Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)

From: Christine Smith <>
Date: Fri Oct 10 2008 - 23:34:09 EDT

Hi Murray,

You wrote:
"By all means let me know if you'd like to kick this
> around a little more - I'm happy to do so but am not
> sure the ASA list needs to listen in."

I don't know about everyone else, but I've taken great interest in this thread. So by all means, feel free to continue on the listserv (or include me in your off-line emails) if you're both so inclined. :)

In Christ,

--- On Fri, 10/10/08, Murray Hogg <> wrote:

> From: Murray Hogg <>
> Subject: Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)
> To: "ASA" <>
> Date: Friday, October 10, 2008, 6:07 PM
> Hi Bernie,
> It strikes me that there's still a bit of confusion as
> to the point I've been trying to make re Christ's
> imminent return and I'll have one last go at clarifying
> it on-list - I'm not sure this is quite on topic for the
> list, and I'm aware the discussion may becoming tedious
> for many. I'm happy, however, to continue an off-list
> discussion if you feel it helps.
> I take "imminent" to mean something like
> "suddenly and without warning" or (as in my reply
> to Ed) "always potentially immediate". This might
> imply, but doesn't necessarily entail, a return of Jesus
> "in our lifetime".
> By way of example of the sort of thing I have in mind,
> consider radioactive decay of Uranium 238 into Thorium 234.
> We can say that the decay of any particular atom is
> "imminent" and we would be perfectly correct even
> if this decay never happened in our lifetime. A hypothetical
> observer could sit and watch one particular atom for a
> billion years and it's decay would be
> "imminent" at every single moment over that
> period.
> So, too, the return of Jesus is always "imminent"
> and it makes sense for every believer - whether in the first
> century or the twenty first - to make the mental move from
> "Jesus will return suddenly and without warning"
> to "Jesus will return in my lifetime".
> So, I see the early Christians making TWO related but
> logically distinct claims;
> 1) Jesus will return suddenly and without warning
> 2) Jesus will return within our lifetime
> I think they were RIGHT about 1) and WRONG about 2)
> I further think that Ed wants to claim that Jesus clearly
> and unambiguously taught BOTH 1) and 2) - I agree with
> respect to 1) but NOT with respect to 2). And my talk of a
> "big picture" view is really the claim that we can
> affirm 1) whilst forgiving the early Christians their
> understandable error with respects to 2).
> I'd suggest being comfortable with no clear answer on
> this question is a good position to come to!
> By all means let me know if you'd like to kick this
> around a little more - I'm happy to do so but am not
> sure the ASA list needs to listen in.
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> > Thanks Edward. I guess you are just helping me be
> comfortable knowing there is no clear answer as to how Jesus
> could have been wrong in teaching His imminent return. I
> guess it is just a mystery, like the trinity. Your CS Lewis
> quote said it well- very applicable (in some ways).
> >
> > The question is "How could Jesus have got his
> imminent return wrong" and I guess there's no clear
> answer. It sounds like Pastor Murray agrees that the early
> church also expected an imminent return, and that they were
> wrong.
> >
> > CS Lewis' quote doesn't apply in one sense,
> though. I understand it is a mystery how Jesus could be God
> yet needed to be taught how to speak as a toddler. Yet it
> is a different situation when Christ was recognized as God
> as an adult, taught something, the disciples believed and
> practiced it, yet all were wrong (about the imminent return
> doctrine).
> >
> > ...Bernie
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Edward T. Babinski []
> > Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2008 7:36 PM
> > To:
> > Cc: Dehler, Bernie;;
> > Subject: Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent
> return of Christ)
> >
> > Hi Bernie and Murray!
> >
> > Murray, did you receive a copy of my initial email to
> Bernie? It's included below, following this reply.
> >
> > Murray, your "big picture" approach only
> works if all theologians can agree on the picture, but they
> don't. There are Dispensationalists (of different kinds
> who disagree with one another), and Preterists (again of
> different kinds, the Partial and Full Preterist views being
> at odds with one another), and "historicist"
> approaches to interpreting Revelation. And there's the
> errant approach of some amillennialist Catholic and
> Protestant scholars as well that simply lets each verse,
> Gospel or letter say what it says, and they admit
> inconsistencies and difficulties face those who attempt to
> harmonize all such things, and that such attempts have so
> far proven inconclusive.
