End of the world countdown

We’ve blogged about how radio preacher Harold Camping is predicting that Christ will return on May 21 of this year.  Journalist Kimberly Winston interviewed Mr. Camping and asked him how he calculated the date with such precision:

If preacher Harold Camping is right, that’s the exact date Jesus will return and the righteous will fly up to heaven, leaving behind only their clothes.

That will be followed by five months of fire, brimstone and plagues, with millions of people dying each day and corpses piling in the streets. Finally, on Oct. 21, the world ends exactly as the Book of Revelation says it will — with a bottomless pit, a lake of fire and, at last, a new heaven and new earth. . . .

Asked how he arrived at the date, he opened his Bible to Genesis and said Noah loaded animals into the ark in 4990 B.C., a number he said he arrived at years ago after looking at carbon dating, tree rings and other data. Paging forward to 2 Peter, he read aloud, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.”

Leafing back to Genesis, he said that the seven days Noah spent loading the ark was really 7,000 years. He then added 7,000 to 4990 B.C to arrive at 2010. He added one more year, he said, because there is no year one in the Bible.

As for the exact date of May 21, he pointed again to Genesis, which says the flood began on the “17th day of the second month.” According to the Jewish calendar, which he believes God uses, that is May 21.

“Now I am telling you, that gets pretty heavy when you see this coming right out of the Bible,” he said, looking up from his Bible’s dog-eared pages.

via A durable doomsday preacher predicts the world’s end — again – USATODAY.com.

But. . .but. . .What connection does Noah’s ark and the number of days it took to bring in the animals have with the return of Christ?  I know, the parallels with God’s first destruction of the world, but that can hardly be definitive, especially since God told us that He won’t destroy the world like He did last time.  And how does Mr. Camping know the exact date of the flood?  By carbon dating?  Of what?  And doesn’t he know that those dates are not precise to the year?  And. . .Well, even accepting his premises, I don’t understand how he and his thousands of followers are so sure of his numbers.

At any rate, his claim is meaningful because it is falsifiable.  We’ll know very soon if he is right or wrong.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael Lynch

    We know today that he’s wrong. On May 22nd he’ll come up with some reason that he was off similar to what he did with 1994. I’m actually concerned that something similar to Jonestown will come out of this. Think of all the people who have given FR their savings. Who are they going to go to on May 22nd? I’m afraid they will go to FR and they will be subject to Camping. We need to be praying for these folks and be ready to help them return to the church.

  • Michael Lynch

    We know today that he’s wrong. On May 22nd he’ll come up with some reason that he was off similar to what he did with 1994. I’m actually concerned that something similar to Jonestown will come out of this. Think of all the people who have given FR their savings. Who are they going to go to on May 22nd? I’m afraid they will go to FR and they will be subject to Camping. We need to be praying for these folks and be ready to help them return to the church.

  • Pete

    This fellow rates pretty low on the eschatology scale, but his marks for chutzpah are off the charts.

  • Pete

    This fellow rates pretty low on the eschatology scale, but his marks for chutzpah are off the charts.

  • Tom Hering

    Camping and his followers are just the tip of the iceberg. According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released March 24,

    “… 67 percent of evangelicals believe natural disasters are evidence of what the Bible calls the ‘end times’ … Among Republicans, 52 percent believe that natural disasters are evidence of the end times … 53 percent of white evangelicals believe that God punishes nations for the sins of its citizens.”

    These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns. The political views of a large number of American voters are informed by whack theology.

  • Tom Hering

    Camping and his followers are just the tip of the iceberg. According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released March 24,

    “… 67 percent of evangelicals believe natural disasters are evidence of what the Bible calls the ‘end times’ … Among Republicans, 52 percent believe that natural disasters are evidence of the end times … 53 percent of white evangelicals believe that God punishes nations for the sins of its citizens.”

    These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns. The political views of a large number of American voters are informed by whack theology.

  • Larry Wilson

    For background on Mr. Camping, and a cautionary tale, may I suggest http://wscal.edu/blog/entry/the-end-of-the-world-according-to-harold-camping-part-1

  • Larry Wilson

    For background on Mr. Camping, and a cautionary tale, may I suggest http://wscal.edu/blog/entry/the-end-of-the-world-according-to-harold-camping-part-1

  • Mike in Deep East Texas

    Will the “true believers” be willing to sign over their fortunes to amillenialist churches?

  • Mike in Deep East Texas

    Will the “true believers” be willing to sign over their fortunes to amillenialist churches?

  • Kirk

    @Mike

    There was an Athiest on Craigslist offering a service wherein Evangelicals would pay him $2000 up front to care for their dogs after the rapture. I thought that was pretty good.

