Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Mark of the Digital Beast

So for millennia, there have been Christians awaiting the return of Jesus, who will vanquish a cosmic beast (known by everyone who's bothered to think about the matter as the Emperor Nero) and establish a New Jerusalem for the faithful. In the Book of Revelation, the Beast has his mark stamped upon the people and without it no one can buy or sell (Rev 13:16-17).

Apocalyptic Christians in the 20th century have oddly interpreted that phrase to mean such technologies as UPC symbols and RFID tags (neither of which is likely to be placed on your forehead). So it won't be long before they jump on  barcoded embryos as examples of the end of the world.

When someone makes a million dollars on a book about barcoded embryos, the Beast, and the return of Jesus, I'm going to be really irritated that I'm too honest to have written the book and gone to the bank, myself.


  1. Robert, you can write the book, making the best possible case for the perspective and then showing why the case is weak. Nothing dishonest in that.

  2. As you know, many Christians have accepted a futurist interpretation of Revelation, more specifically that informed by Dispensationalist eschatology. There is a minority who (correctly I think) recognizes the book refers to a first century context, a preterist or moderate preterist view. Even so, with the popularity of futurist interpretations, and pin the tail on the anti-Christ, you'd better get to writing your book!