Here is a newspaper report and interview with Harold Camping:Washington Post article
The thing that people seem to be feeling bad about is that some gullible individuals got duped. I am sympathetic with the mild compassion. But I think that there is something far more sinister and devastating that we should be piping mad about and are justified in mocking (or at least being cynical about).
I remember in 1988 and 1991 people dropping out of the Bible College that my dad taught at to go home and ‘save’ their family and friends…. also no sense in racking up credits for a degree you are never going to finish! Look – until we stop all this mumbo jumbo stuff, the newer folks are going to continue to get duped.
I was shocked last week at how many Christians said things like “well – Camping is mostly right, this stuff will all happen, its just that we don’t know the day or hour.”
SO basically (as it has been presented to me)
- Thinking all this stuff will happen on May 21 = crazy.
- Thinking all this will happen but we don’t know when = acceptable.
I was raised to read the Bible this fantastical way. But I noticed that even knowing a little bit about the 5 centuries before Christ and the 2 after quickly made reading the Bible that way nearly impossible.
Reading the Bible in this ‘dispensational’ way – or what is called the “mountain tops” view of history – is not really faithful to the text or historically accurate. It is based on linear view of time, a literal reading of the text, and sketchy view of history.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Apocalyptic literature is not to be read like a newspaper or a contract. It is a different genre. If we don’t know how to read the Apocalyptic narrative then we do odd things with the details of the text in Daniel, Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation.
If we have hope for the future, if we believe that Jesus is ‘coming back’ – for me, it has far more to do with the resurrection than it does with the prophecy passages of Scripture.
Check out Tripp Fuller’s video about the resurrection.
Here is N.T. Wright in a 2001 article “Farewell to the Rapture” where he says:
“Paul’s mixed metaphors of trumpets blowing and the living being snatched into heaven to meet the Lord are not to be understood as literal truth, but as a vivid and biblically allusive description of the great transformation of the present world of which he speaks elsewhere.”