The Look of Revelation
Christian Formation in Our Apocalyptic Age
Every summer brings another string of apocalyptic blockbusters to the movie theaters. Godzilla rises from the sea. A meteor smashes into the earth. Volcanoes threaten towns; viruses spread like wildfire; aliens invade. Robots take over, evolving into ex machinas. Terrorists storm the White House. Superheroes do their superheroics against the backdrop of inky Gotham cityscapes. Zombies occupy Pemberly, of all places, so it's a good thing Elizabeth Bennet is a ninja. It's as if every Hollywood studio has hired Left Behind creators Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins as script consultants.
If we can trust the signals coming from pop culture, we live in a world charged with what one film critic, following Kierkegaard, calls "apocalyptic dread."
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Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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