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Archive | Eschatology

I believe in the (cryogenic) resurrection of the dead

I just heard on the news this morning that in a landmark ruling a judge in England granted the dying wish of a 14 year old girl with cancer to have her body cryogenically frozen until the day when medical knowledge is sufficiently advanced to revive and cure her. In a letter to the judge she wrote,

‘I am only 14 years old and I don’t want to die but I know I am going to die. I think being cryopreserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up – even in hundreds of years’ time. I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance.’

Isn’t it tragic that the very thing this girl was longing for was exactly what is being held out in the gospel? Isn’t it tragic that she put her trust in a quasi-scientific fairy tale for her hope of resuscitation life rather than the resurrection life the Lord Jesus Christ achieved when he rose from the dead on the third day? Isn’t it just so unspeakably sad that someone would put their […]

Passing through the River

As the new year approaches, many will look ahead to 2016 and make resolutions. They will want to make changes to make this coming year a better one. Yet as this year ends, what about a sober reflection that truly looks ahead and plans for the future? How about a few resolutions that prepare you for the inevitability of your death?

Being the holiday season, some will view this as morbid, I know. Yet have you not seen one of those lists of celebrity deaths of 2015 that appear in the magazines? Seeing the passing of people who in your mind’s eye seem forever young, such as Kevin Corcoran, the child star of the movie Old Yeller, reminds you of how fleeting this life is. If we packed for a trip this holiday season, should we not also get ready to leave this earth?

John Bunyan reminds us in vivid ways in The Pilgrim’s Progress of the journey those in Christ are on. We travel through the difficulties of this world, headed ever onward toward the Celestial City. However, as Christian and his companion Hopeful found, one great obstacle to arriving there is a deep river, with no bridge to cross it – Bunyan’s picture of death. Christian […]

Some Dogmatic Thoughts on Grace

When I was five years old, my parents took me and my sister to a farm – I think it was a farm – I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings so much as the reason for the trip.  We were getting a puppy!  Pretty soon I was standing in front of a wire-fenced, makeshift kennel in which a litter of mutts happily yipped and played together.  They were a mix of Golden Retriever and German Shepherd, and the one with a white tip on his tail immediately caught my attention.  So did the fact that he nipped me.  Yep, this was going to be our dog. 

Ashley Madison, Sin, and Judgment

The Greek philosopher Plato once told a story about an ancient and magical artifact known as the Ring of Gyges. This ring possessed the power to grant invisibility to the one who wore it. Such an invisible person was given near limitless anonymity and could–it is supposed–do almost anything they wanted to without the fear of getting caught. The story is intended to be a thought-experiment. The question at issue is whether or not the invisible person would use their power for good or bad. How would you use it? If you had the guarantee that you’d never be caught, what would you do?

Apparently for some, such anonymity was used to create profiles on the social website, Ashley Madison whose tag line is: “Life is short. Have an affair.” This Proverbs 7 website exists for the explicit purpose of encouraging and cultivating an atmosphere where people can secretly break their marital vows and engage in adultery–and all under the guise of near-invisibility. It boasts of over 39-million anonymous users. It promises 100% discreet services. It has even received trusted security awards. But, as it has now become apparent, Ashley Madison has overpromised and underdelivered. As almost everyone has probably read […]

“Not In Our House!!”

Have you ever tried to resist the inevitable?  I do this whenever I sit down to eat.  No matter how much I try to avoid it, my superlative skills in unintentionally creating social awkwardness will kick in, and some of my food will end up on me rather than in me.  Sometimes I think I should purposely dump the contents of my plate on my lap as soon as I sit down, just to kill the anticipatory tension.  Either way, wearing my food is an unpleasant inevitability.  But have you ever tried to resist something that is inevitable, but also absolutely wonderful – in fact, the very best thing that could ever happen to you?  I have, and if you are a Christian, you have, too.     

Elon’s (and Your) Historical Record: Date. Dash. Date.

As the ancient church historian was writing the book of Judges, he must have asked himself, “What do I know about Elon?” (Judges 12:11-12) The other historians around him must have scratched their heads, much like you may be doing as you secretly ask, “Who is Elon?” As the ancient historian summed up the whole life of a political and spiritual leader in ancient Israel, he came to the conclusion that not much was known about Judge Elon. His answer was that Elon lived. Elon worked. Elon died.

“After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.”

We might hope that an ancient historian would record more for us, but the fact is that every life on this earth will be summed up as Elon’s life is here summed. You live. You work. You die.

Left Behind Theology – A Critical Look

A young lady recently asked one of the authors here about the “Left Behind” phenomenon, and specifically the theology undergirding the perspective. She wanted some help understanding the viewpoint. Since we haven’t posted anything on the topic, it seemed good to go ahead and say a few things.

Now to be perfectly transparent, I haven’t read the Left Behind series, nor have I watched the movie. If the reviews over at IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes are any indication, no one in their right mind would consider doling out money to watch the show. One reviewer bemoaned it this way, “I am now relatively certain there is a Hell and it is a darkened theater with no doors showing Left Behind on a loop for eternity.”

Ouch!

But never mind the movie. What about the theology behind it?

While there are many variations and nuanced differences within this particular school of thought, the theological perspective motivating the ideas found in Left Behind originate with a viewpoint known as dispensationalism.

Much could be said about this. In fact, to really get a firm grasp on the position, as well as some of the more recent developments (known as Progressive Dispensationalism), it would require reading book length works. […]

Will all my sins be seen on the last day?

Will all my sins be seen on the last day?

A friend recently asked me this question. More than that, this question has been asked me of me several times in recent months. Christians, with good reason, want to know what we can expect on the last day. Several have asked me point blank, “When Jesus returns and judges everyone, will all of my sins be broadcast up on a cosmic-sized movie screen for God – and everyone else – to see?”

Some passages in Scripture seem to point this way. Revelation 20:12 speaks about the dead on the day of judgment being “judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” And Romans 2:6 promises that God “will render to each one according to his works…” Verses like these give many the impression that each and every human will have the same experience on the day of judgment: having their every sin brought out into the light, to be seen for what they’ve truly done and who they truly are.

But is that what Scripture really teaches? Is that what believers in Jesus can expect? While there are many Biblical scholars who might disagree, […]