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Prophecy, End-Times, and American
Apocalypse: Reclaiming Hope for Our World

Barbara R. Rossing

Americans today are fascinated by apocalyptic visions and predictions, as seen in the Left Behind series and various analyses of political conflict and natural disaster. Even political and theological moderates have noted a sense of things coming to an end. Biblical apocalyptic is often read as predicting violence, destruction, and an imminent end in which only a few chosen are saved. However, apocalyptic in Scripture presents a significantly different vision. In the book of Revelation and elsewhere, destruction is the playing-out of human misuse of creation and of power. The earth itself cries out in conjunction with the poor, the oppressed, and the silenced. God responds with healing and renewal. The vision Christians should foster is that of the New Jerusalem in which is set the Tree of Life, and in which God dwells with us in a world of beauty and justice.

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