Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The beginning of my Eschatology

I realized the other day I am being slow in fulfilling a vow I made to God. Two years ago I was asked to write a paper for a conference. I was not impressed with the request and rushed the writing. However, I was careful since I determined that I would use the paper as a chapter. The day I finished the first paper, I was asked to complete a second, summarizing my work. This new request annoyed me greatly, since I only was required to complete one paper for my degree. The second paper had far less effort put into it.

A few months after submission I heard results on the first paper. Not only was the paper accepted, but for full publication (as opposed to having to write a short paper - half the length). This news humbled me greatly. I realised I was wasting opportunities given to me by God. What made matters worse is that the second paper had been submitted prior to the news. So there was nothing I could do.

Now the problem is that writing papers is an end in itself. There is prestige in being a published scientist, especially at my age. However, there is a bonus: you get to present at an international conference! My university pays for the plane ticket, conference fees and accommodation, so it is, in essence, a free trip. Now for the first paper I presented in Bangkok 2007 and I had a wonderful time. In August 2007 I had just joined my church, Brackenhurst baptist.

Now my new church had been in suffering a few years back. The pastor had changed his eschatology from a dipensational pre-millennialist (believing that all of the book of the Revelation has not been fulfilled, with the exception of chapters 1-3) to a partial or moderate preterist (believing that Revelation 1 - 20 has been fulfilled). Many left the church and the church had received a very bad name as a result.

So eschatology was on my mind, plus the fact that I was wasting my opportunities. Then I learned that the second conference was to be held in Turkey. But not just anywhere in Turkey, but Izmir, really close to Ephesus.

Ephesus! One of the seven churches! I literally threw away an opportunity to stand on the same paths as Paul the apostle. So I prayed and vowed that if I got accepted to the conference for the second paper, that I would ensure that the book of Revelation was a dominant topic of study for me.

I got the publication. I walked on the same paths as Paul. I stood where he stood. I saw the place of the church who had forgotten her first love. I did not deserve it and I know it, plus I have a vow that must be paid.

Myself and Grace (Work colleague) at Ephasus

This comes at an opportune time. [Tyrell], a brother who knows his interpretation, has started looking into the eschaton. I am sure of what my interpretation will be, but I am not sure under what categories it will fall. There are so many terms describing different things, I'm not going to try. Rather than trying to defend a position, like Tyrell, I am rather going to try and define a position.

And I will do it soon.

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