  • Kirk

    @Mike

    There was an Athiest on Craigslist offering a service wherein Evangelicals would pay him $2000 up front to care for their dogs after the rapture. I thought that was pretty good.

  • Helen F

    Issues Etc has a March 24 program on the millenium that exposes the false views of this kook!

  • Helen F

    Issues Etc has a March 24 program on the millenium that exposes the false views of this kook!

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    ROFL. What a brazen huckster!

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    ROFL. What a brazen huckster!

  • Michael Lynch

    I think this is a good opportunity for Bible-believing ministries. They should make an offer to buy up FR stations (you know they won’t give them up for free even though they believe they won’t need them after May 21st) and contract that FR sign over the stations as of May 22nd. This would end FR outreach and allow greater audience to hear the Gospel. Of course, anyone who want to broadcast should do this–they could probably get a good deal. Just an idea.

  • Michael Lynch

    I think this is a good opportunity for Bible-believing ministries. They should make an offer to buy up FR stations (you know they won’t give them up for free even though they believe they won’t need them after May 21st) and contract that FR sign over the stations as of May 22nd. This would end FR outreach and allow greater audience to hear the Gospel. Of course, anyone who want to broadcast should do this–they could probably get a good deal. Just an idea.

  • Dennis Peskey

    This just is not working out well. I’ve been called for jury duty during the last two weeks of May. Since I’ll be busy judging my fellowman, I will be unavailable for any rapture during this period. Whom do I contact for a special dispensation? And what do we do if the person on trial suddenly departs prior to the courts final judgment? This date just simply will not work.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    This just is not working out well. I’ve been called for jury duty during the last two weeks of May. Since I’ll be busy judging my fellowman, I will be unavailable for any rapture during this period. Whom do I contact for a special dispensation? And what do we do if the person on trial suddenly departs prior to the courts final judgment? This date just simply will not work.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would have thought that Jesus’ “no man knows the hour” would disabuse people of the habit of predicting the end, but apparently not. Worse yet, Camping also has recommended people eschew church fellowship–apparently he’s never read Hebrews 10:24-5, or 1 John’s passages noting that those not in fellowship just might not be believers at all.

    On the light side, Camping has been wrong so many times, one might suggest that our Lord might return on the day Camping specifies, because certainly no one on the narrow way to Heaven would be expecting Him that day!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I would have thought that Jesus’ “no man knows the hour” would disabuse people of the habit of predicting the end, but apparently not. Worse yet, Camping also has recommended people eschew church fellowship–apparently he’s never read Hebrews 10:24-5, or 1 John’s passages noting that those not in fellowship just might not be believers at all.

    On the light side, Camping has been wrong so many times, one might suggest that our Lord might return on the day Camping specifies, because certainly no one on the narrow way to Heaven would be expecting Him that day!

  • Joe

    After reading this post, my brain keeps alternating between “The Final Countdown” by Europe and “Its the End of the World” by R.E.M.

  • Joe

    After reading this post, my brain keeps alternating between “The Final Countdown” by Europe and “Its the End of the World” by R.E.M.

  • http://www.Utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom, I believe they are signs of the end times too. I think they have been for two thousand years. And each disaster reminds me to pray, Maranatha, Maranatha.
    But you are right about all of this being scary the way most of the Evangelicals take it. I just got done reading “A Case for Amillenialism” and I recommend it for all the pastor’s out there who are looking for a way of disabusing the members of your congregation of their Chiliasm.

  • http://www.Utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom, I believe they are signs of the end times too. I think they have been for two thousand years. And each disaster reminds me to pray, Maranatha, Maranatha.
    But you are right about all of this being scary the way most of the Evangelicals take it. I just got done reading “A Case for Amillenialism” and I recommend it for all the pastor’s out there who are looking for a way of disabusing the members of your congregation of their Chiliasm.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    The man does damage to the faith with his predictions, like Hal Lindsey did before him.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    The man does damage to the faith with his predictions, like Hal Lindsey did before him.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    He’s a nut (Camping), and he’s been wrong BEFORE.

    But I am rooting for him, this time.

    I hope he’s right.

    “Come, Lord Jesus come.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    He’s a nut (Camping), and he’s been wrong BEFORE.

    But I am rooting for him, this time.

    I hope he’s right.

    “Come, Lord Jesus come.”

  • DonS

    The good news for Dennis is that it looks like he will get out of jury duty :-)

    I like Michael’s idea @ 9. Put Mr. Camping on the spot — how can he turn down the deal if he really believes what he spouts?

