Friday, January 26, 2007

Eschatology, darn it!

I have concluded that a Christian could have one of two relationships with prophesy. One is a patient hope for those things yet to appear and the other is a praising of God handiwork for those things which have already come to pass. I had always been nervous about those who would confuse the categories. Anyone who tells a future story based on prophesy is trying to match the given vision to a narrative, yes, but their narrative is, by definition, a fiction. The latitude of fiction is that I can make anything happen(such is the magic of fiction) and it can bear a wonderful similarity to the vision it promises to “fulfill”. These Bible teachers think that in this God is glorified. God is only glorified in His having accomplished His will in history in a way which follows a preexistent vision to one of His prophets describing the same. These teachers have tried to glorify when they should hope. How is what they do any different from a false prophet. Any false prophet has the same latitude if he can craft both a prophesy and write book on how it will be fulfilled.
The authority of the prophets of God by what has come to pass.
Deuteronomy 18
[20] But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' [21] And if you say in your heart, `How may we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'—[22] when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.”

The error of counting on the futuristic fictions is most evident in what the Jews were expecting in their Messiah. Even the prophets were limited in understanding, leaving the true knowledge to those who would see it occur.
I Peter 1
“[10] The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation, [11] they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. [12] It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

Even St. Paul recognizes the future is unclear to him about such absolutely important truths as our resurrection.
Romans 8
“[22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; [23] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. [26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Futuristic fiction is, by definition, impatient. It wants desperately to "see" and have others see the same way, be it premillenial or postmillenial.

The Oracle:
Be patient in hope, knowing we are blind to the future.
Glorify God in His fulfillments, knowing we have sight into the past.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This Morning

The light was good this morning.
The snow was freshly fallen blue.
I, inside, from window took
This to post to you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Do You Believe That....

God rewards those that seek Him?

And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

You have looked up into the heavens and down into the subatomic abyss. The Divine vision thunders with dread. This power to make, this power to order, this power to destroy is an Almighty, it is God. He is there and known. He is soul crushing and terrifying. But thankfully "the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" There, subtly inserting itself into this vision of almighty power is an almighty benevolence. It was made with information transfer natural to it. We can understand the world outside ourselves. It was made with gifts of pleasure arranged to greet receptors on unexpected levels. Who knew but that a strawberry and the human tongue would meet and rejoice. Even the encounter with the Living God is fraught with pleasure. We look up into the sublime terrors and, answering His suggestion that He is good and wishes to be known, find a faith which offers us security in approaching Him. It is such security that it can stand before the power of eternal annihilation and have the thing that is the threat itself reach out to secure you. It is His power that is our greatest threat and it is His kindness that makes it sublime. Do you believe that He rewards the seeker? Does this joy surprise? Can we seriously claim any other satisfaction is greater than the pleasure of seeking the God, finding Him, and being welcomed by Him?

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
Thou hast said, "Seek ye my face."
My heart says to thee,
"Thy face, LORD, do I seek."
Hide not thy face from me.
Turn not thy servant away in anger,
thou who hast been my help.
Cast me not off, forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
Psalm 27:7-9

"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:6-7

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
Matthew 7:7-14

"He who has ears, let him hear." Matthew 13:9