An Overview And Analysis Of Apocalyptic Views Relating To The Year 2012 As The End Of The World -- By: David Mappes

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 15:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: An Overview And Analysis Of Apocalyptic Views Relating To The Year 2012 As The End Of The World
Author: David Mappes


An Overview And Analysis Of Apocalyptic Views Relating To The Year 2012 As The End Of The World

Dr. David Mappes

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Bible Exposition

Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Introduction To The 2012 Phenomena1

The influence and imagery of apocalypticism (the social identification and expression of apocalyptic eschatology) continue to play a major historical, political, social, and religious role in the American culture, crossing ideological boundaries. From the very beginning of the discovery of the Americas to the current day, apocalyptic tones run throughout our nation’s history. By the late 1500s Puritan scholars began positing and debating a kind of Jewish Restorationism based upon a common historicist understanding of the book of Revelation.2 Early

American Colonial support for this restorationism crossed both religious and political boundaries, and it was most likely this Jewish restorationism (and certainly the broader historicism interpretative framework of Revelation) that led to the imbedded apocalypticism within our own national identity.3 Demy writes:

Influential colonial ministers such as John Cotton, John Davenport, and Increase Mather shared a deep belief in restoration. Statements regarding Israel’s biblical history also were readily applied to contemporary concerns. This transference of and identification with Israel’s history created an enduring belief in the uniqueness of the American experience and a foundation for future Zionist endeavors. After the American Revolution, theological belief in Jewish restoration was joined with emerging political perspectives. This created a belief in the newly independent American nation that a similar political future awaited Jews in the not distant future.4

Warren correctly observes, however, that more recent forms of apocalypticism are not unique to Christianity and can be found in both non-Christian and even anti-Christian worldviews. Thus Warren correctly writes that while

fundamentalist Christianity receives the most media attention as a group engaged with apocalypticism, apocalyptic currents run through much of contemporary discourse . . . across the political spectrum. Marxism and feminism have also been critiqued as

apocalyptic, and much of environmentalist discourse at least e...

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