Monday Faith Links: Harold Camping’s False Prophecy, Tim Pawlenty, and Calvinism

The big topic, unfortunately, in religious circles for the past week was the predicted rapture that was supposed to take place on May 21.

Harold Camping’s prediction proved to be false, which wasn’t much of a surprise to most Christians who believed Jesus when He said no one would know when He plans on returning.

But the coverage that the story garnered certainly portrayed Christianity in a less-than-desirable light. Atheists seized the opportunity to discredit Christians and the Bible in general, when in fact it was a VERY small group of people who simply interpreted the Bible incorrectly.

The other thing it did – similar to the recent Rob Bell/is there a hell controversy – is it opened up the discussion once again about the end times. There are many different ways that Christians have tried to explain Christ’s return. We all agree that it will happen, but is there a tribulation before or after the world ends? Is the new heaven established here on earth, or do those who are saved travel to a distant new heaven? Will there be a literal person called the anti-christ?

The interpretation of Revelation and other mentions of Christ’s return either from Himself or His disciples aren’t 100 percent clear on some of those issues. So in that regard, it’s always good to discuss the topic and the recent interest in the end times should end up being a good thing in many ways.

As I was looking for different takes on Camping’s prediction, I came across a really interesting look at the rapture on Christianity Today. Matthew Dickerson writes in this piece that it’s his belief those are who saved will be the ones “left behind” at the rapture when Christ returns to establish His kingdom on earth. Everyone else will disappear from existence.

It’s an idea that I admit I’d never really heard before, but he has good evidence from scripture to support it. So I suggest you check it out.

Other Links

  • For another take on the Harold Camping false prophecy, check out Al Mohler’s blog here.
  • With Tim Pawlenty’s announcement today that he will run for President, Christianity Today put a fresh link to its Q&A with the former Minnesota governor. Pawlenty, a Republican, addresses many issues, including how he views involving his faith in his politics.
  • Again, I’m a huge John Piper fan. Preparing for our church small group this week, I found a 2009 Piper video on DesiringGod.org that I was going to use for our lesson that week. It’s not particularly relevant to anything in the news, but it’s interesting content ranging from eternal security to suicide to predestination.
  • If you know me, then you know that I’m a five-point Calvinist. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate debate and open dialogue, and that’s what a new book from a group of Southern Baptists seeks to do regarding those five points. The crew at Gospel Coalition wrote a recent review of the book, titled Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism.

Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism

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One Response to Monday Faith Links: Harold Camping’s False Prophecy, Tim Pawlenty, and Calvinism

  1. Heidi says:

    I don’t know that atheists seized the opportunity to discredit the Bible/Christianity based strictly on the bogus prediction. All the atheists I know realized that 99.9% of self-professed Christians did not believe Camping’s prophecy – but they did wonder aloud how Christians thought Harold Camping was crazy when the only thing separating them and Camping was an actual date.

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