> >
> > I know it's difficult having a faith that's
> not sewn up neatly and tidily that you can walk around in
> and feel confident and show off to others, and instead have
> to admit -- as other theologians point them out -- that
> instead, threads are hanging out from one's suit, or
> one's "armor" has loose rivets, chinks, and
> some holes in the chain mail. But hey, that's life. And
> humans with human ideas and expectations appropriate to
> their day and age wrote the Bible. They were not
> ventriloquist's dummies whom God was merely using to
> write a book that 20th century conservatives would later
> employ great ingenuity in "proving" to be an
> "inerrant" book.
> >
> > I notice you focused on a few verses that say no one
> knows the time when the Son of Man would return. There are
> some verse in the Gospels, parallels of one another, and one
> in Acts to that effect. But there are far more verses in the
> Gospels and in N.T. letters that say otherwise (see my
> initial letter to Bernie for some examples, or see the books
> listed at the end of this email).
> >
> > One must also recognize that after a while the church
> began making excuses for the failures of the many
> straightforward predictions of the Lord's soon return in
> the N.T. ("One day is as a thousand years" was the
> excuse found in 2 Peter.) But why invent such an excuse in a
> late-penned letter if no obvious nor embarrassing
> predictions of the Lord's soon coming were ever made in
> earlier letters?
> >
> > Speaking of "no man knowing the time," the
> verse in Mark (with parallels in Matthew and Luke) says that
> no man knows the "day or hour," not "the
> time." The overall time before "all these things
> will be done" is given in that same section as being a
> "generation." Or as Strauss pointed out over a
> century ago:
> >
> > "[Naturally there is a distinction] between an
> inexact indication of the space of time, beyond which the
> event will not be deferred (a 'generation'), and the
> determination of the precise date and time (the 'day and
> the hour') at which it will occur; the former Jesus
> gives, the latter he declares himself unable to give."
> >
> > And having admitted that he did not know the precise
> "day or the hour," Jesus continued to address his
> listeners as though that "day or hour" could not
> be far off: "Therefore be on the alert, for you [his
> listeners, circa 30 A.D.] do not know which day your Lord is
> coming... at an hour when you do not think he will."
> [Mat 24:36,42,44] Compare Luke 21:36: "But keep on
> the alert at all times, praying in order that you [his first
> century listeners] may have strength to escape all these
> things that are about to take place, and to stand before the
> Son of Man."
> >
> > As professor James D. Tabor explains: "In the
> [end-times chapters of the gospels], Mk 13, Mat 24, and Lk
> 21, Jesus connects the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple
> to the more general 'signs of the end of the age':
> false prophets, war and disruptions, earthquakes, famines,
> pestilence, persecution, and a world-wide proclamation of
> his message... The scheme is very tightly connected, and
> Jesus declares at the end that 'this generation shall
> not pass away until all these thing are fulfilled'"
> [Mk 13:30].
> >
> > Speaking of which Prof. Edward Adams, author of The
> Stars Will Fall from Heaven: Cosmic Catastrophe in the New
> Testament and Its World (Library of New Testament Studies
> 347, 2007) delves into conclusive evidence for a belief in
> the end of the created world in works written either just
> before or during the N.T. period, works such as 1 Enoch,
> Pseudo-Sophocles, Jubilees, other Dead Sea Scroll writings,
> the Testament of Moses, the Testament of Job,
> Pseudo-Philo's L.A.B., 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, the Apocalypse
> of Zephaniah, 2 Enoch, and the Sibylline Oracles, and in the
> N.T. from the earliest N.T. letters of Paul to the last
> written N.T. book.
> >
> > To mention a few other theologians and two esteemed
> Christian apologists (besides the Wesleyan theologian whom I
> already mentioned, who wrote IN GOD'S TIME), all of whom
> agree that predictions of the imminent coming of the Lord
> and the final judgment of the cosmos proved erroneous:
> >
> > James D. G. Dunn, major Brit theologian, moderate
> Evangelical and friend of N.T. Wright, and author of Jesus
> Remembered, admits Jesus and the apostles were mistaken.
> >
> > Dale C. Allison Jr., another theologian, author of
> Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet. And, The Apocalyptic
> Jesus: A Debate.
