Apocalypse Is Coming!
Just a brief word here on Apocalypse, a new Gathering series about to launch (Oct 4th). I'd like to start stirring the pot with my readers on this vastly complex topic. There are a couple of strategies we could take in discussing the biblical view the last days.
This strategy I'll call the Systematic Theology approach. In this scheme, one tries to devise a simple interpretive framework for understanding all the biblical data that has to do with the end times. The approach is a pretty helpful one, but as you can imagine, what starts out as a goal to be simple gets deep pretty fast when we're talking about all the stuff we see in books like Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation. The goal in systematic theology is to help you plant your flag firmly in one camp or another Pre-Millennial or Amillenial. Pre-Tribulational or Post-Tribulational Second coming of Christ.
This strategy we'll call the Biblical Theology approach. Biblical theology sticks as close as possible to the biblical and literary contexts of the relevant passages. Lots of loose ends are left hanging around. Frameworks and timelines are held pretty loosely in the process. Good Systematic Theology is rooted in good Biblical Theological method.
In Gathering, we'll definitely be starting with Possibility Two! Rather than jumping in the deep end right away, we'll try to build our understanding of this compelling subject from the ground up. We'll start week one off with an over-view and some definitions. We'll make lots and lots of space for questions each week! We'll also try to keep it real in terms everyday practical interests in the topic. So don't be surprised if we don't push one brand of eschatology over another. We'll all have much more fun exploring the Apocalypse in the end (Ha!).
On our way to the starting line, though, it would be great if you would hit the comment button or e-mail me your questions about the end times. Let's ramp up the dialog before October 4th!