HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Accounts of Benny’s Diner and Other Stories
Author and Cover Artist: D. F. Lopez
Publisher: Xulon Press, 2016
Related website(s): http://www.xulonpress.com (publisher)
Language level: 3
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 16 and up
Rating: *** 3 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Lopez, D. F. The Accounts of Benny’s Diner and Other Stories (Published in 2016 by Xulon Press). This book consists of stories that revolve around a central theme, namely the end time era. Most of them are related to a small diner in New York called Benny’s diner. At the beginning, small coincidences are finding June, a waitress at the diner, closer and closer to the conception of the end of the world. After her fiancé confides in her concerning the end of days, June must reconcile her ways to God in penance form. The following stories lead up to and involve “the rapture,” of which the back of the book says, “The rapture, a word not used in the Bible (but it’s event is)” [sic]. It is definitely true that the word “rapture” is not found in the Bible. Whether “it’s event is” or not depends upon what one means by the word.
If one uses the word “rapture” simply to mean that Jesus will return to raise all the dead at the same hour (John 5:28-29), the righteous living will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:50-52), we shall all be caught up together to be with the Lord in the air forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and the wicked will be punished with everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9), that is fine because this is exactly what the Bible teaches. But most people use the word to mean that Jesus will return once secretly for his saints, suddenly the righteous dead will be raised and the righteous living will disappear, both to be “raptured” in the air for seven years while “the great tribulation” will occur among those left on earth culminating in the “battle of Armageddon,” when Jesus will return again with his saints to defeat the foes and establish His literal kingdom on earth for a thousand years. From some fifty years of studying the Bible, I am convinced that this latter concept is not taught in God’s word but is the result of a misunderstanding and misapplication of several portions of Scripture, especially Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew chapter 24, and Revelation.
In asking if I would do a book review, the author, David Frank Lopez, told me, “I fight schizophrenia. And I wrote a novel of short stories centered around the rapture. It is a book of comfort. Not doom and gloom. Rather, hope, love.” In The Accounts of Benny’s Diner, there are references to drinking wine and beer and smoking cigarettes. Terms like “My God” and “Jesus” are used as exclamations, along with some near vulgarity (e.g., bas*ard). Miracles are performed, and people are told to be saved by saying “that sinner’s prayer.” If taken as a simple warning to be ready for Christ’s return, the stories in the book are themselves interesting to read, although I sometimes had some confusion and a little difficulty comprehending exactly what was going on. I would probably have understood and appreciated the book more if I accepted pre-tribulation dispensational premillennialism (which I don’t), or had some experience with someone who had suffered from schizophrenia—or both.