A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Why the World Will End on September 23, 2023

June 16, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 26
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Why the World Will End on September 23, 2023
Show Notes Transcript

Who doesn't like a good conversation about the end of the world/end times/rapture/dispensationalism? We sure do...over a good scotch.

In this episode, we tackle eschatology and end times theology and all the good, bad and ugly of it. Should we be afraid of the future, or hopeful? Is the planet earth going to burn up, or is this all headed somewhere good? What have people thought throughout church history, and why does this all matter?

Oh, and we can't leave out Kirk Cameron and Nic Cage. Shout out to the homies.

The whisky we taste in this episode is the Lagavulin 11 Year Nick Offerman Guinness Cask Finish from the amazing Lagavulin Distillery

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

NOTE: This transcript is for the unedited video version of this conversation, so the time stamps you see here will not match the audio-only podcast version exactly. For the video version, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haDWIBNOQSI

00:02

[Music]

00:05

so you know how whenever you

00:07

are in a plane you got the pilots up

00:09

front and you always want to

00:10

fly with the pilots that aren't

00:14

aren't born again because if if they are

00:16

born again and the rapture happens

00:20

that the plane's going down well thing

00:22

is i'm not going to be there either but

00:24

it's going to be a disaster either way

00:28

wow i thought that was going to be like

00:30

a somewhat intellectually sound argument

00:32

for preacher

00:33

what are you talking about that's

00:34

exactly how it is in the left behind

00:36

books it is that is

00:38

that's exactly where i got no cease of

00:40

my theology

00:42

i don't understand why everyone else who

00:45

believes in the bible isn't post-trib

00:46

because it's the most scriptural i mean

00:48

like

00:49

the bible talks about us going through

00:50

persecution it's obviously going to

00:53

happen

00:54

post-trib is the only biblical way to

00:55

why he's standing up and pacing

01:02

kyle can't even go there i can't even do

01:05

it

01:06

i read every left behind book in

01:08

succession

01:09

including the prequels when i was

01:12

a teenager man i ate it up yeah i

01:16

thought that was sound theology that's

01:18

oh yeah what's gonna happen

01:19

so as soon as i outgrew the hardy boys

01:20

left behind books were like the next

01:22

the next best series loved it yeah yes i

01:25

still feel a little queasy about

01:26

romanian people

01:27

as a result remember

01:32

it was nicolet carpathia right that's

01:35

the antichrist so just watch out for

01:36

that one

01:38

nice kidding totally kidding

01:41

well let's talk about eschatology yeah

01:46

that was the like possible like

01:49

we don't do that anymore no all right uh

01:53

kyle you start us out on this one

01:55

all right welcome to a pastor and

01:58

philosopher walking to a bar today we're

02:00

talking about the

02:01

end of the world wherever we needed a

02:04

echo it's right now the end of the world

02:08

so uh some nerdy christians like to call

02:10

this eschatology which just means

02:13

the end of the world the study of the

02:15

end of the world yes

02:16

yeah so uh you say so many nerdy things

02:20

and you're

02:20

you're calling that nerdy i didn't say

02:22

nerdy was bad

02:23

okay all right all right yeah that's a

02:25

good word

02:26

um and so this is something lots of

02:28

christians have lots of opinions about

02:30

um oh man yeah

02:34

they're it's in the creed right creeds i

02:37

suppose that

02:38

that uh a little bit you know we're

02:40

supposed to affirm a belief in

02:42

the age to come yeah looking forward to

02:45

something happening

02:46

and uh the bible has said some things

02:48

about it that are

02:50

uh perhaps a nice way to put it is

02:53

obscure

02:55

and some christians have tried to make

02:58

it

02:58

clear just that when they try they don't

03:01

agree with each other so

03:02

we're going to talk about lots of

03:04

different ways to think about the end of

03:05

the world and what our own views on it

03:07

are and where they used to be and where

03:08

they've come from and if this is

03:10

important or not

03:12

but we can't agree that nicholas cage is

03:14

the best actor of our time

03:15

absolutely yeah

03:18

i just can't bring myself to watch this

03:20

why would you can't do it

03:22

have you watched the other version of

03:24

left behind yeah the kirk cameron woof

03:25

dude

03:26

ouch bad choice

03:29

i'm i'm proud to say i've never seen a

03:31

kirk cameron movie

03:33

never really no you gotta watch

03:34

fireproof nope oh that'd be good without

03:37

a bottle of whiskey

03:38

so i feel like that might be something

03:40

for our patreon audience would be

03:42

the video of you guys watching yes fire

03:45

protection

03:45

well no we could we could do that with

03:47

our with our top level our

03:51

top shelf patreon supporters we all

03:53

watch fire proof with

03:55

a bottle of whiskey that'd be the only

03:57

way i would agree to it

03:58

fireproof with a bottle of fireball

04:00

there you go

04:01

fireproof with fireball man it sells

04:04

itself

04:05

it's amazing i did i do remember i

04:07

watched uh the gods not dead movie

04:09

with the glass of whiskey and live

04:11

tweeted it

04:13

to get through it this would be very

04:14

much like that that's yeah that's just

04:16

shamelessly

04:17

trying to get more twitter followers i

04:20

mean go find it

04:22

i'm not gonna speaking of bottles of

04:24

whiskey though we've got a really

04:25

interesting

04:26

interesting one in front of us at least

04:28

i hope it's interesting we'll find out

04:30

so i'm a huge fan of parks and

04:32

recreation are you guys fans of

04:34

parks and recreation great tv yeah of

04:37

course

04:39

i didn't know it was called parks and

04:40

recreation i thought it was parks and

04:42

rec

04:42

my daughter told me that that's what

04:44

everybody calls it so everyone's

04:46

favorite character

04:47

on parks and rec is um

04:50

ron swanson the ron swanson yeah played

04:53

of course by

04:54

nick offerman who is kinda ron swanson

04:56

like in real life

04:58

if you watch him delightfully laser

04:59

watches stand up which i recommend

05:02

yeah and so in the show and in real life

05:04

he's a huge fan of lagavulin

05:07

scotch which is one of my wife and i's

05:09

favorite

05:10

distilleries in scotland uh so much so

05:13

that uh the character in the show like

05:16

buys a share in lagavulin

05:17

or you know buys a chunk of the company

05:20

uh but in real life nick often is kind

05:21

of a brand ambassador for them so

05:24

they have done a couple of special

05:26

releases for him and we're tasting the

05:28

most recent one today so this

05:29

is an 11 year old eilee scotch

05:33

isla i should say isla scotch finished

05:36

interestingly

05:36

in guinness casks so you didn't make a

05:39

pleasant face when you

05:40

well you know guinness is not my

05:42

favorite beer but i'm intrigued and i

05:44

trust mr offerman so we're going to see

05:46

how this goes trust mr offerman now as a

05:48

philosopher why would you trust mr

05:50

offroad because i've had

05:51

other again or other lagavulin

05:53

expressions and they are delicious oh so

05:55

evidence-based i suppose i trust

05:57

lagavulin

05:59

and and since he likes them i trust him

06:01

as well so we'll see

06:03

i'm not really sure what to expect here

06:04

we have had on the podcast

06:06

one stout finished whiskey before that

06:10

was an irish whiskey

06:11

and we liked it so scotch is superior in

06:15

every way to irish whiskey so i can only

06:17

imagine that this will be at least i can

06:18

agree

06:20

all right

06:24

i mean it's that big leather nose yeah

06:27

that you get with scotch

06:28

lagavulin in particular has a very

06:31

identifiable nose

06:33

it's not an offensive peddiness though

06:34

like it's

06:37

it's furniture leather furniture

06:41

with some grain oh yeah

06:45

definitely the kind of thing you want to

06:46

sip in a library i

06:48

i can't smell i can't smell at least the

06:50

guinness casks no me neither

06:54

yeah i'm okay with that

07:02

wow

07:06

that oh i got a little bit on the end it

07:08

took a minute though

07:11

up until then it was pretty much the

07:12

standard 16-year lag of villain

07:14

which is impressive being only 11 years

07:16

old but yeah right on the end

07:19

i get a little bit of that stout

07:22

interesting

07:22

it's it seems like it's cut pretty low

07:26

it's not very hot

07:29

let's see what is this 46

07:33

i just want to want to say a first just

07:34

happened elliott lund did the kentucky

07:37

chew

07:39

on the podcast at least i haven't

07:40

noticed it

07:42

i'm trying to figure this out yeah it

07:44

was my last resort

07:45

this is for me this is a very

07:46

straightforward scotch it's

07:49

it's got the peatiness it's got the

07:51

leathery it's got the smoke it's got

07:53

a little bit of oak it's got a little

07:55

bit of citrus in it to me

07:57

got that brightness to it that some

07:58

scotches don't have

08:00

i don't taste the guinness cask though

08:02

but i like it's just like a

08:04

a real quick like tootsie roll

08:08

esque finish doesn't last very long but

08:10

it's right there at the end

08:13

but yeah otherwise a very uh i mean it's

08:15

lagerville and it's

08:16

exactly what you'd expect from them

08:18

petey smokey

08:20

easy drinking yeah easy drinking into

08:22

those things which i definitely am

08:24

kind of what you get in uh what you'd

08:26

expect from nick offerman no nonsense

08:28

straightforward scotch

08:31

dusty old attic that's the that's the

08:35

smell for me it's like if you poke your

08:36

head into this attic you know you're

08:37

gonna find some treasures in the boxes

08:39

nice delicious yeah i think your trust

08:41

in nick offerman is

08:43

as well placed yeah tastes like

08:44

libertarianism

08:48

tastes like tastes like libertarian no

08:50

no take that out

08:54

tastes like gun stock

08:55

[Laughter]

