From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great balls of fire: Is this the end?

Leonid Meteor (Photo by Navicore)
End-time theology (or for those who prefer to chew on tougher words - "eschatology") is often not that pretty a picture.

Wikipedia reports that it usually involves "a crisis that brings an end to current reality and ushers in a new way of living/thinking/being…"
This crisis can be a war, a pestilence, or "a change in the environment"  (as in fireballs recently zooming towards Earth at breakneck speed).

Different religions have different end-time prophecies.  Hindus predict that "the tenth and last avatar of Vishnu" (named Kalki, and
often depicted atop a white horse with wings) will dissolve the Kali Yuga universe and usher in the new age of Satya Yuga.  Islamic end-time teachings include the following signs:  "smoke… strange noises from the sky…  three huge earthquakes…  and the reversal of the natural..."  Muslims furthermore assert that Jesus Christ will
return, "the Qur'an will be taken to heaven…  and the dead will return to life…"

The Jewish Torah and Talmud contain many prophetic passages regarding eschatology.  The Book of Daniel is especially focused upon that theme.  There are great battles between good and evil, and the righteous are finally triumphant.  Zoroastrian doctrine also speaks of a final period in which "evil will be destroyed, and everything else will be in perfect unity with God (Ahura Mazda)."   Christian end-time teachings draw upon the Book of Daniel, as well as upon the Book of Revelation.  The Book of Revelation again deals with "the ongoing struggle and ultimate triumph of good over evil."

Perhaps the end is truly nigh – but perhaps that's not as ultimately terrible as it sounds.  Most major religions seem to agree that evil will eventually succumb to the Greater Good.  However, the interim "battle" could be
quite fierce.


Copyright February 17, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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