Mandeville, LA – [Editor’s note: Dr. Brad Birzer is a dear and old friend of mine but even if that weren’t true, it would be my privilege to share the following wisdom with you.- M.C.]
“For the end of the world was long ago
And all we dwell to-day
As children of some second birth
Like a strange people left on earth
After a judgment day.” – G.K. Chesterton
“More than once during this dread year of 2016, I’ve wondered if Chesterton got it right. All of those hairy, hoary, horrid televangelists talking on and on about “meeting Jesus in the Sky” and “being left behind”—always seeing history as a progressive moment by moment by moment event, never understanding the depths of time or the well of eternity.
From the standpoint of eternity, after all, all time is present. Or, so Eliot reminded us.
What if the Apocalypse is not an event, but a long, drawn-out process?
What if rather than the drama of a rapture, we get the dread of a ceaselessly droning Ann Coulter or Rachel Maddow? What if the tyrants marked with the sign of the beast turn out to be elevator operators who love Muzak? What if the four riders of the apocalypse turn out to be Friends, MTV’s Real World, The O’Reilly Factor, and Game of Thrones? What if the Anti-Christ turns out to be the manager of Denny’s no. 3778, located in St. Paul, Minnesota? What if the seven seals turn out to be the best-selling paperbacks at the Detroit airport bookstore—that one right next to gate A37? What if the seven trumpets appear in some big band-polka revival group making its way through the charts of a Sheboygan, Wisconsin AM-station?
No “Hand of God,” no “Jesus in the Sky,” no landing of the mothership, no dragon devouring the world. Instead, just slow, drawn out, painful, and seemingly inevitable decline.
‘Help, I’ve fallen down, and I can’t get up!’ “