> >
> > Bart D. Ehrman, author of Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet
> of the New Millennium. (New York: Oxford University Press,
> 1999). He has an audio series on The Historical Jesus which
> covers this topic, though not as thoroughly as his book:
> >
> > Paul Johnson, defender of Christianity whose works
> include A History of the Jews, A History of Christianity,
> and a booklet in which he defended his belief in the
> historicity of the Gospels (a booklet popular with
> evangelical Christians), admitted in A History of
> Christianity: "The whole of Jesus' work implied
> that the apocalypse was imminent; some of his sayings were
> quite explicit on the point... The prima facie view of the
> Jesus mission was that it was an immediate prelude to a Last
> Judgment. Hence the urgency of the pentecostal task, an
> urgency which Paul shared throughout his life
> ['...brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may
> spread rapidly...' 2 Thes 3:1], so that his final hope
> was to carry the good news, while there was still time, to
> Spain - for him, 'the ends of the earth.'"
> >
> > C. S. Lewis agreed that Jesus made was in
> "error" predicting that his generation would live
> to see the coming of the Son of Man in final judgment:
> "The answer of the theologians is that the God-Man was
> omniscient as God, and ignorant as Man. This, no doubt, is
> true, though it cannot be imagined. Nor indeed can the
> unconsciousness of Christ in sleep be imagined, not the
> twilight of reason in his infancy; still less his merely
> organic life in his mother's womb." ["The
> World's Last Night" in The World's Last Night
> and Other Essays (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
> 1960).]
> >
> > To Bernie, I think the author of IN GOD'S TIME
> does the best at explaining how to reconcile a belief in
> Jesus' divinity and God's inspiration with an
> erroneous prediction. Though in the end it's a matter of
> learning to live with uncertainty or with difficulties. Life
> is like that. Being human is like that. And there have
> always been similar difficulties such as reconciling the
> N.T. author's useage of O.T. verses with the original
> contexts of those O.T. verses. Even after millennia and
> clouds of explanations, difficulties remain. And no
> explanation or interpretation is itself inerrant.
> >
> > I would also add something here, a bit off topic
> perhaps, about the intensity of the early church's
> beliefs. I mean per the story in Acts, which may or may not
> be true, it says a married couple who were members of the
> early church were struck dead immediately after lying to
> Peter that they had "given all they had" to the
> church. But what about Christians today who claim to tithe
> and give 10% of their total income to the church but who are
> lying about doing so? They aren't struck dead
> immediately, are they? The first century believers seem to
> take their religion far more seriously and even far more
> deadly than today's believers do. Another example in 1
> Cor. where Paul is speaking about the Lord's Supper and
> who important a practice it is for them all to get together
> and eat, and how one must celebrate it properly, not in
> drunken revelry, nor by having the wealthy in the
> congregation eating most of the food and others starving or
> getting little. Paul even
> > speaks in the same deadly serious fashion as in Acts
> when the couple was allegely struck dead immediately for
> lying. For Paul writes in 1 Cor. 11: "Anyone who eats
> and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and
> drinks judgment on himself. THAT IS WHY MANY AMONG YOU ARE
> JUDGED BY GOD." So Paul interpreted the sicknesses of
> "many" in the church, and even some
> "deaths," to an improper practice of the
> Lord's Supper. But do today's churches believe God
> is THAT judgmental, smiting people with illnesses and
> killing some, or as Paul says in 1 Cor. 11:29-20,
> "judging" and "disciplining" the church
> in such a DEADLY fashion "so that we will not be
> condemned with the world?" Talk about separating the
> wheat from the tares! Ouch! God doles out diseases to
> "many" and even "death" because of how
> people behave in church? And He keeps a keen eye peeled,
> judging both the practice of the Lord's Supper,
> > and the monetary offering (as in the case of the
> couple in Acts struck dead for lying about how much they
> gave). Whew.
> >
> > And Murray doesn't believe that same early church
> also believed the final judgment was near? They did. They
> certainly did, if you read all the verses I mentioned in my
> initial email below.
> >
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- On Wed, 10/8/08, Edward Babinski
> <> wrote:
> > Hi Bernie [Dehler], and others...
> >
> > Bern, I think you hit the nail on the head, one that
> other scholars (including moderate Evangelicals) have
> hammered upon over the millennia.
