The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 05

Post 05New Perspectives on the Heavenly JerusalemMany Christian hymns of an eschatological emphasis have used the language of John’s picture of the New Jerusalem extensively, a Jerusalem situated in the very heart of the new heaven and earth.  In the past generation especially, there has been increased momentum for questioning whether John intended his picture … Continue reading The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 05

The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 04

Post 04 Trash-Talking Hymns While there can be no doubt that competing religions of the Ancient Near East were sometimes crassly ridiculed and trashed in Israelite Scripture and worship (Ps. 31:6; 96:5; 97:7; 115:4; 135:15; cf. Isa. 44:18-20), the Psalter of Israel was sung largely by Israelites, for fellow Israelites.  Like Revelation, many statements of … Continue reading The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 04

The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 03

Judgment and the New Heaven and Earth For centuries there have been those who have found it theologically unbearable to embrace the traditional Christian teaching about hell, divine punishment, and the wrath of God, resorting as a consequence either to universalism or to annihilationism for doctrinal consolation.  John himself portrays the judgment of God in … Continue reading The New Creation in Revelation 21-22, Part 03

Bono, the Bellwether of Cultural Theology

American talk show commentator and journalist Charlie Rose recently interviewed Bono (on Public Broadcasting Service, May 2013), lead composer and singer for the band U2 (22 Grammy Awards).  The lengthy interview and conversation touched on many topics and issues, with one segment focused on the religious impetus for Bono’s life and music.  In this context … Continue reading Bono, the Bellwether of Cultural Theology

The Enchantment of Assimilation

The history of Israel, documented by both the prophetic and narrative texts, leaves little doubt that assimilation to the surrounding idolatrous values and culture was an easy path for most of God’s people.  If Jesus’ own perceptions are to be trusted, and they are, then he also detected the almost inevitability of this when he … Continue reading The Enchantment of Assimilation

“Why Can’t Johnny Count?” A Needed Guide for Preachers (and Commentators) on Gematria (666/616), Isopsephism, and Counting

This should be the last post on this particular topic of gematria, isopsephism, and related areas for some time.  However, there is so much bad information in preaching, in commentaries, in various Wikipedia articles, in DVD Bible lessons, and in cyberspace that I feel the need to point out some of the more widespread misunderstandings … Continue reading “Why Can’t Johnny Count?” A Needed Guide for Preachers (and Commentators) on Gematria (666/616), Isopsephism, and Counting