Friday, October 7, 2011

The American Obsession: The Rapture

"The American obsession- I don't think that's too strong a word- with the second coming of Jesus, or rather with one particular and, as we shall see, highly distorted interpretation of it, continues unabated. I first met it in person when I was giving some lectures in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in the early 1980s. I was talking about Jesus in his historical context, and to my surprise almost all the questions afterward were about ecology- about trees and water and crops, which is after all what there mostly is at Thunder Bay. it turned out... that many conservative Christians in the area, and more importantly just to the south in the United States, had been urging that since we were living in the end times, with the world about to come to an end, there was no point worrying about trying to stop polluting the planet with acid rain and the like. Indeed, wasn't it unspiritual, and even a sign of a lack of faith, to think about such things? If God was intending to bring the whole world to a shuddering halt, what was the problem?" (Surprised by Hope, p. 119)

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