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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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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After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
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Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
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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.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
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