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The Forerunner

The Newest Religion?

By Editorial Staff
Published May 1, 2008

By David G. Danielson

As humanity enters the 21st century, you might think we would have outgrown our fascination with doomsday prophecies. Yet the end-of-the world con game – nearly as old as the world itself – goes on.

Today, the doomsday prophets are environmental scaremongers who rake in millions of dollars frightening the gullible with contemporary fables of ozone depletion, acid rain, and oceans ruined forever by tanker accidents. They may think their racket is new, but it’s simply the same old game the evangelists have played for centuries, dressed up in a jargon more effective for audiences born in a scientific age.

Paul Boyer, a University of Wisconsin professor of history, describes in When Time Shall Be No More the efforts of Christian fundamentalists to interpret current events as the fulfillment of ancient prophecies foretelling humanity’s final days. Each generation, Boyer explains, has thought that it was living in the end-times, and each generation has been willing to pay to hear and read about humanity’s imminent demise.

Capitalizing on this demand, evangelists in each era have interpreted the events of their days as signs that Jesus is about to return, the antichrist is about to emerge, and the Bible’s final battle of good and evil (Armageddon) is about to unfold. But Boyer’s book misses the most interesting development in the time-honored doomsday fore-telling trade: its recent evolution into environmental hysteria.

It is striking, the extent to which Environmentalism resembles classic religious prophecies about the end of time. Man is still the rebellious sinner. But the source of evil isn’t Satan but the industrial revolution, technology, productivity, and capitalism. Redemption is to return to that Eden-like state of nature before man’s corruption of Earth.

Yet the pre-industrial Eden imagined by environmentalists certainly is a myth. Prior to the industrial revolution, most children didn’t live past age five, and existence for the average adult was a plague-ridden, hungry affair, pretty much like “life” today in those societies that have never discovered free enterprise.

In the religion of environmentalism, it is the power of the state – not the supernatural power of God or church – that is designed to bring about salvation. Instead of Adam and Eve, the Burning Bush, and the Splitting of the Red Sea, environmentalism has alar, acid rain, asbestos, dioxin, global warming, and ozone depletion.

The scientific literature exists to debunk these modern fables, but when it comes to environmentalist propaganda, ABC’s Nightline and the weekly news magazines prefer to interview Hollywood celebrities and spokespersons for self-proclaimed “environmental groups,” rather than interview authentic scientists.

And so the con game continues, even as one environmental “crisis” after another is proven groundless. Take the acid rain scare, for example, which enjoyed a brief popularity. Dr. Edward Krug, a soil and water scientist and a participant in the 10-year National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, reported: “NAPAP researched the lakes of the Adirondacks – the area of the Northeast predicted most likely to have massive lake acidification. We found, however, that the average Adirondack lake is no more acidic now than it was prior to the Industrial Revolution.”

But the environmentalists, like prophets of doom since the beginning of time, don’t care about facts. Oh well, in the words of Ecclesiastes (1:9): “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Written for The Heartland Institute by David G. Danielson, a freelance writer in Madison, Wisconsin.


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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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