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In this Halloween-ish episode, we talk about the many understandings (and potential misunderstandings) of the antichrist in the Bible, history, and—most importantly—pop culture. To that end, we start from the premise that Monty Python’s Life of Brian is canon, so please take a moment to refresh your memory before diving in. There will be a quiz
Also, we have a few things to get you into the antichrist mood…
PARTY GAMES: Count the spit takes!
SNACKS: Antichrist on a Cracker: Unleash the Yeast!
Essentially this is avocado toast with Marmite for the Australians and Vegemite for the Brits, leaving everyone dissatisfied. Also, Twiglets do not contain Marmite.
DRINKS: For those who like their drinks like they like their false prophets (with a pull-tab), we have…
1/3 shot Everclear
1/3 shot Bacardi 151 proof rum
1/3 shot Absolut Peppar
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Pour each of the first 3 ingredients into a shot glass and then add the Tabasco sauce on the top.
AND Monster Energy Drink
Unnamed Woman in viral video claims that Monster Energy Drink is how Satan enters Christian homes… or is it how Christ enters Satanic homes? At any rate, “Bottoms up, and the devil laughs!” is our new slogan here at The Dispatchist.
So, the antichrist… is it one guy (Robert J. “Bob” Antichrist), a bunch of guys, a concept, none of the above, or all the above? Or maybe there’s no such thing as the antichrist?
Let’s start with the Bible…
Well, that wasn’t super helpful. Turns out, Bob Antichrist isn’t mentioned by name in the Bible and the word antichrist is only mentioned four times. Instead, there’s a lot of talk about false prophets, Christ inversions and imitations, and the Man of Sin or the Lawless One.
As is our way here at The Dispatchist, we fall into a discussion of Gnosticism that leads us to The Matrix and an idea for a new local microbrew: Paul’s Realized Eschatology.
What about medieval ideas of the antichrist?
The idea of Bob Antichrist really takes off during this time period, and we talk about a few key Antichrist biographers…
Benedictine monk and hagiographer Adso of Monier-en-Der, “Letter to Queen Gerberga on the Place and Time of the Antichrist,” also known as the Libellus de Antichristi (Little Book on the Antichrist) (c. 950). Jacob thinks the sex scene inspired Rosemary’s Baby… more on this later. Adso’s work was also the main source for the twelfth century liturgical drama, Ludus de Antichristo (Play of the Antichrist). Check out a digital copy of the complete manuscript!
Hugh (or Hugo?) Ripelin of Strassburg’s Compendium theologicae veritatas (Compendium of Theological Truth) (c. 1265) is more orderly, but differs from Adso in only minor details.
Joachim of Fiore’s Expositio in Apocalipsim (Exposition of the Book of Revelations) (c. 1196-1199) differed from Adso and Ripelin in positing that there would be a succession of antichrists before Bob Antichrist shows up.
And in the sixteenth century?
Protestant theologians such as Martin Luther started to associate the papacy and Catholicism with the antichrist.
What did the Catholic Church think about this?
Cardinal Newman argued that the Papal-Antichrist theory was actually an argument in favor of the Roman Church. CENSER DROP! You can read more in Newman’s essay “The Protestant Idea of the Antichrist” at newmanreader.org.
Nietzsche probably had something to say about this, right?
Yes, he did! And you should read Der Antichrist, which translates as either The Antichrist, or The Anti-Christian. Spoiler alert: he’s pro Jesus and anti-church.
Also, we discover through Nietzsche and Dostoevsky, and following cardinal Newman’s logic, that Keanu Reeves is Christ.
Finally, on to movies!!
Of course, the Catholics have something to say about this, too. Monsignor Charles Pope writes in The Catholic Standard that movies purporting to be about the antichrist are actually about the Lawless One mentioned by Paul.
Even if he’s right, you’ll recognize many of your old favorites in our discussion and hopefully find a few more to love. We sorted the movies into three categories: pregnancy, the soulless child, and the apocalypse–the antichrist soup to nuts.
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
- It’s Alive (1974)
- Beyond the Door (1974) WARNING: This compilation of trailers for the movie is only mildly unnerving at first and then becomes (at least to me) truly terrifying. Maybe that says more about my childhood than it does the movie…
- Mother! (2017)
- The Seventh Seal (1957)
- Left Behind (2000)
- Good Omens (2019)
- The Stand (2020) NOTE: There is also a 1994 miniseries that starred Molly Ringwald!)
- American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)
In conclusion, I bring you Cody Fern and his goat shoes at the Golden Globes!
Please let us know what other movies and TV shows you would add to the list, and thank you for listening!
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