    Tom @ 3: they are indeed signs of the end times. That’s scriptural. It’s just that we can’t know the day nor the hour, nor how long the end times will last before Christ returns. I think all but the fringe of evangelicals today are not living in wait for the rapture — many believe it might happen soon, but it doesn’t change the way they live their daily lives, e.g. they still contribute to their retirement accounts. The Hal Lindsay era is over.

    These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns. The political views of a large number of American voters are informed by whack theology.

    This just simply isn’t true. Those who have a pre-millennial eschatological view believe that society and government will get worse, not more godly, before Christ returns.

  • DonS

    The good news for Dennis is that it looks like he will get out of jury duty :-)

    I like Michael’s idea @ 9. Put Mr. Camping on the spot — how can he turn down the deal if he really believes what he spouts?

    Tom @ 3: they are indeed signs of the end times. That’s scriptural. It’s just that we can’t know the day nor the hour, nor how long the end times will last before Christ returns. I think all but the fringe of evangelicals today are not living in wait for the rapture — many believe it might happen soon, but it doesn’t change the way they live their daily lives, e.g. they still contribute to their retirement accounts. The Hal Lindsay era is over.

    These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns. The political views of a large number of American voters are informed by whack theology.

    This just simply isn’t true. Those who have a pre-millennial eschatological view believe that society and government will get worse, not more godly, before Christ returns.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I, too, will make a prediction: One (or more) of Camping’s followers will comment on this blog within a week. He will not respond to requests for you to buy his property on a discount, if you make them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I, too, will make a prediction: One (or more) of Camping’s followers will comment on this blog within a week. He will not respond to requests for you to buy his property on a discount, if you make them.

  • Grace

    Camping would do well to memorize Matthew 24:36 – Not one person knows the day or hour.

    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
    Matthew 24:36

    The passage below lays it out. I believe people are beginning to look at the Biblical signs we see today. Earthquakes, wars etc. but one could also say “it could get much worse, to such an extent, we cannot even imagine” – we don’t know. The important thing is to be ready, giving ourselves over to prayer, praying for those who do not believe.

    3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

    6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24

  • Grace

    Camping would do well to memorize Matthew 24:36 – Not one person knows the day or hour.

    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
    Matthew 24:36

    The passage below lays it out. I believe people are beginning to look at the Biblical signs we see today. Earthquakes, wars etc. but one could also say “it could get much worse, to such an extent, we cannot even imagine” – we don’t know. The important thing is to be ready, giving ourselves over to prayer, praying for those who do not believe.

    3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

    6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24

  • Michael Lynch

    Grace, he has memorized these verses. For him, there WAS a time that no man could know the day or the hour. Then there came a time when Harold Camping COULD know the day or the hour. If you listen to him on the Open Forum it’s very sad. He’s delusional. He can’t be corrected. We just have to wait for May 22nd. But even then, he’ll just change the story and say he misunderstood something BUT May 21st will still have some significance for him. He’ll turn it into something else.

  • Michael Lynch

    Grace, he has memorized these verses. For him, there WAS a time that no man could know the day or the hour. Then there came a time when Harold Camping COULD know the day or the hour. If you listen to him on the Open Forum it’s very sad. He’s delusional. He can’t be corrected. We just have to wait for May 22nd. But even then, he’ll just change the story and say he misunderstood something BUT May 21st will still have some significance for him. He’ll turn it into something else.

  • George A. Marquart

    Harold Camping is simply a liar, who knows he is lying, but is in it for the money. The tragedy in all of this is that a high enough percentage of Americans is too ignorant to simply dismiss the ravings of this fraud, as a result of which he gains publicity and makes more money.

    Carbon dating of what? He must know that archeologists have never been able to find any evidence for the Flood. Most recently evidence has been presented that a little over 7,000 years ago the waters of the Mediterranean Sea broke through to the Black Sea causing a massive flooding of the area and raising the level of the Black Sea by several hundred feet to where it is today. If true, this is a very likely origin of the story of Noah’s Flood. But there are no objects to carbon date.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Harold Camping is simply a liar, who knows he is lying, but is in it for the money. The tragedy in all of this is that a high enough percentage of Americans is too ignorant to simply dismiss the ravings of this fraud, as a result of which he gains publicity and makes more money.

