October 25, 2007

back in Revelation

This is still a problematic book.

Either it drove off the previous tenants of this blog, or I did. It's a scarey book, as Quakerbear said, and I've always had real mixed feelings about it.

Is it prediction? Or symbolic? What happened, or what will happen, or what always happens?

In this part that just ended, God has taken up his reign, and his supporters are glad he has; meanwhile scarey phenomena continue.

Is that a past event, or a future one, or an "all-moments" condition? I'd vote for all moments.

Why does "the devil" still seem so influential, at least in the "larger" events of this world? In the book itself, human beings continue to suffer Heaven-to-Earth violence. This taking up of God's authority seems to happen (at least the commentary I'm reading says so) between one "woe" and another.

So what's going on, with this?


At 7:23 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for a general question, but, how does all of this talk of destroying and fear fit in with the idea of a God of love?

Still confused,


At 2:34 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

I would say: "The same way that the actual occurance of 'destroying and fear' fits in with the reality of a loving God."

There's a Zen saying: "Everything is perfect, and some things could use a little improvement." However we manage to understand this situation we are actually in, I think it'll have to turn out with that kind of flavor.

God + suffering
implies that there must be some good reason, purpose, etc, for that suffering.

Human history may not be entirely violence and disasters, but the parts we generally read about are like that, and there are a great many of those.

Even though it's muy unfashionable, I think we're rationally forced to something like the ancient Jewish position about historical events, that they must be somehow appropriate to the people they happen to. Justice? We, as human beings interacting with other human beings, need to think in such terms, but for God... When a surgeon makes a big cut in somebody, does that imply that either he, or his patient, are doing wrong?

"John" says that God has shown him the meaning and end of human history. He seems to be interpreting it in what I would call an unnecessarily "judgemental" manner. But does it depict something like what happens? Why?

At 10:48 a.m., Anonymous Larry said...

"Is it prediction? Or symbolic?" Prediction has been tried umpteen times in the last 2000 years and so far always proved wrong.

It's a compendium of a great number of figures scattered through the O.T.

One can profitably perceive it in a lot of different ways. Blake shows it useful as a description and commentary on the psyche. You and I are full of irrational fears. The original readers had a lot of reason to fear, and it was certainly useful to them to believe that beyond all the unbelievable persecution and general turmoil is a creative progression in which they can rest.

Reminds me of the pre (and post!) Civil War blacks who had no hope in this life and glad expectance of the next one. As Paul said "If in this life only we have hope, then we are of all men most miserable."

Secular society has learned to disregard the misery (although it still occupies a large part of their unconscious).

Some of the figures are beautiful and meaningful if you don't try to fit them into a rational framework.

Well that's enough. Glad you're still holding the faith,Forrest.


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