Evangelicals and the End of the World

Authored by: Mark S. Sweetnam

The Routledge Research Companion to the History of Evangelicalism

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472438928
eBook ISBN: 9781315613604
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315613604-11

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Abstract

‘“The future” is big business’. 1 This observation, contained in Hal Lindsey’s phenomenonally successful bestseller, The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), seems to sum up, in an economical phrase of five words, the crucial elements of Lindsey’s idiosyncratic approach to the interpretation of prophetic Scripture. Lindsey’s facility for turning a memorable phrase, his tendency to reduce theological detail to a soundbite, and the overwhelming commercial success of his approach are all here captured in essence – which may help to explain why it has caught the eyes, and attracted the ire, of some of his critics. 2 But, though they may not have expressed it in quite the same way, the future has always been ‘big business’ for evangelicals. The interpretation and application of prophetic Scripture has played an important role in the thought and praxis of evangelical believers since the emergence of evangelicalism as a distinctive movement.

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