No, you’re not reading The Onion, but you’d be better off if you were instead of paying any attention to this latest bit of theological nonsense. I’ll grant that it’s only on the periphery of PaleoBabble, but since I don’t have a blog called “Theolo-Babble” or “Spiritual Crapulence” this one will have to do.

Perhaps some of you are blissfully unaware of the newest predictions of the return of Jesus. They’re actually becoming hard to miss. MSLSD ran this story today to help the cause. Wonderful that they picked someone in the military to profile as a believer in this nonsense. Nice touch.

This theological brain fart comes from Harold Camping, a radio preacher that has been on the air for a long time. I can remember listening to him while I was in college. He wasn’t a nutty pseudo-scholar then. I don’t really know what’s happened to him. All I know is that Christians will, once again, be made to look like idiots.

For the record — if I haven’t made my position clear already — Camping’s prediction is an exegetical flim-flam. There’s only one thing more certain that the rapture isn’t going to happen on May 21, 2011:  that Camping will have some sort of epiphanic insight on May 22, 2011 that explains both his egregious error and why people should still listen to him. After all, Camping has done this before (his first prediction was 1994 — too bad he was wrong; I wouldn’t have had to go through PhD work).

For an idea (mind-numbing at that) on Camping’s “reasoning”, go here. Note that I do not endorse the site at that link; it just goes into some description of Camping’s view.