Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The End of the World - any year now

Here's a fun site.  Pick your favorite year--past, present, or future--and find out which folks predicted the world would end in that year.  Who knows--maybe one of these years they'll be right!

I took a close look at the year 1988.  I was attending a Christian college then, and I remember the fuss that was made over a booklet passed around by the cartload.  It was called 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988, by Edgar C. Whisenant.  Fellow students of mine were getting swept up in the hysteria.  Some of them accelerated their religious evangelizing, since the end was nigh.  Others expressed fear that they were going to get raptured before they could get married and have babies!  I looked at the book myself and didn't follow the logic, but the anticipation was infectious.  My friend was disgusted by the whole thing, and declared that if Jesus happened to be kicking off the Rapture in that year, he would now have to switch the date simply because the thing wouldn't have the same effect if everyone was anticipating it.  In other words, Jesus can't be outsmarted by some guy with a Bible and a Gregorian calendar.

At any rate, the fateful weekend passed, no heavenly trumpet sounded, and our lives continued unabated.  Whisenant responded to the press that the reason he was wrong about the Rapture year was because he had made a miscalculation somewhere--something to do with some ancient culture's calendar not having a year zero or somesuch--and that the Rapture really would happen, only the same time the following year, and this time was for certain!  But I don't recall anyone taking it seriously.

But that hasn't stopped others from making predictions of their own, as this site clearly demonstrates.

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