An Eschatalogical Freakonomics Moment

Some time back I read Freakonomics and loved it. It got me thinking about how real numbers relate to things and gave me a grid for quantifying things in a way that make sense. OK, hold that thought.

As we've released this Omega Course, we've heard from a few folks (usually through back channels) that the study of the end times is irrelevant and people just don't care. To those folks, allow me to make the following comparison.

If you took everyone to attended all 256 NFL games and put them in one spot (a big spot, say...Wyoming), then added all of the people who attended one of the 1230 NBA games last season and put them along side the NFL attendees, you'd have a big honkin' crowd....around 29 million people.(1) Impressive, and a nightmare for porta potties, I'm sure.

Yet in order to match the number of people who have purchased a book in the Left Behind series, you'd need to take both those crowds and add the metropolitain populations of the following cities:
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Denver
  • St. Louis
  • Minneapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Seattle
  • Phoenix
Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins have managed to sell 63 million copies in this series. In July 0f '05, they were honored by Amazon.com as a 10th anniversary party that celebrated the top 10 authors who have put Amazon on the digital map. All this with campy novels and Kirk Cameron as a spokesperson.

Growing pains, indeed.

Tell me again about people not being interested. Maybe it's just that we're uncomfortable because we've ignored the topic.

1) Fox Sports
2) Wikipedia: List of United States Metropolitan Areas


Alaska1 said...

Good point, BUT :
A big space = Wyoming?! HAHA

GregB said...

Probably the most salient point I could make to a believer about studying the end times (at least, this clinched it for me) was that JESUS TAUGHT ON THE LAST DAYS, and HE SAID WATCH AND PRAY.

A consolidating point I would further make is that not only is Jesus' return inevitable, it truly should be one of the biggest aches in the lives of everyone who calls upon His name that He is not yet physically among us again.

the "other" Sarah said...

Wow, thanks for putting that in perspective! The next time I'm feeling weird about bringing up an end-times topic I will just remind myself "It's not that they're not interested - maybe it's just that I'm uncomfortalbe because I've ignored the topic."

Danielle said...

So do you take the people who are currently in Wyoming out to get those numbers or can they stay?

Randy Bohlender said...

It depends if they went to the football game.

Jerry James said...

My sister has a pain in her left behind.