08:58

it's good well thank you for tr the

09:01

treat kyle

09:02

yeah lug a bullet i was lucky to get

09:03

this uh

09:05

it's hard to find and sells out fast in

09:07

a local liquor store

09:08

happen to have it and i'm on their email

09:10

list so here we are awesome

09:12

thank you okay cheers

09:16

pause um did you read through

09:20

the stuff that i put about like what

09:21

christians have thought about it is that

09:22

boring or is it helpful or what

09:24

we'll go through and if it's boring and

09:26

cut up cut it or speed it up like you

09:28

did that time philosophy stuff i just

09:29

said

09:30

yeah i'm gonna cut all of that

09:34

it's gonna be 17 minutes i mean i was

09:36

thinking while i was saying it i don't

09:37

know if this is interesting

09:40

all right it was it was interesting it's

09:43

just a bit

09:44

brutal it was dark it was very like you

09:48

know we might want to think about

09:50

putting a little post script on like

09:53

after this one recording a little

09:55

something a little bit

09:56

brighter at for it it's pretty dark

10:00

yeah i mean all of our episodes aren't

10:02

sad but yeah

10:04

all right you want to bring us back to

10:06

eschatology and yeah

10:09

so i remember the first time it occurred

10:12

to me to doubt

10:13

what i was taught about eschatology a

10:15

friend of mine

10:17

shannon maybe he's listening i think

10:18

he's a listener a friend of mine

10:21

and i were sitting in my room in this

10:24

little house that i

10:25

was renting a room in in college and we

10:28

were both part of a ministry that had a

10:30

very clear

10:31

view of this they were pre-trib

10:34

millennialists

10:35

nice listeners are going to know what

10:38

that means we'll explain it it's like

10:39

another language

10:40

i know it's ridiculous but that was the

10:44

the the view of the ministry that we

10:46

were in which meant

10:47

we took for granted that there was a

10:49

thing called a rapture

10:51

and so what this means is eventually

10:54

probably pretty soon if you ask

10:56

most of these people there's going to be

10:57

a time where jesus comes literally on

11:00

the clouds most of them think that he's

11:01

going to be riding a horse

11:03

and he's going to come from the east and

11:07

the people like in the left behind

11:08

series that are true believers true

11:10

followers of jesus true christians

11:13

are going to be taken and in the movies

11:16

what that looks like is their clothes

11:17

crumpled to the floor and their car just

11:19

careens you know

11:22

the people on the plane panic and we're

11:24

talking east of north america here

11:28

the first people to see him will be on

11:30

trying to picture it okay somewhere in

11:32

north carolina

11:32

the leftovers moment because the people

11:36

in the northeast won't be looking

11:37

so so

11:40

so but we we're laughing about it but we

11:42

took it seriously we believed it and

11:45

it occurred to my buddy and i to that

11:48

we'd never really like dug into the

11:49

scriptures

11:50

she kind of took it for granted so we

11:52

were interested in okay well where does

11:53

the bible teach this let's find it and

11:56

so we went digging and there's one verse

11:59

i think it's in like first thessalonians

12:01

or something don't quote me on that but

12:02

it's like somewhere in there one

12:03

piddly little verse and it took about

12:06

the rapture yeah

12:07

well i mean to be fair to you know

12:10

pre-tribbers that i mean jesus talks

12:13

about it in matthew 24 as well he

12:15

doesn't use the word rapture

12:16

but he talks about two workers being in

12:18

the field and one's taken away and the

12:20

others left and you know

12:21

so on and so forth yeah yeah but the one

12:23

that they mostly focus on

12:24

yeah first thessalonians yeah so maybe

12:28

two all right

12:29

and uh and my friend and i were like

12:32

looking into these and

12:33

reading around those verses in the

12:35

chapters and trying to see if we could

12:37

come up with alternative interpretations

12:40

and it was super easy to do so

12:42

um and it just hit us kind of like a

12:44

like a truck that

12:46

wow this whole tradition is based on a

12:49

pretty loose interpretation of this one

12:51

or maybe two

12:52

verses and all of our friends are so

12:54

sure about it

12:56

um and so that kind of drove a wedge and

12:58

our trust for that group we were in and

13:00

both of us continued that trajectory out

13:03

of it eventually but

13:05

yeah that stuck with me this issue was

13:08

one of the first

13:08

to to make me kind of alert to the fact

13:12

that

13:13

gosh all these religious people i'd just

13:14

been believing my whole life

13:17

kind of have some weak foundations for

13:18

some of these views that they put so

13:20

much stock in because

13:21

those views weren't just like

13:23

interesting things that might

13:25

come out after a couple drinks at a

13:27

party like these

13:28

views dictated or determined how you

13:31

voted

13:32

yeah you know and they determined your

13:34

foreign policy they still do for

13:36

lots of americans i mean we're right now

13:37

in the midst of deteriorating i suppose

13:40

is a nice way to put it relations

13:41

between israel and palestine and

13:43

uh my family all my friends all the

13:45

people in that church group

13:48

had very clear views on how that should

13:50

turn out yeah

13:51

and those views were based on they were

13:54

no

13:54

no more strongly supported by the text

13:56

i'll say than than that view of

13:58

the rapture was yeah yeah i mean this

14:01

i had to sort this out early in my

14:03

spiritual journey

14:04

relatively early because eschatology end

14:08

times theology

14:09

what have you messed me up so bad i mean

14:12

i

14:13

i grew up in a setting where

14:16

you know one of my parents had

14:19

subscription to

14:20

a pastor in new york who regularly would

14:22

have prophecies about

14:24

judgment or the end of the world and

14:25

when it would happen and

14:27

i remember i can still picture sitting

14:29

on the edge of my parents bed reading

14:30

this

14:31

this newsletter that a parent told me to

14:33

read and being

14:34

scared out of my mind thinking that

14:38

this is all going to end in three years

14:40

and you know is this real

14:42

and i left i feel i feel like i lived

14:45

with that dread

14:47

for most of my childhood and a lot of my

14:49

youth and but

14:50

in my youth i quickly discovered kind of

14:53

similarly to you

14:54

there's a different way of thinking

14:55

there's a different way of seeing the

14:56

scriptures maybe this isn't as iron clad

14:59

as i was led to believe and i that was

15:02

the first thing that got undone about my

15:04

theology

15:05

because i felt like i had to get to the

15:06

bottom of it because i was so

15:08

full of fear about end times theology

15:12

that i had to figure it out and by no

15:14

means do i think i've figured it out

15:16

but i walked away from that version that

15:18

says rep the book of revelation

15:20

is this very clear you know word that

15:24

says exactly when and how things are

15:26

going to happen and who the antichrist

15:27

is and

15:28

even though the antichrist isn't really

15:29

in the book of revelation at all that's

15:30

in the first

15:31

book of first john but let's not think

15:33

about that so

15:34

yeah i mean this this one thing

15:38

filled me with more fear dread kept me

15:40

up at night as a kid

15:41

and as a teenager than anything i mean

15:44

it is pretty terrifying

15:45

yeah right and it's usually based on

15:48

like whether or not you go

15:49

whether or not you get taken is as as it

15:52

was described to me anyway based on

15:54

beliefs that you hold not so much on

15:56

what you do although i suppose they

15:58

would say the beliefs are supposed to

15:59

result in some action but

16:00

uh but whether or not you've kind of

16:02

understood and signed on the dotted line

16:04

about certain

16:05

doctrinal views so you know there are

16:09

pre-trib people who kind of have

16:11

suspicions that the post-trib people

16:12

might be left behind

16:15

and it doesn't matter that they you know

16:17

give to charity and their churches and

16:18

raise

16:19

good kids or whatever it's belief

16:21

oriented mostly

16:23

and you know as somebody struggling to

16:25

figure out what they believed and

16:27

who who really felt like i had to be

16:29

intellectually honest that's scary

16:30

yeah because i could find myself

16:32

doubting which seemed to be out of my

16:34

control

16:34

and then if it happened then well

16:37

screwed

16:38

and the story they tell about the the

16:40

few years after

16:42

is not good no no it's pretty dark

16:45

it's it's the stuff that allows nicholas

16:47

cage movies to happen

16:48

yeah cheers to nicholas cage by the way

16:51

um in his really terrible career that

16:54

enables him to take these roles

16:56

well i mean the rock though like we've

16:58

still got the rock

17:00

um the only good michael bay movie

17:03

um yeah and the ironic thing is that

17:07

