Category: Eschatology

Universalism by John Wesley Hanson

I just finished reading John Wesley Hanson’s Universalism. It was a short and easy read. Well, easy insofar as it wasn’t very theologically academic. It was difficult in that the edition I purchased was a print-on-demand from Amazon…the transcription was so poor I found typos and grammatical errors every few sentences. This lead to a lot of double takes, but honestly didn’t interfere too terribly with the process.
I’d like to share the last couple pages of Hanson’s book, because he basically outlines the previous 200 pages in a very succinct and compact way. A way that is potentially more palatable to my social media friends who have no time to sit down and read a dry book on universalism. I added a few thoughts of my own to his points, and tried to clarify some things that my be confusing, but for the most part, this is quoted from his work. I believe his work is now considered in the public domain. Please inform me if this isn’t the case, as I will swiftly remove this.
The whole premise of Hanson’s book is that universalism, as manifested in Christian theology, is not, and was not, considered heretical to Christians from 0-500 A.D. He outlines the history of the belief among prominent and minor Church Fathers (and Mothers) and shows that universalism was actually the dominant belief of Christians, and if we are going to be honest with ourselves, we cannot truly claim the belief to be heretical.
“If we want to be true and honest Christians, we must go back to those earliest ante-Nicene authorities, the true fathers of the church.” ~ Max Muller
1) During the First Century the primitive Christians did not dwell on matters of eschatology, but devoted their attention to apologetics; they were chiefly anxious to establish the fact of Christ’s advent, and of its blessings to the world. Possibly the question of destiny was an open one, till Paganism and Judaism introduced erroneous ideas, when the New Testament doctrine of the apokatastasis was asserted, and universal restoration became an accepted belief, as stated later by Clement and Origen, A.D. 180-230.
2) The Catacombs give us the views of the unlearned, as Clement and Origen state the doctrine of scholars and teachers. Not a syllable is found hinting at the horrors Augustinian endless terror, but the inscription on every monument harmonizes with the Universalism of the early fathers.
3) Clement declares that all punishment, however severe, is purificatory; that even the ‘torments of the damned’ are curative. Origen explains even Gehenna as signifying limited and curative punishment, and both, as all the other ancient Universalists, declare that ‘everleasting’ (aionion) punishment, is consonant with universal salvation. So that it is no proof that other primitive Christians who are less explicit as to the final result, taught endless punishment when they employ the same terms.
4) Like our Lord and his Apostles, the primitive Christians avoided the words with which the Pagans and Jews defined their versions of endless punishmen: aidios or adialeiopton timoria (endless torment), a doctrine the latter believed, and knew how to describe; but they, the early Christians, call punishment, as did our Lord, kolasis aionios, discipline, chastisement, of indefinitie, limited duration.
5) The early Christians taught that Christ preached the Gospel to the dead, and for that purpose descended into Hades. Many held that he released all who were in ward. This shows that repentance beyond the grave, perpetual probation, was then accepted, which precludes the modern error that the soul’s destiny is decided at death.
6) Prayers for the dead were universal in the early church, which would be absurd, if their condition is unalterably fixed at the grave.
7) The idea that false threats were necessary to keep the common people in check, and that the truth might be held esoterically, prevailed among the earlier Christians, so that there can be no doubt that many who seem to teach endless punishment, really held the broad universalistic views in more academic works, as we know the most did, and preached terrors pedagogically to the laypersons.
8) The first comparatively complete systematic statement of Christian doctrine ever given to the world was by Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 180, and universal salvation was one of the tenets.
9) The first complete presentation of Christianity as a system was by Origen (A.D. 220) and universal salvation was explicitly contained in it.
10) Universal salvation was the prevailing doctrine in Christendom as long as Greek, the language of the New Testament and its writers, was the language of Christendom, rather than Latin, as used by Augustinians.
11) Universalism was generally believed in the first three centuries, when Christians were most remarkable for simplicity, goodness, and missionary zeal, giving communally to all, freely sacrificing their lives as martyrs (thus, one does not need the fear of eternal torment to evangelize or love others).
12) Universalism was least known when Greek, the language of the New Testament was least known, and when Latin was the language of the Church in its darkest, most ignorant, and corrupt ages (ie: medieval period).
13) Not a writer among those who describe the heresies of the first three hundred years intimates that Universalism was then a heresy, though it was believed by many, if not by the majority, and certainly the greatest of the fathers (Origen, the Gregorys, Clement, Basil, etc.)
14) Not a single creed for five hundred years expresses any idea contrary to universal restoration, or in favor of endless punishment. All of the creeds we use in modern times, that were written in the Patristic period, were created and written by proponents of universal salvation. These are some of the very creeds biblical inerrantists use to claim in our contemporary times that universal salvation is a damnable belief.
15) With the exception of the arguments of Augustin (A.D. 420), there is not an argument known to have been framed against Universalism for at least four hundred years after Christ, by any of the ancient fathers, even those who did not believe Universalism.
