The following guest post is by Mark Edwards, assistant professor of US history and politics at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, author of The Right of the Protestant Left: God’s Totalitarianism, and co-chair of the recent 2014 S-USIH Conference.
I was born and bred in rapture culture. Chick tracts were my Marvel comics (btw, be sure to download the Chick tracts app to your phone so you can see what happens to Charlie’s ants when they die!). For some Christian young people today, growing up as a potential Leftover is tough. When discussing fundamentalist readings of the end of days last semester, one student betrayed his deepest childhood fear: Whenever he was left behind in a room by his parents, he cried, worried that they had been taken up. For me, on the other hand, the rapture was my ticket out of a financially unstable working-class family as well as out of having to deal with the uncertain world beyond grade school. I was counting on those 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988 (Edgar Whisenant’s book sold over 4.5 million copies) since that was the beginning of my senior year. Alas, the rapture didn’t occur. At least I don’t think it did: Has anyone seen Phil Collins lately? Maybe in the air tonight? Continue reading