My last post seems to have been devoured by tangents.
The point I was getting at is this: the prevalence of apocalyptic imagery within our culture represents a reversal of the anti-mythological trend represented by postmodernism. Whether or not this reversal will last (and whether its predictions are accurate) remains to be seen, but for the moment we have been given back a unified vision of the future. And perhaps this is why the new apocalypticism has been so widely embraced. To a certain extent, even the horrible certainty that it offers is more comforting than the deep uncertainty of postmodernism. For better or worse, we have a destiny once more, a grand story in which to fit the events of history.
And so we return to the question of how to respond. We may accept the apocalyptic mythos for as long as it lasts, going about our lives with it as the background. We may seek to challenge it with an alternate vision (a monumental task, as any missionary will tell you). Or we may attempt to shape the story from within. My own intuition is that this new metanarrative has something worthwhile to offer us, but only if we are willing to gaze into the ashes and plague-ridden landscapes of our imagination to look for it.