This is a survey of end-time ideas and beliefs, taking a chronological approach. Zoroastrianism was possibly the first coherent conception, but Greek philosophers and ancient Hebrews also developed ideas. Biblical prophecies are examined in relation to Jewish history, and are interpreted as general and symbolic rather than aspecific and literal. In the millennium that followed Christ, official attempts were made to discredit millennialism, but were opposed by popular expectations of the coming of the Antichrist, resulting in the Crusades among other expressions. Renaissance times saw the rise of predictions, such as those of Nostradamus, as well as the intermingling of secular and religious imagery in relation to end-time ideas. In modern times, a plethora of ideas, not least from Eastern religions, feed popular convictions. And, of course, increased scientific understanding is fuelling the speculation of cosmologies and environmentalists. The book examines if these are more than a new millenialism and if they have any real validity. The underlying argument is that the present age will end with Christ's return at the time that God chooses.
Christian belief has evolved and can integrate new ideas, such as environmentalism, so people can have some idea of where it will all end, but not when.show more