Apocalyptic Smackdown

"I don't know what science fiction he is reading--We believe the Rapture is going to come, not his nonsense that Christ came back in 68 A.D."

That's Tim LayHaye, talking to the Dallas Morning News about a new fiction series on the book of Revelation written by Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man.

Hanegraaff has the curious idea that the book of Revelation was written to first century Christians being eaten by lions, burned alive, and just plain murdered--among other things--by the Romans.

"John was not writing about the future," Mr. Hanegraaff said. "He was writing about the times he was living in, using symbolism from the Old Testament prophets to describe conditions in the first century. All the major elements of the Book of Revelation – Tribulation, Armageddon, Rapture – took place at that time."

LaHaye disgrees. He's made a career teaching that John, the author of Revelation, was writing primarily for people 2,000 years in the future, so you can't blame him.

The worst thing: "They are going to take the money we made for them and promote this nonsense," LaHaye told the Morning News.

Thanks to Greg over at the Parish for pointing out this story.

Now, I'm going to take a few days off from blogging.

BTW, Gary Hart has some interesting things to say in the NY Times.

The religions of Abraham all teach a sense of personal and collective humility. It was a note briefly struck very early by Mr. Bush and largely abandoned thereafter. It would be well for those in the second Bush term to ponder that attribute. Whether Bush supporters care or not, people around the world now see America as arrogant, self-righteous and superior. These are not qualities of any traditional faith I am aware of.

If faith now drives our politics, at the very least let's make it a faith of inclusion, genuine compassion, humility, justice and accountability. In the words of the prophet Micah: "He hath shown thee, O man, what is good. What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" And, instead of "O man," let's insert "O America."


God is Redeeming Us Ever Day

Got to hear Charlotte Madeliene, an old friend from my days as a pony-tailed singer songwriter, play at our church last night.

These are anxious days. Too much to do, too little time, and too many people divided over this election, this war, the future of the US. Into my anxiety, Charlotte spoke hope. Or sang hope, for you literalists, in the words of an Easter hymn, which she introduced by saying, "God is redeeming us everyday."

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Then on the ride home, these words from RelientK (a band I'd never heard of) came over the radio:

Never underestimate my Jesus
You're telling me that there's no hope
I'm telling you, you're wrong
Never underestimate my Jesus
When the world around you crumbles
He will be strong

That's the Christian story--that God redeems a crumbling world and our crumbling lives.


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