I had to chuckle—whether to slough bad comedy or to hide agony, God knows—a few days ago when I once again read that old premillennialist’s canard, “The world is a sinking Titanic.…”

This metaphor was made famous, of course, by the 1950s radio preacher J. Vernon McGee, who warned his listeners with the rhetorical question, “Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?”[1] Apparently, McGee used the metaphor often, elsewhere referring to the “sinking ship of civilization.”t

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