A Brief Attempt to See How the Overall Gist of Revelation Connects to Rancho’s Radical Unity Series

The Bible is an incredible read and I wish and yearn for all of us to really see and appreciate it in its entirety and finished form, and not deal with it like a hodgepodge of institutional or self-serving doctrines or worst as a de facto god. The Bible is not a hallowed book or God’s book. It isn’t the source of anyone’s salvation and it serves no reasonable purpose to put it on a pedestal for worshipping. It’s not a weapon or a morality and ethics compass to throw or use at people to keep them in line.

One of the points I shared with the group in a recent Developmental Leadership Course discussion is the attraction people have on using labels for identification purposes which in and by itself isn’t really a bad thing except when it progresses into divisive identity affiliations. Albeit unknowingly and undesired, it likely does, unfortunately. When this happens, most often than not, the ensuing result you see is factional polarization if not polarizing factions. And we have gone through this so many times—fall into the trap of identity-labels that pull people apart. I identify as a _________. She or he, on the order hand, is a _______. And now we see we not as us but as the other.

The other point I shared was the approach by which most Christians or Bible believers have taken on the Bible reading. If we do a survey, I will bet heavily that only a very small segment of the Bible reading demographic recognizes the three-genre nature of the Bible. Genre-wise, the Bible is a 1. historical narrative (it depicts the journey of the exiled Hebrew people in search of its national identity and its land), 2. theology (it describes the relationship between God and humans), and 3. literature (it employs writing devices such as characterization, imageries, symbols, invented speeches, culturally-evoked stories, monologues, and epical depictions).

Often, we overlook that the Bible is unified writing of 66 books written in three continents over 1500 years by over 44 authors. And many of its stories bear mark resemblance to older works of literature (e.g., the Genesis flood story is strikingly similar to the flood story in Gilgamesh and Psalm 104 to Pharoah Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Sun). It should also be understood that the Bible includes a consistent paradoxical narrative flow in the sense that both human free-will and Divine Providence exist in the storytelling. To deny this information will lead to misleading assumptions and mystical perceptions. For instance, irrationally believing that everything is either divinely-willed or preordained and deliberately negating the role of human free will —thereby unwittingly characterizing the Lord alluded in the Bible in the same category as the capricious gods of the polytheistic ancient times who treat humans as pawns and puppets.

I like how both Scott Treadway and Steve Salomon would always include in their Sunday message-presentation a brief historical background and a concise definition of terms. Theirs is a combined preaching and teaching approach. Scott’s style is scholarly bright, a little of TED Talk and a little of the professorial lecture. He has straightforward expertise in how he delivers a multilayered, complex lesson. Steve’s energy is refreshing and his technique has a multigenerational appeal to it. I listened to both’s take on Revelation, Rancho’s closing on the series, Radical Unity. Although their leanings are different in their perceptual reading of the book, their messages are complementary. I get it and I do appreciate their honesty, but on one end, this particular assertion where they lay on theological perception on Revelation is a borderline needless digression (just my two cents). But then again, I also see that it’s a perfect demonstration of how supposedly two differing opinions are not so different after all. Or that you can differ in viewpoint and remain lovingly diplomatic, respectful and united. Not only did Scott and Steve’s take on Revelation in relation to Radical Unity complement each other, but they also intersect and found their way steering in the same direction.

Once you get the context and direction of the Book of Revelation and alongside a sound understanding of the previous books, you will find that there’s not really anything mystically transcendent, cryptic, or dooming about the Bible’s final writing. In fact, the overall apocalyptic narrative of Revelation markedly alludes to the everlasting and encompassing power of transformational grace. Love is the motivation by which Salvation comes upon us.

Anyway, here are the links to Scott Treadway and Steve Salomon’s closing salvo on the series called Radical Unity.

Scott Treadway Wraps Up The  Series, Radical Unity

Steve Salomon Wraps Up the Series, Radical Unity

 

 

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