So it didn't happen. The internet is abound with jokes, judgements and taunting. Alot of it comes from the mouths (and fingers) of Christians, critiquing what was rightfully an ill found theology.
Several of my readers asked me last week why I was absent from speculation, linking and commentary. I was actually really busy these last few weeks, but as Saturday grew closer and closer, I felt the pit of my stomach aching for what was going to be a bad weekend for Christians. It was bad for those who hoped Camping was correct and it was a bad weekend for those who will now be lumped in with the disappointed. It will also be a bad weekend because many other Christians are slowly showing our stripes, and earning the the stereotypes of judgemental, arrogant and know it all.
The simple fact: It is easier to make fun of a bad eschatology than a developing a good eschatology.
While many pointed out that Camping was wrong, I did not see many good theological contributions as to why he is wrong. We can point our fingers, but the task of eschatological leadership is hard. While the church (and society) can postmodern away the stickier pieces of eschatology, those in it for the long haul must roll their sleeves up.
We need to learn to talk about judgement.
We need to learn to talk about finality.
We need to relate to secular apocalyptic vision.
We need to understand the actions of immanence pertaining to the words of Christ.
We need pastors who teach about eschatology.
In the words of Robert Jenson, "We need to become fiercely eschatological."
Eschatology is the orientation of the church. Without the promised 2nd coming, we have a worthless faith. We essentially sit around talking about Christmas while it is December 27th. Instead, let this infatuation with the return of Christ stay on our minds.
Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, world without end.