Sometimes America's Folk Religion is much more fascinating to me than the intellectual arguments between the respectable leaders of more defined theological beliefs and movements. If eschatology comes up I find myself speaking to other smartypants Christians about the practical implications of Moltmann's theology of hope or making light of the premillenial dispensationalism of our youth.
However, I was observing a meeting today and the present financial crisis came up. To my surprise many in the room brought the conversation (before the actual start of meeting) around to the End Times (not something I had expected). While some were quiet, others started sharing their opinions, what they had heard from others (church or family) and how this could bring about the last days, the beast, the 1 world economy, paperless money which leads to the mark of the beast and how it may be better to move to the woods.
Wow? Where did I just step into? Backwoods Live Oak (my hometown)? Nope. A meeting of professionals at a place that has is not a faith based organization.
America has its own folk religion and once again I am reminded what it is and how little our theological protestations will change it. This is the theology of the People. I must face it. Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsay and DTS have won the battle for the rank and file (and yet we intellectuals fail to understand popular voting patterns and Dr. Phil).