    Carbon dating of what? He must know that archeologists have never been able to find any evidence for the Flood. Most recently evidence has been presented that a little over 7,000 years ago the waters of the Mediterranean Sea broke through to the Black Sea causing a massive flooding of the area and raising the level of the Black Sea by several hundred feet to where it is today. If true, this is a very likely origin of the story of Noah’s Flood. But there are no objects to carbon date.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Grace

    Michael Lynch – 19

    You’re right.. My husband and I attended a Bible study in the 90′s. It was a great Bible study, however one night a man brought a couple in, introduced them…. to make it short, they were both very different… we found out they believed Camping and his 1994 perdiction. I gave Scripture to prove they were wrong…. asked what they were going to do if the date was wrong… answer: “well, then I guess he made a mistake, and then set another date” —

    This is the problem when individuals DO NOT STUDY the Scriptures for themselves, but put their faith in others who could, and do lead them astray.

  • Grace

    Michael Lynch – 19

    You’re right.. My husband and I attended a Bible study in the 90′s. It was a great Bible study, however one night a man brought a couple in, introduced them…. to make it short, they were both very different… we found out they believed Camping and his 1994 perdiction. I gave Scripture to prove they were wrong…. asked what they were going to do if the date was wrong… answer: “well, then I guess he made a mistake, and then set another date” —

    This is the problem when individuals DO NOT STUDY the Scriptures for themselves, but put their faith in others who could, and do lead them astray.

  • Grace

    This piece featured top story on DRUDGE:

    Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Erick Stakelbeck CBN News Terrorism Analyst

    New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear.

    CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.

    While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.

    ‘The Coming is Near’
    The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.

    Another excerpt_______

    “This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji — the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office,” said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.

    Kahlili, author of the book, A Time to Betray, worked as a double agent for the CIA inside the Iranian regime.

    “Just a few weeks ago, Ahmadenijad’s office screened this movie with much excitement for the clerics,” Kahlili told CBN News. “The target audience is Muslims in the Middle East and around the world.”
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/March/Iranian-Regime-Video-Says-Mahdi-is-Near-/

    NOTE: to see the video to the left of article – you will need to wait for a about a minute. Very interesting.

  • Grace

    This piece featured top story on DRUDGE:

    Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Erick Stakelbeck CBN News Terrorism Analyst

    New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear.

    CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.

    While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.

    ‘The Coming is Near’
    The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.

    Another excerpt_______

    “This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji — the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office,” said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.

    Kahlili, author of the book, A Time to Betray, worked as a double agent for the CIA inside the Iranian regime.

    “Just a few weeks ago, Ahmadenijad’s office screened this movie with much excitement for the clerics,” Kahlili told CBN News. “The target audience is Muslims in the Middle East and around the world.”
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/March/Iranian-Regime-Video-Says-Mahdi-is-Near-/

    NOTE: to see the video to the left of article – you will need to wait for a about a minute. Very interesting.

  • Helen F

    How sad that these people for centuries have, by and large, resisted
    the gospel and the only hope of salvation for ALL human beings!
    Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

  • Helen F

    How sad that these people for centuries have, by and large, resisted
    the gospel and the only hope of salvation for ALL human beings!
    Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #3,

    “… 67 percent of evangelicals believe natural disasters are evidence of what the Bible calls the ‘end times’ … 53 percent of white evangelicals believe that God punishes nations for the sins of its citizens.”

    “These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns.”

    I don’t know about your conclusions, Tom. I certainly would have agreed with both of the statements above based on what the scripture clearly says. It dos not nevertheless follow that I agree with those who think that the signs can be read or that society must be changed for Christ to return. I think goodtheology and whack theology would give the same answers here.

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #3,

    “… 67 percent of evangelicals believe natural disasters are evidence of what the Bible calls the ‘end times’ … 53 percent of white evangelicals believe that God punishes nations for the sins of its citizens.”

    “These are genuinely troubling numbers, because of the way end-times believers view society and government, i.e., both must be made more “godly” before Jesus returns.”

    I don’t know about your conclusions, Tom. I certainly would have agreed with both of the statements above based on what the scripture clearly says. It dos not nevertheless follow that I agree with those who think that the signs can be read or that society must be changed for Christ to return. I think goodtheology and whack theology would give the same answers here.

  • DonS

    George @ 20: So, do I understand you to be saying that the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood is a myth?

  • DonS

    George @ 20: So, do I understand you to be saying that the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood is a myth?

  • DonS

    Hmm, I didn’t word post # 25 very well. I definitely understand you to be saying that the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood is a myth. The question to you, George, is whether my understanding is correct.

  • DonS

    Hmm, I didn’t word post # 25 very well. I definitely understand you to be saying that the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood is a myth. The question to you, George, is whether my understanding is correct.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 13, I agree with the two-thousand year perspective, and I share the desire for Our Savior to return this very minute – to set all Creation right again (no more death, sin, tears).

