Category Archives: Revelation

The Trinity in Revelation – so what?

Revelation has the most developed trinitarian theology in the New Testament, with the possible exception of the Gospel of John…

At the same time as it withholds the glory of God from a world in which the powers of evil still hold sway, it recognises the presence of God in this present world in the form of the slaughtered Lamb and the seven Spirits who inspire the church’s witness. By placing the Lamb on the throne and the seven Spirits before the throne it gives sacrificial love and witness to truth (emphasis mine) the priority in the coming of God’s kingdom in the world, while at the same time the openness of the creation to the divine transcendence guarantees the coming of the kingdom. God’s rule does not contradict human freedom, as the coercive tyranny of the beast does, but finds it fulfilment in the participation of people in God’s rule: that is, in the coincidence of theonomy and autonomy.

Richard Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation (Cambridge University Press, 1993), 164.

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why you have to disagree with the Bible

Read this fascinating article this morning:
God, as it turns out, looks a lot like you.

These few sentences summarise the findings of the research:

Researchers led by Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioural science at the University of Chicago, said believers often rely on what they think God wants them to do as a ”moral compass”. But this is a poor analogy, they found.

”The central feature of a compass is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing,” they wrote.

”Unlike an actual compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.”

In other words, God becomes a reflection of man – we create God in our image, and then use him to justify our beliefs to others. Its a line that preachers have used for a while, but now here is research that backs it up.

So how do you avoid this?

Tim Keller makes a good point in his book, The Reason for God. He argues that if you are going to be in a relationship with God, who is actually sovereign over all, then don’t be surprised if there is some conflict – that’s normal in a relationship. Don’t be surprised if God’s ways don’t always line up with our ways. Don’t be surprised that when God says he will ‘renew our minds’ by his Spirit, that there is actually something there that needs renewing.

In other words, when God speaks his perfect and utterly good will for our lives in his Word the Bible, don’t be surprised if from time to time we find things there which jar against our culture and our patterns of thinking. This is God revealing himself to us, as he has chosen to do. And when he does that, at points it will jar against thought patterns shaped by the world we live in which doesn’t love God above all else.

If we won’t let God’s Words, the bible, disagree with us, and be able to move us, then all we are left with is a God in our own image – and instead of being in an intimate relationship with the Creator, all we end up doing is loving ourselves.

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Revelation talks now online

Well, its over. The Macquarie Anglican Churches Weekend Away is over.

I had the privilege of opening the Word of God with the faithful people from MAC, from the book of Revelation.

Those talks are now available here for any interested in listening.

1. Wake Up to a Bigger Jesus (Rev 1)

2. Wake Up to the Church Jesus Wants (Rev 2-3)

3. Wake Up to the God in Control (Rev 4-5)

4. Wake Up to Our Glorious Future (Rev 21)

(At the moment, they are wav files, so they may take a while to download. I am working on converting them to mp3’s – stay tuned).

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Whiter than Snow

(click to enlarge the cartoon)

Revelation 7:13-14

13Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

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Bauckham on Understanding Revelation as Prophecy for Today

“Biblical prophecy always both addressed the prophet’s contemporaries about their own present and the future immediately impending for them and raised hopes which proved able to transcend their immediate relevance to the prophets contemporaries and continue to direct later readers to God’s purpose for their future.

Historicizing modern scholarship has sometimes stressed the former to the total exclusion of the latter, forgetting that most biblical prophecy was only preserved in the canon of Scripture because its relevance was not exhausted by its reference to its original context.

Conversely, fundamentalist interpretation, which finds in biblical prophecy coded predictions of specific events many centuries later than the prophet, misunderstands prophecy’s continuing relevance by neglecting to ask what it meant to its first hearers.

It is important … to understand how John’s prophecy addressed his contemporaries, since they are the only readers it explicitly addresses. This does not prevent us from appreciating but helps us to understand how it may also transcend its original context and speak to us.”

R.Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation (Cambridge: CUP, 1993), 152-3.

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Gearing up for Revelation

Last year I drove the men’s bible study group nuts. I was studying an MA subject on Revelation (the book, not the doctrine), and loving it. The group was going through Hebrews (the book, not the people group), and all througout the book there were these connections – wonderful, wonderful.

Anyway, the subject ended, the year ended, I got over it, and they (graciously) got over me.

But its all about to start again. I have been graciously invited to give the Macquarie Anglican Churches Weekend Away talks on the book of Revelation! So, out comes the text, out come the notes, and hopefully we will again stoke the fires of passion for this wonderful vision of Christ in his glory.

And, some of that may make its way here too. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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