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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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March 05, 2005
An Exegesis of the Book of Revelation: Views Summarized - 'whole' idea
Filed in: Biblical Studies, Current Affairs, The Revelation of Jesus Christ


To summarize the views:

1. Preterist: Everything in the Book has already happened and in fact happened mostly between AD 66 and AD 70. We have actually been living in a new heaven and new earth since AD 70. Let's just say "all done." As I said previously, I'm giving this view pretty short shrift.

2. Historicist: Most everything in the Book has been fulfilled throughout the course of history - mainly the history of the Church. Ultimately views the Papacy as the antichrist and depends heavily on symbolic interpretation - I mean, after all, the star named Wormwood is Attila the Hun. Let's just say "mostly done".

3. Futurist: While some of the Book has been fulfilled in the past - most of it has not been fulfilled yet. Most of the plain meaning of the events in the Book have not yet happened in history but they will. Sometimes not friendly with the Papacy. Proponents have found correspondence to current events - for the last 150 years. Let's just say "not yet."

4. Spiritual: For the most part the events in the Book apply to all phases of church history - not to any specific events - it is best for us to look for how to apply the spiritual meaning of each part to our daily lives. Some of the prophecies will be fulfilled at the end of time. Let's just say "everything everywhere."

As we move through this process, one of the ideas that I'm going to be examining is - how can or is it possible to hold all of these views at the same time - I guess that's one method for seeking unity. Can we find a 'holistic' view?

On exegetical style: I favor context by context going forward - no fair talking about something we don't know yet (in terms of the unfolding of the Book). Let the Old Testament inform us about something we don't understand - if it does - using key words and similarites of subject matter to determine whether it does.

There has been considerable discussion over the years relative to 'literal' versus 'figurative' interpretation. I prefer to think in terms of 'plain meaning'. There is obviously considerable symbolism in the Book - the issue is how to interpret those symbols. To me 'literal' interpretation would suggest that a 'beast' is just that - some kind of strange looking animal. 'Plain meaning' would instead ask "Where else have we seen a reference to a like creature and was that symbol defined elsewhere?" If it is then we have a definition for the symbol - its 'plain meaning'. If not, then we just have the symbol and we are obliged to take its apparent plain meaning only and only alter that should the symbol be more rigorously defined elsewhere in the Book. Scholars of all views have produced outrageous interpretations - even the most 'literal' of scholars - by allowing assertion of conjecture as truth - rather than in some cases just saying "We don't know what this means."

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People Pulling

I was very fortunate in my youth to have been in the company of several men who were geniuses of wisdom. Most were from different races and cultures; all were quite at peace with the universe. This peace manifested itself in such a similar fashion within them it has to have some noteworthiness. So too must their similar perceptions of the Revelation of St. John. They all viewed it as partially fullfilled and the language as from someone who was describing a dream after awakening. One of the wisest told me once, "You cannot build a fence around God. What ever perception you or anyone else has is too brief and is limited by what you have experienced personally. The old wisdom of the blind men describing the elephant illustrates this point. All the blind men experienced the same thing yet, each saw it differently. So not judging a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins still might not do the trick since you, and not he, would be the numerator in the equation."
Since each of us may have an idea as to which of these views we can get our head around, we must be open to the others views.

My take is that it is a mix of both Futurism and Spiritualism with a discipline of studing the historic in a bookman like manner. Preterism may be too complete and negate the other disciplines, well, prematurely.

Posted by: Beto Ochoa at Mar 6, 2005 8:08:51 AM

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