Here is the safe prediction of the year. The mainstream press is just getting started when it comes to covering the splinters that are almost certainly going to take place inside American evangelicalism in the months between now and the election. The key to all of this is that some people think it's really amazing to discover (a) that evangelicalism (whatever that means) is not a monolithic movement and, duh, (b) that Protestants who have every right to decide (thus saith one interpretation of Sola Scriptura) what the Bible means are going to reach different conclusions on some hot doctrinal and social issues.
But come on, people, making fun of Left Behind books is too easy. That's shooting ducks in a pond. Take Dana Milbank's recent column in The Washington Post. This is setting the bar way too low:
In the wildly popular "Left Behind" series of evangelical Christian novels, the Antichrist takes the form of the secretary general of the United Nations, sets up an abortion-promoting world government and becomes the Global Community Supreme Potentate.
Last night, the National Association of Evangelicals met for dinner at the Sheraton in Crystal City. The keynote speaker? Why, the Antichrist himself.
Actually, the NAE, the umbrella group for the nation's evangelical denominations, brought in the real U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, not his fictional satanic equivalent, Nicolae Carpathia of Romania. But for the Rev. Richard Cizik, the NAE official who invited Ban, it was just about as daring. Evangelical Christians regard the United Nations' blue helmets with about as much enthusiasm as Satan's red horns.
Now anyone who knows almost anything about South Korea these days will not be surprised to find the anti-Antichrist ends up reading from Scripture by the end of this column. But, wait, isn't that exactly what one would expect the Antichrist to do?
Come on, folks, you can do better than this. Tell us something we don't already know.