Eschatology is a religion’s view of the endtimes. In my last post, I compared a Hindu Vaishnavite view with the common view held among mainline Protestant American Christian churches. To put that view in perspective, I recently updated my chart on the “Varieties of Christian Eschatology” which I first made in 2009 — take a look if you’d like by clicking on the image.
But why does eschatology matter? There are good reasons not to care: First, very few of my readers believe any religion’s end-time stories. And second, most Christians themselves don’t understand the various eschatologies and don’t really understand theology at all and probably don’t care. (See my post called, “Most Christians Don’t Believe“).
Religious professionals (pastors, priests and such) do seem to care, however. And they preach them to their congregations and use them to help tell their parishoners how they should act in this world, the proper role of Israel and Jews and other political positions. So, for those Christians who listen to this stuff, eschatology matters.
But why should eschatologies matter to religion-free folks? Well, we can point these Christians to more benign eschatologies (see my post on “My Favorite Christians”). Or better yet, in seeing so many various views these eschatological Christians may start to understanding how man-made these theories are — all of them.
Questions to readers: What view were you raised with or believe now? Which view do you feel is most dangerous, and why? All corrections or suggestions welcome.