It’s my turn on the blOGOS rotation at the Ekklesia Project website:
Attempts to counter Camping’s misguided views consisted mostly of pointing to passages in the New Testament which speak to the unknowability of the “day or hour” of the Lord’s return. But such proof-texting did little to challenge the core flaw of rapture theology—its fundamental misreading of biblical eschatology. Within the last few days, thankfully, thoughtful essays have appeared which have noted that “tribulation” is a past and present reality, not a future horror for the damned, and that matter—bodies, earth, the stuff of life—matters deeply to the God who restores and makes all things new. I also penned some thoughts (shameless plug alert) on the connections between eschatological time and the exquisite new French film Of Gods and Men.
Central to rapture theology and even to some of the first responses to it is the belief that God is far removed from Creation—a distant judge whose ways and will are inscrutable; a moody tyrant-king continually disappointed in his subjects; a cosmic hothead always ready to pounce on nsuspecting evildoers. It’s this kind of god who will preside over the rapture’s doom and devastation. No wonder Camping’s predictions boosted the recruitment efforts of atheist and agnostic organizations around the country.
The appointed lessons for this Sunday, the sixth of Eastertide, offer a vision of God and God’s relationship to the world that couldn’t be more different.
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