August 31, 2006

Revelation 2:9 / crystal

I know your tribulation and poverty, but you are rich.

"The preferential option for the poor" is a consept in Catholic social thought (in Protestant too?). It's often linked with liberation theology, but as we can see from this passage, the idea that actual poverty = spiritual wealth is much older than LT.

Here's a bit from an interview with Gustavo Gutiérrez from an issue of America magazine ...

Do you think the “preferential option for the poor” has become an integral part of the Catholic Church’s social teaching? And where did that term come from?

Yes, I do believe that the option for the poor has become part of the Catholic social teaching. The phrase comes from the experience of the Latin American church. The precise term was born sometime between the Latin American bishops’ conferences in Medellín (1968) and in Puebla (1979). In Medellín, the three words (option, preference, poor) are all present, but it was only in the years immediately following Medellín that we brought these words into a complete phrase. It would be accurate to say that the term “preferential option for the poor” comes from the Latin American church, but the content, the underlying intuition, is entirely biblical. Liberation theology tries to deepen our understanding of this core biblical conviction.

The preferential option for the poor has gradually become a central tenet of the church’s teaching. Perhaps we can briefly explain the meaning of each term:

• The term poverty refers to the real poor. This is not a preferential option for the spiritually poor. After all, such an option would be very easy, if for no other reason that there are so few of them! The spiritually poor are the saints! The poverty to which the option refers is material poverty. Material poverty means premature and unjust death. The poor person is someone who is treated as a non-person, someone who is considered insignificant from an economic, political and cultural point of view. The poor count as statistics; they are the nameless. But even though the poor remain insignificant within society, they are never insignificant before God.

• Some people feel, wrongly I believe, that the word preferential waters down or softens the option for the poor, but this is not true. God’s love has two dimensions, the universal and the particular; and while there is a tension between the two, there is no contradiction. God’s love excludes no one. Nevertheless, God demonstrates a special predilection toward those who have been excluded from the banquet of life. The word preference recalls the other dimension of the gratuitous love of God—the universality.

• In some ways, option is perhaps the weakest word in the sentence. In English, the word merely connotes a choice between two things. In Spanish, however, it evokes the sense of commitment. The option for the poor is not optional, but is incumbent upon every Christian. It is not something that a Christian can either take or leave. As understood by Medellín, the option for the poor is twofold: it involves standing in solidarity with the poor, but it also entails a stance against inhumane poverty.

The preferential option for the poor is ultimately a question of friendship. Without friendship, an option for the poor can easily become commitment to an abstraction (to a social class, a race, a culture, an idea). Aristotle emphasized the important place of friendship for the moral life, but we also find this clearly stated in John’s Gospel. Christ says, “I do not call you servants, but friends.” As Christians, we are called to reproduce this quality of friendship in our relationships with others. When we become friends with the poor, their presence leaves an indelible imprint on our lives, and we are much more likely to remain committed.

Revelation of John 2:8-11 (Smyrna)

'Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna and say, "Here is the message of the First and the Last, who was dead and has come to life again:

I know your hardships and your poverty, and -- though you are rich -- the slander of the people who falsely claim to be Jews but are really members of the synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of the sufferings that are coming to you. Look, the devil will send some of you to prison to put you to the test, and you must face hardship for ten days. Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize.

Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: for those who prove victorious will come to no harm from the second death."

August 30, 2006

Second Post: Angels and Churches

My post got screwed up some way and wouldn't allow comments. So I deleted it and here it it again. (I'll try to reproduce the two comments)

John used this device to separate the church (a principality) from the angel (a spiritual force). We might well emulate that in our own thoughts and feelings. When the angel is remonstrated with, it may suggest that a foreign spirit has entered into and threatens to dominate the church. We all know of cases where this has happened, though not necessarily fatal.

We also all, at least I, go to the far country sometimes and need to "come to ourselves". The letters to the Churches seem to be to a large degree toward that purpose.

I've been away, so for the whole morning I have interespersed comments on the posts of the last five days. Read if you get a chance.

August 26, 2006

More Jacques Ellul (pg 129)

" 'Remember from what you have fallen.' Because love is union itself with God for the love of God. The works are of value only if they are the fruit of love itself working in us. They have no other value, no intrinsic value, not even the practice of justice or purity... The Lord does not put out the flame but changes the place of the lampstand; which is to say that the flame of truth and love is given to someone else. From that time this church will remain a church apparently alive but in reality empty. To us, it would seem that Jesus Christ is interested in keeping a solid, orthodox church, long at this place, in her place. Not at all! He is prepared to let her fall because the only thing that matters is that the Church keep the love of God. Better to cease having a church than to have a church of traditions, of good works, of institution without the love of God....The task then is to find again the first works, which is to say those that emanate directly, spontaneously, from love, those which were a beautiful ripe fruit, and not a difficult duty. It is a matter then of no longer putting her own works in the place of God."