16) While the councils that assembled in various parts of Christendom, anathematized every kind of doctrine supposed to be heretical, no oecumenical council, for more than five hundred years, condemned Universalism, though it had been advocated in every century by the principal scholars and most revered saints.
17) As late as A.D. 400, Jerome says ‘most people’ (plerique) and Augustine says ‘very many’ (quam plurimi), believed in Universalism, notwithstanding that the tremendous influence of Augustine, and the mighty power of the semi-pagan secular arm were arrayed against it.
18) The principal ancient Universalists were Christian born and reared, and were among the most scholarly and saintly of all the ancient saints, as many were the founders of famous seminaries, theological/philosophical libraries, and conducted
themselves in a loving manner, as testified by contemporaries and historians.
19) The most celebrated of the earlier advocates of endless punishment were heathen/pagan born, and led corrupt lives in their youth. Tertullian, one of the first, and Augustine, the greatest of them, confess to having been among the most vile, and believed they deserved to be punished for it.
20) The first advocates of endless punishment, Minucious Felix, Tertullian, and Augustine, were Latins, ignorant of Greek, and less competent to interpret the original meaning of Greek Scriptures than were the Greek universalistic scholars. The prior relied on faulty and erroneous Latin translations.
21) The first advocates of Universalism, after the Apostles, were Greeks, in whose mother-tongue the New Testament was written. They found their Universalism in the Greek Bible and passed down through disciples of the Apostles. Who should be correct, they or the Latins?
22) The Greek Fathers announced the great truth of universal restoration in an age of darkness, sin and corruption. There was nothing to suggest it to them in the world’s literature or religion. It was wholly contrary to everything around them. Where else could they have found it, but where they say they did, in the Gospel? Many in these modern times think universalism is paganistic, but that is quite the opposite: Christian theology is the first to have birthed universalism.
23) All ecclesiastical historians and the best Biblical critics and scholars agree to the prevalence of Universalism in the earlier centuries. Many scholars who once wrote of the lack of Universalism have corrected themselves apologetically after further research and discovery.
24) From the days of Clement of Alexandria to those of Gregory of Nyssa and Theodore of Mopsuestia (A.D. 180-428), the great theologians and teachers, almost without exception, were Universalists. No equal number in the same centuries were comparable to them for learning and goodness in Christian theology.
25) The first theological school in Christendom, that in Alexandria, taught Universalism for more than two hundred years.
26) In all Christendom, from A.D. 170 to 430, there were six Christian schools. Of these four, the only strictly theological schools, taught Universalism, and but one endless punishment.
27) The three earliest Gnostic sects, the Basilidians, the Carpocratians and the Valentinians (A.D. 117-132) are condemned by Christian writers, and their heresies pointed out, but though they taught Universalism, that doctrine is never condemned by those who oppose them. Irenaeus, in his famous ‘Against Heresies’ condemned the errors of the Carpocratians, but does not reprehend their Universalism, though he ascribes the doctrine to them.
28) The first defense of Christianity against Infidelity (Origen against Celsus) puts the defense on Universalistic grounds. Celsus charged the Christians’ God with cruelty because he punished with fire. Origen replied that God’s fire is curative; that he is a ‘Consuming Fire’ because he consumes sin, but not the sinner. The sinner, he saves.
29) Origen, the chief representative of Universalism in the ancient centuries, was bitterly opposed and condemned for various heresies by ignorant and cruel fanatics. He was accused of opposing Episcopacy, believing in pre-existence, etc., but never was condemned for his Universalism. The very council that anathematized ‘Origenism’ eulogized Gregory of Nyssa, who was explicitly a Universalist as was Origen. Lists of his errors are given by Methodius, Pamphilus, Eusebius, Marcellus, Eustathius, and Jerome, but Universalism is never named by one of his opponents. Fancy a list of Ballou’s errors and his Universalism omitted; Hippolytus (A.D. 320) names thirty-two known heresies, but Universalism is not mentioned once. Epiphanius, ‘the hammer that crushes heretics,’ describes eighty heresies, but he does not mention universal salvation, though Gregory of Nyssa, who as we have said, was a strong universalist, was, at the time Epiphanius wrote, the most conspicuous figure in Christendom. Why, if Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, two of the most influential figures of their time, who were both strong universalists, were never called out for their universalism if it was considered heresy?
30) Justinian, a half-pagan emperor, who attempted to have universalism officially condemned, lived in the most corrupt epoch of the Christian centuries. He closed the theological schools, and demanded the condemnation of Universalism by law; but the doctrine was so prevalent in the church that the council refused to obey his edict to suppress it. Lecky says the age of Justinian was ‘the worst form of civilization has assumed.’
31) The first clear and definite statement of human destiny by any Christian writer after the days of the Apostles, includes universal restoration, and that doctrine was advocated by most of the greatest and best (here meaning the most influential, those we know lived their lives according to the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, those who did not want to persecute heretics [such as the likes of the vicious Augustine], etc.) of the Christian Fathers for the first five hundred years of the Christian Era.
In one word, a careful study of the early history of the Christian religion, will show that the doctrine of universal restoration was least prevalent in the darkest, and prevailed most in the most enlightened of the earliest centuries — that it was the prevailing doctrine of the Primitive Christian Church.
~John Wesley Hanson, Universalism~

