Are you ready for the end of the world? Before the world ends on December 21, 2012, Eve Franklin takes time out of her last minute preparations to explore the science and philosophy surrounding the Roland Emmerich version of a global catastrophe presented in the ridiculous but entertaining movie 2012.
Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a new segment that requires listener participation.
Daniel J. Lewis is taking a break from Are You Just Watching?, but please be sure to check out his three weekly podcasts: the Ramen Noodle, The Audacity to Podcast, and ONCE podcast on Noodle.mx Network.
The mechanism for the end of the world
2012 is Roland Emmerich’s modern version of Noah’s Flood based on theories presented in the 1950s by Charles Hapgood and merged with the Mayan calendar ending on the date December 21, 2012.
Charles Hapgood is not fictional but was a real person. His ideas on catastrophic pole shifts (which were established to explain the destruction of Atlantis) were scoffed at and discarded by other scientists.
I’m no scientist, but I grew a bit excited when I first saw 2012 because I was intrigued at how similar Hapgood’s earth crust displacement theory seemed to be to a modern theory that creation scientists have put forward to explain the mechanism of Noah’s flood. Of course, many secular scientists scoff at this model as well, but it actually makes a lot more sense than the uniformitarian faith in slow continental drift.
In the movie, tsunamis as tall as most mountains are shown washing over the earth—even taking out a temple on the top of one of the Himalayas (see movie poster). But in the Biblical flood, in which the water covered the whole earth, creation scientists hypothesize that the great mountains of modern earth did not exist and in fact, were thrust up by the collision of the continents during the flood–meaning that the flood waters would not have had to be so high to cover all the land masses and destroy all the living on the face of the planet.
He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth. Psalm 104:5-9 (ESV)
The Bible says no one knows the date of the final day of judgement on this earth except God, but that we are to be always prepared.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. . . . Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew [24:36]-39, 44 (ESV)
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:7 (ESV)
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 2 Peter [3:10]-12 (ESV)
The subtle anti-Christian message
2012 does not portray Christians (or other religions) very well. From the obviously stereotyped country hick who calls into Charlie’s show to declare that he has “faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” to the Catholics gathering at the Vatican to “desperately” pray to a God who evidently doesn’t hear them since they almost immediately get smashed by the crumbling building, the agenda seems to be Christians may have been right about the end of the world coming, but not right about what that means in the way of salvation. It might be subtle, but beware how such subtle messages can influence thinking.
The anti-god philosophy
One of the main characters of 2012 (Adrian, the sympathetic scientist who warns everyone else of the coming disaster) represents a very humanistic and, frankly, anti-God perspective. While his view is very humanitarian, it is also put forward, I think, to discredit religious perspectives.
Means for choosing what went on the arks
How people got on the world arks in 2012 is the subject of many comments in the movie, but the gist of it was that someone selected a group of “genetically” appropriate people and the rest received their tickets through privilege (they were part of the group that knew what was going on) or money (tickets were sold at an astronomical price). The requirements for boarding the biblical ark were very different: only the righteous were saved. For the future judgement, the only requirement is repentance and acceptance of Christ’s free gift of salvation, by which we become righteous.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 1 Peter [3:18]-20
if [God] did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly . . . then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment . . . 2 Peter 2:5,9
Are you ready for the end of the world?
Don’t fool yourself that you have enough time. Even if the world doesn’t end on December 21, 2012, your life could end at any moment. Be sure you are ready.
Just for the humor
2012 is a ridiculous movie full of both intended and unintended humor. You may be exclaiming “Oh, come on, really?” through most of the movie, but even in the midst of global disaster, this movie lets you know it’s okay to laugh.
Did you see that? (new segment)
I don’t particularly care for Target commercials in general, but this one really stood out for its unapologetic promotion of selfishness. Christmas has been commercialized enough in my opinion. While I’m sure the view presented here is honest, since that is the way most people think during this time of year, I don’t think it’s necessary to be so chipper about it. Here’s the biblical view:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts [20:35]
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