    “Those who have a pre-millennial eschatological view believe that society and government will get worse, not more godly, before Christ returns.” – DonS @ 16.

    At some point, yes, and this will involve all governments and societies everywhere. But there is a percentage of end-times evangelicals who believe that government and society must be made more “godly” before Christ can or will return. As for the rest of the evangelicals with an end-times theology, there’s the question: If government and society can only get worse, is there any reason to try and improve either? Beyond simply reducing the negative influence of both? (End-times theology fits nicely with political views like “government is the enemy” and “the best government is the least government.”)

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 13, I agree with the two-thousand year perspective, and I share the desire for Our Savior to return this very minute – to set all Creation right again (no more death, sin, tears).

    “Those who have a pre-millennial eschatological view believe that society and government will get worse, not more godly, before Christ returns.” – DonS @ 16.

    At some point, yes, and this will involve all governments and societies everywhere. But there is a percentage of end-times evangelicals who believe that government and society must be made more “godly” before Christ can or will return. As for the rest of the evangelicals with an end-times theology, there’s the question: If government and society can only get worse, is there any reason to try and improve either? Beyond simply reducing the negative influence of both? (End-times theology fits nicely with political views like “government is the enemy” and “the best government is the least government.”)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 27: “But there is a percentage of end-times evangelicals who believe that government and society must be made more “godly” before Christ can or will return”. Hmmm, maybe. But who are they? And are they anything more than a very marginal fringe of the whole? Certainly, what you are positing is not a mainstream view in the evangelical world. Which means that your statement that your implication @ 3 that a majority of Republicans and “white evangelicals” (not sure why race is important here) believe this way is n0nsense.

    “(End-times theology fits nicely with political views like “government is the enemy” and ‘the best government is the least government.’)” — this statement also is nonsense. Your premise is just totally wrong here. If anything, those who truly believe that Christ’s return is so imminent that we will not taste death tend to be disengaged from politics — such earthly concerns don’t matter to them. What does drive the political motivations of a lot of Christians is their sense that secular government is enlarging at the expense of faith and the Constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that a smaller government would increase individual liberties and restore those freedoms. Government has declared that it cannot and will not co-exist with religion, because of the judge-made “separation of church and state” doctrine. Therefore, its enlargement necessarily decreases the influence of religion. A lot of Christians are engaged in fighting that government expansion, as they see the resultant deleterious effects on society. But this has nothing to do with their view of the end times.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 27: “But there is a percentage of end-times evangelicals who believe that government and society must be made more “godly” before Christ can or will return”. Hmmm, maybe. But who are they? And are they anything more than a very marginal fringe of the whole? Certainly, what you are positing is not a mainstream view in the evangelical world. Which means that your statement that your implication @ 3 that a majority of Republicans and “white evangelicals” (not sure why race is important here) believe this way is n0nsense.

    “(End-times theology fits nicely with political views like “government is the enemy” and ‘the best government is the least government.’)” — this statement also is nonsense. Your premise is just totally wrong here. If anything, those who truly believe that Christ’s return is so imminent that we will not taste death tend to be disengaged from politics — such earthly concerns don’t matter to them. What does drive the political motivations of a lot of Christians is their sense that secular government is enlarging at the expense of faith and the Constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that a smaller government would increase individual liberties and restore those freedoms. Government has declared that it cannot and will not co-exist with religion, because of the judge-made “separation of church and state” doctrine. Therefore, its enlargement necessarily decreases the influence of religion. A lot of Christians are engaged in fighting that government expansion, as they see the resultant deleterious effects on society. But this has nothing to do with their view of the end times.

  • DonS

    OOps. Bad typing and didn’t close my italics. Sorry about that.

  • DonS

    OOps. Bad typing and didn’t close my italics. Sorry about that.

  • George A. Marquart

    Don S at 25 & 26

    I think the information published by William Ryan and Walter Pitman in 1997 is likely to be the best explanation for Noah’s Flood. It is impossible to conceive of a flood covering “all the earth” less than 10,ooo years ago; therefore I assume that Scripture uses the term to indicate “the known world” at the time. The geography fits. If the level of the Black Sea indeed rose by about 400 feet, that would cause a really widespread flood, and the problem today is that all of the evidence is under water. I am not sure about it raining 40 days and 40 nights, but that’s strictly my opinion. Fortunately our salvation does not depend on that.

