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.