WHEN HIGH SCHOOL students leave English teacher David Dark's classroom at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, they pass under a picture of two pills—one red, the other blue. The picture represents a choice the students must make. It alludes to the decision by Neo (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix to swallow the red pill so that perhaps he might seek truth and truly live.

Dark presents the same choice to readers of his first book. He begins by telling us we've got apocalypse all wrong. That is, too often we choose the blue pill of settling for the Disneyfied, Ameri-evangelical spiritual fantasy. "God" becomes shorthand for every culturally shaped view we prefer, what one of Dark's colleagues calls "selective fundamentalism."

Dark calls this blue pill a "heretical worldview" that disdains the earthly and human as secular. With Madeleine L'Engle, Dark claims the secular does not exist. Rather, he believes the "secular" is exactly the place to find the sacred.

Seeing the sacred in the mundane requires revelation, the literal meaning of apocalypsis. The punch line to Nathan's story to David is an apocalyptic moment, as is seeing the face of an infant through a hospital glass. Hearing the voice of the earth awaiting redemption is apocalypsis.

This revelation is the red pill. We take it, however, not by opening our mouths but our ears and eyes. We ask with the readers of John's Revelation, "How is it that Jesus is Lord when the violence and exploitation that rule the world suggest otherwise?"

Rather than burying those questions or sermonizing, apocalypse awakens us to the reality that Jesus' testimony is true, and his way will overcome.

We begin noticing and honoring people we hadn't before. The face of a child in the desert ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
September News Wrap Subscriber Access Only
"Deaths, promotions, and other tidbits from the religion world"
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
Apocalypse Without the Beasts
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.