An ad promoting a trip to Glacier National Park

I’ll be ready and waiting on May 21, when radio preacher Harold Camping believes judgment day is coming.

I’m not at all surprised when folks like him come up with a new date for the rapture, even though Jesus pointedly said that even he didn’t know when it was coming. I do, however, continue to be a bit taken aback that such folks have followers who actually believe them (the countdown clock at left is from his website, familyradio.com.

Have you given any attention to the logic Camping used to arrive at his prediction? It boggles the reasonable mind. First, he takes the seven days of Gen. 7:4, a prediction of the flood, to mean that God will destroy the entire earth seven “days” after the end of the flood (a ridiculous assumption that has no biblical grounding). He then uses “one day with the Lord is as 1,000 years” from 2 Peter 3:8 to conclude that God has divinely revealed the end of time to be 7,000 years after the flood, which he dates to May 21, 4990 B.C.

Camping finds corroborating evidence by multiplying the numbers five, 10, and 17 (which he strangely believes to be significant biblical numbers) twice, yielding 722,500, which happens to be the number of days after April 1, 33 A.D., which he claims as the date of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Camping’s odd calculations are as ludicrous as his previous prediction that Christ would return on Sept. 6, 1994, disappointing several hundred followers. The truly amazing thing is that he continues to be able to raise significant money for his farflung “Family Radio Network.” I wonder what they’ll be broadcasting on May 22, when all the world knows he’s been wrong again?

On the extremely rare chance that Christ does return on May 21, I’ll be ready, and in the right place. Thirty-one students, staff, alumni and friends from Campbell University Divinity School will be on a study tour in Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan May 18-30. I’ll try to post daily “travel blogs” for anyone interested in joining us for a vicarious trip. I hope to have the first blog up by the evening of the 19th.

If you don’t see any more posts after the 21st, you’ll know why.

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