Syndicated from Interdependently Independent

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We Are Placed Among Things That Are Passing Away

Grant that I, Lord, may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly; and even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away, hold fast to those that shall endure…
I read these words in my prayer book this morning. I have prayed these words before, at times rushing past them mechanically, at times supplying a quick inventory of the things in my life that tend to make me anxious, at times pondering the heavenly things that I ought to be loving instead of the earthly things that so easily take hold of my fickle affections. But I’ve never spent much time on that middle clause: “even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away.”
I paused there this morning. I thought back to the previous evening where I had prayed with a group of older saints. I thought about how we had made a long list of the people we cared about whose bodies were falling apart, whether because of age or illness or neglect. People who are, when it comes right down to it, passing away. “We’re all on our way there,” one person grimly remarked. I cleared my throat awkwardly. Well yes, of course we’re all on our way. But who wants to be reminded that they are one of the things that are passing away?
I’ve been thinking this morning about things that are passing away (things other than, of course, my self)— things that so naturally produce anxiety, in our world and in my own soul. About my kids who are growing up way too fast, about the choices and the challenges they will face in the world. About all of the anxiety that the passing from childhood to adulthood brings along with it. About friends and family and the inevitable losses that we will all face. About money and influence and power and politics and all of the tawdry charades that dominate the daily news. About how history so reliably repeats itself, and how so much of it comes to nothing in the end. About controversial issues and ignorant opinions and truth and lies and the grinding task of sorting through them all. About our relentless demand to be entertained. About the church and of the familiar forms and assumptions that are passing away. About the things that I cling to for identity and status in the world and how these things will, inevitably, fade away. I thought about what it might be like to be unremembered.
I looked out my rain-streaked window and grumbled to God that I would rather be placed somewhere other than among things that are passing away. I would prefer to be placed among other, better things—things that are being renewed, for example, or at the very least things that are staying the same long enough for me to get a handle on them. It is surely a truism that human beings bear the unique burden of possessing both the knowledge of life’s transitory and fragile nature, and at the same time having an inextinguishable longing for eternity lodged stubbornly in our hearts.
But grumbling rarely gets me very far, whether to God or to anyone else. Probably better to focus on how I might learn and grow and maybe even change, even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away. There are no shortage of potential lessons to commend themselves. To cling less tightly to things, perhaps. To invest less in what ultimately matters very little. To be relieved of the burden (and forgiven of the sin) of imagining that I am my own little god tasked with managing my own little domain of grievances, trials, and tribulations (real or, more likely, imagined). To have more grace. To smile more. To resist allowing my attitudes and responses to be yanked around by machines that feed on outrage and division. To not expect from things that are passing away what can only come as gifts from God. To be at peace with my neighbour, with the world, and with God.
And, of course, to hold fast to what will endure. Which is what, exactly?
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13).
Grant that I, Lord, may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly…
The heavenliest thing to love is, of course, God. And God is love. So love is both mode and meaning, both witness and way. Love is our habit and our home, while we are here, placed among things that are passing away.

