Getting better or worse?

We have to maintain the force of the Scriptures because the apocalyptic texts have gradually been forgotten, just when their relevance is more and more obvious. This is incredible. The joyful welcome of the Kingdom, which the texts describe, has been smothered by a double trend: catastrophic darkening on one hand, and indefinite postponement of the Second Coming on the other.

The constant, slow distance in relation to the Gospels casts a shadow on what was supposed to be luminous, and delays it. The anti-Christianity that we see today thus reveals this in a striking way as the next step in a process that began with the Revelation. The “time of the Gentiles” that Luke [21:14] describes suggests the Judgement has been delayed, and this has gradually imposed a new perspective on the Gospels. It has injected an insidious, growing doubt about the validity of the apocalyptic texts.

-Rene Girard, Battling to the End, p.110

This “double trend” regarding the apocalypse is easy to see. On one hand, we have the “catastrophic darkening” characterized by conspiracy theories about mark-of-the-beast microchips, oppressive one-world government, and nuclear holocaust.

On the other hand is the “insidious growing doubt about the validity of the apocalyptic texts” found in our modern day gnosticism. Recall point #3 from this list of the identifying characteristics of gnosticism:

Christian eschatology is implausible.

In many circles then, the end of the world is largely dismissed.

Girard would have the apocalyptic texts bought back to the forefront, this time to underscore how they line up with his theories.