> >
> > In particular note that the verses you cited in the
> Book of Acts speak about Christians selling all they had and
> sharing everything (presumably taking care of even the
> poorest among them, thus taking the Sermon on the Mount
> quite directly and seriously) and Acts said they did this in
> order to "testify to the resurrection," Jesus'
> resurrection -- the point being that early Christians taught
> that Jesus' resurrection was the "first
> fruits" of the general resurrection soon to come with
> the judgment of all mankind not far off. See Matthew,
> "His angels will gather..." and "separate the
> sheep from the goats." The "first fruits"
> were taken from the field and enjoyed in a celebration, they
> were the first fully matured fruits in the field, and every
> farmer hearing such a phrase knew that the maturation of all
> the rest of the fruit in the field was not far off, but
> would soon have to be harvested. Therefore, "first
> fruits" could NEVER be considered very far away
> > from the general harvest.
> >
> > So YES, you are quite correct about the heightened
> expectation back then, the sense of urgency to testify to
> the world, the sense of imminency, existing in the early
> church, even prophesied by Paul that "WE shall not all
> sleep," and in 1 John, "it IS the last hour, by
> this we KNOW it is the last hour, because many antichrists
> HAVE [ALREADY] arisen." Such serious
> expecations/prophecies uttered by early apostles can be
> found throughout the N.T. Take the Letter of James:
> >
> > Come now, you rich [those living at the time the
> letter of James was written], weep and howl for your
> miseries which are coming upon you... It is in the last days
> that you have stored up your treasure... Be patient,
> therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold,
> the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being
> patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
> You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming
> of the Lord is at hand... ...Behold, the Judge is standing
> right at the door. [5:1,3,7-9]
> >
> > The author of James sought to address the impatience
> of some at the delay of Jesus' return. He reassured them
> that the "the coming of the Lord is at hand,"
> "the Judge is standing right at the door."
> >
> > Or consider passages from the letter to the Hebrews:
> >
> > ...In these last days... ...He [Jesus] would have
> needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world;
> but now once at the consummation He has been manifested to
> put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. [4] ...As you [the
> first century Christians being addressed] see the day
> drawing near... ...For yet a very little while, He who is
> coming will come, and will not delay. [1:2; 9:26; 10:25,37]
> >
> > Notice the statement, above, that "...He [Jesus]
> would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of
> the world; but now once at the consummation He has been
> manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of
> Himself." "At the consummation" can also be
> translated, "at the end of the age." And Jesus,
> according to the gospel of Matthew, informed his listeners
> exactly what "the end of the age" referred to:
> >
> > ...The harvest is the end of the the end of
> the age...the Son of Man will send forth his angels, and
> they will gather out of his kingdom all stumbling blocks,
> and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into
> the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping
> and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth
> as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. [Matthew 13:40-41
> - based on the description of "the end of the age"
> found in Daniel 12]
> >
> > Look at what Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth:
> >
> > ...The rulers of this age...are passing away
> ["will not last much longer" - Today's English
> Version] ... Do not go on passing judgment before the time
> [i.e., "before the time" of final judgment which
> he predicted was near at hand], but wait until the Lord
> comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the
> darkness and disclose the motives of men's
> hearts..." ...The time has been shortened so that from
> now on both those who have wives should be as though they
> had none [i.e., Paul preached that the time was so
> "short" that married Christian couples "from
> now on" ought to abstain from having sex! [5] ]; and
> those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who
> rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy,
> as though they did not possess; and those who use the world,
> as though they did not make full use of it [i.e., there was
> no time for marriage or buying or selling - only in a state
> of holy celibacy could the Elect remain pure
> > while awaiting the soon return of Christ]; for the
> form of this world is passing away ["This world, as it
> is now, will not last much longer" - Today's
> English Version]... ...These things were written for our
> instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come...
> Proclaim the Lord's death until he comes [i.e., Paul did
> not say, "Proclaim the Lord's death until the day
> you die," but rather, "until he comes," which
> means that he considered Christ's coming to be nearer
> than the time when the believers he was writing to would all
> be dead]. We [Paul and the first century believers being
> addressed] shall not all sleep... ...At the last
> trumpet...the dead will be raised...and we shall be changed.
