Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SPACE RAPTURE: Extraterrestrial Millennialism and the Cultural Construction of Space Colonization

I schoogled (Google Scholar) the terms "Adventist Futurism" and one of the titles that caught my attention was the one in question.

George E. Vandeman's Planet in Rebellion appears in his bibliography.

Page 107 of this dissertation:

Seventh-Day Adventist evangelist George E. Vandeman saw the Earth itself as threatened by mankind’s technology and believed the Day of Judgment, along with mankind’s extraterrestrial rendezvous with Christ, were not far off. However Vandeman's Adventism championed the Earth even as fundamentalists championed the above. After Sputnik, Vandeman wrote, America "was a nation in shock… We realized that we were actors in a technological revolution that would dwarf every other revolution into insignificance." Vandeman noted that only fourteen years separated the destruction of Hiroshima from the crash landing of the Soviet Lunik II spacecraft on the surface of the moon. "We had touched the universe," he wrote, "and its broken secrets had plunged us into nuclear and moral fear."

Vandeman believed that the immense technological advancements of the past few decades were a sure sign of the approaching "end to this world as we know it." Echoing the apocalyptic beliefs of other end times preachers, Vandeman asked, citing the Book of Revelation, "Could it be that we are approaching the time when God must intervene to ‘destroy them that destroy the earth’?" Space colonization would be a reality, for Jesus was the first to prove it could be done. "It was Jesus Himself, you remember, who demonstrated the possibility of space travel and promised it to His followers," Vandeman wrote. "The laws of gravitation were circumvented as the Lord of glory was swept heavenward." When Jesus returned to the Earth, "past vast constellations, bursting into view with a brilliance of display…" he would whisk his believers into heaven, where they would wait out the purification of the Earth by fire. Vandeman noted that none of this miracle would require space suits or oxygen tanks. 154

154 George E. Vandeman. Planet in Rebellion. Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1960. pp. 137-49.

To read the entire dissertation click on the title of this post or please click on the link below:


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