The stick and the carrot / crystal

... repent, and behave as you did at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place ... those who prove victorious I will feed from the tree of life set in God's paradise.

I looked at this reading as if it was about a relationship, and it seems sort of disfunctional to me. Love can't be coerced, doesn't respond to threats or bribes. This is a very different relationship than that shown in the story of the prodigal son, for instance. It's hard for me to believe this reading is "inspired", or if it is, that it is free from the writer's ax grinding interpretations.

- The Return of the Prodigal Son by Sir Edward John Poynter

letter to the angel of Ephesus/david

THIS letter raises some fascinating issues for me.

A critical one is that we have no way of knowing who the Nicolaitans are. While there are theories the theories seem to have insufficient support. This raises serious questions about how scripture can be edifying when some core concerns (the Nicolaitans get mentioned twice by John of Patmos) are essentially unrecoverable references. All we know is that John claims the resurrected Christ detests both their deeds and their doctrines. All else is speculation.

This issue is naked here. We simply don't know who these guys were. In other biblical passages we believe we know, or we can reconstruct partial references, or simply, what appears as common sense is quite false.

So if we wish to hold on to a doctrine of scriptural inspiration, or a role for the bible in our individual and corporate guidance, we also need a model which does not depend on actually understanding fully the original sense of the text. I turn to scripture for guidance -- but the guidance is always tentative, because my understanding, while perhaps spirit led, is always (at least potentially) partial. I'm called to be pragmatic, and the proposed action or belief I'm exhorted to is at best a theory, an hypothesis, to be tested in the laboratory of my living.

Not easy for me. I like to get my intellectual ducks in a row before I step out into the world of action. And this passage is telling me that I cannot do so. There is a point where analysis becomes paralysis and I must act. I must risk.

I then bring this spirit of not knowing back to this passage.

I see that this letter is not addressed to the church at Ephesus but to its angel. Not to the lamp on the lampstand, but to the star shining in Christ's right hand.

Ephesus (or its angel) is praised for hard work and perseverance. Which in turn implies that it faces resistance or attack. Again the doubt. Can we really be fed by a passage that presumes that we are persecuted for our faith when we are not?

I see also paradox. It is praised for not standing/tolerating/bearing wicked people/men. For challenging false apostles. And for hating these unknown Nicolaitans. And yet, it is held accountable for lack of love. Love (I presume for one another) is consistent with challenging false teachers, hating false teachers, refusing to put up with (unspecified) wickedness.

And then I look at my real life and blood faith communities that wrestle with matters like neo-pagan and neo-trinitarian Quakers worshipping and working together. Gay marriages. Gay ordination. Women's ordination. Whether there should be a church organ and a choir in a church or a rock band.

In the face of such issues this letter to the angel of Ephesus is less like guidance than it is like a zen kōan -- something to be lived with until enlightenment comes unbidden on the winds of the spirit.

Revelation 2:1-7: Ephesus

Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus and say,

"Here is the message of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who lives among the seven golden lamp-stands: I know your activities, your hard work and your perseverance. I know you cannot stand wicked people, and how you put to the test those who were self-styled apostles, and found them false. I know too that you have perseverance, and have suffered for my name without growing tired.

Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make: you have less love now than formerly. Think where you were before you fell; repent, and behave as you did at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place. It is in your favour, nevertheless, that you loathe as I do the way the Nicolaitans are behaving.

Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: those who prove victorious I will feed from the tree of life set in God's paradise."

August 25, 2006

VISION OF CHRIST (Ch. 1:9-20)/ Crystal

Before I comment on the reading - 1:9-20 - I thought I'd mention some intro material. I haven't read Revelation before and haven't yet read any commentary, so my first step was to look at the introduction to it in the New American Bible. I found the info basic, and most of you will already know this stuff, but it was helpful to me :-) ...