Syndicated from Rumblings

How to Be a Bad Theologian

I’ve been thinking this morning about, of all things, hockey pools. For those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, a group of friends get together before the season and pick which NHL players they think will score the most points in the upcoming season. You assemble your roster and then watch to see how they perform against other people’s rosters in the year ahead. I’ve been doing this with a bunch of guys over the past few days. I tend to be pretty terrible at hockey pools, but it’s all good fun.
There are a number of reasons for my historically absymal performance in hockey pools. I tend to disproportionally pick with my heart rather than my head. I pick my favourite players or players I would most like to see succeed in the year ahead, whether because their personal story appeals to me or they play the game in a way I admire or they avoid some of the typical moronic behaviours or pro athletes (although I did pick Evander Kane, so, apparently I’m ok with the odd strategic departure from my ideals). I also tend to pick players from my favourite team (the Calgary Flames; cue mockery). Both of these are variations of what psychologists call confirmation bias. My picks align with what I want to be the case in the hockey season ahead.
My most basic error may, however, be less psychological than theological. This sounds weird and forced, I know—just the sort of thing that an amateur theologian might come up with on a dreary and weary Friday morning. But stay with me for a minute. My strategy for making my picks, such as it is, involves little more than calling up last year’s statistics, analyzing who got the most points or most points per game, and then unimaginatively extrapolating this to the future. What players have done is the basis of my assessment of what they will do in the year ahead. There is little room in my “system” for newness—for the impressive rookie who blows everyone away (i.e., Matt Barzal, last year) or the journeyman who has an utterly unexpected return to form (i.e., Eric Staal) or the career season that nobody saw coming (i.e., half of the Vegas Golden Knights).
In sum, my picks betray a failure to consistently adhere to the theological premise which forms the spine of the Christian narrative: the way things have been does not determine or even accurately predict how they will be. Newness is not only possible, but promised.
It’s one thing to make a theological error when it comes to something as trivial as a hockey pool. It’s quite another to make it in other more important areas of life. But we do this, too, don’t we?
We view the troublesome teenager as little more than the aggregate of their past mistakes rather than allowing for learning, maturity and growth.
The prospects for a marriage are constrained by the habits and heartaches of what has come before rather than possibilities for new expressions of love to take shape and flourish.
Our evaluation of the trajectory of civil discourse and mutual pursuit of truth is ground down by the unrelenting negativity of what we observe and have contributed to in the past, rather than a hope, however feeble, that human beings can rise above the tribalism and posturing that comes so naturally to us.
Our longing for justice and peace—for our neighbourhoods and for our world—is stifled by long acquaintance with their absence rather the the astounding visions that fired the imaginations of prophets like Micah, Amos, Isaiah, and Jesus of Nazareth.
Our assessment of the possibilities for church—our church or the church—is more dependent upon sociological trends of decline that we see all around us than on the promise of Christ that he will be with us always, even to the very end of the age.
To be a pessimist is, perhaps, to be a bad theologian. Come to think of it, maybe even to be a realist is to be a bad theologian. It’s one thing to not allow for newness in a hockey pool; it’s quite another to rule it out of a world loved into being by the One who says, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Syndicated from Rumblings

666 | S1 E8 (EP-8)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 8 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt explores the mysterious and infamous number in the bible: 666. It is the topic of horror films and turn-or-burn preachers alike. But what did it mean in the first century? What significance does it have for us today or in the future? Time to get our so-called anti-christ conversation on... hurry, assemble the Tribulation Force! Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

