Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Revelation

An interesting note from Chilton's commentary, Days of Vengeance.

The seven churches (though quite real) can be seen to represent seven ages of Old Testament Church history.

1). Ephesus: Christ introduces himself as the Creator, the "angel" is commended for guarding the church from her enemies, and note the Edenic language at the end (tree of life...). Also, "the one who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands" is reminiscent of "walking in the garden," which in itself implies imminent judgment.

2). Smyrna: "tribulation ten days" takes us back to Egypt's ten plagues; "Who was dead, and has come to life" reflects Isaac (Gen. 22:1-4) and Joseph (Gen.37:18-16). False Jews correspond with Ishmael, imprisonment via slander is Joseph, and Aaron had a "crown of life."

3). For the skeptics, Pergamos is explicit. If dwelling "where Satan's house is" does not bring to mind the wilderness temptation of Christ (corresponding to the wilderness wandering of Israel: forty days=forty years, grumbling about food=fasting, etc), then the reference to Baalam and Balak should do it. Christ comes as our hero Phineas, and the overcomers are promised "hidden manna" (from the ark, see also Heb. 9:4).

4). Thyatira corresponds to to the Israelite monarchy and Davidic covenant. The "angel's" tolerance of Jezebel who leads God's people into sexual immorality (idolatry), that she and her offspring will be killed, and verse 27 corresponding to David.

5). Sardis would be the later prophetic period: reputation for life when it is actually dead, "wake up" and "strengthen the things that remain," and the "few people" who remained faithful.

6). Philadelphia is Ezra and Nehemiah, having "a little power," the Synagogue of Satan..." corresponds to "false Jews" in Ezra 4 and Nehemiah 4, 6, and 13 (please take a short chronology with Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah), the hour of testing recalls Antiochus Epiphanes (aka, Epimanes, the mad, sacrificed a pig on the altar, declared himself to be god), and he who overcomes will become a pillar in the house of God (rebuilding of the temple).

7). Laodicea is AD 30-70. The pharisaical judaism, the curse of Lev. 18:24-28, and the dominion with Christ granted to the true church.

J. Broussard

Beyond my ilk...

As you will probably know, I hold to a preterist interpretation of most of Scripture, and I believe that we are currently in the millenial reign of Christ. This puts me in somewhat sparse company, though not quite as much so as I used to believe. This means that I hold almost all of Revelation to have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. This position is consistent with Scripture, and, I believe, is the most consistent with Scripture. The symbolism in the book of Revelation is found all throughout Scripture (just read Ezekiel), and should be understood symbolically.

Well, I came across an interesting similarity in two very odd passages. One is in Zechariah, and the other, of course, is to be found in the Revelation of Saint John.

Zechariah chapter one, verse seven begins the vision of the horses. The weight of orthodox exegesis holds these horses to be the church, though others are inclined to view the horses as angels. The Man is quite obviously Christ (Meredith Kline's treatment of Zechariah, Glory in our Midst, is commendable, though in some places greatly lacking).

Anyway, the Revelation passage is quite famous, and provides a basis for lots of pathetic movies and self-consciously dramatic quotes: head bowed, eyes looking up through strands of hair, the absolute stillness, and then, "I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him..." It is chapter six, the horses and the riders.

A brief comparison of these passages would seem to indicate that the Rider of Revelation is in all cases Christ, which is quite consistent with the text--just read it over and over, paying attention to what is given to the Rider. This would imply that the horses of Revelation are the Church--the ones controlled and used by Christ.

Not definitive, and I wouldn't make it a point of fellowship (saving that for infralapsarianism), but nothing if not thought provoking.

More Declamations

Jesse Broussard
Chalcedon Rhetoric
251 Words

We were going for a walk, Holly and I. The night was what I then considered to be skin-thickeningly cold, and the stars were liberally dusted across a clear sky; a full moon haloed above the tree line. The silence was silhouetted against the distant violence of the ocean; punctuated by a whinnying horse and dog collars jingling. Holly and I crossed the mud-slathered road, picking our steps as if it were a minefield, and stopped in awe. A lake of fog was languidly pooled in our field, mulling upon the alfalfa, the moonlit white peripherally pierced by jagged islands of trees. The lake gingerly slipped through the narrow, gate-bereft opening we stood in, where it mused upon our sandaled feet.
Our joined hands tightened. I looked at Holly, and saw the look I was expecting—eyes luminous, dimpled cheeks smattered with freckles, and her slightly parted mouth the embodiment of delighted mischief. She laughed out loud and began sprinting, still holding my hand. Exhilarated at the sheer, glorious absurdity, I raced through the waist deep fog with her, laughing as our unified hands threw off our balance.
Suddenly she screamed and hurled all of her 95 pound, 5’ 1 ¾” body onto my back, one hand on my shoulder, the other on my hair.
“Slugs” she gasped, “in my sandals.”
Ah. The fate worse than death. I cleaned her sandals as she dried her feet on my pants, then stuck them into my pockets.
We took the long way home.