    It might interest you to know that the Epic of Gilgamesh tells a story which is very close to the Noah account.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Don S at 25 & 26

    I think the information published by William Ryan and Walter Pitman in 1997 is likely to be the best explanation for Noah’s Flood. It is impossible to conceive of a flood covering “all the earth” less than 10,ooo years ago; therefore I assume that Scripture uses the term to indicate “the known world” at the time. The geography fits. If the level of the Black Sea indeed rose by about 400 feet, that would cause a really widespread flood, and the problem today is that all of the evidence is under water. I am not sure about it raining 40 days and 40 nights, but that’s strictly my opinion. Fortunately our salvation does not depend on that.

    It might interest you to know that the Epic of Gilgamesh tells a story which is very close to the Noah account.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Booklover

    I have always wondered if Mr. Camping’s robot-like voice was caused by a small stroke. A small stroke might also account for a lowered amount of oxygen to the brain which might affect reasoning. I don’t mean for that to sound unkind. I truly am wondering.

  • Booklover

    I have always wondered if Mr. Camping’s robot-like voice was caused by a small stroke. A small stroke might also account for a lowered amount of oxygen to the brain which might affect reasoning. I don’t mean for that to sound unkind. I truly am wondering.

  • DonS

    George @ 30: Thank you for the explanation. Yes, you are certainly right — our salvation does not depend on how literally we take the Genesis account of the Flood.

    I have read that account in the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is fascinating, really, to see how much external evidence supports the factual truth of Scripture.

    I’m a straightforward, and perhaps simple, person and tend to believe Scripture to be literally true absent compelling evidence that a particular passage is allegorical or a parable. I guess my point about the Flood would be that if you believe God is capable of creating such a cataclysmic worldwide event, He is certainly capable of restoring the world afterward, even to the point where physical evidence of the event would not be present or look the same as for a natural event of the same proportion. The problem I have with a regionalized Noah’s Flood is that Scripture indicates that all life other than that aboard the ark was killed. And, since the Scriptures clearly say it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, I have no reason to think it didn’t really do that. Or why it would be so hard to believe.

    Peace and Joy to you as well.

  • DonS

    George @ 30: Thank you for the explanation. Yes, you are certainly right — our salvation does not depend on how literally we take the Genesis account of the Flood.

    I have read that account in the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is fascinating, really, to see how much external evidence supports the factual truth of Scripture.

    I’m a straightforward, and perhaps simple, person and tend to believe Scripture to be literally true absent compelling evidence that a particular passage is allegorical or a parable. I guess my point about the Flood would be that if you believe God is capable of creating such a cataclysmic worldwide event, He is certainly capable of restoring the world afterward, even to the point where physical evidence of the event would not be present or look the same as for a natural event of the same proportion. The problem I have with a regionalized Noah’s Flood is that Scripture indicates that all life other than that aboard the ark was killed. And, since the Scriptures clearly say it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, I have no reason to think it didn’t really do that. Or why it would be so hard to believe.

    Peace and Joy to you as well.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    George (@30), live by the science, die by the science. The Ryan/Pitman theory you’re peddling is out of date. And you’re misrepresenting it, anyhow.

    A 400-foot rise? Ryan, et al., discussed a 60-meter (200-foot) rise in the Black Sea, tops. The new study puts this Black-Sea rise at around 5-to-10 meters now. Resulting in a mere 2000 sq.km. being flooded, not the 70,000 sq.km. Ryan, et al., had discussed. Is that still sufficient to cover “the known world”? It’s smaller than Rhode Island — by half!

    Also, people who believe in a literal reading of Genesis take the preponderance of flood stories from other cultures as actually reinforcing their beliefs. It certainly makes more sense to believe that a literal, massive-scale flood would be remembered by a number of ancient cultures than to believe that all those cultures were influenced by a small-scale, highly localized flood around the Black Sea. No?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    George (@30), live by the science, die by the science. The Ryan/Pitman theory you’re peddling is out of date. And you’re misrepresenting it, anyhow.

    A 400-foot rise? Ryan, et al., discussed a 60-meter (200-foot) rise in the Black Sea, tops. The new study puts this Black-Sea rise at around 5-to-10 meters now. Resulting in a mere 2000 sq.km. being flooded, not the 70,000 sq.km. Ryan, et al., had discussed. Is that still sufficient to cover “the known world”? It’s smaller than Rhode Island — by half!

    Also, people who believe in a literal reading of Genesis take the preponderance of flood stories from other cultures as actually reinforcing their beliefs. It certainly makes more sense to believe that a literal, massive-scale flood would be remembered by a number of ancient cultures than to believe that all those cultures were influenced by a small-scale, highly localized flood around the Black Sea. No?

