The World May or May Not End September 5

RasputinSpoiler Alert:    Grigori Rasputin (d. 1916AD), the Russian self-proclaimed savant and mystic charlatan who predicted his own death and the downfall of the Russian imperial family also predicted that the world would end on 23 August 2013.

While some were relieved that the world didn’t end with the Mayan calendar on 21 December 2012, yet another prophecy of the end time may still loom ahead.   Less ballyhooed than the Mayan calender’s end,  Rasputin, the Russian rascal, apparently predicted the world would end on August 23, 2013.  And while some may be breathing a sigh of relief that the date has past, the Pacific Standard magazine reminds us there may be some confusion with the date since he may have meant August 23 OLD CALENDAR, which corresponds with September 5 on our calendar.    Ryan O’Hanlon wrote some days ago in the magazine:

“Today is August 23, 2013, which means that today is also the day that Grigory Rasputin said the world would come to an end.
If you doubt Rasputin, here is why you are a fool:

• It is said that, as a 10-year-old, he had the ability to read minds and heal sick animals.
• He cured the son of Czar Nicholas II of hemophilia.
• He said that if he was killed by government officials, then the whole imperial family would be killed by the Russian people.
• He was killed by government officials, then the whole imperial family was killed by the Russian people.
• Russia is currently experiencing what some are calling a “pigeon apocalypse.”

If you believe Rasputin, here is why you are a fool:

• The historical success rate for apocalypse predictions is currently zero percent.
• There is some doubt over the Julian/Gregorian calendar conversion, so he may have actually predicted that September 5, 2013, will be the world’s final day.

So, if you are unsure of whether or not you are currently experiencing the apocalypse, look around. If everything you see is being engulfed in what could accurately be described as an “eternal flame,” the world is ending.  Actually, no. If you are unable to perceive anything around you because you, yourself, are being engulfed in what seems like what one would consider an “eternal flame,” then most likely, yes, this is the end of the world. If not, then you have until at least September 5. Have a good weekend.”

Rasputin apparently thought he knew what even Jesus Christ said he didn’t know – when the end of the world would take place (Matthew 24:36).  Predictions of apocalyptic conflagrations ending the world garnish attention (at least for 15 minutes) and fervent reactions among certain people.   There are other images of the end not to be forgotten.  In Revelation 20:13 both Death and Hades will give up all the dead in them as neither Death or Hades are eternal.  In Revelations 20:14 Death and Hades themselves are thrown into the lake of fire and destroyed forever.

“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

  (Revelation 21:3-4)


When the Good News Isn’t

I have used this blog to share things that I am reading, have read or am thinking about.   Occasionally I read something that just strikes me as pretty funny.

The magazine, Pacific Standard  September/October 2013, had such an article in its recent issue.   There is an article entitled, “The Case of the (Still) Missing Jobs,” written by Timothy Noar.   The article deals with the ongoing recovery from the great recession the U.S. and much of the world suffered through for the past several years.

The humor was in what I think British journalism calls the standfirst – a line designed to intrigue you enough to entice you to read the article.   The standfirst of this article says:

“The good news: Economists are starting to come up with some decent theories as to why this recovery is so bad at generating employment. Now here’s the bad news.”

Bas-relief Commerce and Transportation

I think the line is cleverly funny.   

The only good news about the recovery is that economists are starting to come up with theories about why the recovery is not generating jobs.

Of course whether they have theories or not changes nothing about the economy (except perhaps that coming up with such theories is job security for economists!).

So, the good news about the recovery is pretty underwhelming.  Economist theorize in good times and bad, during recessions and recovery.  The actual economy seems to have little effect on the numbers of theories they generate.   And the relationship between their theories and the improvement of the economy seems equally equivocal.

Anyway, I was amused for Labor Day and hope you all had a safe one.  At least in the U.S.A. this tends to mark the end of summer.  Long ago it was the beginning of the school year, but nowadays most students around here have been in school for a 1-2 weeks already.