Jesus warned that we would hear of, “wars and rumors of wars” before the apocalypse. There’s a very real sense in which Russia’s war with Ukraine has set the world on edge, and the feeling this could morph into an “end of the world” sort of event should things get out of hand. News headlines sound very much like themes we read about in the book of Revelation regarding the end of all things.
Which got me to thinking, maybe what we seeing in the news and experiencing is an apocalyptic event? But if so, in what way are these news headlines related to Biblical prophecies about the apocalypse, the end of the world, and the second coming of Jesus Christ?
In this podcast episode, I sit down with Daniel Rushing, a former pastor and college theology instructor, a prior guest on this show, and friend, in which we talk about how current news headlines (and events of the past few years) parallel apocalyptic themes found in the Scripture.
But, not necessarily in the Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, or John Hagee, futurist way of understanding of things in the Bible regarding “the last days” that we find in Fundamentalist, Evangelical, and Pentecostal circles. Nor do we attempt to understand these events in the more historical and scholarly fashionable ways (such as most recently by N.T. Wright) that sees these apocalyptic passages as having primarily fulfillment in the past, such as at the Maccabean revolt, or the fall of Jerusalem. We find both schools of interpretation to be too tightly tethered to a linear an chronological framework for our liking, and sorely lacking.
Instead of attempting to pinpoint apocalyptic passages of Scriptures to precise historical events, either in the past or the future, we propose an understanding that these apocalyptic passages of Scripture that are better seen to be circular patterns that get repeated time and time again throughout history, with multiple applications and multiple fulfillments.
Instead of a map of the history of the world, we discuss how these deliberately vague passages are better understood as “maps of meaning,” paradigms, and archetypes by which we process apocalyptic events that transpire in our lives and in our world, in whatever form they ultimately take. These apocalyptic passages of Scripture are better seen as cyclical patterns that have a way of repeating themselves, time and time again. If you have a feeling that you’ve, “heard this story before,” you aren’t wrong, as such is the nature of apocalyptic literature in the Bible.
This podcast is not for those who aren’t willing to dig a little deeper into things, those who aren’t willing to truly wrestle with the great themes of Scripture, and to seriously reflect on some of the great theological schools of thought in the church. Come with a curious mind. We move hard, fast, and aren’t afraid to engage some notable theologians and schools of thought. We ultimately aim to give a fresh take on the apocalypse, as we process how to better engage Scripture in a meaningful way, while at the same time reading the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in another.