  • Louis

    George @ 30, there is a growing amount of evidence about massive flooding in what today is the Perisan Gulf, approximately 8000 years ago. There seems to have been a sudden appearance of advanced civilizations along the Persian Gulf, with no precursor, other than scattered hunting camps. Evidence indicate that the Persian gulf would have been above sea level since about 75000 years ago.

    Now there is evidence for the flooding of the Black Sea around 7000-8000 years ago as well.

    Now lets look at North America:
    Lake Aggasiz was a glacial lake that existed in the central parts of tha continent. At its maximum size, it woul have covered Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and significant parts of Western Ontario, Northern Minnesota, and eastern North Dakota. Around 8000 years ago, due to melting in Hudson Bay (remember, this was as the glaciers retreated after the last ice age), the ice-dam broke and there was a catastrophic drainage of the lake, which would have held more water than all the lakes in the world today, combined. This was the second great flooding – it had refilled after a flooding event 5000 years earlier.

    This last flooding event would have cause sudden sea-level rise of 1-3 m, which would allow for the break-through of barriers like the Bhosporus, and the flooding of extensive low-lying areas, causing sudden population shifts and catastrophic flooding. This would account for the submerged archeological sites, and the sudden appearance of advanced civilizations on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Subsequently, multiple retellings of the catastrophe will thrive.

    Whereas an overt literalist reading of Scripture would not allow for this evidence, a contextual reading certainly could.

  • Louis

    George @ 30, there is a growing amount of evidence about massive flooding in what today is the Perisan Gulf, approximately 8000 years ago. There seems to have been a sudden appearance of advanced civilizations along the Persian Gulf, with no precursor, other than scattered hunting camps. Evidence indicate that the Persian gulf would have been above sea level since about 75000 years ago.

    Now there is evidence for the flooding of the Black Sea around 7000-8000 years ago as well.

    Now lets look at North America:
    Lake Aggasiz was a glacial lake that existed in the central parts of tha continent. At its maximum size, it woul have covered Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and significant parts of Western Ontario, Northern Minnesota, and eastern North Dakota. Around 8000 years ago, due to melting in Hudson Bay (remember, this was as the glaciers retreated after the last ice age), the ice-dam broke and there was a catastrophic drainage of the lake, which would have held more water than all the lakes in the world today, combined. This was the second great flooding – it had refilled after a flooding event 5000 years earlier.

    This last flooding event would have cause sudden sea-level rise of 1-3 m, which would allow for the break-through of barriers like the Bhosporus, and the flooding of extensive low-lying areas, causing sudden population shifts and catastrophic flooding. This would account for the submerged archeological sites, and the sudden appearance of advanced civilizations on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Subsequently, multiple retellings of the catastrophe will thrive.

    Whereas an overt literalist reading of Scripture would not allow for this evidence, a contextual reading certainly could.

  • Louis

    Todd, I am aware of some debate around the Black Sea event. It is debate only, not absolutely disproof. For one, the alluvial fans at the Balck Sea end of the Bhosporus does give credence to at least one fairly drastic event.

    The flooding caused by the breaking of the ice dam causing Lake Aggasiz could have flooded, by some calculations, an area as large as Great Britain, within the Persian Gulf.

  • Louis

    Todd, I am aware of some debate around the Black Sea event. It is debate only, not absolutely disproof. For one, the alluvial fans at the Balck Sea end of the Bhosporus does give credence to at least one fairly drastic event.

    The flooding caused by the breaking of the ice dam causing Lake Aggasiz could have flooded, by some calculations, an area as large as Great Britain, within the Persian Gulf.

  • Michael Lynch

    Back to Camping. I’m surprised I haven’t heard much talk of his adopting annihilationism. It kind of takes the wind out of the seriousness of his 6 month judgement following the rapture. He seems to imply that if you don’t believe in this May 21st rapture your not a true believer. Well, if all of this is true, can’t one just commit suicide on May 22nd and be done with it all?

  • Michael Lynch

    Back to Camping. I’m surprised I haven’t heard much talk of his adopting annihilationism. It kind of takes the wind out of the seriousness of his 6 month judgement following the rapture. He seems to imply that if you don’t believe in this May 21st rapture your not a true believer. Well, if all of this is true, can’t one just commit suicide on May 22nd and be done with it all?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Not to derail things entirely, but I frankly fail to see any reason to believe that the Flood of Noah is anything less than a literal, worldwide Flood. If we really believe God is God, why would we put some sort of restriction upon His potential power? Is or is not God omnipotent?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Not to derail things entirely, but I frankly fail to see any reason to believe that the Flood of Noah is anything less than a literal, worldwide Flood. If we really believe God is God, why would we put some sort of restriction upon His potential power? Is or is not God omnipotent?

