Last spring, I had a very pleasant experience revisiting the Revelation while guiding a Highland class – where Sheila and I were coordinators at the time – through a brief study. I had been introduced to the book many years earlier by my paternal grandfather, had always had a soft spot for it, and thought it would be a nice experience to briefly revisit it.
Having concluded the study, and having had a very nice experience, I then announced that I was ready to move on to other things. After all, I like the book plenty, but I’m not really one of those Revelation nuts – you know, the type whose eyes get wide every time the subject comes up, eager to explain their latest theories about the end times.
Then, last fall, as Sheila and I started in a new class, we were asked if we could revisit those materials again. So… after a brief hiatus, we both went back to work, talking about the issues that we thought might be most compelling as this new group of people is introduced to the book.
Its been gratifying – as always – to get a chance to “introduce” this book to a new group of people. I love watching the lights come on as folks begin to see that – despite some of its dark, scary imagery – there really is a message of hope and a vision of glory that ultimately (and completely) upstages the scary stuff. But, this time, the really weird thing about the whole experience has been this:
Everywhere I’ve been turning the last two or three weeks, I’ve been finding discussions about biblical eschatology (the study of the “end” – a word that I put in quotes because part of the discussion often turns to how much of the “end” has already happened). Maybe its been there all along, and I’m just more tuned into it now – but I don’t think so.
Here’s a few examples:
– Today, Preacher Mike has a great post on dispensationalism, imagination, and the Revelation
– Andrew Perrriman, who has written a book called The Coming of the Son of Man, has been writing about the book quite a bit on Open Source Theology, another one of my hangouts
– The Post-Restorationist podcast, in its inagural program, discusses the subject of eschatology extensively; AAAAANNNND
– As I pointed out the other day, even Brian McClaren is getting into the act
A weird convergence of ideas, this is. It seems like, very suddenly, every blog I inhabit has become obsessed with the eschatological.