Jesus is what God looks like when there are no clouds in the way. … Jesus is the total content of the Father’s revelation to us.
Remember what we said about “zooming out” in your consideration of a text? That holds true no matter how big or small the passage, whether the chiasm be micro, intermediate, or macro in size.
Thinking on the big end of the scale, consider this: the entire book of Revelation can be viewed as a chiasmus. While some students of Scripture are skeptical regarding even the very existence of macro-chiasm, I am not of them.
Take this challenge: read the book of Revelation a single time with this structure in your head and I believe you’ll find the argument most intelligible – the focal point in the book of Revelation is found in its center, not at the end. Worthy is the Lamb! Hallelujah!
Credit: Conquering in Christ by Ian Fair (HCU Media; 2010); p.31
Complaining & gratitude: Complaining is a Spiritual Problem
“The problem is how I see the world.”
Racism & repentance: * It’s Time to Listen: Will White Evangelicals Ever Acknowledge Systemic Injustice? (Part 1) by Leonce Crump; * Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japanese Cartoons During WWII, Then Atones with Horton Hears a Who!
* “We’ve launched a series here called, It’s Time to Listen. In it, we’ve asked African-American evangelical leaders to share from their diverse perspectives.”
* “In 1953, Geisel visited Japan where he met and talked with its people and witnessed the horrific aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima. He soon started to rethink his anti-Japanese vehemence. So he issued an apology in the only way that Dr. Seuss could. He wrote a children’s book … Horton Hears a Who!”
Grace & the Old Testament: God’s Scandalous Grace in the Old Testament [required reading]
“Grace is not just a characteristic of God that pops up here and there; it’s the very backbone of the Old Testament story.”
“American medicine is the best in the world when it comes to providing high-tech care .. If you have an esoteric disease, you want to be in the United States. God forbid you have Ebola, our academic medical centers are second to none. But if you have run-of-the-mill chronic diseases like congestive heart failure or diabetes, the system is not designed to find you the best possible care. And that’s what has to change.”
Loving your enemies: Three Barriers Hijacking Christians’ Ability to Love Our ‘Enemies’
“1. Fear … 2. Nationalism … 3. Power. … What if we took seriously Jesus’ words that the first shall be last and the last will be first?”
Revelation: Reading Revelation in an Unjust World [required reading]
“… just to be clear: Revelation doesn’t give us details about the rapture or who will be Left Behind. Revelation has as much to do with Four Blood Moons as Goodnight Moon. Revelation barely gives any details about the end times–even if it offers some clues about our perfect ending. Revelation doesn’t tell us about hell—even if some have been accused of Erasing Hell. The sole reason for Revelation’s existence is to encourage people who are suffering injustice.”
Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. (1 Corinthians 13.12 CEB)
Children, toy guns & violence: Children Steamroll Weapons in Iraq
“… hundreds of toy weapons collected by children in Iraq. With the help of some big people, the kids drove a steam roller over the pile weapons smashing them to oblivion.”
Christian martyrdom & persecution: The War on Christians [essential reading]
“The global persecution of churchgoers is the unreported catastrophe of our time.”
Forgiveness & murder: Forgiving (and Loving!) Your Only Son’s Killer
“Mary Johnson’s only son, 20 year old Laramiun Byrd, was murdered during a fight at a party by 16 year old Oshea Israel. Mary visited Oshea in prison and they experienced a miracle of forgiveness and healing that is evidence of divine grace.”
Pacifism & Revelation: * Greg’s Response to Driscoll’s “Is God a Pacifist” (parts 1, 2 & 3) [required reading]; * If Jesus is a Pansy, I Want to Be One, Too – Reflections on Christlikeness
* “I’m sure many of you have read Mark Driscoll’s recent blog titled “Is God a Pacifist?” in which he argues against Christian pacifism. I’ve decided to address this in a series of three posts, not because I think Driscoll’s arguments are particularly noteworthy, but because it provides me with an opportunity to make a case against what I’ve come to see is probably the most common way that Christians try to get around the pacifist implications of Jesus’ (and the rest of the NT’s) teachings on loving enemies. It centers on the allegedly violent Jesus of the book of Revelation.”
* “… when we think of Jesus, we have a choice to make if we are truly committing our lives to follow him. Either he taught nonviolent resistance or he did not.”
American public opinion, culture & military service: Public Esteem for Military Still High
“Americans continue to hold the military in high regard, with more than three-quarters of U.S. adults (78%) saying that members of the armed services contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. … the military still tops the list of 10 occupational groups, followed closely by teachers, medical doctors, scientists and engineers. A solid majority of the public says each of those occupations contributes a lot to society.
“By contrast, just 37% of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009. … even among adults who say they attend religious services at least once a week, only about half (52%) rate clergy in general as contributing ‘a lot’ to society.”
Capital punishment, death penalty & executions: Will the Supreme Court Make an 11th-Hour Intervention in Georgia
“A mentally retarded man is scheduled to be executed next Monday, and he has an appeal pending to the Supreme Court.”
Drones: Who Would Jesus Drone?
“… being a Christian inevitably means many things — it means being baptized, partaking of the Lord’s supper, and belonging to a community marked by the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. Likewise, being a Christian means lamenting the violence carried out by those powers and principalities that coercively seek their own lordship over God’s good creation — powers and principalities like America.”
Jesus, non-violence, the Book of Revelation & violence: Book of Revelation: Friend or Foe to Nonviolence
“Revelation is a violent book, but the violence is not dished out as much as it is absorbed. And although there’s a lot of bloodshed, it often flows from the veins of Christ and His followers, not from His enemies. In fact, Revelation supports Christian nonviolence more aggressively than any other biblical book.”