The Big Haus fall Bible study began last evening on the perennially ignored (by me in schedule not in assessment) Revelation of John. As you who have read this blog regularly know, I am not eschatologically riveted. The views expressed at this Bible study are those never heard dropping from any other lips in Christendom. The word Apocalypse means "a lifting of the curtain or veil" and that is precisely what I hope to do. Last night the faithful were told of the need to resolve certain issues in their minds in order to approach the Revelation. First: Is the Future actual or conceptual? In other words was John's vision a transport through time to look upon the events and describe them OR does God provide a symbolic image of what He will bring to pass. Second: Are we willing to hope patiently in that which we discover is still to come rather than fictionalize a fulfillment so we can believe it better? Romans 8 reminds you that hope which is seen is not hope. Future stories are fiction. Do not write them. Instead read real stories for the Glory of God's prophetic will is only to be seen in the histories of the past. Did it happen? How will you know about it unless you read the histories. When Tacitus mentions the host of armies in the clouds over Jerusalem prior to the fall in 70 A.D., God is potentially glorified for seeming to fulfill His promise to show those who pierced him his coming in the clouds. Third: Can we recognize the distance in the relationship that each symbolic item has to the symbolized? For instance, the 7 heads of the sea beast measure three distances. 7 heads= literally 7 hills and 7 kings. The first distance is the number seven's symbolic distance from the number seven is zero. The second distance is the heads representing kings, which is not 1:1 but is a natural poetic distance. At the same time, in the third distance, the heads are hills which, without that being told to us, the distance of head to hill is so great we would never have figured it out. The heads are not hills like the 7 are 7. A greater distance, perhaps an recognizable distance once pointed out, exists between the realities of the 7 hills of Rome and the 7 heads of the beast. Christ is in the same book one like the son of man, a wounded lamb and a small child. Each has varying distance from the thing symbolized. Fourth: Let the clear passage define the unclear. If the book tells you something means something, set that point as an anchor and chart the more vague portions from its vantage.
It began here. Yup, here on the Evantine Abbey blog. And the project of saving Western Civilization from itself is done. The Amazing Missus has both written four short chapters on basic manners and has added all the requisite commas to that which the Oracle wrote.
You are saying to yourself, "Self, how can I get a hold of 1 or 50 of these puppies?" That is a problem. I can print them out myself complete with color card cover. I took the first one to FedEx/Kinkos for cutting and coil binding and they charged me $5 for a 8" plastic coil (which I like the best cuz it can lay flat). Heavens! The work is extremely valuable but add the $5 to the other costs of toner and paper and the "extreme value" registers as "excessive cost" to the man on the street. How would you possibly afford the fifty copies you want? I would like to offer this contribution to Western Civilization for sale but I don't know how to keep the costs down to a reasonable level. Comments with "helpful" ideas (not involving becoming a Calvinist) are encouraged. I have already looked into buying the dang machine that will do this magical binding but they run between $400-600. A lot of you would have to order your 50 copies lickety split. I figure the final cost should look like $5 retail. No ones face would turn ashen when looking at a 5.5"x8.5" spiral bound, 60 page, color covered booklet and hearing me say "That'll be $5, please".
Afterthought: Some of you who are new to the meanderings of the Oracle are wondering what the above "actually is". It is 30 one page observations/arguments/philosophies following the 30 Rules for a Gentleman and a Lady (15 each). The seminars I hold at the Big Haus called The Mojo Oracles (for men) and The Tao of Eve (for women) ended up producing certain observations based on my study of Lord Chesterfield and Balthazar Castiglione. I wrote the Rules a few years back to help the observations of a "gentled condition" fit the seminar format. As requests for explanations continued, I, in the last couple of years, wrote one page defenses for each. Also, having run a boarding house for college students for 27 years my wife and I were acutely aware of the bad manners that were the norm in the middle class. We added chapters at the end on attire, conversation, public behavior and dining to address the most basic, foundational manners. We even included pictures to distinguish between how a lower primate holds a spoon and how a human being would do the same. I gave a talk at the Society for Classical Learning conference last year in Greensboro to great response and a year later (at this year's conference) people were asking me for materials. I knew a single affordable volume was needed and something schools or individuals could use or give away. Today we have a product but we are working on "affordable".
Some holies say the Sabbath is the day Where rest for six is found for all the saints. Some claim that “rest” by fiat stray’d and pray’d The church to Sunday them to death. This ain’t My mind to thus esteem either or each, To keep my goodly soul in cosmic trim. While no “new moons, sabbaths, or feasts” I preach (The week is named for other gods than Him.) I certain do more blessed days revere. Mine own nativity I toast and love, And accidental Sundays in a year, Though not for church or rite or perks above. This Sunday is above all days in life. This rest I took when you became my wife.
The Amazing Missus and I went to see Jonny Lang in Sandpoint with Jay and Noelle Zmuda. The setting was marvelous, the weather beyond compare, and, as fans of Mr. Lang lo, these many years, we smiled the smile of the blessed.