we all felt so certain about these

17:10

things

17:11

and i'm mostly putting a vicarious wii

17:13

because i was

17:14

afraid of it but i was given it was

17:17

given to me

17:18

as such a certain ironclad

17:21

you know airtight argument when you

17:24

really just open the scriptures

17:26

it's just terrible exegesis it's

17:28

terrible biblical interpretation and

17:30

reflection it's terrible

17:32

so let's get into that a little bit and

17:34

kind of unpack this thing and why we

17:36

hold the views that we do now

17:37

yeah um

17:41

okay pause for a second where do we go

17:42

from there do we this probably doesn't

17:44

it isn't needed here

17:45

no i think we okay we already did that

17:49

why is this not scrolling because it's

17:53

google docs

17:58

okay do we want to do this well you just

18:01

said we're going to get into

18:02

why the exegesis is bad so we should do

18:06

that okay

18:08

go ahead what was your idea

18:13

okay got it so i want to think

18:17

as we as we begin this conversation and

18:19

get into a little bit of the nuts and

18:20

bolts we are not theologians we are not

18:22

biblical scholars let's just

18:24

say that right off the bat so don't

18:25

expect any

18:27

rich theology or deep biblical

18:30

scholarship because we're neither of

18:31

those things but we've thought about

18:33

these things a lot and

18:35

given ourselves to studying and trying

18:36

to get to the bottom of it

18:38

which there is impossible but i think

18:40

this matters

18:41

i think this conversation really does

18:43

matter i was even thinking about this

18:44

today like should we have this

18:46

conversation

18:47

will people be interested in it first of

18:48

all i think people are interested in it

18:50

because they've been we've been told

18:51

something for our whole lives

18:53

and then when you think that it you can

18:55

pull the needle out of it you can you

18:56

can

18:57

pull the rug out from underneath you

18:59

then it's what what then

19:00

and why so i think for me it matters

19:04

because

19:05

all sorts of people within church

19:06

history have done this poorly and i

19:08

don't mean a majority there there has

19:09

been a

19:10

lot within church history where they got

19:12

this right

19:13

and it wasn't the left behind it wasn't

19:15

the hal lindsey's of the world it wasn't

19:17

the you know fire brimstone preachers

19:19

augustine was pretty smart about this

19:21

and we'll talk about that but i think it

19:23

matters for a couple of reasons for me

19:25

one because we need a better story

19:27

within christianity

19:28

we need a better story about where this

19:30

is all headed yeah

19:31

because who the heck is interested in

19:34

the story that's been told that is

19:36

it's all going to burn up in its fire

19:38

and brimstone and you're either sheeps

19:40

or goats

19:41

and um you know the beast is going to

19:44

come out of the sea

19:45

and who who is that is it you know this

19:47

that or the other politician that's a

19:49

terrible story and it's it's

19:50

it's taking metaphorical language in the

19:52

bible in apocalyptic literature

19:55

in completely misunderstanding what

19:58

apocalyptic literature is completely

19:59

under misunderstanding

20:01

how to get to the bottom of it and just

20:03

making these really

20:04

simplistic overly simplistic

20:07

damaging conclusions and feeding it to

20:10

people and saying this is our story of

20:12

where this thing's all headed that's a

20:13

terrible story and i want to change that

20:15

like it's that's i feel like responsible

20:18

for that do you know what i mean

20:19

like not like i'm going to do it myself

20:21

but we can do that a little bit together

20:23

and then other podcasts pastors thinkers

20:26

followers of christ

20:27

can tell a better story that's more

20:29

biblical and more hopeful

20:31

yeah yeah and i care about i think this

20:33

is important

20:34

because one i mean a kind of

20:37

disappointing percentage of americans

20:39

are basing their foreign policy on this

20:41

so i was

20:42

i was trying to find if there had been

20:44

any empirical research on

20:46

how many um how many dispensationalists

20:48

there are

20:49

and we can define that term in a few

20:50

minutes that'll come up um

20:52

the people that tend to believe in you

20:54

know the rapture and

20:56

certain views of israel and whatnot uh

20:58

that dictates you know

21:00

what they think america should do when

21:01

it comes to um

21:03

you know the israeli government bombing

21:06

palestinian neighborhoods

21:08

um lots of disappointing number of uh

21:11

americans

21:12

based their views of that on these kind

21:14

of hokey readings of the bible that

21:16

you're referring to

21:16

what you're what you're calling poor

21:18

eggs jesus is just

21:20

is deciding how they vote yeah it's like

21:23

it's like 1b to pro-life right is your

21:26

policy on israel yeah yeah yeah and it's

21:28

uh i mean i'm not saying you can't be a

21:30

republican

21:31

or conservative and be smart and

21:32

intellectual and have good reasons for

21:34

it

21:35

but you know lots of republicans are not

21:36

dispensationalists or anything like that

21:38

but

21:38

it's hard to find data but i mean of the

21:40

people that self-identify

21:42

as uh evangelical right there's a huge

21:45

voting block like a quarter of the

21:47

country something like that

21:48

as of i don't know maybe like the most

21:51

recent data i could find was like 15

21:52

years old

21:53

but like more than half of those people

21:57

would would answer affirmatively to the

21:59

view that um

22:01

israel fulfills biblical prophecy which

22:04

is a

22:05

kind of a core dispensationalist

22:07

position so i mean this is like

22:09

politically really important and current

22:12

so that's one reason i care about this i

22:13

also think it's important

22:15

it fundamentally alters your view of

22:17

jesus himself

22:18

like if you think a certain way about

22:22

how the world is going to wrap up

22:25

one very common story from these

22:27

traditions that we both

22:28

grew up in is that jesus is

22:31

fundamentally violent

22:33

or in the end is violent right he he

22:35

preaches this good game about

22:36

non-violence but like when

22:38

when comes to the show to it he comes

22:41

back and

22:41

murders everybody and it's like

22:45

super bloody in their reading of of

22:47

revelation and that changes your view of

22:49

what god is like

22:50

which makes sense because as we're going

22:52

to see

22:53

the the kind of theology that gives rise

22:55

to these views

22:56

wants to take the old testament very

22:58

very seriously

22:59

and wants kind of to make the new

23:01

testament consistent with it

23:02

rather than the other way around and so

23:04

um being a

23:06

person of non-violence he tries to

23:08

pursue that it's important to me for

23:09

that reason too because it turns god

23:11

into a blood thirsty

23:13

vengeful um

23:16

entity yes yeah just unrecognizable to

23:19

me yeah

23:20

and we'll end this why does this matter

23:23

on another very black and white blunt

23:25

statement

23:26

sorry um but another reason why i think

23:29

this matters is because

23:30

i'm sick of christianity large swaths of

23:32

american christianity

23:34

more closely resembling and choosing

23:36

astrology

23:37

over and above theology ouch you know

23:40

what i mean

23:41

like people obsessed about reading the

23:44

tea leaves and the signs and this and

23:45

that and the other

23:47

um i remember see if i can remember how

23:49

this went

23:50

this uh radio preacher that somebody i

23:52

knew was really into for a while

23:54

had this thing where like if you counted

23:58

in the right way chapters of daniel and

24:00

then he like went through this like

24:02

really precise complicated mathematical

24:04

calculation you could just determine

24:05

something about our

24:06

current political situation and it was

24:09

you're right it's i mean it's like

24:11

numerology astrology whatever it's um

24:14

if you know if you read a vague text

24:17

with

24:18

looking for something you're going to

24:19

find that thing and

24:21

boy some of these people have perfected

24:23

that kind of oh boy yep

24:25

intense yeah

24:35

moving on moving on um

24:40

do you want me to take this yeah sure

24:44

you spice it flavor it yeah okay

24:48

so go ahead and ask me maybe yeah

24:52

so randy you know a bit more about this

24:53

than me i kind of had

24:55

my i guess deconversion on this issue in

24:57

college and i haven't

24:59

looked back too much since i had a few

25:01

you know trajectory of views but this is

25:03

not something i've

25:04

paid a lot of attention to recently so

25:06

frame up for us

25:07

what various kinds of christians have

25:09

thought about this what is eschatology

25:11

looked like

25:11

in in church history well a couple

25:14

things first there's not many things

25:15

that i know more about than you kyle

25:17

outside of sports right and uh

25:20

racing that falls under the umbrella of

25:24

sports

25:24

[Laughter]