.... symbolic descriptions are not to be taken as literal descriptions, nor is the symbolism meant to be pictured realistically. One would find it difficult and repulsive to visualize a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes; yet Jesus Christ is described in precisely such words (⇒ Rev 5:6). The author used these images to suggest Christ's universal (seven) power (horns) and knowledge (eyes). A significant feature of apocalyptic writing is the use of symbolic colors, metals, garments (⇒ Rev 1:13-16; ⇒ 3:18; ⇒ 4:4; ⇒ 6:1-8; ⇒ 17:4; ⇒ 19:8), and numbers (four signifies the world, six imperfection, seven totality or perfection, twelve Israel's tribes or the apostles, one thousand immensity) ....

The Book of Revelation cannot be adequately understood except against the historical background that occasioned its writing. Like Daniel and other apocalypses, it was composed as resistance literature to meet a crisis. The book itself suggests that the crisis was ruthless persecution of the early church by the Roman authorities; the harlot Babylon symbolizes pagan Rome, the city on seven hills (17, 9). The book is, then, an exhortation and admonition to Christians of the first century to stand firm in the faith and to avoid compromise with paganism, despite the threat of adversity and martyrdom; they are to await patiently the fulfillment of God's mighty promises ...

So, on to the reading ...

As mentioned, the description of Jesus is, I guess, meant to be symbolic of his power and glory ... the long robe (priestly), the gold sash (kingly), etc. About the symbolism of the two-edged sword, the NAB says ... A sharp two-edged sword: this refers to the word of God (cf ⇒ Eph 6:17; ⇒ Hebrews 4:12) that will destroy unrepentant sinners ... exmple ... Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12.

Interesting stuff.

- St John at Patmos - 1452-60, Illumination, Musée Condé, Chantilly

August 24, 2006

One Year Ago Today

When you think about it, it really is kinda neat we've been around this long together.

Forrest's question prompted me to check out what we were up to one year ago today. And we were into the gospel of John, and praying bodhisattvas that looked like glowing green ETs!

friendly skripture study: John 20: 30-31

procedural question

I've started in reading the archives, taking them from the bottom--and I find some interesting questions raised.

I'm offered a chance to comment, but the moment seems to have passed for carrying on the original conversation. I get the impression that new comments would simply gather dust.

So--In that situation I should simply add a new post reviving the subject? I suppose this is more natural than the practice at another site, where responding to a subject brought it forward again--but then their thread on eternal life was becoming an argument against eternal life by its own quite unreadable length.

August 23, 2006


I, John, your brother and partner in hardships, in the kingdom and in perseverance in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos on account of the Word of God and of witness to Jesus; it was the Lord's Day and I was in ecstasy, and I heard a loud voice behind me, like the sound of a trumpet, saying, 'Write down in a book all that you see, and send it to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.'

I turned round to see who was speaking to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, in the middle of them, one like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a belt of gold. His head and his hair were white with the whiteness of wool, like snow, his eyes like a burning flame, his feet like burnished bronze when it has been refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of the ocean. In his right hand he was holding seven stars, out of his mouth came a sharp sword, double-edged, and his face was like the sun shining with all its force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead, but he laid his right hand on me and said, 'Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and look -- I am alive for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and what is still to come. The secret of the seven stars you have seen in my right hand, and of the seven golden lamp-stands, is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves.'

Rev 1

In verse 1 I again notice the distinction between Jesus Christ and God, which leads me to suspect that this is an altogether different writer than the one who wrote the gospel. I see the same thing in Paul's letters, where he most often refers to God the father and Our Lord Jesus Christ, or something like that.

It strikes me that the Diety of Christ has caused unending turmoil and trouble for the Church, from the days of the wars between the orthodox (Romans) and the more numerical Arians who christianized most of Europe.

Dogmas do that IMHO; they divide the church and hide the true gospel which is addressed to mankind.

"he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John": isn't he still doing that? Doesn't Revelation continue? Doesn't Creation continue? The worship of the Bible, like the Diety of Christ is an obstacle and hindrance to the kingdom of God, as I understand it.

Well I could go on. Doesn't Rev provide the most fruitful field from which to preach?

August 22, 2006

A couple revelatory Ellul quotes

pg 32[Introduction]: "In reality we ought not to read the Apocalypse as the book of Judgement and Calamities; its sole purpose, finally, is to manifest by means of a synthetic recapitulation all that has been successively revealed in Old and New Testament history about the Lord God."

pg 37 [A Study of the Structure]: "There are no difficulties concerning the number seven: four in this language is the number of creation; three is the number of God... It is the number symbolizing the union and even the unity of God with his creation, the indissoluble relation of the creation to God... This is particularly important in a book such as the Apocalypse because it is precisely the book of the reintegration. The creation and humanity are separated from God; they are distant from one another; there has been a rupture resulting in the autonomy of humankind and now we are at the reunion, the reconciliation, the 'recapitulation.' The Apocalypse reveals to us the conditions of these rediscoveries, the obstacles and their disappearance, the transcendence of the old situation, the rupture of the autonomies and of the ancient crystalizations."

