This is the Strangest Timeline

It’s dangerous to mess with history, Barry/Doctor/Hermione/McFly!
on Mar 4, 2019

Have you ever paused just to look around and wonder if the universe has entered an alternate timeline?

As if someone, perhaps Barry Allen or The Doctor, has gone back to make too many changes?

Consider these bizarre 2019 events:

  • Politics are beyond insane (no matter your viewpoint).
  • Legitimately crazy people (from all parties) are seeking elected office.
  • This includes leaders publicly endorsing or ignoring legal infanticide–a longtime old evangelical doom forecast.
  • We have handheld devices that are more powerful than university computers a generation ago.
  • If people wanted to, we could travel to the moon or Mars, any time, but they don’t want to.
  • Serious and decent people now believe there are more than two genders.
  • But every single story of any mainstream popularity keeps presuming otherwise.
  • Against all odds, orthodox, biblical Christian churches have survived and thrived.
  • Most recently, this includes the United Methodist denomination.
  • Which is staying biblical about the sexual revolution (whose nonsense would have blown the minds of anyone a generation ago).
  • Which is also staying biblical not because of American leaders but faithful African leaders.
  • Meaning the United States is being occasionally called back from apostasy by faithful non-U.S. church members.
  • Meanwhile, fringe folks are celebrating the actual, bold, sexualization of children–another dark prediction by evangelicals, come to life. It won’t stay fringe for long. This will make some nasty messes to clean up in a decade or two.
  • On the popular cultural front, Star Wars movies are being made again–at one point, one new film a year.
  • But fans revolted, with reactions arguably more negative than the old prequel backlash.
  • A film version based on Aquaman became DC’s most top-earning movie ever so far.
  • Marvel is about to finish(?) a shared-universe film series that broke ground and outpaced anyone else who tried it.

On a more personal side:

To be sure, I could do with more of that timeline and less of the sex-and-heresy nonsense.

But if the world’s going to get this bizarre, we’ll surely need stranger stories. Especially stories that explore holiness, humanity, wonder, and magic in light of the gospel’s epic truth.

E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.

What say you?