Saturday, May 21, 2011

How Harold Camping Got Me on CNN

As I type this entry, the Rapture hasn't yet occurred, as Harold Camping predicted. But I'm not entirely unhappy with Camping. He was responsible for my shot on TV. This is a brief excerpt from my book, Creation and Last Things, in which I comment on how many times I've heard that Jesus was going to return in my life. (At that point, Camping was third on the list.)

In summer 1994, I received a call from New College, Berkeley. CNN had contacted this school of theology to request a commentator on a current end times scenario. And so, in just two hours, unprepared and therefore dressed in shorts and a cotton sweater, I found myself on camera, interviewed by a rather congenial Craig Heaps about the engineer and radio commentator, Harold Camping. From Camping’s Oakland “Family Radio” ministry headquarters, he predicted the strong possibility of the Second Coming of Christ in 1994. (I was at least heartened by Camping’s realization that our Gregorian calendar had a serious flaw. He believed that Jesus was born in 6 BC.) Heaps asked me, “What do you think is the danger of this type of speculation?” My answer: that it would distract us from the task of preaching of Gospel and bringing about the Kingdom of God on earth. And that remains my concern.

So thanks for the break, Harold Camping, but let's hope that today's (apparently) mistaken prediction doesn't distract us from what God really wants us to do.

1 comment:

Steven said...

When we lived in Roseville I would sometimes channel surf and find Harold, droning on and on and on. At the time I thought his audience consisted of about 1,000 people and they were all kicked back in their Lazy Boys, snoring, while Harold intoned his version of the truth. I had no idea that Harold had the energy or the resources to pull off this latest...what do I call it? I can't call it a 'stunt' as that wouldn't be fair to Harold. He's serious. And I do believe that Harold is ALWAYS serious.