Jerry B. Jenkins
|Jerry Bruce Jenkins|
September 23, 1949 |
Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
Jerry Bruce Jenkins (born September 23, 1949 in Kalamazoo, Michigan) is an American novelist and biographer. He is best known as co-author of the Left Behind series of books with Tim LaHaye. Jenkins has written over 150 books, including romance novels, mysteries, and children's adventures, as well as non-fiction. His works usually feature evangelical Christians as protagonists.
In 2005, Jenkins and LaHaye ranked 9th in Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame authors ranked according to the largest numbers of books sold at Amazon.com in the 10 years since it opened on July 16, 1995. Jenkins and his wife Dianna have three sons, several grandchildren, and reside in Black Forrest, Colorado.
Work as a writer, editor, and publisher
Jenkins has authored more than 180 books, 16 of which have reached the New York Times bestseller list. His writings have appeared in many periodicals, including Reader's Digest, Parade, and Guideposts. He is a "writer-at-large" for Moody Bible Institute. He had previously worked as Editor of Moody Magazine and as vice-president of publishing for Moody Bible Institute.
Children and young adult fiction
He has written many children and young adult book series, including both mystery and sports-themed books. One of his more famous series includes sports-themed "Dallas O'Neil and The Baker Street Sports Club" series, published in the mid-1980s and his follow-up series, "The Dallas O'Neil Mysteries".
He has written "as-told-to" biographies of Hank Aaron, Brett Butler, Bill Gaither, Orel Hershiser, Luis Palau, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, Sammy Tippit, George Sweeting, and others. Over a period of 13 months, he assisted Dr. Billy Graham with his 1997 autobiography, Just As I Am.
From 1996 to 2004, Jenkins was writer of the sports-oriented comic strip Gil Thorp. Having been in negotiations with Tribune Media Services about the possibility of turning Jack Berrill's stories into a youth book series, he was asked to take over the writing duties of the strip when Mr. Berrill died in 1996. Many of the comic strip stories were written (but uncredited) by his son, Chad Jenkins, an assistant baseball coach at Bethel College.
Jenkins and co-author LaHaye of the Left Behind series were profiled in a May 24, 2004 cover story in Newsweek magazine entitled "The New Prophets of Revelation". LaHaye, also associated with Moody Bible Institute, handles the theological under-pinnings of his end-of-the-world series, while Jenkins handles the story-telling.
The Left Behind series includes 12 books which have sold over 60 million copies worldwide. The first volume is entitled Left Behind, and is followed by Tribulation Force, Nicolae, Soul Harvest, Apollyon, Assassins, The Indwelling, The Mark, Desecration, The Remnant, Armageddon, and Glorious Appearing. Four more volumes have been released, a trilogy of prequels (The Rising, The Regime, and The Rapture), and a sequel called Kingdom Come.
Christian Writers Guild owner
In 1965 Norman Rohrer established the Christian Writers Guild (CWG) which was an effort to raise the quality of Christian Writing. In 2003 Jerry B. Jenkins purchased the Guild from the retiring Norman Rohrer (who remains on the Editorial Board of CWG). The Guild promotes its writing program through annual conferences at the Grand Hyatt in Denver as well as a Guild Apprentice and Master programs of writing using staff of mentor authors and publishing professionals. In 2012, CWG split with its writing critique group arm, Word Weavers.
Controversy and criticism
Jenkins and LaHaye have been criticized for their apocalyptic beliefs, in which they assert that the end of the world is near. Other believers in dispensational premillennialism, who believe that the return of Jesus is imminent, criticize various aspects of his theology, saying he has "some real problems with his prophetical teachings in the Left Behind series." It is noted that "in books 8 & 9, LaHaye and Jenkins teach that [non-willing] recipients of the mark of the beast can still be saved." However, in The Mark, "the Chang scenario" is developed, whereby a character receives both the mark of the beast and the sealing of the Lord. In Desecration, his dual-marking was justified in the storyline. This has led some readers to wonder "how a Christian can have the mark of the beast and still be saved" and has been asked many times by perplexed readers on the Left Behind messageboard. Attempts to address this question have appeared on the FAQ page at LeftBehind.com.
With the presumption of eschatological plots, persons and conclusions, and with so many people basing their eschatological understanding on the Left behind series, Jenkins and LaHaye have been accused of violating the warning given in Revelation 22:18-19 not to add to or take away from the words of the Revelation. This alleged trespass has not been publicly evaluated, if at all, by the board of The Moody Bible Institute, where Jenkins serves as Chairman.
- As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Green. Worthy Publishing. 2012. ISBN 1-61795-012-2.
- The children/young adult fiction by Jerry B. Jenkins
- Miner, Michael (February 5, 1998). "Good Sports, Bad Sports". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Miner, Michael (April 17, 2003). "Gil Thorp Gets Benched". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "Tim & Beverly LaHaye: General Teachings/Activities". Biblical Discernment Ministries. Accessed Dec. 14, 2007.
- "General FAQ". Left Behind. Tyndale House Publishers. 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2011. "'God looks on the heart,' related Jerry B. Jenkins. 'He was a believer first, and thus, always.'"
He also wrote The Red Rock Mysteries
- Jenkins homepage
- Tyndale House Publishers: Biography - Jerry B. Jenkins
- Christian Writer's Guild Homepage