Rosalie Comer
January 23, 2008
Word Count: 253

Feline Felicity

“Rosalie, you may now kiss your groom.”
I thought about it and looked at my companion’s hairy lips and tiny mouth. I chucked the idea and kissed his forehead. I knew this cat completed me, and I told it so.
“Cat, you complete me.”
I was five years old and discovering the joys of marriage. Cat and I had been best friends since infancy. I had never seen whiskers so refined. I glowed.
“Rosalie, does the cat want out?” my mom called.
I dashed to let my thirty-pound husband out the door, eager to take my roll as the doting wife. His finely chiseled cat jaw and shiny black fur dash between my feet and out the door.
“Mom, aren’t husbands wonderful?”
My mother was busy making dinner. “Rosalie, I don’t know how you would know.”
I resented this. Couldn’t she believe that her little girl was growing up, or didn’t she notice the king size bed sheet wrapped around my head as a veil?
I heard a meow at the door that only a wife can discern.
“The cat wants back in, Rosalie.”
I arched my back. Didn’t she think that as a good wife, I would hear it myself?
I let him in. This was love. He pranced around my feet and headed back to the door. He wanted out. This was love. I let him out… I let him in. This was…
Too much. I turned to my mother, hands on hips. “Mom, husbands can never make up their minds.”

Kelly Rhine
New Saint Andrews College
RHT-01 – Chalcedon Term
Creative Sketch
Word Count: 278

Going East

The backseat of a Ford Ranger isn’t really a back seat. It’s a coffin that would hardly fit a pygmy. But in the twenty-seventh hour of driving, it seemed as inviting as a mattress store open 24 hours. But sleep didn’t happen. I thought back to being in class, and how easy it had been to sleep there, but my thought was interrupted. The scent didn’t just seep into the backseat, timidly passing through the truck, hoping to go unnoticed. It charged through the cab like a sign of the apocalypse. Suddenly I was returning from Christmas break to find my refrigerator unplugged and left open. Suddenly I was plunged face first into a pool of tuna noodle casserole that had been sitting at room temperature week after week. Suddenly I was Dante, nostrils aflame, cowering behind Virgil as the abyss greeted us with the intense fumes of gangrened flesh slow roasted on a spit. My lungs seized and my eyes watered. With desperation I broke the bonds of seat and panel that pinned me to the floor. I shot up and threw myself at the back window frantic to open it before it shattered. Brandon was at the wheel gasping, as frantic as I was to break the airless vacuum. Tollefson was asleep. Morning air hit me like a strong side safety, but this time giving breath. I leaned over into the front, Tollefson was slowly waking as Brandon plugged him with right hands, shouting at him with the urgency of a mother in labor: “Put your shoes back on!!”

Michael Plaza

The Vacuum Battle

My mom told me to vacuum the cobwebs stuck to the walls in my room. After finishing, I, an obedient 16 year-old, glanced around the room for the third time. None left. So, I began to use the hose on my jeans. The hose hovered over my pant leg making it tremble in mid-air and then gulped up the denim. I felt air sweep past my leg. The vacuum started to shriek for help with its increased high pitch. After being rescued from the pants, it investigated my t-shirt. The t-shirt falsely branded me "lifeguard". And like a dog back to its vomit, it choked on the shirt and for the second time screeched for assistance. Saved again, it stared me in the face. I stared back and wondered. Would it be entertaining to put my mouth around the hose? It looked like a good time waiting to happen. Overconfidently, I brought the hose closer to my mouth and took a firm hold on it with my lips. My tongue instantly swelled in my throat and denied the wind access to my innards. It was like a newborn suffocating on a plastic bag. Terrified by the abrupt fascination the hose had about my tongue, I tore the fiend from mouth like a hook from a confused fish's jaw. I had trusted that tube and it betrayed me. Upon further inspection in the mirror I witnessed a dark cherry colored tongue quivering in the back of my mouth… much like my embarrassed face.

Wodehousian Fun