Theologians Perplexed by World’s Failure to End

Theologians Perplexed by World’s Failure to End

After nearly two millennia of apocalyptic predictions, theologians are struggling to reconcile the continued existence of the universe with mainstream religious philosophy, say experts at a Fordham University conference held this week.

“It is getting kind of hard to explain,” said Professor Edwin Mahoney, of the Philosophy department. “And, may I say, a bit frustrating.”

Western civilization was gripped with a widespread sense of imminent doom as early as the final days of the Roman republic, in the first century B.C. During this time of transition, a variety of messianic figures appeared, prophesying various cosmic end-game scenarios. The Book of Revelations was conceived in the aftermath of this climate, and people have been eagerly awaiting the realization of the signs ever since.

“It has been written that in the end times, many will be the agitations among those of rank, and among the peoples, the churches; that wicked shepherds will rise up, perverse, disdainful greedy, enjoyers of idle speech, boastful, proud, arrogant, plunged in lewdness, seekers of vainglory!” said conference participant Jorge Castillo. “Sounds like Washington, actually, so why are we all still here?”

Many promising events seemed to correlate to the promised end of the world, including the advent of the year 1000; the year 2000, with the added bonus of concerns about the Y2K computer bug; World War I; World War II; the Black Plague, which swept Europe in the 14th century; and, of course the perennial problems in the Middle East.

Many feel that events in the Middle East, particularly the invasion of Iraq, strongly correlate with events in the Bible. However, since the Middle East has been a site of unending social and military turmoil for three millennia, it is difficult to pin down the exact signs of an apocalyptic schedule.

“Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not exactly rooting for the end of the world,” Mahoney hastened to add. “However, people are constantly asking whether such-and-such an event heralds the end times, and frankly we are weary of coming up with answers.”

The Fordham conference raised several proposals for accounting for the continued existence of time and space, but none evinced more than intellectual curiosity.

“It might be that the best approach is some kind of plausible deniability cop-out, like they used in the Matrix,” Castillo mused. “But I think it preferable to stick to plain old physics and metaphysics, and schedule another conference next year.”


17 thoughts on “Theologians Perplexed by World’s Failure to End

  1. It has been prophesied


    9And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

    10Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand

    They focused more on the negative material signs. But has anyone did research about the church that has the wisdom to decipher the mysteries, the parablescoming from the bible? Even the complete doctrines, Law of Faith, those taught by Jesus Christ?

    All the prophesies in the bible are intended for the church. Therefore, the church can decipher how near the coming of Christ shall be.

    I am not talking about the Catholic Church as it’s doctrines conflicts the doctrines from the Holy Scripture(Bible), nor I am talking about the churches that made false prediction of His coming.

  2. A false prophet was supposed to be stoned to death.
    Sooooo, did anyone ever stone Jeremiah and Isaiah? They had some prophecies which never came true? Ohhhhhhh, those bad boys.

  3. hahaha, I found it quite amusing! I couldn’t help but think of the “Left Behind” series (which I have proudly never opened), and how both pathetically extra-biblical their foundations are, as well as the “cult” following it has created.

    We should definitely stone them, on principle alone.

  4. LOL! To add my own two cents, the New Testament writers make it repeatedly clear that they were expecting Jesus’s second coming in their own lifetimes. Many Christians have tried to ignore or explain away these passages ever since.

    I guess the upside of getting into the business of predicting the end of the world is that sooner or apparently later somebody has to get it right – and it just might be you! I’m not sure though, that there’s any prize for this – nothing in scripture along the lines of “And he who shall guesseth correctly of the Right Time shall be lifted up in the sight of the Lord and he shall be told unto him in a loud and deep voice: BINGO!”

    OK, I’d better stop, you’ve got me going… No offense intended to those looking forward to the end of days – don’t worry, it’ll happen, at least for our species and all the other large mammals if we keep on being as serious as we have been so far about our “stewardship of the earth.”

  5. Paul,

    thanks for your two cents worth!

    My favorite line in the article: ““It might be that the best approach is some kind of plausible deniability cop-out, like they used in the Matrix,” Castillo mused. “But I think it preferable to stick to plain old physics and metaphysics, and schedule another conference next year.”


  6. I found the article hilarious. 🙂

    And I agree with Paul — I also find way too many references in the New Testament that speak of the Second Coming occuring within 30-60 years after the ascension. Paul (the writer in the NT, not the one who posted) certainly comes across that way.

  7. Heather,

    Yes, doomsday watchers are just a nuisance really. I’m sure Jesus expected to return immediately. “There will be some standing here…” etc.

    But, I just found the article amusing. I love Watley Review and satire in general. It tends to take the officious down a notch. Something that’s always a good thing in my book. 🙂

  8. Despite all the nay saying about Biblical end of days, it seems like the signs and events grow larger each time, encompassing more and more of the earth. And now we are hearing people talk about the Mayan calendar ending on Dec 21 2012. I’m not saying think anything is up, I just think it is interesting, that on one side we have people saying the end is near, the end is near (and have since the Roman times – and I imagine it was really being said during the Black Death) and another side sying “what a bunch of crap” However, it is interesting that the same players are still at it in the biblical scenarios and the scope of their stage just keeps getting wider. I’m not an end days person myself at least not the way evangelists see it, but I definitely feel there is some shift going on. And so do most other religions, including New Agers.

    It is also interesting that astonomers are saying that the Mayan calendar ends at a rather significant astonomical point – the end of a wobble cycle of the earth in which the earth’s magnetic fields are switched. And the earth and sun will be aligned perfectly with the Milky Way. No one know what this will mean exactly, but still… I’m not arrogant enough to completely dismiss what the ancients may or may not have known.

    So, I agree with the writer of the article… let’s keep an eye on science and metaphysics and schedule another conference for next year! Maybe we can even have karioke! 🙂

  9. Is there any effect on you what commentators will say about you and your blog? I thought there is freedom here. It’s all in the mind.

  10. el,
    Yes, there is an affect what commentators say. And I choose what that affect will be. Read the rules first. No other commentator is free to say anything they want about me. I am not going to allow you or any other person to leave abusive comments. It’s that simple. You can either contribute constructively, or go elsewhere. It’s your choice. That’s where the freedom lies.

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