Much of what he writes is cumbersome, and probably not entirely from the translation--but every so often he really tickles the mind.

The "rupture" I see all too clearly--along with our continuing, intimate connection. The "autonomy" seems obviously to be illusory, and yet it's a fruitful illusion, as deliberate a feature of the Creation as the story of two monkeys told "Eat anything you like, but not that fruit."

In programming, there are two basic kinds of problem-solving methods. There is the algorithym, which takes you directly to a solution--but which might, for some problems, take longer than the projected lifetime of the universe. And there is the heuristic, the kind of method which may be utterly invalid in some cases, but which leads relatively quickly to a tentative solution.

The problem of our lives is muy beyond anything we can expect to work out by some algorithymic method. My take on scripture, this book in particular, is that it offers heuristics, paths we can follow to understand better, metaphors which do not define but rather sketch for us. Not an allegory to be painstakenly taped to its referents. But quite precisely describing significant aspects of our paradoxical reality.

All of creation is in rebellion; all of it entirely as it should be. "The Harmonious Hand is now holding Lord Krishna's ring, the eagle's wing, the voice of Mother, everything." [Incredible String Band ~1968 in The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter.] I'd like to make more sense, but all I have right now is this dilemma, so I must be making dilemmonade instead.

This isn't really a comment on my last post, but a further development of that groping. Last night I was at a talk by Bernie Glassman; he was explaining how one of his hands might be bleeding, while the other dithered about whether it should study medicine before trying to deal with the other hand's problem--but once the one hand realized that both hands were part of Bernie, it would quite naturally make the best response it was capable of. So here we all are, all of us wounded hands making up this great big inconceivable body, wondering how we can possibly staunch the bleeding--and we can't. So we need to get instructions from the Mind we all belong to--and it continues to maintain our separateness. We seek leadings, and we're led to go on being the people we actually are. But I continue to see the tracks of the Spirit at work in our very bumblings.

For what it's worth...

connection to world

One respect in which Revelations is like the Hebrew Scriptures is its prophetic aspect--not the intention of predicting a specific future, but the insistence that God intervenes in history in a meaningful way--and that the sufferings of nations are not simply cruel accidents of a badly-run world, but consequences of who they are and how they behave.

We could talk about the "wrath" of God in this context, how the prophets said that horrible things happened because God was angry, and we don't think so anymore. But horrible things did happen, have happened ever since, and continue to happen.

Is that because we don't make gay folks suffer enough? Not likely. The major thing that was said to anger God, the trigger for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, was human suffering. Because of the "outcry" against those cities--which does not mean a moralistic "tsk tsk," but the screams of a person in torment--they were destroyed.

Egypt was hit with plague after plague, while God went on hardening Pharoah's heart, (strengthening his determination to maintain his power over those pesky Hebrews)--and this certainly made for some interesting talk at Torah study, the one year I took part. My thought was, this was what it took to persuade the Hebrews to leave the sufferings they knew for a more hopeful path.

In Revelation, we're going to come, soon enough, to disaster after disaster rained down upon the Earth and its inhabitants. Because God is an abusive Father? No, I think we'll have to consider all this as descriptive, not as a glorification of punishment for its own sake. We suffer--others more than us--and it isn't meaningless, nor a divine response to God's outraged honor (although the author of Revelations may well have seen it in that light) but a consequence of our alienated condition.

In much of the Bible there's this totally unfair notion of collective responsibility. You get axed because there's something wrong with your community. Maybe one could be righteous as an individual, but it wasn't easy, it wasn't done. Historically, our culture doesn't see things that way.

Wrestling with homelessness among us--that subject came up again last night; it's still disquieting how I've managed to be reconciled to its existence. Because I needed to be. We have an intolerable condition which persists because our whole way of life produces it and works to perpetuate it. No one of us would tolerate it for a moment, if we saw it for what it is, and if our individual power could make an end of it. The war (whichever one it is at the moment)? I still intend to be downtown on the corner with a peace sign and some other local Quakers in an hour or two. But we aren't going to end it. Nor global warning, though it threatens our children and their children. These things are not in our power. They are symptomatic.

