We do this [use apocalyptic language] all the time ourselves. I have often pointed out to students that to describe the fall of the Berlin Wall, as one well might, as an ‘earth-shattering event’ might perhaps lead some future historian, writing in the Martian Journal of Early European Studies, to hypothesize that an earthquake had caused the collapse of the Wall, leading to both sides realizing they could live together after all. A good many readings of apocalyptic literature in our own century operate on about that level of misunderstanding.
-N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, 282.