On the face of it this flatly contradicts Jesus’ insistence that “no man, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” knows when the world will end (Matthew 24:36). Not one gospel manuscript includes the addition, “but only the Father . . . and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.” But nuclear arsenals are growing all over the world, and our current president is – to put it mildly – confrontational. For some, that makes prophecies of atomic holocaust sound eerily credible. So if we are in fact within sight of annihilation, how should we react? What’s a Christian to do about the Doomsday Clock? Taking the clock seriously — as an accurate measure of the factors which will bring about end times — invites one of two responses. The first is to admit we’re finished and prepare for the worst. That’s the strategy of the monied survivalists who, according to The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos, are staking out emergency retreats in New Zealand in which to weather the coming cataclysm. This feels to me like washing one’s hands of the world, abdicating any responsibility to work with the problems of the here and now. I can’t imagine Christ would want us to give the human race up for dead.
As a Millennial, I’ve lived through a few “end of the world” scares, Y2K and 2012 immediately come to mind. The fact is I just don’t believe any of the hype anymore. Do you?