The Millennium, Part 2 (Revelation 20.1–10)

  Yesterday, I promised to talk about guidelines for the proper interpretation of Revelation 20.1–10. Well, I lied. Or rather—to be a bit more charitable to myself—I bit off more than I could chew. Way more. If premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial scholars cannot agree amongst themselves after writing thousands of pages on the topic, who am I to think I can settle the debate in a 500-odd-word email?   Of course, on first glance, the proper interpretation seems obvious, right? Premillennialism is the most literal interpretation of the passage, the one that reads it with the most common sense and … Continue reading The Millennium, Part 2 (Revelation 20.1–10)

The Millennium, Part 1 (Revelation 20.1–10)

  Revelation 20.1–10 describes the events surrounding the Millennium, or thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ with his saints. John’s description seems straightforward enough: After an angel binds Satan in the bottomless pit, Christ rules the world for a thousand years with Christian martyrs whom he has resurrected to life. At the end of the millennial period, Satan is released and gathers armies to make war against Christ’s “beloved city” but is defeated and thrown into hell along with the Antichrist and False Prophet.   As I said, this description seems straightforward enough, but Christian theologians have never fully agreed on … Continue reading The Millennium, Part 1 (Revelation 20.1–10)

“The Substantial Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit”

Over at the FutureAG blog, Paul Steward wrote a post called, "Identity Crisis," which is about how the younger generation feels about the Assemblies of God. Many of the responses (including mine) focus on what is essential to Pentecostalism. Apropos of much of that discussion, I’m posting an article my dad wrote four years ago called, "The Substantial Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit."   ***** I have just returned from a conference with 200 of our national leaders and missionaries from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. In 16 countries – many whose names are so … Continue reading “The Substantial Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit”

The Jesus We Never Knew (Revelation 19.11–21)

  Several years ago, Philip Yancey wrote a book called, The Jesus I Never Knew. By reading the Gospel with fresh eyes, Yancey saw—and helped his readers to see—Jesus as his contemporaries saw him, not as modern people so often imagine him. As Yancey told it, Jesus was not a person who could be packaged in any conventional religious box. Indeed, the primary targets of his righteous indignation were many of the prevailing religious conventions of his day. Instead, as someone has famously said, Jesus afflicted the comfortable but comforted the afflicted.   Outside the Gospels, few portraits of Jesus … Continue reading The Jesus We Never Knew (Revelation 19.11–21)

The Scandal of Grace

Over at Christianity Today, Mark Galli posts some comments in response to a forthcoming book, of Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity. Part of the scandal of the Cross is the scandal of grace. And part of the scandal of grace is that I am part and parcel of the company of the graced. My being a Christian means I am a member of a brotherhood of sinners, some of the most embarrassing sort. Even worse, to be a Christian is to acknowledge that I have been, at heart, a televangelist, a crusader, a sheltered, judgmental, proselytizing hypocrite. … Continue reading The Scandal of Grace

“Amnesty International’s Moral Incoherence”

Amnesty International is a respected human rights institution. It makes no explicit claim that abortion is right or wrong. But it considers law prohibiting abortion and punishing abortionists to be wrong (which is an implicit claim that abortion is a morally acceptable practice). Ryan T. Anderson parses AI’s moral incoherence further over at First Things‘ blog. He writes: Cox’s assertion that Amnesty International has no position on whether abortion is right or wrong is ridiculous. If pre-natal homicide is wrong, then why can’t governments legislate against it? As Lincoln taught us, no one can consistently claim to have a right … Continue reading “Amnesty International’s Moral Incoherence”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19.6–10)

  The second coming of Jesus Christ has a twofold effect: judgment and salvation. God reserves judgment for those who, in this present age, persistently refuse his offer of forgiveness and choose instead to continue sinning against him and against their neighbors. But God freely forgives any and all who turn to him with repentance and hope for salvation.   In John’s vision, judgment and salvation are depicted using a variety of graphic images. Judgment, for example, is urban destruction (Rev. 18.1–19.5) and battlefield carnage (19.11–21). Salvation, by contrast, is a wedding feast in which Jesus Christ marries his bride, … Continue reading The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19.6–10)

Exercise and Mental Health

From Christianity Today‘s blog comes this post by Stan Guthrie: While an apple a day may (or may not) keep the doctor away, a growing body of research indicates that exercise may keep the psychologist away. Alessandra Pilu of the University of Cagliari in Italy and other investigators reported their conclusions in the online journal of Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health. "The study found that depressed women who started a supervised exercise regimen had significant improvements in their symptoms over the next 8 months. Those who didn’t exercise showed only marginal improvements. "Before the study, all of the … Continue reading Exercise and Mental Health