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Showing posts from February, 2012

A Theology of the Apocalypse

What follows is the basis for a lecture I have given on:A THEOLOGY OF THE APOCALYPSEDualism. The Book of Revelation views the world as evil and alien from the church. It has a worldview that is highly dualistic. Dualistic or antithetical language dominates the book. This dualistic worldview is in large measure the product of the situation of persecution which the writer and his readers were facing. Persecuted, suffering people often view their world in such terms which contrast the ways things are with the way things ought to be and with the way they will be, when the end comes and God intervenes to change things and to judge the world with righteousness.Implied Readers. The Book of Revelation speaks best to Christians who are too comfortable in and with the world; to them it is a warning against conformity to pagan culture. The Apocalypse also speaks to Christians who are suffering oppression and persecution from the world around them. Christ is already victorious and one day God wil…

The Message of Revelation in Seven Points - Michael Gorman

The Message of Revelation (in 7 points, naturally) by Michael Gorman:M1. God the creator reigns! Jesus the redeemer, the slaughtered Lamb, is Lord! The reign of God is not merely future or past but present. God in Christ both demands all and offers all.2. Evil is real. Empire is now—not merely future or past but present. Empire, by nature, makes seductive blasphemous and immoral claims and engages in corollary practices that bring disorder to both vertical (people-God) and horizontal (people-people) human relations, promising life but delivering death—both physical and spiritual.3. The Christian church is easily seduced by Empire’s idolatry and immorality because these claims and practices are often invested with religious meaning and authority.4. In the midst of Empire, the church is called to resistance as the inevitable corollary of faithfulness to God, a call that requires prophetic spiritual discernment and may result in various kinds of suffering.5. The spiritual …

Interpreting the Book of Revelation

Approaches to Interpreting the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation)1. The Preterist View (L., praeteritus, past) 1.1. The book applies literally to the actual situation of the author's time and to no other time. 1.2. What is related is the conflict between the Roman emperor Domitian and the Church. 1.3. The predictions are not meant to be taken literally as predictions; they are part of the literary form of apocalyptic. 1.4. The book shows the hope of God's people during a time of persecution. 1.5. One should interpret this apocalypse as one interprets all apocalypses, with the same hermeneutical principles.2. The Church History View 2.1. The book is a prophecy of the course of church history. 2.2. Different characters and events are identified with known past people and events. 2.3. No agreement exists among the proponents of this view as to the identity of these people and events. E.g., who is the anti-Christ? Nero? Papacy? Hitler? Kissinger? Gorbachev? Obam…