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Susan Wise Bauer
Unless you live on a remote Montana homestead and generate your own electricity (in which case you have nothing to worry about), you've heard about the Y2K bug. When the digital clocks on billions of computers roll over from 11:59:59 to 12:00:00 on December 31, 1999, Western civilization could cease to exist. Power will cut off, groceries vanish from store shelves, banks go broke. Nuclear warheads might automatically launch themselves from unstable Middle Eastern dictatorships. In fact, God's wrath will finally descend upon our evil civilization, and we know the exact day (and minute, and second) it will arrive. "Dust Y2K," declares one best-selling Christian author, "and you will find the fingerprints of God all over it. This is not the first time God has interrupted the plans of man. The first time He confused language. This time He is going to confuse technology."
According to Gary North, the Reconstructionist historian who has become Christianity's loudest Y2K doomsayer, this is "the biggest problem that the modern world has ever faced." North's opinion is shared by Hal Lindsey (Facing Millennium Midnight), Michael Hyatt (The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos), Steve Farrar (Spiritual Survival During the Y2K Crisis), Grant Jeffrey (The Millennium Meltdown), and a score of other evangelical prophets. Y2K is bigger than World War II, the Bomb, the Cold War, Ebola, Chinese nuclear capabilities, or sunspots. Y2K is the strongest contender for TEOTWAWKI ("The End of the World As We Know It") since Jerusalem fell to the Romans in a.d. 70.
By an odd coincidence, none of these doomsayers is a programmer.
"I have no expertise in computers," writes Steve Farrar. "My training is in Bible and in theology." Gary North's disclaimer is similar: "I'm not a programmer. My Ph.D. is in history." Michael Hyatt, who has written two bestselling Y2K tomes and maintains an alarming Y2K Preparation Web site, is a book publishing executive with a B.A. in philosophy. Grant Jeffrey ...