I finished my series on the book of Revelation last night, not without some bit of sadness. Certainly I feel the accomplishment of having made it through such a challenging study, but I also feel like my involvement with The House ministry is wrapping up too. In any case, I've enjoyed preparing for these studies and I've learned a TON. I feel like my knowledge of scripture and of God's plan has been profoundly affected by the book of Revelation.
My friend Jason Leonard gave me a break last week and led the discussion on Revelation 14-16 on the topic of judgement, which is so clearly a theme of Revelation. I think our knee-jerk reaction to the judgements described in the Bible is to put ourselves in the place of the people being judged and thinking, how unfair! The reality is that God is fair, and that judgement is delayed as long as possible so that people may come to repentance (see 2 Peter 3:9). The question for us is whether we trust and believe God to be "just and true" as the angels in Revelation put it. You can see Jason's notes here.
Just watched a movie called The Mist last night, and aside from what I've said earlier about how Hollywood characterizes Christians (since there's a crazy Christian in this movie) I have some thoughts about the movie. Be forewarned, that my thoughts mostly concern the ending of the movie so I will be dishing out *spoilers*, though I don't necessarily recommend the movie for viewing.
I don't normally respond to chain letters on Facebook, but this one was so amusing to me (considering my arcane tastes in music) I couldn't resist. If you have one of these songs in your playlist, congratulations. Enjoy:
"Once you've been tagged... (1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod/ITunes. (2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode. (3) Write down the first 20 songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please. (4) Choose 25 (or so) people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be courteous to tag the person who tagged you. "If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about your musical tastes, or at least a random sampling thereof. Or maybe you tagged me. Or maybe I thought you tagged me a long time ago and I'm just now getting around to responding. "To do this, go to "NOTES" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 20 Shuffle Songs, Click Preview to tag 20 people then click Publish."
- Escena Poeticas I: Eva Y Walter - Enrique Granados
- Concerto de Aranjuez: Adagio - Joaquin Rodrigo
- 2nd Improvision Op. 47, The Threat - Nikolai Medtner
- Medal of Honor: Securing the Codebook - Michael Giacchino
- Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52 Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto - Jean Sibelius
- Final Fantasy VIII Piano Collection, The Castle - Nobuo Uematsu
- Four Lyric Fragments, Op. 23 I. Allegretto commaodamente - Nikolai Medtner
- Quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello No. 2 in G minor Op. 45. Mvmnt. 2 - Gabriel Faure
- Tomb Raider: Dangerous Foe - Nathan McCree
- String Quartet in C Major, K. 465 'Dissonance', Menuetto & Trio - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Prelude in B Major, Op. 16, No. 1 - Alexander Scriabin
- Star Wars: Episode III, The Immolation Scene - John Williams
- Pride & Prejudice: Dawn - Dario Marianelli
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 16, Andantino, Allegro - Sergei Prokofiev
- Sonata No. 6 in D major, Allego Spiritoso - Gioachino Rossini
- Excursions, Op. 20: Allegretto - Samuel Barber
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Cirith Ungol - Howard Shore
- Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54, Intermezzo, Andantino Grazioso, Attacca - Robert Schumman
- Intermezzo in B-Flat Minor, Op. 114, No. 2: Andante non troppo e con molta espressione - Johannes Brahms
- Piano Concerto No. 3, Allegro Ma non Tanto - Sergei Rachmaninoff
Last night I went over the central part of Revelation, the parable of the two witnesses. Yes, I said parable. I know that many people understand that passage to be literal, but considering how many elements of the passage are clearly figurative (especially the "mystical city") it is much more illuminating and powerful (and internally consistent) when we understand it as a parable. It is particularly a parable about the church's role as a witness to the people of the world, and of the life of Christ lived out through us which is God's plan for the redemption of the world. Not sure? Check out my notes here and then leave a comment.