Wednesday, October 07, 2009

end times as creation events

Creation is an eschatological event.
Or is it that eschatology is a creation event?

The only gospel we have is an uncreated, creative, creation gospel.
The only gospel we have places us in the end times...which began at creation, if not before.

Many implications:

Sermons, studies and books on the end times should be much more creative.
Eugene Peterson rightly claims that Revelation can only be understood, and therefore stood under, as poetry.
Which inevitably creates creatively and intrinsically creates creativity.

Ask any churchgoer to list signs of the end. Does increased eschatological creativity of the Body of the Creator's Image even make the cut? Time to orbit the giant hairball!

William Dumbrell's wonderful, and wonder-filled "The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament" is a great place to start unpacking the end:

Biblical theology and the eschatology derived from it must commence from the basis of Genesis 1 and make a theology of creation the dominant factor in an eschatological presentation (166)

In fact:

Creation is the assumption in the OT from which all theological movement proceeds" (189)
Leonard Sweet has suggested that the broadest thematic inclusio in the whole Bible is one that in fact encompasses the whole Bible: it is no accident that commands to "eat and drink freely" bookend the Bible. Accordingly, everything sandwiched in between is the meat making that same message. (He laid this out at a chapel service at Fresno Pacific University a few years ago, and it shows up in his "The Gospel According to Starbucks.")

And eating and drinking are finally fundamentally and endlessly eschatological.
(Luke 22.30).
And thus are creative commentary on creation and creation's end.

Dumbrell's book makes the case that the last few chapters of Scripture will not makes sense, or create faith, outside of .....the first few chapters of Scripture.
Such an inclusio incites holy hope, as a kind of reversal of the nihilistic despair bookending Pink Floyd's apocalyptic opus, "The Wall." (The inclusio of that work consists of a voice calmly commenting "This is where...." at the very end only to be continued at the very beginning of
the album with "....we came in."

But no vicious circles in Scripture.
Only strange loops,

holy helixes

subversive hijacking of despair,

and a flowing and flooding "back" of the future into the present.
Back into our day...and beyond.

In fact, to creation and beyond.

In fact, there is no line on the end times/creation times horizon,and the line runs right through the line at St. Arbuck's where we eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!