  • WebMonk

    No Camping nuts on here yet? They’ve come calling on the other posts about Camping.

    I wonder if they’re starting to get nervous. It’s one thing to state that you expect the End Of The World at a far future date, but as it comes closer, I suspect there will be a lot more nervousness and less confidence in his cult.

    As has been mentioned above, I would LOVE for them to start putting their money where their mouth is. For example, I wouldn’t complain at all if they all set up a scheduled transfer from their bank accounts to my bank account at 12:01 AM on the 22nd.

  • WebMonk

    No Camping nuts on here yet? They’ve come calling on the other posts about Camping.

    I wonder if they’re starting to get nervous. It’s one thing to state that you expect the End Of The World at a far future date, but as it comes closer, I suspect there will be a lot more nervousness and less confidence in his cult.

    As has been mentioned above, I would LOVE for them to start putting their money where their mouth is. For example, I wouldn’t complain at all if they all set up a scheduled transfer from their bank accounts to my bank account at 12:01 AM on the 22nd.

  • Louis

    J. Dean, not to start a new debate, but simply put, there are a couple of issues with the lietral interpretation:

    1. It depends on a very specific type of translation (Land vs the Whole planet from the Hebrew Haaretz – but I’m not a great expert on this matter) and reading of Genesis – no nuances, no poetry, no “sagas”.

    2. This (literal) reading was a minority reading even back in the days of the Early Church. Here is a list of Church Fathers who did not subscribe to a literal reading of the early chapters of Genesis:
    St Augustine, Origen, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, St Cyprian of Carthage, and others. also the then-contemporary Jewish sage, Philo of Alexandria. Now this does not mean that the were old-earthers / evolutionists, no. But it does mean that a non-literal understanding of the text is not a new invention at all.

    3. Scientific Evidence: There is none, bar the aforementioned catastrophic, but (relatively) localised flooding. But these localised events increasingly tie in with the Noahic and other flood accounts, both from a geological and archeological perspective.

  • Louis

    J. Dean, not to start a new debate, but simply put, there are a couple of issues with the lietral interpretation:

    1. It depends on a very specific type of translation (Land vs the Whole planet from the Hebrew Haaretz – but I’m not a great expert on this matter) and reading of Genesis – no nuances, no poetry, no “sagas”.

    2. This (literal) reading was a minority reading even back in the days of the Early Church. Here is a list of Church Fathers who did not subscribe to a literal reading of the early chapters of Genesis:
    St Augustine, Origen, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, St Cyprian of Carthage, and others. also the then-contemporary Jewish sage, Philo of Alexandria. Now this does not mean that the were old-earthers / evolutionists, no. But it does mean that a non-literal understanding of the text is not a new invention at all.

    3. Scientific Evidence: There is none, bar the aforementioned catastrophic, but (relatively) localised flooding. But these localised events increasingly tie in with the Noahic and other flood accounts, both from a geological and archeological perspective.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I have never heard of Harold Camping before this. Sounds like that is a good thing – and I’m going to keep it that way! My tolerance for robot-voiced false prophets is running low. His numerology cemented the deal – I am now dumber for having read this.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I have never heard of Harold Camping before this. Sounds like that is a good thing – and I’m going to keep it that way! My tolerance for robot-voiced false prophets is running low. His numerology cemented the deal – I am now dumber for having read this.

  • WebMonk

    While driving along rt 50 a bit east of La Junta (I think), I saw a billboard advertising Camping’s claim about the end of the world. It was mainly a bit “May 21″ with a url under it. I think there might have been a line of text saying something like “Judgement Day” or something like that.

    I can’t remember the URL though! It might have been the http://wecanknow.com website, but I already knew of that one and I thought it was a different one listed on the board.

    Anyway, they seem to still be active. I am tempted to start requesting lots and lots of materials from them just to cost them money, or some silly prank like that. I won’t, but it is tempting!

  • WebMonk

    While driving along rt 50 a bit east of La Junta (I think), I saw a billboard advertising Camping’s claim about the end of the world. It was mainly a bit “May 21″ with a url under it. I think there might have been a line of text saying something like “Judgement Day” or something like that.

    I can’t remember the URL though! It might have been the http://wecanknow.com website, but I already knew of that one and I thought it was a different one listed on the board.

    Anyway, they seem to still be active. I am tempted to start requesting lots and lots of materials from them just to cost them money, or some silly prank like that. I won’t, but it is tempting!

  • mike

    u r all idiots, the world is not going to end, u need to get a life u freak

  • mike

    u r all idiots, the world is not going to end, u need to get a life u freak


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