After watching Terminator Salvation last night, I turned to John Morehead’s article on Apocalypse and the Postmodern Imagination tonight. Have a read yourself. I think it raises some interesting questions.
And I want to ask you some questions too. What is your understanding of apocalypse? Do you think the dispensationalists should have the last word on Revelation? Where do you see the apocalyptic imagination making itself felt in popular culture? What about yourself?
I’ll be honest, I think my understanding of Christianity is deeply apocalyptic, just not in the way dispensationalists or gnostics would recognise. Unlike them, it does not involve any myth of redemptive violence. For me apocalyptic imagination is very much interwoven with the New Testament themes of hope and the dreaming of a world without tears.
11 thoughts on “How apocalyptic are you?”
In my opinion, revelation should have the last word on dispensationalists, despite what they think is the last word on Revelation.
This reminds me that I keep forgetting to add “post-dispensationalist” to my profile. Now I’m wondering if I’m pre- or mid-apocalyptic … oh no!
I can’t be post- as I was never dispensationalist to begin with. I feel sorta left behind.
i notice one of the biggest influences of dispensationalism on popular/christian culture is in the area of the environment and ecology. my friends tell me that ‘if it’s all going to burn anyway, what’s the point in trying to live sustainably?’ this is very irritating and difficult to get past!
for me one of the keys to unlocking revelation is this whole thing of apocalyptic as a literary genre. once you understand the way this genre works, it all starts to make a lot more (non-dispensational!) sense. interesting collection of apocalyptic literature on wiki here: http://is.gd/T35q
i’m guessing yow know about David Dark’s
“Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons and Other Pop Culture Icons”
David, yes there is a copy sitting on my bookshelf.
Carlo, to your friends I would slyly reply, “We’ll you’re gonna die so why don’t I just shoot you now?” Same logic.
thanks… very sly. i wish they could follow that logic and make the connection!
Apocalyptic literature has a great appeal for oppressed and downtrodden people (and I’m not talking about dispensationalists, who so thoroughly misunderstand it).
In the apartheid era, when we lived under an oppressive and repressive government, I was quite interested in apocalyptic literature, but now less so.
At times I find my interest waning but injustice perks me up.
Have any of you read:
Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now
Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 1999
I’m reading it at the moment and I have to say the book of revelation has never looked so sexy or important for day-to-day living. It has a great section on the history of interpretation of Rev. and to be honest it has given me the desire to learn/preach/talk about revelation again.
Just read the Amazone review:
“The two authors of this volume–both committed Christians and social activists–are not interested in the idea of apocalypse as an end-of-the-world phenomenon. Rather, they conclude, St. John’s book was a call to ‘the followers of Jesus in the cities of Roman Asia [the audience for the Revelation] to continue the nonviolent witness practiced by Jesus. This is how the disciples were to live in the midst of empire.’ In short, ‘Revelation is a call to have faith in God rather than empire.'”
Sounds like I should keep an eye out for it.