August 2, 2014

Things I “Learned” from Rapture Theology

I could see the conclusion of this week’s posts coming from a mile away. I spent the first 24 years of my life in Plymouth Brethren churches that were at the forefront of promoting Rapture Theology. Here are some of the things that I “learned”. The return of Christ is in God’s timing, so Satan […]

Another Look: Time to Leave Behind the Rapture

Note from CM: We’ve talked about a few aspects of eschatology this week. I thought it might be good to re-post this piece that was originally run in May 2011, right before the Harold Camping debacle. As the header art indicates, the subject is bound to be widely discussed again soon, thanks to what I […]

Completing the King’s Afflictions

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. • Colossians 1:24, NRSV • • • 1. This week, we are focusing on what I guess might be called, “the quandary […]

The Triduan Shape of History

Today, we follow up yesterday’s post on The Most Vexing Question. To me, the fundamental quandaries raised in the piece were: Who would have thought that the life of Jesus’ church in “the last days” would span a history as long as Israel’s before Christ? And that our history would be as checkered under the […]

The Most Vexing Question

We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet, Nor is there any among us who knows how long. How long, O God . . . • Psalm 74:9-10 • • • What is (or should be) the most troublesome matter in theology for Christian people? It is the fact that we are […]

IM Book Review: An Agnostic Apocalypse

What would happen in the world, in the church, in our lives, if an event like the Rapture took place, but the event was completely enigmatic? What if hundreds of millions of people around the globe suddenly disappeared, but there was no rhyme or reason as to who was “taken” and who was “left behind”? […]

Our Terrestrial Hope

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done: Jesus Who died shall be satisfied, And earth and Heav’n be one. – Malt­bie D. Bab­cock The world into which we shall […]

NT Wright on the Intermediate State

This morning, as a side note, I mentioned that Andrew Perriman does not find support in the New Testament for the “intermediate state” — a place of conscious existence between death and resurrection. As you might suppose, this is an ongoing topic of discussion for me in my work as a hospice chaplain. I find […]

Hell, You Say?

If we are going to understand what Jesus and the authors of the New Testament meant when they spoke about the wrath of God or judgment or Gehenna, we have to come at the matter with an entirely different frame of mind. We have to read historically and contextually rather than theologically and abstractly. We […]

Now. On Earth.

Is that it? Is this the message? Is this what Jesus and the apostles announced? Are we in rehearsals? Is this prep time for the final exam? Are we taking batting practice? Is this pre-season and we’re sorting out the team, making the cuts, setting the roster? Are we humans given sixty, seventy, eighty or […]