“And I saw” (Καὶ εἶδον). John begins the section with a phrase he has used twenty-seven prior times and will use four more times afterwards, every time introducing a vision. This is significant because the rest of chapter 20 is the continuation of his vision and should be interpreted as such, that is, with all four levels of meaning in view. All too often interpreters appeal to the “prima facie” meaning of Revelation 20 or to a “literal hermeneutic” and then proceed to interpret Revelation 20 jumping straight from the linguistic to the referential levels of meaning. However, if we interpret Revelation 20 as a vision, it is entirely possible to admit that John saw a physical resurrection without necessarily implying a physical resurrection at the referential level. For example, Revelation 13:1 begins with Καὶ εἶδον and then proceeds to narrate what John saw, namely, a composite bear-leopard-lion beast with ten horns, seven heads, and ten crowns. Yet, no serious exegete of Revelation would argue that on the referential level John was speaking of a literal, physical beast that would come up out of the sea in the end times. What he saw was a symbolic picture meant to convey certain truths about the nature of evil governments who oppose Christ and persecute His church.
Continue reading “The Millennium: Part 2”
(This is the first of an eight part series on Revelation 20:1-8)
Revelation 20:1-8 is perhaps one of the most contested passages in all of Scripture. It is certainly the most debated in the book of Revelation. In appears in the broader context of Revelation 17-20 whose main theme is the judgment of God against His enemies. Chapter 17 describes in vivid detail the judgment against the whore and the beast. Chapter 18 describes the fall of Babylon, focusing on the laments of her followers. Chapter 19 begins with the contrasting rejoicing of the saints in heaven. Revelation 19:11 recapitulates and describes the final battle as the triumph of the faithful and true Word of God in executing God’s wrath against His enemies. John ends by drawing on imagery from Ezekiel to describe the destruction of Christ’s enemies.
Continue reading “The Millennium: Part 1”
1. The full name of the document produced at the Synod (popularly known as the Canons of Dort) is: The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands. The Synod was composed of around 100 delegates, 14 of whom were Remonstrants. Continue reading “400 Years of Dort: Eight Things You Should Know About the Synod of Dort”
In this third article, we will examine argument made by anti-life advocates that abortion should be legal in the cases where the child is a result of rape or incest or is a threat to the mother’s health. Before we deal with these objections, we ought to point out that the percentage of abortions as a result of rape or incest is very low, so even if we grant the legitimacy of these abortions (which we do not) the vast majority of abortions would be unjustified. Continue reading “Rape, Incest, and the Life of the Mother”
In this second article, we will consider the definition of personhood and how it relates to the issue of abortion. Anti-life advocates argue that a fetus is not a person, but merely a potential person. Therefore, they need not be afforded the rights and protections due to a person. Anti-life advocates argue for personhood either when the fetus is considered viable (able to survive outside the womb) or when it acquires some characteristic (sentience, self-consciousness, relationality, etc.), but both of these positions have massive problems. Continue reading “Abortion and the Definition of Personhood”
(This post is the first in a series of three.)
“Genocide is not a black and white issue,” “The Bible doesn’t specifically mention it,” “There’re good Christians who disagree about it,” “It’s a complex issue,” “We should leave it up to the individual’s choice,” “We really don’t know whether Jews/Tutsis/Cambodians are truly persons so we shouldn’t be dogmatic about systematically killing them.” I hope these statements shock you as being indefensible and wicked. We have learned all too well in the past century how much harm genocide can do. Yet these statements are all too often on the lips of professing Christians (especially those who lean towards the left on political issues) when it comes to abortion. Why is that? Is abortion really a gray area? Can Christians in good faith disagree on this issue? Before we answer these questions, we must recognize that they have massive implications. If abortion is not a gray area and truly is the murder of unborn persons – then it surpasses Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, the Khmer Rouge, and the Hutu government as the most massive human rights violation of all time. In the United States alone there have been over 60 million abortions since 1973, that is ten times more than the number of Jews killed by Nazi Germany in WWII. This is not an insignificant issue. If one is to argue for the morality of abortion he must be sure, absolutely sure, that it is not murder to kill unborn human beings. Continue reading “Genocide is a Gray Area”