Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Have you ever gone back to a paper topic started a few days earlier, considered it, and realized that you don't care one iota about it?

That was me within the past half hour. Sunday night saw preparation for Thompson's final combined with Brown's critical comments, of which I decided to do Arminius and the five points of Calvinism, as stated at the Synod of Dort, commenting on supra/infralapsarianism. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but within an hour of stating the basic positions, doing a historical survey, and stating my position on the five points, I was more inclined to tailspin into working through exactly what I believed about the afterlife, a pressing issue last summer in particular.

How'd I get there? Arminius' strength is his christocentricity, and he focuses election upon the elect to life, but this caused a problem for me as related to my reading of Revelation 14, where the Lamb appears to be involved with the torment of the reprobate; where does this play into things, or is this passage intended symbolically to refer to the present life? I read Revelation (not often, I admit, and recognize both the benefits and drawbacks of doing so) historico-symbolically, in that the book was written to distinct churches in the first century and that as apocalyptic literature, the fascinating imagery was not a code for end-times chart preparation, but veiled references to their settings and struggles. Yet it maintains relevance today in that the struggles of Jesus-followers in all ages can be seen through the book, which speaks ESPECIALLY to life in the earthly sphere, and that there's still truth in it, i.e. - the God of Jesus still 'wins.' (and the monster research issue arises as to how these books, written in first-century contexts to specific issues within those contexts, retain some measure of authority the remainder of Mike's life)

From this point, I began tangenting off, recognizing where I was, and thinking more about soul/death/afterlife issues, and asking how John's Gospel defines eternal life and knowledge of God, implicitly and explicitly, until, realizing just how far from Dort I had strayed, I called it a night.

And returning to the comments tonight, I realized that when it comes to the five points and supra/infralapsarianism, I don't care one bit. It's an argument in another sphere of christianity, about matters that really aren't that important to me, and why in the world would I want to put myself through writing about it? So I blog...while deciding what else to write about...


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