Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

When reading the book of Revelation we often fail to keep in the forefront the big picture and how Revelation contributes to our understanding of what God is going to do when this age comes to a close. We focus on such topics as Armageddon, Antichrist, the millennium, the rapture, and other issues that are briefly touched upon at most–or hardly at all. Often when we do this, we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Regardless of how we read Revelation, can we agree on the following?

  • We believe God, in his own time and in his own way, will bring all things to their appropriate end and establish the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1ff.; Eph. 1:9-10).
  • The certain hope of the follower of Jesus is that Christ will return to the earth suddenly, personally, and visibly in glory according to his promise (Rev. 1:7;3:11; Titus 2:13).
  • The dead will be raised and God and Christ will judge mankind in righteousness (Rev. 20:11ff.; John 5:28-29).
  • The unrighteous will be consigned to everlasting punishment prepared for the devil and his angels (Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41,46).
  • The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and dwell forever with God (Rev. 21:1–22:5; Phil. 3:20-21; I Thess. 4:13-18).

[tags]Bible, Revelation, interpretation[/tags]

Resurrection Sunday: Comparing Paul and John

The apostle John received the Revelation from God on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:9), a clear reference to the first day of the week, the day Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God. Two indicatives, that is, statements of fact, provide the basis for all imperatives (the commands) in Revelation: Jesus’ death and resurrection brought freedom from our sins and planted in our hearts the confidence of the resurrection (Rev. 1:5b-6; 5:6, 9-10). A belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection must affect the way we live. Paul teaches the same message in the well-known “Easter” text I Corinthians 15. Because Jesus has died and been raised, there must be a difference in how we behave because of our belief.
Continue reading

Reflections on the Last Six Months

September 29, 2006 – March 29, 2007

The phone call from my doctor on March 30, 2007, the day after my most recent CT Scan of the tumor/mass inside of me, was an encouraging one. The mass had not grown for six months; it appeared stable. What encouraging news to share with my family, friends, and others! Within minutes, I called my son and daughter and their spouses and a few special friends to share the good report with them.

But what a journey it had been and remains! I must have at least three more scans at three month intervals left, unless the mass becomes unstable. My doctor tells me that with each remaining scan, if the report is the same as the one on March 31, then it is increasingly likely I do not have a malignancy, at least one associated with this particular tumor. And we should be increasingly grateful. We pray for such grace-times. We praise God, and we petition him that the future tests will be just as encouraging.
Continue reading

Dr. Lowery Quoted in Local Newspaper

You may have caught the Discovery Channel’s airing of James Cameron’s, ahem, documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus at the beginning of March.

Or not.

At any rate, Sheila Smith of the Decatur Herald and Review contacted Dr. Bob for his thoughts on the subject. The story, entitled “Dry Bones: Christians find no body of evidence to support ‘The Lost Tomb of Christ’,” appeared in the Saturday, March 31, 2007 edition. Here’s an excerpt:

Many theology students have asked questions about this documentary and the purported discovery of Jesus’ bones, said Bob Lowery, dean of Lincoln Christian Seminary and a professor of the New Testament.

“I think it’s ironic and a humorous documentary led by James Cameron, director of the movie “Titanic.’ The documentary is like the Titanic, with holes in it,” Lowery said.

He said uncovering Jesus’ bones is a flawed theory based on scriptural and nonscriptural evidence.

One reason, he said, is that this discovery is old news with a new interpretation. “We knew about this discovery back in 1980,” he said.

“There is not proof that the bones found were related to the biblical Jesus.”

Thirdly, the DNA testing mentioned in the documentary is not realistic, Lowery said. “There is no independent DNA control sample to compare to Jesus.”

The fourth problem, he said, was: “Joseph’s ancestral home was in Bethlehem and his adult home was in Nazareth. Why would Joseph be buried in Jerusalem? One of the ossuaries had the name on it, Judah, son of Jesus. Where is the evidence that Jesus fathered a son?”

Get the full article at the link above.

NOTE: The DH&R story will likely disappear behind a paywall within a short time of this posting. What’s a “short time?” Maybe a week or two, maybe a month or two–I’m not sure. As in all things eschatological, however, the end is imminent. Click now before it’s too late.

ANOTHER NOTE: If the link doesn’t return the article, do a search at the DH&R site for “Lowery.”