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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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Reading the Bible in War and Crisis to Know the Future

Reading the Bible in War and Crisis to Know the Future

Chapter:
(p.107) 9 Reading the Bible in War and Crisis to Know the Future
Source:
The Bible in American Life
Author(s):

Matthew Avery Sutton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.003.0009

American evangelicals, who rank among the most consistent Bible readers, have been using the sacred text to understand the future, most often by interpreting the present, for the last 150 years. Rather than producing anxiety or fear, reading the most apocalyptic sections of the Bible has brought comfort to Christians struggling through some of the most tumultuous periods in history. This essay focuses on the ways evangelical Christians have turned the Bible into a tool that has allowed them to make sense of the disorder they witness around them in order to anticipate what is coming next, at home and around the globe. This interpretive method has provided millions of people with an unwavering sense of confidence and absolute authority. It has also allowed evangelicals to navigate a chaotic and seemingly meaningless world with purpose, significance, and incentive for action.

Keywords:   Antichrist, apocalypse, Armageddon, Bible, evangelicalism, second coming

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