25:27

that's a different episode for a

25:28

different day um

25:31

also uh i just want to say i'm not a

25:33

church historian

25:35

i'm not qualified to give any

25:36

authoritative lesson lesson on what

25:37

christians have thought about

25:38

eschatology or the end times

25:41

i've studied it basically that's it

25:44

right so i mean the little i've i've

25:45

learned is that the

25:47

early church were still heavily

25:49

influenced in their eschatology by

25:51

jewish ancient jewish eschatology and

25:53

apocalypticism

25:55

right so when we read the new testament

25:58

particularly when we read the gospels

25:59

but also when we read paul in

26:02

john and all of the new testament we're

26:05

reading guys who are still trying to

26:08

figure this out

26:09

yeah now that's a that's a scary

26:10

statement for some people who see about

26:12

the bible a certain way

26:13

but these are these are guys who have

26:15

been taught and groomed just like we

26:16

just talked about how we were taught and

26:18

groomed about

26:19

what what happens at the end of the

26:21

world what's uh you know they were given

26:22

an eschatology

26:24

and that was rooted in their ancient

26:25

jewish world view

26:27

of the end times and what's going to

26:29

happen and so

26:30

as we read things like matthew 24 as we

26:33

read things like

26:34

um first thessalonians like we've

26:36

mentioned

26:38

we're talking about guys who are still

26:39

working this out and trying to figure

26:41

this out so in the early church it's

26:42

very muddy and there's all sorts of

26:44

um really honestly i would say bad

26:47

understanding and bad eschatology

26:48

it's because it's mixed up with a lot of

26:50

things from their history they're still

26:51

it's still synthesizing

26:53

so if you talk about what origen thought

26:55

about eschatology is a pretty good one

26:57

but there's a number of church followers

26:59

fathers who had

27:00

kind of weird eschatology because

27:03

they're still trying to figure it out

27:05

where things changed was with augustine

27:08

augustine in the fifth century right

27:12

did all sorts of i mean he's he's

27:14

probably the most famous theologian and

27:16

most influential theologian in all of

27:18

church history

27:19

in augustine took all of these theories

27:22

about end times and really like

27:25

millennialists people who thought that

27:26

there was going to be this

27:28

future time of a thousand years where

27:30

all is right in the world because jesus

27:32

will reign and all that stuff that was a

27:34

big huge doctrine

27:36

in the early church in augustine thought

27:38

it was all silliness

27:40

and in the city of god if you read it he

27:42

wrote about how

27:43

basically there's the city of god the

27:45

kingdom of heaven and

27:47

the city of this world the the

27:50

basically um

27:53

so we're gonna have to edit this out

27:55

what's the word i'm looking for the

27:56

terrestrial yet

27:58

so there's a city of god and the the the

28:01

kingdom of heaven basically in the

28:03

city of this world or the this world the

28:05

terrestrial world

28:06

and that terrestrial world is always

28:08

going to be flawed it's always going to

28:10

be broken so don't

28:11

ever try to hope for this thousand-year

28:13

reign of christ when everything's gonna

28:15

be perfect

28:16

what we have to wait for is when jesus

28:18

the second advent of christ when jesus

28:19

comes back and returns and judges the

28:21

earth and

28:22

makes all things right new creation

28:24

happens and he was pretty insistent

28:26

that no one knows no one knows where

28:29

no one knows when no one knows how no

28:31

one knows who is going to be saved

28:33

in all of that business but our job is

28:36

just to be faithful

28:37

yeah i think that's a pretty good

28:38

eschatology and that

28:41

once augustine kind of laid that out

28:43

that ruled the day

28:44

mostly in the church for the next many

28:46

centuries probably seven or eight nine

28:48

centuries

28:48

that was just normal eschatology in the

28:50

church pretty healthy

28:52

along the course of those seven eight

28:54

nine centuries there were the outliers

28:56

who thought

28:56

really crazy things and who believed all

28:59

the post-trib pre-trib millennius

29:01

millennial stuff

29:02

and usually that was based upon

29:06

world events that were happening trying

29:07

to make sense of things like black death

29:09

in i think the 14th century or trying to

29:12

make sense of the hundred year war

29:13

or trying to make sense of all this

29:16

horrific stuff we see and so

29:18

they would take those things and say

29:20

well this means that the thousand-year

29:21

reign of christ is about to begin

29:23

which you can kind of understand right

29:25

absolutely we just lived through

29:26

probably the worst year

29:27

collectively of any of our lives right

29:30

you're a little older than me but i

29:31

suspect there hasn't been a 20 20 in

29:33

your lifetime

29:34

anything to really compare to that i

29:36

mean killer bees

29:37

right like do you remember hilarious

29:40

meme i saw on facebook that was just

29:41

like

29:42

frame after frame of like thing that

29:44

just keeps happening and

29:46

you see it all kind of laid out all at

29:47

once not just the virus and not just the

29:49

political stuff and not just the

29:51

you know the social stuff but all this

29:53

random [ __ ]