> Maranatha [="Come Lord"] [1 Cor 2:6; 4:5; 7:29-31;
> 10:11; 11:26; 15:51-52; 16:22]
> >
> > Or consider what Paul wrote to the believers at
> Thessalonica:
> >
> > ...How you turned to God from wait for His
> Son from heaven [Compare 1 Cor 1:7, "...awaiting
> eagerly the revelation (revealing) of our Lord Jesus
> Christ," and, Heb 9:28, "Christ...shall appear a
> second those who eagerly await Him." These
> instructions to "eagerly wait" for Christ's
> return reveal how imminent the second coming of Jesus was
> believed to be.]... For who is it not even
> you [the first century Christians being addressed], in the
> presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming? ...May establish
> your hearts...before our God and Father at the coming of our
> Lord Jesus with all His saints. For this we say to you by
> the word of the Lord, that we [Paul and the first century
> Christians being addressed] who are alive and remain [notice
> how Paul included himself as one who will still be alive]
> until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who
> have fallen asleep...the dead in Christ shall rise first.
> Then we who are
> > alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
> in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air... ...May your
> spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame
> at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Thes 1:9,10;
> 2:19; 3:13; 4:15-17; 5:23]
> >
> >
> > Keep in mind Paul was writing to people living in the
> first century, and also that he was repeating a
> "word" that he had received directly from
> "the Lord." Namely, that "we" [the first
> century Christians who "remained alive" at the
> time this letter was written, including Paul, its author]
> "shall be caught the clouds to meet the Lord in
> the air!" For Paul there was no doubt that Jesus would
> arrive before he and the believers he addressed would all be
> dead. "We," including himself, "shall not all
> sleep" [1 Cor 15:51].
> >
> > But they do sleep today, the "word of the
> Lord" notwithstanding. In his second letter to the
> Thessalonians, Paul remained just as certain that Jesus
> would return shortly:
> >
> > ...It is just for God to repay with affliction those
> who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted
> and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from
> heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out
> retribution...these will pay the penalty...when He comes...
> [2 Thes 1:6-10]
> >
> > That is to say, Jesus would be revealed from heaven
> "with his mighty angles in flaming fire" soon
> enough to "relieve" the afflictions of the
> Thessalonians, and Paul, and other first century Christians.
> Compare Paul's expectation of supernatural judgment and
> "relief" with this prediction made in the letter
> of Jude:
> >
> > ...Certain persons HAVE crept in [to the church]
> unnoticed [i.e., in Jude's day], those who were long
> beforehand marked out for condemnation...about these [i.e.,
> ungodly persons living in Jude's
> day]...Enoch...prophesied saying, "Behold, the Lord
> came with many thousands of his holy ones to execute
> judgment..." [4,14-15]
> >
> > Jude's message, like Paul's, and like the
> author of Revelation's was that Jesus would soon arrive,
> punish those who were afflicting the churches throughout the
> "world," and provide "relief" for
> steadfast believers.
> >
> > Or take these passages from Paul's letter to the
> believers at Philippi:
> >
> > ...He who began a good work in you [the first century
> Christians being addressed] will perfect it until the day of
> Christ Jesus [i.e., rather than saying, "until the day
> you die," which he assumed was not going to happen to
> all of them, since, as Paul pointed out in 1 Cor, "we
> shall not all sleep!"]... ...In order to be sincere and
> blameless until the day of Christ [Compare 1 Tim 6:14,
> "Keep the commandment...until the appearing of our Lord
> Jesus Christ."]... ...We eagerly wait for a Savior, the
> Lord Jesus Christ... ...Let your forbearing spirit be known
> to all men. The Lord is near. [Philip 1:6,10; 3:20; 4:5]
> >
> > What about Paul's letter to the believers in Rome?
> >
> > ...The sufferings of this present time are not worthy
> to be compared with the glory that is soon [mello] to be
> revealed to us... ...The whole creation groans and suffers
> the pains of childbirth together until now... ...We...groan
> within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons,
> the redemption of our body. ...Knowing the time, that it is
> already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now
> salvation is nearer to us than when we believed! The night
> is almost gone, and the day is at hand... ...The God of
> peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. [Rom
> 8:18,22-23; 13:11-12; 16:20]
> >
> > No one has ever preached more explicitly that Jesus
> would return (even "must" return - Rev 1:1) in
> their lifetimes, than the New Testament letter writers who
> addressed the churches throughout the Roman Empire in the
> first century A.D. Oddly enough, the plain straightforward
> fundamental meaning of such verses continues to be denied by
> "fundamentalist" "inerrantist"
> Christians who have used every means possible to try and
> deny what appears quite obvious.
