Küng on the end of all things
Review of Hans Küng’s, Der Anfang aller Dinge, Epilogue, Pt. 1 of 2.
Epilogue. The End of all Things
Rather appropriately for the end of a book dealing with the ‘beginning of all things’, Küng concludes by asking: What will happen to the universe in the future? What is its end fate?
Scientists have made two suggestions. First, the universe will continue to expand until it stops, and becomes still. Then it will start to contract until it collapses back in on itself into a ‘big crunch’, one which could lead to another ‘big bang’. Second, the majority opinion among astrophysicians, is that the universe will continue to expand without ever stopping. Slowly, over millions of years, coldness will grip the whole universe until all that is left is death, absolute night (cf. 220).
The apocalyptic visions of the end of the world are common among conservative Christians. Indeed, they have also grabbed the imagination of the wider public in light of the Atom Bomb and the looming threat of ecological breakdown, and are expressed in numerous Hollywood films (e.g. Armageddon) and works of popular literature (e.g. the Left Behind series). In light of this, Küng laments that such works of fiction, and others like Dan Brown’s novels, could be taken as historically credible.
However, also in the bible, passages lend to the notion of a catastrophic end of the world (e.g. Mat 24:6-8, 29). But do they mean what many conservatives Christians think they do? We turn to address this question in the next post.