29:55

like you know freaks of nature and you

29:58

know things that are probably due to

29:59

climate change we had

30:00

i think more hurricane like named storms

30:02

last year than any year

30:04

ever and like stuff like that

30:08

and you can kind of see i get it yes i

30:10

understand why

30:12

i remember uh when i was growing up

30:15

every president was the antichrist yes

30:19

uh specifically the democratic ones in

30:21

your house but there was somebody yeah

30:23

in my house but there was somebody that

30:25

was willing to say that every president

30:26

was antichrist

30:27

what i thought was hilarious was when

30:28

trump was elected in 2016 who was

30:31

as far as i can tell the most likely

30:33

candidate we've ever had

30:34

to actually be the antichrist and i'm

30:36

basing that on the left behind series by

30:38

the way

30:39

um no probably never crickets man i

30:42

didn't hear anybody claiming he was the

30:44

anarchist

30:46

the the the same people that were like

30:48

ready to say it about

30:50

every other president we're dead silent

30:51

well sure of course yeah i didn't i

30:52

didn't hear a word

30:54

but i can get the i can get the

30:56

motivation right

30:57

things are really bad they've never been

30:58

this bad before we've got to be getting

31:00

close to the end

31:01

what does my tech say about this yeah

31:03

yeah i mean

31:05

going back into church history and what

31:07

if one of the christians thought about

31:08

this

31:09

john calvin had pretty good eschatology

31:11

as well uh he had

31:13

quite good eschatology and then his

31:14

followers actually kind of twisted a

31:16

little bit

31:18

when things started getting weird luther

31:20

i mean the reformers were mostly good in

31:21

their eschatology except for luther

31:23

thinking that the catholic church was

31:25

the antichrist and the [ __ ] of babylon

31:27

in the pope was the beast out of the sea

31:29

other than that it was pretty solid

31:30

maybe a biased view right

31:32

right um where things went

31:35

quite sideways for american christians

31:37

is

31:38

not even just american christians

31:40

western christians because this guy i

31:42

don't know if he was irish or scottish

31:43

or english but john nelson darby

31:45

is kind of the father of

31:46

dispensationalism and that's when things

31:48

got wonky

31:49

in my estimation if you're listening and

31:51

you're a dispensationalist

31:53

we love you but you're going to get a

31:55

little angry about this stuff

31:56

coming up but um that's when things got

31:59

got weird

32:00

and wonky and the dispensationalism

32:03

turned into like you've been alluding to

32:04

kyle zionism as well yeah

32:07

which is weird and then all of a sudden

32:08

it turned into this

32:10

horoscopy astrology you know reading the

32:12

tea leaves when is it going to happen

32:14

and coming up with all these signs and

32:16

you know hints as to who's the

32:18

antichrist who's the beast out of the

32:20

sea who's the [ __ ] of babylon all that

32:21

stuff

32:22

and that's when things got funky and

32:24

then

32:25

the 1970s happened when pop culture

32:28

basically pop culture eschatology

32:29

happened

32:30

and this guy by the name of hal lindsey

32:31

wrote a book called the late great

32:33

planet earth

32:33

and if you're old enough to live through

32:36

the 70s you know what i'm talking about

32:37

or i'll bet your parents if you're not

32:39

old enough but your parents

32:40

if they're evangelicals good

32:41

evangelicals have a copy still sitting

32:44

somewhere in dusty location in their

32:46

in their library but the late great

32:48

planet sold

32:49

millions of copies and became basically

32:52

functional eschatology for many

32:54

christians and then

32:55

you know this movie in the 70s called

32:57

the thief and the night happened i

32:58

watched it when i was in like

33:00

freshman year of high school and the art

33:02

of it was just

33:04

shockingly bad but it was scary it was

33:07

for real scary and that's what they were

33:08

trying to do

33:09

and then if you're well enough you

33:11

remember the 90s the left behind series

33:12

which you guys have been

33:13

talking about i had never read one of

33:15

the books because i i had already done

33:16

the work at that point

33:17

and realized that this this is a bunch

33:19

of garbage but that was

33:20

hugely formational for so many people

33:23

our age in particular but in the church

33:25

in the 90s

33:26

and the crazy thing is is that this

33:28

eschatology this end times theology what

33:30

we believe

33:31

happens at the end of all things was

33:34

formed in the evangelical church in the

33:36

last 30 years

33:37

by a bunch of fiction writers and i'm

33:39

not

33:40

exaggerating when i call them fictional

33:42

writers they're not theologians they're

33:43

not biblical scholars

33:45

they're just decent writers who tell a

33:46

good story yeah

33:48

we're not so decent writers

33:52

yeah and make you know movies that

33:55

for some reason are successful yeah

33:59

so we should also say that

34:02

one way that this kind of seeped into

34:04

the culture so that books and films like

34:06

that could be really successful is that

34:08

people like darby

34:10

and schofield who's a guy who followed

34:12

him

34:13

were successful at getting their

34:15

commentaries to the masses yes

34:17

so i remember when i just like first

34:20

learned what commentaries were

34:21

like there are these aids that i can

34:23

look to and i don't know what the bible

34:24

means i can kind of look that part up

34:26

and then read what this

34:28

presumably more educated person had said

34:29

about it so i went digging around for

34:31

free commentaries online

34:32

the first one you discover is likely to

34:35

be

34:35

darby because it's so widely available

34:38

and uh you know somebody that's really

34:40

close to me had a bible

34:42

that was like gifted to him from a

34:46

loved relative and this was sort of the

34:49

bible that he

34:50

like was a baby christian with and so

34:53

kind of learned faith from and it was a

34:54

scofield reference bible which meant

34:56

that it's first of all choosing a

34:59

translation

35:00

that is easier to interpret in in line

35:02

with certain dispensational views but

35:04

also if there's ever a difficult passage

35:06

to interpret or if there's a passage

35:07

that might possibly

35:09

be referencing something about the

35:11

future well

35:12

there's a footnote there to tell you

35:14

exactly what that means and so for a

35:16

brand new christian reading a bible like

35:17

that thinking this is just the faith

35:19

gospel yeah it's it's easy to come away

35:22

with the view that well okay this is how

35:23

we should read history and this is how

35:25

we should read the bible and it fits

35:26

together in all these ways and

35:28

it gives me good reason to think that

35:29

certain things are going to be happening

35:31

in the future and that it's relevant to

35:32

my life and political systems and

35:34

whatever so

35:34

like it seeped into the culture in the

35:37

church before it

35:38

then translated into popular culture

35:42

yeah yeah i mean it got so

35:45

thickly ingrained starting the 19th

35:47

century moving forward

35:49

particularly in the west that you can't

35:52

separate in some ways end times theology

35:56

and i would say poor in times theology

35:58

and

35:59

western christianity and by and large

36:02

you can't

36:02

separate uh the

36:05

astrology feeling and the zionism in the

36:09

the intensity of all of that without

36:12

having nothing

36:13

it's almost like creationism for for

36:15

some some wings of them branches of the

36:17

church

36:18

if you take away this this end times

36:20

theology and this way of seeing

36:21

the end of all things what else do you

36:24

have there's a lot of overlap there and

36:25

i think uh

36:27

like people in the same traditions tend

36:28

to gravitate towards both of those

36:30

things

36:31

um i think reasons for that include that

36:34

there are

36:35

certain ways of reading the bible that

36:37

are very literalist

36:38

yeah right um that the bible is supposed

36:42

to be clear

36:43

and it's supposed to be understandable

36:44

without having to try real hard

36:47

and to the average person yeah and in

36:49

these traditions and so

36:51

if it seems to me that it's saying that

36:53

creation happened in six days

36:55

uh then that's what it means and a day

36:57

must mean the same thing for me is it

36:58

meant for the people that

36:59

wrote it or whatever and if it seems to

37:01

me that jesus is saying that

37:04

you know in the future he's gonna come

37:05

back on the clouds and take people into

37:07

the air well that can't be a metaphor

37:08

because

37:09

god wouldn't lie to us right why would

37:11

he give us something hard to understand

37:13

and so that must be what it means so

37:14

this kind of literalism

37:16

straddles that both of those things

37:19

yeah no i get it

37:22

so let's think about what the bible says

37:24

about eschatology

37:25

let's just try to yeah or it doesn't say

37:27

or doesn't say right i mean there's

37:30

there's all sorts of things that again

37:32

is extra biblical that we've

37:33

come to believe is gospel truth but

37:35

there are some things in

37:37

the bible about eschatology and end

37:38

times that are

37:40

for somebody who holds the position that

37:42

we would

37:43

are a little bit problematic let's just

37:44

be honest like matthew 24 is probably

37:47

the biggest one

37:48

um for me when you just go look through

37:50

matthew 24 and it's jesus talking about

37:53

what seems like the end times of this is

37:56

how you know the end is coming and

37:57

you know there's nation against nation

37:59

and there's wars and rumors of wars

38:00

there's

38:01

there's all these crises happening and

38:03

people crises have been happening

38:06

in every single decade of every single

38:07

century of human history right and so

38:09

that

38:10

naturally people read those words of

38:11

jesus and they think this must be it

38:14

right we're in one of those moments 2020

38:16

is not the worst worst

38:18

year that's ever happened in the history

38:19

of world sorry to disappoint you

38:21

but there's been worse ones but we're

38:24

prone to saying this this has got to be

38:25

it there's something out here right so

38:27

in matthew 24 jesus does say things like

38:30

there's going to be two people working

38:31

in the field one will be taken the other

38:33

will be

38:33

left behind basically there's a reason

38:35

that the left behind series gets so big

38:37

is because it seems

38:38

it's jesus said it he'll he said things

38:41

like

38:42

i will come like a thief in the night

38:43

and you won't know the hour of the day

38:45

now that part a lot of these folks just

38:47

leave behind and we want to know the

38:48

hour and the day

38:50

but a thief in the night we get that and

38:51

it makes a good movie title yeah

38:53

um so matthew 24 though is there's this

38:56

debate within biblical scholarship

38:59

where some people really do think that

39:00

jesus was talking about the literal end

39:01

of the world

39:03

some people other biblical scholars

39:04

think that jesus was talking about the

39:06

destruction of jerusalem in