> >
> > Like Dispensationalism, "Preterism" is an
> attempt to uphold inerrancy and deny the obvious. But I ask
> Preterists to read the verses above and note that neither
> Paul nor any of the others connect the "coming of the
> Lord" with the "destruction of Jerusalem,"
> but instead connect it with the general resurrection and
> final judgment.
> >
> > On the positive side, I ought to add that THERE ARE
> accept that such predictions are faulty but who take very
> seriously the sociological world in which such predictions
> were made, and who conclude that one can be a Christian --
> but the historical and sociological contexts in which the
> Bible was composed are far more crucial to studying it than
> the principle of "inerrancy." See for instance
> this book, video, and website:
> >
> >
> >
> > The video for the above book is even sold along with
> N.T. Wright's videos at this website:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> >
> > From: Dehler, Bernie <>
> > Date: Tue Oct 07 2008 - 18:01:41 EDT
> >
> > Here's a question I have.
> >
> > In the NT, it is obvious that the disciples thought
> Jesus would return at any time and that the end was near.
> For example, that's why in Acts it says the believers
> had everything in common- sold what they had and shared
> everything. We would too if we seriously thought Christ
> would return tomorrow, but we don't really believe it.
> So we keep our own money- our retirement and college plans
> for our kids. We don't believe in the imminent return of
> Christ like the first believers did, as evidenced by our
> behavior.
> >
> > Here's my question: Was Jesus wrong when He taught
> about the immediate return? How do we explain his slowness
> in coming, when they all thought it would have happened
> almost 2,000 years ago? And since it has been so long
> already, what's the big deal if Jesus waits another
> 2,000 years? I know that's inconceivable to most
> evangelical Christians, just like if you told a Christian in
> 100AD that Christ still did not return by 2000AD.
> >
> > No need to post scripture about "scoffers who say
> Christ isn't going to return." That isn't the
> question. The question is how to you resolve the fact that
> Christ clearly taught, and His disciples clearly believed,
> in the imminent return, which didn't happen yet? There
> was no imminent return. If Christ returns today, it was not
> imminent.
> >
> > It is a genuine problem that I have and am pondering,
> as a believer.
> >
> > ...Bernie
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> > From: Bethany Sollereder <>
> > Date: Tue Oct 07 2008 - 18:20:19 EDT
> >
> > Hey Bernie,
> >
> > Funny you should mention the idea that we would not
> have retirement and
> > college funds if we really believed... at the Bible
> college I attended, we
> > had a speaker come in and tell us that when he was
> young he scorned all
> > those things because of the immanence of Christ's
> return. Now, at
> > retirement age, he was unable to, and actually advised
> us not to take his
> > path.
> >
> > I'm not sure where you mean that Jesus said he
> would return immediately.
> > When he speaks of coming on the "clouds of
> heaven" etc. I like to follow
> > N.T. Wright's approach which says that this is
> language of vindication -
> > vindication which came with the fall of Jerusalem in
> AD 70. As for when the second coming would be, I don't
> think he actually said it would be
> > immediate. It seems to me that most of his
> teachings/parables on the nature of returning are usually
> emphasizing the uncertainty of the timing of the return.
> I'm thinking of the parables of the women with the
> lamps, or the servants with the master gone away. Also, the
> one time Jesus speaks
> > directly of the timing, he says he does not even know
> the day or the hour,
> > only the Father knows.
> >
> > I don't know that it would be a big deal if he
> waits another 2000 years.
> > Why would it be? My job is to be faithful while I have
> time.
> >
> > Also, this just occurred to me, so I haven't done
> any studying on it, but
> > some of the language may also be referring to the
> resurrection, which did
> > happen immediately, while some would be talking about
> the "proper" second
> > coming. As in all prophetic writings/oracles, the time
> scale in view is
> > always a difficult thing to pick out.
> >
> > Bethany
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to
> with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of
> the message.
> >
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
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Received on Fri Oct 10 23:34:46 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Oct 10 2008 - 23:34:46 EDT