When I saw this news release run over PR Newswire a few days ago, I knew then and there that Miguel De La Torre would be our Interesting Expert of the Week.
De La Torre, professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, is an expert on social and political ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class and gender oppression.
De La Torre, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, joined the Iliff faculty in 2005. He has authored/co-authored several books, including “Genesis: A Theological Commentary on the Bible,” “The Quest for the Historical Satan,” “Lily Among the Thorns: Imagining a New Christian Sexuality,” “Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America,” “Reading the Bible from the Margins,” among others. He has also edited the “Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture,” is the series editor for the 12-volume “Latino/a Religious Thought for the New Millennium,” and is on the advisory board of “Religious Perspective on Contemporary Ethical Issues.” In addition, he has published numerous chapters for edited books, articles for scholarly journals, entries for dictionaries and encyclopedias, and op-eds for newspapers and news journals.
As for May 21 being Judgment Day, De La Torre says it’s all speculation. “There is no way to determine exactly when the flood mentioned in the Bible was a regional flood, if there was a flood, how long it took to subside, etc. It doesn't take a lot to look at dates and times to construct these types of scenarios. It's been going on before there was a Jesus.”
So, should we heed the warnings proclaimed by signs and billboards?
"If I knew for certain that I was going to die this weekend, then the mark of a good life is to live the last days of my life like I lived all the other days up to this point,” said De La Torre. “My advice would be, ‘Be at peace.’ No one knows when the world will end. It could end up May 21 this year, next year, or a hundred or a thousand years from now. We don't know. What we do know is that people who have taken predictions of the last day of the earth and did all matters of things that could not be undone, that their lives were destroyed. One needs to be careful not to fall into that trap."