More and more of what threatens us is visibly like that. We need to cut loose of "Babylon", lest we be charged with her sins--and yet that "Babylon" includes everyone we know and love, even ourselves.

It isn't so much that there's an "answer" to this in the back of the book. We need to learn how to work this sort of problem, how to live in this context. That may be what Revelations reveals, the actual spiritual situation we live in and need to address.

August 21, 2006


I have updated the scripture Study Helps in the sidebar. The stuff on Acts is gonzo. I have added the two suggested resources by Crystal.

Any other online resources on the Apocalypse you want there -- just lest me know.

August 20, 2006

(another) mebership request

John from St Stephen's United Church in Oshawa.

membership request

We have received a request to join our skripture study. This is Forrest Curo from San Diego Meeting. Forrest likes Jacques Ellul which makes him okay in my books.

I'm asking for input from the two other extant members: Crystal and Larry. Respond in reply to this post. If you would prefer private response my email is

prologue, greetings, christology

This is an incredibly densely packed bit of writing. I'm seeing it fall into three chunks as it were, a prologue, a traditional (sort of) greeting, and lots and lots and lots of christological material.

This book is a revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him who in turn sent his angel to make it known to his servant John, and John has borne witness. In Paul we see the spirit of adoption cry out in our hearts: Abba, Father! Here God tells Jesus, who tells an angel who tell John who tells the seven churches. We seem to have replaced a parental intimacy with a celestial bureaucracy. The people of God suffer persecutions and other trials and God now seems very very distant.

While this is NOT the vision of God in heaven I carry about with me, I must admit there are times when I feel alone in this world and God seems hidden behind a cloud of unknowing and it feels like I must stand without supports or helps in this world. Perhaps this book is a vision for such times.

John opens next with the traditional greeting that Paul uses in his letters: grace and peace to you, but where Paul would say in Christ Jesus John says, from him who is, who was, and who is to come emphasizing God's imperial and eternal reign, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne -- an angelology is implicit here -- and from Jesus Christ.

This angelology has an angel standing before the throne of God for each church community: one for Toronto Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and another for St Stephen's United Church in North Oshawa. John has taken the angelology of Deuteronomy and transposed angels for the nations into angels for the churches.
When the Most High gave the nations each their heritage, when he partitioned out the human race, he assigned the boundaries of nations according to the number of the children of God, but Yahweh's portion was his people, Jacob was to be the measure of his inheritance. (Deuteronomy 32:8-9)

In Deuteronomy Israel has favoured nation status before God. Each church has an angel -- no church has favoured nation status before Christ and his Father.

Most of this passage is packed with christology. We could spend hours unpacking it all.

Highlights: God speaks to us through Jesus, who in turn speaks to angels who speak to his "servants" who speak to the churches. Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, and the highest of earthly kings, and God is his God and Father. I'm thinking here, that despite Christ's clearly exalted role at the right hand of the Father, that this book holds to an adoptionist christology. In other words, Jesus was not divine from the foundation of the world but becomes divine through his obedience. That makes the theology here more primitive than the theology of even Paul in 1st Thessalonians.

What might this mean? Revelation, the last book, last book written, may preserve a doctrine of Christ that is older than Paul and denies the orthodox doctrine of Trinity. For me this is a working theory I will bring to the reading of Revelation. I'm open to being disproved.

This passage also may have implications for what Larry and I have been talking about: something we call theosis: that we are each divine or on the path to becoming divine. Another thing I will watch for.

August 19, 2006

Revelation 1:1-8 (New Jerusalem)

Call me quirky. But it seemed the New Jerusalem version to be a good translation to kick of this round of readings. Let the games begin.

A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him so that he could tell his servants what is now to take place very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John, and John has borne witness to the Word of God and to the witness of Jesus Christ, everything that he saw. Blessed is anyone who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed those who hear them, if they treasure the content, because the Time is near.

John, to the seven churches of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the highest of earthly kings. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a Kingdom of Priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Look, he is coming on the clouds;
everyone will see him,
even those who pierced him,
and all the races of the earth will mourn over him.
Indeed this shall be so.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

August 17, 2006

proposed action plan

Here's my proposal. If it meets with folk's approval as a tentative plan I'll post the first section by the weekend. I'll aim for two sections a week -- tentatively Friday and Wednesday postings. If this turns out to be too fast or slow folks can advise me and we'll adjust.

