Review: Hurtling Toward Oblivion

Hurtling Toward Oblivion by Richard A. Swenson, MD

What: The subtitle of this 130-page book is ‘A Logical Argument for the End of the Age’. And the difference between this and many other end times books, is that this one is, in fact, logical. By using abstract arguments that most anyone can follow, Dr. Swenson expounds a theory which is, in hindsight, obvious. But for those who have acquired the (often warranted) habit of disregarding all predictions of the ‘end’, it will be a rather energetic eye-opener. Dr. Swenson’s main arguments spring from the concept of progress and profusion. Since the earth is fallen, he says, everything good must therefore contain some particle of bad. And as progress leads to profusion of ‘good’ things, the particles of bad increase and increase. He claims that, although the number of good things may never be overcome by the number of bad, there comes a point when there’s enough bad to render the good useless. He calls this the threshold of lethality… and gives a number of examples to show that eventually, our techologically advanced system will simply destroy itself.

Who: Swenson isn’t necessarily talking about an ‘end of the entire physical earth’ catastrophy. Rather, he points to the inevitability of the world’s economy and integrated system of life crumbling on itself. This will effect everyone, since society is so meshed together. As we saw in the recent U.S. economy crisis, one misstep of one company can throw the entire world into disarray. And the danger is that at some point, this will happen and be beyond the aid of a government bailout, where everyone will be forced to band with their neighbors and dig their way out of the ruins of a self-desecrated sea of Walmarts, Best Buys, dentist offices, banks, food distribution factories, and even *gasp* Mcdonalds.

Where: It’s like Owl said to Bambi and Thumber and Flower after he explained the strange behavior of a certain pair of birds: “It could happen to you! And you! And yes… it could even happen to you.” The three friends walked away, determined to never let it happen to them… and guess what.

When: One of the strengths about Swenson’s theory is that he never pins it down with dates. There’ve been people for ages trying to predict the time of the end of all the ages, and they’ve watched their doomsday dates fly by with nothing resembling even a whiff of brimstone. There was 6/6/06, for example. We have yet to see whether the movie 2012 was right, but if it’s not (which is rather likely…), a bunch of people are going wake up on New Year’s Day, 2013, and watch the movie and laugh. However, even though we, like Christ, cannot tell the day and the time, it is certain that it is coming and coming soon. Therefore…

Why: “We gotta live like we’re dyin’!” Basically. Dr. Swenson doesn’t advise everyone to buy a bomb shelter and freeze dried food. But there IS something to being prepared, even if we can’t be fully ready. For example, my family recently moved out to 27 acres of country soil. And one of our reasons for doing this was the current instability of the world. We’re not canning all our food and burrying it in an underground cellar. But we’re learning to live more independently. Reading Dr. Swenson’s book will set you thinking about what YOU should do to be responsible in these uncertain times. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is solidify your relationships. Or buy gold. Or [you fill in the blank]. Regardless of the tack you take, it’s better to be aware than to be

Hurtling Toward Oblivion, by Richard A. Swenson.

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2 responses

  1. The end times…it’s a tough one to think about. Although I tend to think more on the postmillenialist view, I do think there will be difficult times in the near future; there’s a huge bubble building (not just economic) and…bubbles always pop. God will always be drawing people to Himself by the Spirit, even until the end of the ages; He can do it through trial, too.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  2. I’m sorry I’ve not come by for so long! I’m not ignoring you…entirely. 😉
    I will have to check this out. We’ve been wanting to do something like y’all are doing for a long time, but have been kinda nailed down.
    Thanks!

    -NathanH.

    September 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

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