39:07

80 70 or ce 70. i don't know which one i

39:09

should say now a d or c

39:10

e uh ce is the one the scholars use but

39:14

that means the same thing yeah whatever

39:16

so it's either about the end times or

39:18

it's about the destruction of jerusalem

39:19

which actually happened

39:20

in 1870 yeah so this is like after i was

39:23

a pre-trib you know the rapture is going

39:25

to happen and then there's going to be

39:26

this thousand years and then jesus is

39:27

gonna come back and kill everybody

39:28

before like i transitioned into thinking

39:32

okay well maybe it's not pre maybe it's

39:34

post but this like millennial thing is

39:36

still in there

39:36

so it's important that we you know it's

39:38

part of revelation right there's gonna

39:40

be this thousand year reign of christ

39:41

and it's important that we preserve that

39:43

and so i like went through this litany

39:45

of like views and eventually arrived at

39:47

one called preterism which is this idea

39:49

that

39:50

we should interpret passages like

39:51

matthew 24 to be about something that

39:53

really

39:54

has already happened and it happened in

39:56

the first century

39:57

when uh rome was burned basically

40:01

jerusalem yeah yeah sorry jerusalem and

40:03

then rome started to fall

40:05

and so like all these it's not that

40:07

there aren't prophecies

40:09

it's that there are and then they

40:11

happened the privacies were accurate

40:13

and now we're kind of living in you know

40:16

you don't have to consider it a thousand

40:17

year thing but like we're living in the

40:18

kingdom of god and it's now our job to

40:20

do something

40:20

so that kind of gravitated towards a

40:23

view like that

40:24

yeah way better i've since left that

40:25

behind too but

40:27

but uh yeah that sounds that's that's an

40:29

option

40:30

that might be wondering yeah and i say

40:32

that i mentioned these words and these

40:34

phrases to

40:35

to say it's not crazy i don't think

40:38

that to believe in left behind stuff

40:40

it's not crazy to believe in that jesus

40:42

you know

40:44

a thief in the night movie the rapture

40:46

stuff it's in the bible

40:48

right but this is like any other

40:50

theological

40:53

understanding is the bible is a messy

40:55

book

40:56

it's not clear it's not easy and it was

40:58

written by guys who were trying to

40:59

figure it out

41:00

and it's our job to not just grab that

41:03

one little verse in matthew 24 grab that

41:05

one little verse

41:06

in first thessalonians but to consider

41:08

the whole narrative of the scriptures

41:10

and when we're talking eschatology more

41:12

so the whole narrative of the new

41:14

testament

41:15

and say what are the meta narratives

41:17

what are the big themes that we see

41:18

coming out over and over again that are

41:21

the things that rise to the surface that

41:23

we can put a put our faith in and say

41:25

this seems to be what jesus is talking

41:27

about this seems to be what

41:28

the new testament the writers of the new

41:29

testament are trying to get us to

41:30

understand

41:32

and the book of revelation is another

41:35

huge one that i'm sure listeners are

41:37

like why are you when are you going to

41:38

talk about the book of revelation

41:39

the book of revelation i think probably

41:42

might be the most misunderstood book

41:44

in the bible you can debate there's

41:46

other books in in the old testament that

41:47

are pretty misunderstood as well but

41:49

revelation is right up there

41:51

and we have to figure out what the book

41:54

of revelation is primarily about firstly

41:56

right

41:57

is the book of revelation end times

41:58

theology and predictions about

42:00

uh what's going to happen at the end of

42:02

the world and how jesus is going to

42:03

judge the world

42:04

is it that primarily or is it primarily

42:07

a book

42:08

a letter that was written to a

42:09

persecuted church about

42:11

where calling in to question where your

42:13

allegiance lies where your worship

42:14

should be and about empire

42:16

and about the ultimate victory of god

42:17

and his kingdom of g of the way of the

42:19

lamb

42:19

which is it it can't be both one's a

42:22

better understanding of revelation than

42:24

the other i think

42:25

yeah if you want to hear more about

42:27

about that check out our

42:29

interview with brian zahn we kind of

42:30

went a little deeper on that question

42:32

sounds like you think the latter is

42:34

probably the better kind of reading

42:36

by far yes yeah but the thing is though

42:38

i remember um

42:39

when i was in middle school we had like

42:41

mandatory chapel services because i went

42:43

to a christian school

42:44

and they were just mind-numbingly dull

42:46

even for a middle schooler

42:48

and so they were of course we met in

42:50

church and so there were bibles in the

42:51

pews and so i would just read the bible

42:53

while we were in these chapel services

42:55

and the most fun part of the bible is

42:57

revelation so that's what i read i sat

42:58

there and read you know as a

43:01

how old are you in seventh grade i don't

43:03

know

43:04

uh about 13. okay i was about a 12 or 13

43:06

year old then so

43:07

old enough that song of songs is the

43:09

most interesting part of the bible

43:11

i don't know what you're doing in

43:12

revelation

43:15

but i would say and i literally read

43:16

just this king james version of

43:18

revelation because

43:19

you know i'd absorbed what i'd been told

43:21

about it and it was just

43:22

it's dramatic it's interesting there's

43:24

four horses and they're bringing death

43:26

and it's

43:27

you know it's amazing um it's like some

43:30

of the most beautiful pros in the bible

43:31

i think

43:32

but yeah so so obscure

43:37

yeah and so difficult to interpret i

43:39

mean and it's

43:41

that's what apocalyptic literature is

43:43

supposed to be right i mean

43:45

it made a lot more sense to the to the

43:48

ancient

43:49

readers and hearers of the first word of

43:52

john's revelation

43:53

but apocalyptic literature gets so

43:56

misunderstood

43:56

i mean apocalyptic literature can i can

43:58

i just geek out just for a little bit

44:00

sure

44:00

yeah i mean cut it out yeah good

44:03

apocalyptic literature is not primarily

44:06

basically

44:07

uh a symbolic

44:10

key code that we have to crack in order

44:12

to figure out what's gonna happen at the

44:14

end of the world that's not apocalyptic

44:15

literature apoca the word apocalypse in

44:17

the greek

44:18

literally just means to reveal to to

44:21

uncover it's an uncovering it's an

44:22

unveiling right

44:24

and so the best way to think about

44:25

apocalyptic literature whether we're

44:27

talking about the book of daniel

44:28

in the old testament or the book of

44:29

revelation is

44:32

basically apocalyptic literature is put

44:34

pulling the veil back

44:35

on human history on reality to show

44:38

the church to show the people of god in

44:40

a time of crisis

44:42

what's actually happening within reality

44:44

yeah does that make sense

44:45

yeah but not in the sense that what's

44:48

actually happening is you know the

44:51

president of this country

44:53

is is inhabited by a demonic spirit

44:57

right right not not in that like really

44:59

kind of hokey literalist sense but

45:01

in a more interesting political sense

45:03

like there are these human tendencies

45:06

that that drive political systems

45:10

and we have some things to say about

45:12

that as christians

45:13

right this has some like stern warnings

45:16

for certain ways of making decisions

45:18

and for certain ways of grasping at

45:20

power

45:21

in institutions like that's actually in

45:23

the bible

45:24

and so it's so ironic and sad when that

45:26

stuff is instead interpreted as

45:29

an unveiling of like

45:32

individual personalities so that we can

45:34

like look out for who's actually on the

45:36

side of satan and who's actually on the

45:37

side

45:38

it's actually much more interesting than

45:40

that much more deep and complex than

45:42

that

45:42

yeah i mean it's one of the main reasons

45:45

why we

45:46

american christians have such a hard

45:47

time understanding the bible is because

45:49

the bible was written two and four

45:51

primarily a marginalized people

45:53

in the israelites and in the early

45:55

church and so when you look at

45:56

apocalyptic literature whether it's in

45:58

the book of daniel

45:59

when the israelites were oppressed by

46:00

the babylonians first and the persians

46:03

or when you look at the book of

46:04

revelation where the church was being

46:06

brutally persecuted by the roman empire

46:08

this apocalyptic literature is basically

46:11

this message to the church to say hey

46:12

check out what's really going on i know

46:14

it looks like these maniacal leaders

46:16

are who are slaughtering your family and

46:17

friends and who are taking away your

46:19

your your religious and cultural

46:21

identity it looks like they are going to

46:23

win

46:23

but i want to pull the veil back a

46:25

little bit and reveal to you

46:27

what's really going to happen and that

46:29

is that jesus the slaughtered lamb

46:32

is going to win and this is this kingdom

46:35

this

46:35

the real empire that will have no end is

46:37

the kingdom of christ the kingdom of in

46:39

the way of the slaughtered lamb

46:41

so be encouraged

46:44

this is what apocalyptic literature does

46:46

it encourages the people of god in times

46:48

of crisis by showing them what's really

46:49

going on within human history and where

46:51

this thing is all headed

46:52

either in daniel or revelation that's

46:56

totally different than what i was given

46:57

with the book of revelation yeah what

46:59

you were given just totally missed the

47:00

point right what we were given like it's

47:01

almost like

47:02

jesus tells a parable and there's a

47:04

character in the parable and everybody

47:06

after the parable is like

47:07

who's he talking about let's go figure

47:08

out who's that was he talking about uh

47:09

this political leader was it that

47:11

political was it this guy

47:12

and so like one of the reasons i've

47:13

moved past preterism is like

47:16

even in that view you're still trying to

47:17

kind of locate the historical event that

47:19

the described

47:20

preterism for us yeah just the

47:22

prophecies about the end times were

47:23

fulfilled in the first century with the

47:25

destruction of jerusalem and

47:26

the eventual downfall of rome and then

47:29

jesus kingdom inaugurated this new thing

47:31

that the bible just doesn't have much to

47:32

say about

47:33

but even there you're you're you know

47:35

you're putting a lot of emphasis on the

47:37

fact that say

47:38

666 in revelation are first to nero

47:40

which is still kind of a personality

47:42

thing it's not false probably that's

47:43

kind of the best who the authors had in

47:46

mind right

47:47

but at the end of the day i don't think

47:48

the point was nero's evil

47:50

the point was the seeds of evil are in

47:52

you the villain of

47:55

revelation isn't nero it's me right

47:58

it's it's the same tendencies that lead

48:01

political systems today

48:03

to persecute marginalized people that

48:06

happened in nero and it's happening now

48:08

