Lull Me Into Rapture

Today at The Daily, the new tablet-only newspaper-ish publication, I have a short essay on the latest forthcoming apocalypse:

About a decade ago, during a period of late-adolescent, almost apocalyptic urgency, with a sudden conversion to Roman Catholicism only a short time away, I discovered an unusual way to relax. At home, in my basement bedroom, I’d play Quake, a violent computer game. It was fairly typical teenage-boy stuff. But instead of listening to some kind of death metal while I played, I turned to an unlikely soundtrack: the Bible call-in show “Open Forum” — specifically, the soupy baritone of Harold Camping, the octogenarian radio evangelist.

At the time, I had no idea why this combination worked so well. But thinking back on it now, the shoot-’em-up video game actually dramatized the condition of total depravity at the center of Camping’s theology. He kept reminding me that we’re really, really bad — just like the demons (or whatever they were) I was battling on the screen — and only saved by God’s supercharging grace. I could sense that a change was just around the corner, and maybe this odd activity helped free me from my old world and shepherd me into a new one.

Now, Camping is the man behind the predicted Rapture on May 21st—this coming Saturday. For the rest of the essay, I reflect on that, and on what The Daily‘s DEK describes as “what end-timers can teach the rest of us.”