Monday, November 1, 2010

The alpha and the omega of confusion in the face of certainty

This sundays sermon at church was on Revelation 20, a passage which contains reference to the Millennium, a thousand year reign of Christ. Different interpretations of this passage has led to countless controversies, arguments, and church divisions. Variant intepretations and whole theologies are based on this passage: pre-millennialism, post-millennialism, amillennialism,...
I probably hold to a highly nuanced form of amillennialism known as pan-millennialism: "All I know is thait will all pan out in the end!".
Jokes aside, unfortnately, often what is clear in the passage gets overwhelmed by what is not clear.
It is interesting to me that peoples views the interpretation of passages about passages of time in Genesis and Revelation often correlate. They seem to be strongly influenced by hermeneutical approaches, assumptions, and pre-commitments [how people read and interpret texts].
I thought our minister, Roy Davidson, did a great job of giving an overview of different views but emphasizing what is really clear: judgement will come, evil will be punished, God's people will be delived from this suffering unjust world, to one where Christ will reign and be worshiped as the Lamb of God. This message and the associated imagery used to reinforce it must have been incredible comfort to the first readers of the Revelation of John as they faced persecutin and death at the hands of a brutal Roman empire.

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