The United States in Premillennialist Apocalypse Scenarios
Keywords:Premillennialism, Apocalypticism, United States, Rapture, Political Theology
One of the more perplexing exegetical difficulties faced by adherents of American-style premillennialism has to do with the question of what role the United States will play in the coming apocalypse. Despite the nearness of the eschaton and the critical role that the United States is often said to play in foreshadowing it, the Mediterranean-based apocalypse scenario that lies at the heart of most premillennialist exegesis seems to leave little room for a strong U.S. presence at the end. In this article, I shall first survey various premillennialist attempts to account for this quandry before turning to my main argument: that premillennialism's very failure to find the U.S. within the pages of prophecy invests the nation with chameleon-like agency, freeing it from the fatalism often implied in apocalyptic speculation – and creating the possibility of a new political theology conceptualized within in the shadow of the end.
———. 1985 Mystery of the Ages. Pasadena, CA: Worldwide Church of God.
Baldwin, Samuel. 1854. Armageddon; or, the Overthrow of Romanism and Monarchy; the existence of the United States Foretold in the Bible, its future greatness, &c. Cincinnati, OH.
Edwards, Jonathan. 1742. Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New-England. Boston.
Evans, Michael. 2004. The American Prophecies. New York: Warner Books.
Hagee, John. 2010. Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs That We are the Terminal Generation. New York: Howard Books.
Hitchcock, Mark. 2002. Is America in Biblical Prophecy? Sisters, OR: Multnomah.
———. 2010. The Late, Great United States. Colorado Springs, Co: Multnomah.
Hunt, Dave. 1983. Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
LaHaye, Tim. 1999. “The Role of the U.S.A. in End Times Prophecy.” In Tim LaHaye’s Perspective (August).
Lindsey, Hal. 1970. The Late, Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
———. 1981. The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon. New York: Bantam Books.
———. 1994. Planet Earth: 2000 AD. Palos Verdes, CA: Western Front.
Mede, Joseph. 1650. “A Conjecture concerning Gog and Magog.” London.
Miller, William. 1836. Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, About the Year 1843. Troy, NY.
Philpott, Joseph. 1864. The Kingdom of Israel. Fairfield, TX.
Rosenberg, Joel. 2012. Implosion: Can America Recover from its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time? Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale.
Stone, Perry. 2010. Nightmare along Pennsylvania Avenue. Lake Mary, FL: Frontline.
Taylor, Charles R. 1971. World War III and the Destiny of America. Redondo Beach, CA: Today in Biblical Prophecy, Inc.
Thorowgood, Thomas. 1650. Jewes in America, or, Probabilities that the Americans are of that Race. London.
Towns, Elmer. 1996. “Prophecy, Literal Interpretation of.” In The Dictionary of Premillennial Theology, ed. Mal Crouch, 317-319. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel.
Van Impe, Jack. 1987. 11:59... and Counting! Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
———. 1989. Your Future: An A–Z Index to Prophecy. Troy, NY: Jack Van Impe Ministries.
Whisenant, Edgar. 1988. 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Nashville, TN: World Bible Society.
White, Ellen G. 1976 [orig. pub. 1911]. The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.
Wilkerson, David. 1985. Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth. Lindale, TX: World Challenge.