The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to the End Times
Theology After You’ve Been Left Behind
Jeffrey C. Pugh
Review by Julie Carpenter
The Homebrewed Christianity Guidebook series is an outgrowth of the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, a theology based discussion created by Tripp Fuller; it has an audience of nearly fifty thousand unique listeners. The guidebooks, like the podcasts, are meant to be provocative and to make the reader think. And perhaps, like the Hitchhiker’s Guide, prevent panic in readers faced with theology of all kinds.
Now sometimes, theology seems like a rather tedious and academic quest. Even those who identify as Christians don’t often become deeply involved in such arcane pursuits. But there may be times when theology affects all of us, including you, some of my dear agnostic and atheist friends. And end times theology is one of those occasions.
Jeffrey C. Pugh, the author of this particular guidebook and a Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University, (and also a former professor of mine at Tennessee Wesleyan ) helps guide his readers through the history and impact of End Times Theology, largely without panic.
The book discusses Pugh’s own history with what he terms, Rapture Culture, and his time with The Children of God, an apocalypse obsessed group in the early seventies. Pugh became disillusioned with the group but realized what a firm grip the idea of the end times had on the imagination of Western Culture. In fact, he realized the strength of the End Times Theology is such that it even affects major political decisions. For instance, much of the recent foreign policy of the United States has been at least somewhat influenced by the idea of the rapture. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The book is easy to read, slightly snarky, and well written. If you are a Christian and you have never seriously considered the foundations of your belief about the rapture, whatever that may be, this is a very good book to start with. If you are not a Christian, you should probably be aware of how deeply felt and well rooted this belief system is and how very much it affects your life, whether you want it to or not. This is a book for everyone that wants to delve into an unusual but foundational feature of Western Culture that’s not only important but weirdly entertaining.