Last week, I introduced my literature students to the poem, “The Second Coming,” William Butler Yeats’s vision of modern apocalypse in a world where “things fall apart” as “anarchy is loosed upon the world.” As I expounded on the many changes in the early 20th century that led Yeats to say, “surely some second coming is at hand,” I began to hear eerie echoes of my current newsfeed. Yeats faced widespread political instability, wars, violence, and rapidly changing technology. In only the last year, we too, have faced similarly bewildering events, too numerous and horrible to mention. With the recent apocalyptic additions of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, we might well ask, with Yeats, “what rough Beast now slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”
Dr. Glenn Kreider shared some words on the topic of the end of the world in a recent interview with HeartStrong Faith for KCBI radio. Dr. Kreider is an excellent teacher, from whom I’ve learned a lot even without sitting in one of his classes at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he teaches.
In this interview, Dr. Kreider talks about trauma and pain, why we shouldn’t be afraid, and how hope is like that first scent of morning coffee as he answers the question, “Are we living in the end times?”
Christine Hand Jones is a singer-songwriter, a professor of English and songwriting, and has served as a worship leader and church music director. She has a PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, which she earned, in large measure, by listening to the collected works of Bob Dylan and writing about what she heard. When she's not playing music or fascinating her students with stunning lectures over comma splices, Christine can be found drinking coffee, playing devoted cat mom to Desmond and Molly, and roaming the shelves of Half-Price Books.