1 Dragon and 2 Beasts | S1 E7 (EP-7)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 7 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt continues to look at Revelation in broad sweeps. Specifically, he looks at the 'dragon' (devil) and the two 'beasts' who show up in popular conversation about Revelation. Who are they for John and his audience? You might be surprised that the beasts are likely not some future deceivers.  Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

Somewhere to Be

I know I’m technically on a “blogging sabbatical,” but I decided to interrupt it to offer a few reflections and observations on a trip I’m presently on to Israel and Palestine. One of the things we consistently hear wherever we go in this conflicted area is, “Tell others what you have seen and heard with your own eyes and ears.” It’s a serious call, and one that I feel an obligation to respond to given the privilege that I have of being here. Here are some assorted stories and reflections from my first few days here.
At 5:30 yesterday morning we made our way to the main checkpoint that Palestinians must take to get from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. We were coming a bit later in the morning—most Palestians (men, mainly) arrive before 4:00 am in order to ensure that they can get through in time to get to work on the other side by 7:00 or so. After a briefing from a few humanitarian monitors of the checkpoint, we proceeded through a labyrinth of cages and turnstiles and barbed wire and metal detectors and soldiers. We wanted to get a sense of what it was like to be a Palestinian for whom this is a daily reality.
But of course we only got a tiny sense of what it was actually like. It was far emptier than earlier in the morning. We got to sleep in until 5:00 am to get there rather than waking as early as 1:00 am to travel from surrounding villages to arrive at the checkpoint by 4:00. We had no need to consider if our employer would be waiting for us on other side, no cause to worry about a medical appointment we might miss, no anxiety about whether we might be turned back once we finally got to the Israeli soldiers, often for reasons as simple as expired paperwork or the fact that there were reports of someone in our village who threw a stone at an Israeli vehicle. Or less. We didn’t have a hard day of labour in the hot sun to look ahead to once we made it through the lineup (which can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours, depending on how many metal detectors they decide to open at any given point of the day). We didn’t have any anxiety about whether we’d even have a job waiting for us on the other side nor did we have to struggle with the grim irony that surely must accompany the common reality of Palestinian day labourers building helping to build Jewish settlements on what is supposed to be their land. We didn’t have to think about doing it all over again tomorrow morning. And the morning after that. And the morning after that… We got through with barely a disinterested glance at our passports and made our way back to the hotel for hot coffee and breakfast.
At one point when we were walking along the long walkway that felt like a livestock chute, an older Palestinian man said to me, “Welcome to our checkpoint, what do you think?” I shook my head and mumbled something like, “I don’t quite know what to say when I see something like this… What do you think?” He just smiled and said, “Every day,” before hurrying off past me. I suppose he had somewhere to be.
We spent part of Sunday touring through the Old City of Jerusalem. At one point, my wife and I wandered down from the Al Aqsa mosque toward a lookout point that faces over toward the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives. There was a structure there and I offhandedly asked the guy beside me if he knew what it was. He proceeded to summon his Holy Land tour leader to come over and answer my question. What followed was some interesting theology.
“Well, you see, this is the East Gate but the Muslims have walled it off and built a cemetery on the other side… And of course we know that when Jesus returns he will touch down on the Mount of Olives and make his way over here to institute the new temple… But he can’t set foot in the Muslim cemetery, of course (of course?)… Luckily, it was recently discovered that there was a fault line on top of the Mount of Olives… And of course (of course?) we know that this fault line is designed by God to literally split the earth in half and pave the way for Jesus to triumphantly reenter Jerusalem. My face must have looked rather blank as I pondered this image of king Jesus parachuting down from heaven onto the Mount of Olives to be ushered via earthquake through the remains of a Muslim cemetery to reestablish a Jewish temple. An interesting eschatological path to take for the Prince of Peace. Jesus, too, apparently, has somewhere to be.
As I reflected upon these two experiences, I wondered what might happen if the Holy Land tour guide I met would walk through an Israeli checkpoint. I wonder if he might get a glimpse into the grinding, soul-crushing daily reality that his theological fervour feeds into for ordinary human beings. Would he pause to wonder if his need for the nation state of Israel and Jerusalem in particular to be a staging ground for his particular version of eschatological pyrotechnics legitimates the kind of struggle and suffering for ordinary people that is obvious at the checkpoint? Would he soften his position in any way? Would he think twice before mapping out Jesus’ triumphant (and violent) return to Jerusalem for eager tourists every day? Or would he only see tens of thousands of potential terrorists being daily herded like cattle through a maze of steel and barbed wire?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. Obviously. I don’t know the answer to very many questions when it comes to this part of the world. But I do know that if this land is ever going to turn into somewhere to be for both Jews and Palestinians, it is going to require a determination to imagine things from the perspective of the other and to at least try to see a human being where it’s so easy to see only an enemy. It’s going to require Jesus-y things like forgiving what seems impossible to forgive, in turning cheeks that have been stung too many times with violence. It’s going to require walking miles that we have little interest in walking to places we would rather not go because we’re convinced that there has to a better future around the bend.

