Tag: all posts by Ken


Revelation Redeemed

18th July

I began this blog series with the confession that I had become leery of the Book of Revelation and of the whole field in theology called eschatology. I had allowed my uninformed reading of the Book of Revelation and the crazy interpretations that I heard from wacko preachers and quirky commentators shape my understanding and attitude towards the book. Fortunately, scholars like N. T. Wright, George Ladd, Bruce Metzger, and others have given me insight and guidance into the book. I am now glad that the Church included this writing into the Canon of Scripture. It has a marvelous message and is beautifully structured, even if it still seems strange in some details and imagery. Revelation is redeemed. I hope that you feel the same. Pastor Dave and the other bloggers have done a great job of showing how relevant …



The Whole Earth Full of God’s Glory

28th June

And so we move to the conclusion of the story of paradise lost and paradise regained. We need to keep in mind that we are still dealing with symbolic language, metaphor, and figures of speech. At center stage of all this, however, is the personal presence of God and the Lamb. The glory of God and the Lamb give light to everything. We won’t need the sun and moon any more (probably figurative). The throne of God and the Lamb will be at city-center. God’s people will actually see God’s face and not die. God’s name is written on His people. They are finally His.

In Genesis 1-2, God was personally present with Adam and Eve in the garden. They had immediate access to the face of God. The tragedy of the Fall in Genesis 3 was not losing Eden itself. …



Edifice Complex

27th June

Pastors are sometimes accused of having an edifice complex. They like to build buildings. It is an understandable phenomenon. Much of what a pastor does cannot be measured concretely like other jobs. If you are a carpenter, you can walk away at the end of the day and see that you built a table or a garage. If you are in business, you can see what your earnings are in your cash register. Pastoral work is spiritual in nature. You can spend years with a congregation and not really see much growth. The church may even spilt due to conflict or when one pastor leaves. Pastors can invest large amounts of time in persons, only to have them walk away from their faith, their family, or their church. Some missionaries have spent years in foreign lands with only a few …



The Death of Death

26th June

In this passage we find the judgment of the Satan and of all persons who ever lived. Satan is let loose for a final hurrah. He rallies the nations against God and God’s people. In short order, however, Satan is burned up by fire from heaven. He is thrown into the lake of burning fire. He faces the same fate as the beast and false prophet. Satan is now gone for good. No one weeps for him. Again, questions abound. Why was Satan let loose again? Was he release from prison for good behavior? Also, if Satan is so easy to destroy, why keep him around? I mean, why not toast him now? It seems effortless on God’s part. This is no slug-fest between God and Satan. Satan is easily vanquished. In any case, the judgment of spiritual forces shows …



Christian Re-Incarnation

26th June

We are at the climax of the Book of Revelation with chapters 21 and 22. We finally turn from the terrible troubles, suffering, and tribulations of the Church on earth and the judgments of God on those causing the trouble, suffering, and tribulation. Beyond judgment, there is the creation of a new heaven and earth. God gave the promise of a new heaven and earth to the Prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah, God promised that he would “create new heavens and a new earth” (65:17), which would last forever (66:22).

We are given a brief, but beautiful, description of it in Revelation 21. We are told that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no more mourning, crying or pain. The old order of creation has passed. But the best part of the …



Flummoxed

23rd June

The word ‘flummoxed’ means baffled, confounded, stumped, bemused, flabbergasted, perplexed, confused, mystified, or puzzled. This is how I feel after reading Revelation 20:1-6. Three things stand out as especially perplexing. First, “the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan” is apprehended and locked up in the Abyss for 1,000 years. Then, he is released for a short time. Why? I don’t have a clue. Hitler is the embodiment of evil. If Hitler were an eternal evil spirit, would you ever let him out of his cage? Isn’t that like letting a black mamba, whose venom can kill dozens of people with just one bite, loose in a playground full of blind children? Second, what is the 1,000 year reign mentioned here (and no where else in the Bible)? I know the theories regarding the millennium, that the …



The Weapons of Warfare

23rd June

We have now come to the final showdown; the last battle between earthly forces of evil and Jesus with the armies of heaven. It is D-Day and the Heavenly Warrior storms the beaches and defeats the beast and the false prophet. It is important to note, as NT Wright points out, that the military imagery here is symbolic and not to be taken literally. Some crazies anticipate a real physical battle with actual military weapons when reading and interpreting this passage. These kooks take military metaphors and make them literal. The Bible, however, takes military language and makes it metaphorical. This is a depiction of a real defeat, but it is not a description of actual occurrences. Evil will certainly be overthrown. Not, however, with an earthly military campaign. This is a spiritual conflict. It is fought with spiritual weapons. …



Sacred Romance

21st June

We have all been to weddings. I went to one just this summer. Much preparation went into the event. Invitations were sent out. The couple impatiently counted the days down. The day arrives. Everyone is dressed up. The guests are seated. The proud parents take their place in the front row. Music is playing. The groom and pastor take their positions. The bridesmaids and groomsmen begin to flounce down the aisle. The stage is now set. The music now shifts. Everyone stands with great anticipation. The groom stares longingly at the door for the bride. She appears! A flood of adoring whispers cascades through the crowd. The bride beams with excitement. The day has finally come. She drinks it all in. The father of the bride gives her hand in marriage to the groom. You know the rest…

This is the …



Who’s Singing the Blues?

20th June

How was the peasant worker in Guatemala, who makes $6 a day, affected by the American economic crisis in 2008-2009? Were the bank accounts and property values of the masses of people in the Sudan affected by it? Do you think those struggling to survive in the slums of Sao Polo, Brazil are concerned about America’s GDP and GNP? Were there tears in the eyes of those on the streets of Calcutta because the stock market plunged to near Great Depression numbers? Was there job loss in the war-torn Congo? America is having economic problems and the poor of the world don’t care. They are not crying about it. They are unaffected. What we call financial crisis, they see as great wealth. Abundant wealth. Obscene wealth. Who are the one’s that care and are crying? Well, the American people for …



Celebrating Early

19th June

Have you ever celebrated a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion early? How about someone’s funeral? I knew a man who did just that. The funeral was his own. He was old and he knew he would die in the next few years, so he put together his own memorial service. His memorial service was a mix of all his favorite music interspersed with messages of wise counsel and his reflections on life. It took him months to select the right music, write the script, and record it so it could be played at his funeral service. He liked it so much, however, that he decided to invite everyone he knew to come to a special service held in a beautiful chapel in a Roman Catholic Church. He didn’t tell them that it was his funeral service, which delighted him …