  1. PROLOGUE (Ch. 1:1-3) + GREETINGS (Ch. 1:4-8)(AUG 19)

  2. VISION OF CHRIST (Ch. 1:9-20)(AUG 23)

  3. SEVEN CHURCHES (Ch. 2-3)

  4. Ephesus (Ch. 2:1-7)(AUG 26)
    Smyrna (Ch. 2:8-11)(AUG 30)
    Pergamum (Ch. 2:12-17)(SEP 2)
    Thyatira (Ch. 2:18-29)(SEP 6)
    Sardis (Ch. 3:1-6)(SEP 9)
    Philadelphia (Ch. 3:7-13)(SEP 13)
    Laodicea (Ch. 3:14-22)(SEP 16)

    INTERLUDE: Do we Continue with the Book? Adjust the postings?

  5. SEVEN SEALS (Ch. 4-8:5)

  6. The Throne of God (Ch. 4)
    The Lamb opens the Seven Seals (Ch. 5)
    Seal #1 (Ch. 6:1-2)
    Seal #2 (Ch. 6:3-4)
    Seal #3 (Ch. 6:5-6)
    Seal #4 (Ch. 6:7-8)
    Seal #5 (Ch. 6:9-11)
    Seal #6 (Ch. 6:12-17)
    144,000 Sealed (Ch. 7)
    Seal #7 (Ch. 8:1-5)

    INTERLUDE: Do we Continue with the Book?

  7. SEVEN TRUMPETS (Ch. 8:6-11:19)

  8. Trumpet #1 (Ch. 8:6-7)
    Trumpet #2 (Ch. 8:8-9)
    Trumpet #3 (Ch. 8:10-11)
    Trumpet #4 (Ch. 8:12)
    Trumpet #5 (Ch. 9:1-12)
    Trumpet #6 (Ch. 9:13-21)
    Ministering Angel and the Little Book (Ch. 10)
    Two Witnesses (Ch. 11:1-14)
    Trumpet #7 (Ch. 11:15-19)

    INTERLUDE: Do we Continue with the Book?

  9. THE DRAGON & THE BEAST(S) (Ch. 12-14)

  10. The Dragon (Ch. 12:7-12)
    The Woman (Ch. 12:13-17)
    The Beast from the Sea (Ch. 13:1-10)
    The Beast from the Earth (Ch. 13:11-18)
    The 144,000 (Ch. 14:1-5)
    The Fall of Babylon and Second Coming (Ch. 14:6-14)

  11. SEVEN PLAGUES OF WRATH (Ch. 15-16)

  12. Seven angels with Plagues (Ch. 15)
    Plague #1 Earth (Ch. 16:1-2)
    Plague #2 Sea (Ch. 16:3)
    Plague #3 Rivers (Ch. 16:4-7)
    Plague #4 Sky (Ch. 16:8-9)
    Plague #5 Torment (Ch. 16:10-11)
    Plague #6 Second Coming and Armageddon (Ch. 16:12-16)
    Plague #7 End (Ch. 16:17-21)

    INTERLUDE: Do we Continue with the Book?

  13. VICTORY OVER BABYLON (Ch. 17-19)

  14. Babylonian Woman (Ch. 17)
    Fall of Babylon (Ch. 18)
    Second Coming and The Last Battle (Ch. 19)

  15. VICTORY OVER SATAN (Ch. 20-22:7)

  16. Millennium and Second Coming (Ch. 20)
    New Jerusalem (Ch. 21-22:7)


August 14, 2006

suggestions thus far

Well we seem to be spinning our wheels.

Suggestions thus far (in no particular order):

  • Revised Common Lectionary

  • One of the Synoptics

  • An Epistle

  • Something with Jesus in it

  • A Thematic Study

I would like to suggest a far freaking out one -- certainly a strange suggestion given the theologies expressed here: Revelation of John. Just that its notable by its absence.

August 02, 2006

kwakersaur mia

Invites went out to all who were members before. I got email bounces from Lorcan and from Twyla. responses from Crystal, Marjorie and Larry. Silence from the rest. Larry, Crystal and Kwakersaur (me)(David) all elected to rejoin.

Larry and Crystal now have administrative rights -- which gives you the power to delete other people's posts. As Spidey used to say, with great power coems great responsibility. I've actually never had to use the delete key -- unless you consider comments designed to take us to pay sites.

I will be places without computer access until at least August 12th. In the meantime. Folks could consider next steps here.

See y'all in a week.