and it's in my heart and so like you

48:11

know

48:11

trying to pick out who's who in my

48:14

current political environment is just

48:16

totally missing the point yeah

48:18

and i get accused i don't get accused

48:20

but people

48:21

observe that on sunday mornings my

48:23

preaching is a lot more um

48:26

large scale in nature it's less

48:28

individual

48:29

talking about individual sin and more

48:31

talking about systemic things

48:33

and the reason for that and that's true

48:35

that that is actually true we're talk

48:37

i talk more about communal things i talk

48:39

more about collective things i talk more

48:40

about systemic

48:42

governmental things you know and the

48:45

reason for that is because this

48:47

really formational literature in the

48:49

bible called apocalyptic literature

48:50

is obsessed with systemic issues and

48:54

with

48:54

power and with empire in the ways of the

48:57

empire and succumbing

48:58

not being not being glossed

49:02

or sorry there you go

49:06

he's been waiting yeah not

49:10

in not being suckered into believing

49:12

that the way of the empire

49:14

is the way that's going to win and

49:15

that's what we do

49:17

in the church that's what the early the

49:19

israelites in the early church which

49:20

suckered into thinking that the way of

49:22

empire the way of violence the way of

49:23

dominance

49:24

the way of grabbing power the way of

49:26

greed the great way of manipulation is

49:28

the way to achieve success in victory

49:31

in apocalyptic literature is telling us

49:33

that is actually the opposite of the way

49:35

of victory the way of success the way of

49:36

life

49:37

the way that we're supposed to walk is

49:39

in the way of the slaughtered lamb

49:41

and that is why i get so obsessed with

49:43

the systemic stuff that's why i get so

49:45

obsessed with the empirical stuff

49:46

because

49:47

what's happening in the church in

49:49

america right now is we believe that the

49:51

way

49:51

to accomplish jesus purposes and bring

49:55

about the kingdom of god is through

49:56

political power

49:57

and that is just so antithetical to the

50:00

narrative of the scriptures

50:01

yeah it's literally the thesis of the

50:02

book and

50:04

hard to understand obscure bugs granted

50:06

but i mean yeah that's

50:07

almost certainly more in line with what

50:09

it was actually getting at the

50:12

a guy on twitter named david dark who we

50:14

should try to get on the show

50:15

uh likes to make people uncomfortable by

50:17

saying things like

50:19

the the bible is a critical race theory

50:21

book

50:24

that the idea you know started in the

50:26

bible uh and i think a lot of what

50:27

you're describing is

50:29

evidence of that i mean we're not the

50:30

first to think in institutional terms

50:32

and we're not the first to think of sin

50:34

in institutional terms yeah

50:36

so let's get at while we're talking

50:37

about the book of revelation

50:39

um let's can we hit on a little bit of

50:41

like what actually is going on primarily

50:43

primarily at the end of revelation

50:46

and i'm thinking two things primarily

50:47

you brought up the violent bloodiness of

50:50

you know warrior jesus in the end of

50:52

revelation which if

50:54

no if you haven't seen it google snl

50:57

what's it called i don't know i don't

50:59

know what you're talking about i did a

51:00

skit on snl

51:02

oh it was uh jesus unchained

51:05

jesus spelled with a d like the

51:08

tarantino movie

51:09

pause this and watch that and then come

51:11

back

51:13

i want to do that because i haven't seen

51:15

jesus unchained i don't think

51:17

that's amazing

51:24

wow we will have to watch it after that

51:26

yeah oh

51:27

100 um

51:33

ask me some leading questions kyle oh so

51:35

you're not here not here but

51:36

about what do you think of what's

51:38

happening jesus and then what

51:41

where is this whole thing heading in so

51:44

if jesus

51:44

isn't this guy that's gonna come back

51:46

with a sword and

51:48

you know fill the valley of megiddo with

51:50

blood or whatever

51:51

nice um how do you how do you read that

51:54

stuff how do you

51:55

interpret how things are going to wrap

51:56

up that's more consistent with what you

51:58

see

51:59

in other parts of the new testament um

52:03

well first you have to zoom out a little

52:05

bit and get an understanding of um

52:08

first the word judgment is really good

52:10

to understand um

52:12

revelation really is a book about one of

52:14

the main themes is judgment

52:16

but when i say judgment i don't mean

52:18

slaughtering

52:20

millions of human beings who were

52:21

disobedient to the way of jesus that's

52:22

not what

52:23

judgment is about when you look at

52:25

judgment in the new testament

52:26

it's always about god setting the world

52:29

to rights

52:30

okay that's just when jesus says

52:34

jesus said in the gospels i have come to

52:36

judge the world

52:37

it's i've come to it's not that jesus

52:40

said i come with a flamethrower to

52:42

burn up all the all the heathens it's

52:45

that i've come

52:46

to set things right because things have

52:48

gone wrong so that's what judgment is

52:50

primarily first and foremost in the book

52:52

of revelation

52:53

along with in the throughout the rest of

52:55

the scriptures

52:56

also when you look at that bloody scene

52:58

that everyone you know the market

52:59

schools of the world love to

53:00

love to just say this is what jesus

53:02

really is what we fail to recognize

53:04

first of all

53:06

is that jesus the jesus of that

53:08

revelation 19 i think it is

53:10

he comes into the battle already bloody

53:14

right like before any any blood has been

53:17

shed

53:18

jesus comes in with his robe and it's

53:20

already been dipped in blood and the

53:21

thing is is that it's not the blood of

53:22

his enemies it's his

53:23

own blood so there's huge is how you

53:27

read that doesn't it

53:29

so there's like okay we got to

53:31

reconsider this

53:32

and then when jesus talks when he talks

53:34

about jesus slaying his enemies

53:37

it's with a sword that's coming out of

53:38

his mouth right and so that is

53:41

metaphorically speaking to this reality

53:43

that the

53:44

the word of god is the thing that sets

53:47

the world to rights that jesus

53:49

is is judging judging things with the

53:51

word

53:52

of the word that's coming out of his

53:54

mouth so it's this metaphorical

53:56

sword that judgment is happening because

53:58

of

53:59

and this all is happening because the

54:02

lamb has already been slaughtered the

54:03

victory has already been won

54:07

so this is this picture that we get the

54:09

blood that's

54:10

shed in revelation 19 happened before

54:13

and it's jesus dipped in his own blood

54:16

who's slaughtering his enemies and his

54:18

enemies are probably not actual human

54:20

beings that he loves and created and

54:22

died for

54:23

right let's let's keep the gospel in

54:24

mind his enemy

54:26

his enemies are things like greed

54:30

injustice oppression racism evil

54:33

violence all of that jesus is setting

54:36

the world to rights

54:36

and jesus is overcoming them by the word

54:39

by by his own death he's overcoming all

54:43

that's holding back humanity and

54:45

all that's gone wrong within human

54:47

history that's what's being judged

54:49

yeah so that's a little little snapshot

54:52

of like

54:52

man this looks really bad but if we

54:54

actually just look under the surface

54:55

just a little bit

54:56

it's kind of beautiful actually yeah i

54:58

mean if you think that it

54:59

literally is he's coming back to like

55:01

kill the sinners

55:02

and damn them yeah then you think

55:05

revelation

55:07

and its authors are contradicting paul

55:10

right which i'm fine saying but most of

55:12

the people that take these views are not

55:14

fine

55:14

because paul is very clear that it's not

55:16

flesh and blood

55:17

that we're fighting against it's systems

55:20

he didn't use that word

55:21

powers and principalities not a bad

55:23

translation right powers

55:25

he probably had rome in mind uh it's

55:28

it's

55:28

it's not individuals yeah absolutely i

55:30

mean um

55:33

go back to romans or i'm sorry

55:35

revelation 4

55:36

revelation 4 and 5 when you john gets

55:38

beamed into the throne room

55:41

and he hears what sounds like a lion and

55:43

then he turns and he sees the lamb

55:44

that's been slaughtered

55:46

that's the thing that the whole

55:48

narrative is centered around

55:49

and how victory is accomplished is the

55:51

lamb who is slaughtered

55:53

his overcome this this is central

55:57

the central vision of the book of

55:59

revelation

56:01

and then you get into the fun parts of

56:03

you know you go further into revelation

56:05

and you hear about where this is all

56:06

heading and it's not heading towards

56:08

fire and brimstone

56:09

and you know gnashing of teeth

56:12

it's headed towards jesus saying behold

56:15

i am making all things new

56:17

it's headed towards the city whose gates

56:19

will never shut

56:21

and all who will come may come it's this

56:24

invitation this eternal grand beautiful

56:27

invitation

56:28

to new creation and resurrection this is

56:31

where it's all heading towards jesus

56:33

making all things new and that all

56:34

things means all things

56:38

this is the story that we get in revel

56:39

this is why the book of revelation might

56:42

is like a top three book for me yeah

56:47

what else do we got here

56:55

you can talk a little bit what's our

56:56

time do we know what uh

56:58

since we started this one uh

57:02

yeah i'm not gonna be able to look

57:03

easily without stopping it okay

57:05

let me let me just put a little script

57:07

on that and then we can go and should we

57:09

just talk about these things like

57:12

this i think we can take out because we

57:14

can talk about what's a better way

57:16

um so we i think we just answered this

57:21

yeah i just want to post script

57:24

the stuff that you see in the book of

57:26

revelation primarily in revelation 20 as

57:27

well about

57:28

um the disobedience and the vile and the

57:31

the ungodly going away to

57:33

to misery i think

57:36

all of us are going to have to face that

57:38

in some way shape or form like

57:40

the the judgment of god setting the

57:42

world to rights happens to me

57:44

personally as well i believe i don't

57:46

think any of us get out of

57:48

the fiery all-consuming fire of the love

57:51

of god that will burn away and purify

57:53

all that is not of the way of agape love

57:57

and so i really think all of us will

57:59

face that fiery judgment

58:01

of the love of god it's just that

58:03

someone for some of us

58:04

it might last a little bit longer than

58:06

the others and it's going to take a

58:07

little bit more

58:08

fire and pain to burn off that

58:10

brokenness and that

58:12

that that ugliness of evil and violence

58:14

and in the ways of the world

58:16

than for others but i think all of us

58:18

should fear that i think that's a

58:19

that is real yeah for those who are

58:21

saying what but that's in there too yep

58:23

that's real and i think all of us should

58:25

have a healthy fear of god about that

58:26

because

58:27

the fiery love of god will not tolerate

58:30

any selfishness wickedness

