"Many people in today's culture are fascinated by the end of the world," said Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics, Iliff School of Theology. "If you give enough leeway and imagination and you provide enough Scripture, you can predict almost anything. Whether or not it will happen on a particular day is a different story."
While May 21 is the latest purported date for Judgment Day, Professor De La Torre points out that there have been many dates singled out in the past.
"In this case, individuals have determined that May 21 is 7,000 years after the flood in the story of Noah's Ark. It's pure speculation, since there is no way to determine exactly when the flood mentioned in the Bible was a regional flood, if there was a flood, how long it took to subside, etc., " commented De La Torre. "It doesn't take a lot to look at dates and times to construct these types of scenarios. It's been going on before there was a Jesus."
So, should we heed the warnings proclaimed by signs and billboards?
"If I knew for certainty that I was going to die this weekend, then the mark of a good life is to live the last days of my life like I lived all the other days up to this point. My advice would be to 'be at peace,'" added De La Torre. "No one knows when the world will end. It could end up May 21 this year, next year, or a hundred or a thousand years from now. We don't know. What we do know is that people who have taken predictions of the last day of the earth and did all matters of things that could not be undone, that their lives were destroyed. One needs to be careful not to fall into that trap."
The Iliff School of Theology is a graduate theological school related to the United Methodist Church, serving more than 38 different faith traditions. Founded in 1892, the school provides several degree programs, including a Joint Ph.D. Program with the University of Denver.
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Miguel De La Torre
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SOURCE Iliff School of Theology