Syndicated from Rumblings

Lowercase gods, 7 Churches, & Worship | S1 E6 (EP-6)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 6 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt Willems explores the imperial cult, the gods of the Roman Empire, and how they influence the 7 cities in Revelation. The followers of Jesus have to navigate how to give the slaughtered Lamb their full allegiance, when the forces around them seek to take captive their imaginations. Worship anchors them either in the ideology of Rome or in the way of Jesus. Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

Resistance and Hope in Revelation | S1 E5 (EP-5)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 5 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt Willems looks at Revelation through its broad themes and genre. It is apocalyptic literature and must be read as such. It is a book of resistance and hope in the midst of oppression. Civil religion wants our imagination; this allegiance of the mind belong only to the Slaughtered Lamb. Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

Cosmic Signs Don’t Signal a Rapture (Next Week’s Prediction by David Meade)

I thought you might want to know that the rapture is set to occur on April 23rd. According to Christian Numerologist David Meade, we all need to be ready. <<<By the way, this reflection is based on podcast episode #4 from, Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, & Our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse.>>> Planet […]

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Syndicated from the Pangea Blog

Cosmic Signs Don’t Signal a Rapture (Unless People Disappear Next Week) | S1 E4 (EP-4)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 4 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt Willems talks about a self-proclaimed "Christian Numerologist" and multi-failed rapture predictor, David Meade. The conspiracy theories continue to abound, especially when it comes to using numbers and constellations in the sky to predict a rapture. But here's the deal: apocalyptic language doesn't function like that in the Hebrew Scriptures or when the New Testament utilizes it.  Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

John was a Refugee (backstory of Revelation’s author) | S1 E3 (EP-3)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 3 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt Willems considers the real life of John, the author of the book of Revelation. It is quite plausible that John was a refugee in a literal sense. He was part of a Jewish group of Jesus followers in Jerusalem, who were forced to flee for their lives to Asia Minor when Rome came in and eventually destroyed Jerusalem. What would this backstory mean for John, now 20-something years after the dramatic events? No wonder he as no love for the ways of Empire! Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

The N.T. Wright Episode | S1 E2 (EP-2)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 2 (Spring Season, 2018) In this episode, Kurt Willems chats briefly with N.T. Wright about Revelation. Kurt spends significant time discussing Wright's work on 'new creation' and attempts to frame any conversation of the so-called 'end times' around that theme.  Here’s a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

Preparing for the End | S1 E1 (EP-1)

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Season 1, Episode 1 (Spring Season, 2018) In this first episode of Rapture Drill, Kurt Willems introduces the motivations for a show like this. Why do we need a podcast that is devoted to such a controversial and confusing topic? What is a "rapture drill" anyway? Why do so many people feel the need to prepare for the end? Yep, we need to answer the 'why' before we get into the 'what.' Here's a free resource: Revelation Cheat Sheet, pdf! GIVE THE SHOW SOME LOVE 1) If you would be so kind to hop on iTunes (or your feed of choice) and leave Rapture Drill a review there, that would be amazing. The more reviews we can get will lead to greater visibility in iTunes. And I (Kurt) LOVE reading your comments! 2) Also, please consider hitting up Rapture Drill on Patreon online tip-jar (think Kickstarter for ongoing content creators). For $3 per month, or more, you can make a direct impact on this show. Financial partners like you really do make this all possible! Through Patreon, you make a tangible difference in this show’s sustainability and quality! http://patreon.com/kurtwillems
Syndicated from Rapture Drill: Reframing Revelation, the End Times, and our Weird Obsession with the Apocalypse

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