58:32

evil violence you name it yeah

58:36

yeah i remember trying as an

58:38

undergraduate to figure out

58:39

what is this fear of god thing that

58:42

certain parts of the bible seem to be

58:44

really in favor of

58:45

certain a lot of christians seem to be

58:46

really in favor of but then other parts

58:48

of the bible seem to like

58:50

maybe be in tension with like perfect

58:53

love casts out fear fear is like a bad

58:54

thing you know

58:56

and that's that's kind of what i came to

58:57

is that

58:59

yeah it's a fearful thing to recognize

59:01

that that god's nature

59:03

is pure love because mine isn't you know

59:05

and that

59:07

one of my uh academic mentors

59:10

writes about the severity of god in the

59:13

sense of

59:15

to be in relationship with god in the

59:18

christian tradition anyway and the

59:19

jewish one

59:21

is to have moral demands placed on you

59:23

it's to have a person on the other side

59:25

of your conscience

59:27

and that can be really scary to know

59:29

that

59:31

when i make a selfish decision or when i

59:34

i don't know assume that because someone

59:36

is different from me that they're

59:38

therefore lesser that this is something

59:40

god will not tolerate

59:42

and that my existence depends on

59:45

overcoming that because i'm also uh part

59:48

of my you know trajectory out of this

59:50

kind of thing was

59:51

towards a view called annihilationism

59:53

which i think is also your view

59:55

um i'm assuming that maybe it's not it

59:58

used to be we should talk about that but

60:00

the idea that it you know if if my

60:01

existence is owed to god my being is

60:04

sustained by god then my continual

60:06

rejection of god will ultimately entail

60:07

my non-existence and so if i can't

60:09

ethically get there

60:11

then i just stop being and that's pretty

60:13

scary you know yeah

60:14

so that that that's fear inducing but

60:16

but not in a way that god is like

60:18

angry or judgmental or anything like

60:20

that yeah

60:23

all right we got we could talk about

60:25

resurrection but i feel like we have

60:27

in some ways um we can talk about what

60:30

we

60:31

actually think about it and then what

60:33

takeaways are

60:35

sure yeah seems like that's the way to

60:38

go with it

60:40

we've said enough about resurrection you

60:41

think i think so yeah

60:43

okay all right and that'll come out in

60:45

what we think about it because that's

60:47

so um

60:51

go ahead elliot so it's a lot of talk

60:55

about

60:56

how we think about all of these things

60:57

but i'm really curious just like to

60:59

concretely get down to it

61:01

randy what do you think kyle what do you

61:02

think i'd love to hear just

61:04

how you think about this now and and

61:07

have evolved in your views

61:09

what do you think yeah um so

61:12

in talking about the episode before um

61:15

recording it you

61:16

elliott said i'm in the uh don't really

61:19

give a

61:20

flip category anymore i understand that

61:23

i'm

61:24

psychologically kind of there as well i

61:26

don't think

61:27

that whether or not you think there's a

61:30

thousand year reign in our future makes

61:33

a huge difference

61:35

uh it does except in so far as it makes

61:37

a difference

61:38

and how you vote or in in the kinds of

61:41

uh

61:42

you know social policies you're willing

61:43

to support now uh

61:45

if it starts to creep into that then i'm

61:47

interested

61:48

and let's have a conversation about it

61:50

and i'll try to convince you otherwise

61:51

but as far as

61:53

you know is there any actual prophecy in

61:56

the bible

61:57

because that's kind of a question that's

61:58

bound up with this prophecy in the

62:00

futuristic sense not in the sense of

62:02

uh speaking to power because that's

62:04

obviously in the bible but like is there

62:06

anything in the bible that predicts

62:08

something that's going to happen i tend

62:10

to think not but i also tend to think

62:12

it doesn't really matter acceptance so

62:15

far as you let that

62:16

influence your ethics and your politics

62:19

and a lot of people do

62:20

right so i think it like this is where i

62:24

kind of end up on all these things we

62:25

talk about on the podcast

62:26

if you can believe those things like say

62:28

you think there's a genuine prophecy in

62:30

the bible

62:31

it will be fulfilled at some time in the

62:32

future we can have

62:34

fellowship together and i can respect

62:36

your view and so far as you have some

62:37

humility about it

62:38

and you recognize that it doesn't entail

62:41

that you need to vote for a politician

62:44

who's going to support the current state

62:45

of israel you know because

62:46

because that implies a kind of

62:47

confidence that i think just isn't

62:49

possible given the evidence that we have

62:51

so

62:52

personally i just don't care

62:55

acceptance so far as it impacts things i

62:58

do care about

63:00

yeah yeah i mean for me

63:03

eschatology all boils down to one word

63:06

and that's resurrection um you could

63:10

add it two more in there new creation

63:12

but those are the things that i think

63:14

we are headed towards those are the

63:15

things that all of humanity

63:18

all of reality is headed towards is

63:21

restoration redemption new creation and

63:24

i think

63:24

i get that from the scriptures i get

63:26

that from the apostle paul in romans 8

63:27

saying that

63:28

all of creation groans like in

63:30

childbirth for the sons of god to be

63:31

revealed

63:32

i th you can get that from uh

63:36

the apostle paul in i think romans 6

63:38

talking about how if you've we've been

63:40

united with christ in his death how much

63:41

more in his resurrection and then you

63:43

could you could go on through the book

63:44

of revelation and talks about new

63:46

creation and restoration and redemption

63:48

and

63:48

resurrection so that for me is

63:52

a more scriptural story and it's a

63:55

better story

63:56

it's a way more hopeful story that i

63:59

think the eastern orthodox

64:01

tradition has gotten way better at than

64:03

the western church to be honest with you

64:04

throughout church history

64:06

um and if you're interested in the stuff

64:08

if you're

64:09

wanting to kind of maybe work through

64:11

your your thoughts in the book of

64:12

revelation and eschatology end times

64:14

things

64:14

primarily rooted out of the book of

64:16

revelation i'm going to recommend that

64:17

you go

64:18

and pick up at your local bookstore

64:20

amazon

64:21

reading revelation responsibly by

64:23

michael gorman

64:25

reading revelation responsibly by

64:27

michael gorman it's i think

64:29

the best work and it's short it's not

64:31

academic

64:32

it's it's written by an academic and

64:34

it's brilliant and it talks through

64:36

what these sequences of bulls and

64:39

trumpets and

64:40

cups are in the book of revelation and

64:41

it works through all the metaphors and

64:43

symbolism and what it's really about so

64:46

but i believe

64:47

that resurrection and ultimate

64:50

restoration

64:51

is where this whole thing is headed and

64:53

i think that that's scriptural

64:55

i think the apostle paul would agree

64:57

with me because he wrote

64:58

something like nothing will separate us

65:01

from the love of god

65:02

not heights nor depths nor with nor you

65:05

know

65:06

nor death nor any other thing can

65:08

separate us from the love of god in

65:09

jesus christ

65:11

i take him by his word on that and i

65:13

that's that's where i think this is all

65:15

headed and that's where i think we

65:16

should be thinking about when we talk

65:17

about eschatology

65:19

and end times will there be tribulation

65:22

and

65:22

hard times i don't know i don't think

65:25

like

65:26

i think we're going through hard times

65:28

right now

65:29

we're going through intense things that

65:31

feels fiery and feels

65:33

difficult and painful and and heart

65:36

wrenching

65:37

and our job is to make sure that our

65:39

allegiance and obedience and worship

65:41

and all of us belong to the lamb of god

65:44

the slaughtered lamb

65:49

yeah we'll put that book in the show

65:53

notes

65:54

good yeah um

65:59

so you're gonna have to chop this up a

66:02

lot but

66:03

so i think listeners i don't want we

66:05

don't want to tell you we're not in the

66:06

practice of telling you

66:07

what to think right i don't i don't want

66:09

to tell you like

66:11

well pastor and philosopher said it in

66:12

the bar it walked into a bar senator

66:14

kyle said it or randy said it so

66:16

i'm just going to walk away and think

66:17

that do the do the work yourself

66:20

read read the books and have these

66:23

conversations with friends

66:25

and you know email us if you want and

66:27

let's get a conversation going but

66:29

i want to encourage you there's a better

66:32

story than the one that many of us have

66:33

been given

66:34

and there's a better there's there's a

66:36

more scriptural way of understanding

66:38

these complex things and it is complex

66:41

and it's difficult to navigate but i

66:44

believe scriptures tell us that this

66:46

is all headed somewhere good can i like

66:50

i just want to pause there for a second

66:54

in the reality in the year that we've

66:56

just had in the year and a half

66:58

that we're still in and that we're still

67:00

trying to figure things out my

67:01

life has been disoriented in intense

67:04

ways

67:06

but what what gets me through it

67:08

currently right now

67:11

all of the disorientation and pain and

67:14

uncertainty

67:16

is resurrection is what i believe

67:19

is real that this is all headed

67:21

somewhere good

67:23

that's a story that the church should be

67:24

telling yeah

67:27

yeah one of the things that gives me a

67:28

lot of encouragement despite all the

67:30

things that i've questioned and doubted

67:32

and given up on

67:33

is the hope that

67:37

when it says that jesus endured the

67:40

cross because of the joy

67:44

that was in store the hope that that's

67:47

true

67:48

and that that god wouldn't incarnate

67:51

if not for a good and ultimately

67:54

successful and

67:56

i can't say i'm certain about that but

67:59

it's encouraging it uh it's

68:02

it's a marked difference from what i

68:04

used to think which is that

68:07

jesus did it for what ultimately turns

68:09

out to be vengeance

68:11

that doesn't appeal to me anymore yeah

68:13

um

68:15

that's susceptible to all sorts of

68:17

critiques from people like nietzsche and

68:19

others

68:19

so now the idea that what i'm enduring

68:23

now what we've endured as a species

68:26

that what's going to bring jesus back is

68:29

the same thing that brought him the

68:30

first time

68:31

which is beauty

68:35

love community not

68:38

ugliness and vengeance and judgment

68:41

yeah yeah and the the judgment

68:46

is reserved for the evil

68:50

and the the broken ways of

68:53

this world that has plagued humanity

68:57

it's not reserved for primarily for

69:00

human beings

69:01

who jesus died for that's a that you you

69:04

have to reconcile that

69:05

either jesus died for these human beings

69:08

to have

69:09

life and to save them from all of that

69:12

or jesus is going to kill them

69:15

and let them suffer eternally those two

69:18

things don't drive so well i don't think