November 20, 2012
Road to the Apocalypse: “Kicking the Apocaholic Habit”
In his new book The Advance of Love: Reading the Bible with an Evolutionary Heart, evolutionary Christian Bruce Sanguin includes a confession that will no doubt ring true for many others: he was addicted to apocalyptic thinking. Being an evolutionary, his apocalyptic ‘fix’ was not found in the promise of a divine tribulation and the second coming of Jesus that would bring an end to this world. No, he admits, his habit was nourished by the words of intelligent thinkers who seem to conclude that the world is getting worse and that it’s too late to fix it.
Sanguin talks about the discomfort he felt when reading Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist because an optimism rooted in evidence really throws a wrench into all of the one-dimensional ‘doom and gloom’ scenarios for our collective future (we recently posted a related article by Ridley that you can read here). This experience helped Sanguin recognize his own addiction to what has been called ‘apocaholic‘ thinking—a condition that blinds us from seeing genuine progress and legitimate reasons to have hope for humanity and the world.
You can read an excerpt below or download the PDF of the entire chapter. (‘right-click’ here and choose “Save Link As…”)
‘Kicking the Apocaholic Habit’ from The Advance of Love by Bruce Sanguin
Walk through any airport bookstore and check out the current- affairs section. All my favourite apocalyptic prophets are there: Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Al Gore, John Gray, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Michael Moore. Ridley makes the point that all these good people, in one way or another, come to the same conclusions: (1) the world is a terrible place, (2) it’s getting worse, (3) it’s mostly the fault of commerce, and (4) a turning point has been reached. I respect each of these writers. They serve us well in pointing out the indigni- ties of the modernist mindset and agenda. But, I have to confess, that rarely, if ever, do any of them mention any of the dignities. But, like any addict, I can’t stay away from them. I should try heroin. At least (I’m told) you feel good for a little while after the fix…continue reading (‘right-click’ and select “Save Link As…”)
**You can view the entire ‘Road to the Apocalypse’ series here.
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