Armed and dangerous

The end is nigh. Or is it? American Christians have long been fascinated by biblical prophecies anticipating the end of the world. William Miller convinced thousands of people that Jesus was going to return in 1843. Pentecostals worshiping at the Azusa Street revivals in 1906 felt sure that the restoration of dramatic gifts of the Spirit indicated that the second coming was imminent. Fundamentalists in the 1930s, confronting a worldwide economic depression and European dictators arming for battle, had little doubt that the end was near. The Jesus people of the 1970s, reacting to a lost war in Vietnam and the fall of a president, believed that Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth held the key to understanding the times. Most recently, elderly radio evangelist Harold Camping inspired his followers to put up billboards announcing the date of the second coming. But so far nobody has gotten it right.


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