Guest / Limited Access /

Going through a stack of old Time magazines recently, I was astonished at how different the world looks now compared to 30 years ago. Back then Time was running cover stories on "The Coming Ice Age"; now we hear about global warming and devastating tsunamis. World maps showed a large red stain of communism spreading across Indochina and Africa. Economists predicted the end of American dominance and a new global parity among the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Europe. Of all continents, Africa offered the brightest prospects for growth.

A more recent magazine, from August 2001, reported breathlessly on the latest developments in the mysterious disappearance of a House intern and her affair with a California congressman. I searched in vain for the words al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Somehow, it seems in retrospect, prognosticators missed all the defining political events in my lifetime, including the war on terrorism and the end of the cold war. As I went through the stack of magazines, I tried to remember how it felt at the time, when I truly feared the prospect of nuclear war, when Saddam Hussein was a U.S. ally, and Lebanon was the most dangerous place in the Middle East.

...

Right now, regarding issues like the war in Iraq, the ascendancy of China, nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, we truly are "there," unable to predict how history will turn out. Thirty years from now some researcher may pore over a stack of contemporary Time magazines with similar bemusement.

As I reflected on our poor record at predicting the future, it struck me that the Bible often centers on the act of waiting. Abraham waiting for just one child. The Israelites waiting four centuries for deliverance, and Moses waiting four decades ...

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

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

From Issue:
March
More from this IssueMarch 2005
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only
The Real History of the Crusades
A series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics? Think again.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickGod’s Defense Attorney
God’s Defense Attorney
Millionaire lawyer Mark Lanier moonlights as a Sunday school teacher.
Comments
Christianity Today
Global Suspense
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2005

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