The Book of Revelation

Here is a great little video (25 minutes, wish it was longer) that Brian LePort has over at his blog. It is Ian Paul on the book of Revelation. Paul offers a great little introduction on how we ought to read and approach the book of Revelation. He emphasizes something that is lost on so many American readers of the book of Revelation; he emphasizes the importance that genre ought to have on the expectations we have when we interpret this book. Anyway, watch the video, you will be informed:

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A Brief Introduction to Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein, maybe you’ve heard of him, a new kind of self-actualization guru of sorts is on a mission to enlighten people to the coming (and I think Eisenstein, thinks already present in seminal form) Age of Aquarius. I spoke with someone today who is quite impressed with Eisenstein. Here is a brief video where Eisenstein is featured, and where he presents a semblance of some of his nascent thinking. I plan on doing further posts on Eisenstein in the future; primarily prompted by this interlocutor of mine. Here’s that video:

You will quickly notice that the guiding assumption is that humanity is ultimately good; that humanity simply needs to activate or charge that divine spark, and simply give one to the other; it is herein that humanity will find collective salvation, and the plot of Genesis 3 will find collective resonance through collective salvation as humanity gifts others, and then themselves with life. What I mean in reference to Genesis 3, is of course the original lie that satan spoke to Eve (and Adam); that they could be like God, having the knowledge of good and evil. Once this lie was embraced by Eve and Adam, once they doubted God’s good word to them for satan’s bad word; humanity fell from relationship with their Creator, and the rest is history (as they say). Ever since, humanity has been living out of this lie, that THEY can be like god; it is this that drives humanity towards constructing a reality wherein they are the center and purpose (telos) of all creation. The reality, of course, is that God, in his wisdom sent his Logos, his ‘Word’, his eternal Son; and it is through God’s ‘Word’ once again, that creation is recreated, through the Great Reversal of the death of the God-man on the cross; the recreation starts in death, and begins in the resurrection and ascension of Christ. It is through this reality that creation has been repurposed and reopened, so to speak, for a life of unending bliss with her creator. We continue to wait for this reality to become fully realized and consummate; but even now we experience the Apocalyptic in-breaking of God’s kingdom into the present aspect of God’s unfolding kingdom in the Now.

PS. I plan on giving ‘A Christian Reading of Eisenstein’ in the days to come … again, in response to my interlocutor

Making Evangelical Calvinism Different From classic Calvinism

Here I wax eloquent on what distinguishes Evangelical Calvinism from Federal or classic Calvinism. I did this video about 11 months ago, and I had to share this with you all (I crack myself up as I watch this–I’m somewhat of a dork 😉 , but I do believe what I am saying in the video). You will also note that I said the book will be out in 2011 in the video, but of course that has been updated to March 2012. Try to enjoy 😉 .

Charles Spurgeon, The Movie

I struggled deeply with my faith in Christ; I was just 24. I came to Christ at a very early age (when I was 3), and walked with Christ even at a young age. I led my first person to the Lord when I was 5, and learned what it was to be “in the ministry” from my dad who was an ordained Conservative Baptist pastor. I walked with the Lord all the way through high-school. Then I fell into a time of apathy and luke-warmness for Christ; this happened in the years just out of high-school (class of 92), and ended in Las Vegas (a long story). The Lord began to do a work in my heart, at around the age of 24 that I have not yet recovered from! A part of that work was to walk me through deep and dark valleys of what seemed like death. There was a sense that over-came me that seemed to make life without the reality of God, tangible; this was literally hell it seemed. This season (which lasted probably for about 6 years) was full of deep deep depression, and doubts of all kinds; including in God’s existence (even though I loved him), and about my salvation (even though I trusted him with my life). I communicate all of this simply to introduce a preacher whose writings and sermons served to comfort me (not so much intellectually, but spiritually). The man, The Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon is one of those whom the Lord used to minister to my mind and heart during this time. Marc Cortez just turned me onto a movie about Charles Spurgeon’s life; I have only watched half of it thus far, and this half has been excellent! I commend it to you:

David Bentley Hart and the “Problem” of Christian Violence

I think this is a good little snippet and look into David Bentley Hart’s perspective on Christianity and her history of violence:

ht: Jason Goroncy

This is often a common theme brought up, especially by those seeking to discredit the reality of Christianity — viz. Christianities’ history in regards to things done in her name that do not reflect the ideals that Jesus taught, and more, embodied. The new Atheists for example seek to discredit the viability of Christianity (in particular) by causally linking the actions of some Christians in the history to the principles upon which Christianity is really based. It is true that Christians, even today, have so lumped “their Christianity” into say the political processes; that violence has been and continues to be done in the name of Christ and righteousness. So the new Atheists charge is not altogether unfounded. Where it does become unfounded is in their failure to make the proper nuance or distinction between cultural appropriations and perversions of Christianity, and Christianity simpliciter (or Christianity in its taught/lived form in Christ). Hart takes note of this failure in the new Atheists posturing, and thus highlights the point that these kinds of rhetorical arguments have no teeth. I agree.

Noam Chomsky Bagging on Dispensationalists and Christian Zionists

Here is Noam Chomsky discussing Evangelical Dispensational Premillennial Pre-Tribulationalist Christian Zionists. This is my heritage, I mean theologically; I have since moved away from this particular “eschatological” hermeneutical system, but I still inhabit this sub-culture within the Evangelical community. Nevertheless, I simply wanted to register an observation on Chomsky’s commentary. He is wrong and right. It is true that the more extreme elements in “Christian Zionist” camps give Israel carte blanche in their local and geopolitical movements; but this is not generally true of most Dispensational Premillennialists. Most of them qualify their support of the nation of Israel in a way that tries to make a distinction between spiritual support and political support. Of course, and this is where Chomsky may have a point, since in principle Dispensationalists (I say classic ones) collapse the spiritual (e.g. Israel as God’s “covenant people”) into the political; the functional outcome of this, in principle, is that those I noted as “extreme” earlier are in fact probably following the logic of their belief system to its proper conclusion (and when I say proper I mean simply logical conclusion).

What do you think of Chomsky’s analysis?

 

“Endorsed” Prayer

Just in case you haven’t seen this “prayer” yet, here ya go; this is what American Nascar culture looks like when combined with some form of “Christianity”:

What do you think? This must be what prayer sounds like when your pastor has endorsement deals.

Rick Warren, with John Piper, on Hell . . .

Since I’m not a Universalist — Evangelical, Pluralist, or otherwise — I agree with what both John Piper and Rick Warren believe about Hell, watch:

ht: TCR

But that’s it. I don’t endorse or believe or agree with anything else that Piper or Warren articulate de facto [let me clarify something here, as an addendum, per Adam’s point below in the comments: I am not saying that I don’t believe that either Warren or Piper are “orthodox” Christian men who lead their congregations to the best of their abilities and own critical self-reflection on their respective theological thinking; instead I am saying that I don’t follow either fellow — which I think they are like in this — in their theological method, which I say in the following sentence. This is something I continually harp on here at the blog, and in fact our forthcoming book makes the same point, of which Adam and myself contribute chapters to this very section of the book (prolegomena). Adam’s concern has been bothering me all day, actually, and so I just wanted to emboldenly clarify what I meant right here . . . I hope this helps clarify what I meant by disagreeing with everything else these guys say, that is only so “in fact” not “in principle,” and that is because I think they have “started” at the wrong place in their theological methods, even though both are primarily pastors and not professional theologians, per se]. In other words, I am at such strong odds with Piper and Warren in theological method it’s not even funny.

What If Harold Camping is Right? Rapture, May 21st, 2011

Harold Camping, of Family Radio, (and amiller, by the way) has predicted that tomorrow, May 21st, 2011, that Jesus is coming again for the faithful (those who follow the teaching of Harold Camping). Below I ponder a bit upon Camping’s prediction, and how that relates to the actual time of Jesus’ actual return. What if Jesus did come back on May 21st, 2011? That’s the question I reflect upon in lieu of Camping’s prediction.