upset that I did not explain the proposition of my book until page 302, where I pointed out that Jesus’ return will be the end of the world, the end of time. But the proposition was already explained in Chapter 2, “Introducing the Issues”: “The view proposed in this book… is the belief that when He [Jesus] does come, the world as we know it will be finished. It is the belief that when Jesus comes time will be no more” (pgs. 32-33). William is mistaken by 270 pages.

Mistake number two: William is upset that I did not tell my church affiliation. In this case, he is right that I did not, but the mistake is still his. In the first place, my book is partly a critique of the “Left Behind” series. Book One of the “Left Behind” series details impressive accomplishments and affiliations of both LaHaye and Jenkins, but their church affiliation is not given. In the second place, if church affiliation of an author is really important to a reader — and this is a legitimate concern — it takes little effort in our high-tech age to check such things before buying a book. Go to Google and enter “Nobody Left Behind” (in quotes) and “David Vaughn Elliott” (in quotes). The first result will likely be a link to my book’s web site.. There you will see a button: “Author and Book,” that takes you to the information. William made the mistake of not investigating before buying. [2020: The same information is now avalaible on this website under author.]

In addition, on the same web site, you can click the button for “The Issues,” and there you have Chapter Two, referred to above, free to read in it’s entirety before deciding to buy. [2020: The same chapter now available on this website: “The Issues.”]

But the above are likely only side issues. William’s real concern seems to be that my book (in Chapter 18) teaches “baptismal regeneration,” whatever that is. In my experience, that is always a derogatory term. If, by the term, William means my book teaches that baptism alone saves, he is completely wrong. That belief is the belief of those who “baptize” babies. If, by the term, William means my book teaches that baptism is one of several requirements to be saved, he is completely correct. The reason my book teaches that is because The Book teaches it.

When the Spirit-filled, tongue-speaking, key-holder Apostle of Jesus Christ was asked the all important question, “What shall we do?” he replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:37-38).

William complains that my book does not teach salvation by faith alone. Neither does The Book. The Book teaches the opposite: “You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

William is disturbed by the concept that few will go to heaven. But my book just quoted The Book. It is not my concept. I have nothing to do with it. It is the Savior’s concept: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).

What really saddens me is that William’s careless reading and lack of research in regard to my book appear to be an indication of the same careless reading and lack of research in relation to The Book. This is the biggest mistake of all. He offers no Scripture that says that baptism does not save. There is none. No verse that says that most people will go to heaven. There is none. No verse that says salvation is by faith alone. There is none. We need more people like the Jews in Berea, who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).