Actually JB, the book that comes to my memory is "88 reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988". Apparently we missed it! :)Back to my point about "not prediction, but preparation", I rather like the way Keith Green put it (*Update -- the old Keith Green YouTube video was taken down, so I've replaced it with another version of the same song):
The truth that strikes me about date-setting specifically (and predictions more generally) is that, despite the fact that Jesus' first coming was, at the time, the most prophesied event in human history, nearly everyone got it wrong ... including (indeed, especially) the most humanly "prepared"--the Jewish clergy. Their problem was not a lack of information, it was the hardness of their hearts compounded by the inability to imagine God's actual plan beyond their narrow, self-referential interpretation of Scripture.
What this tells me is that the purpose of the prophecies about His second coming is not prediction, but preparation.
If pressed, I will confess to amillenialist leanings, which is to say that I tend to think the "last days" began in the 1st Century (Heb 1:2) and that the "thousand years" of Revelation 20 is a figurative reference to Christ's present reign over His church (this interpretation requires a non-chronological reading of Revelation). I generally admit to that tentatively, because I find the topic to be more divisive than it ought to be; because I think Jesus' first coming demonstrates that interpreting prophecy is much harder than we tend to think it is; and because it is far from being a central point of the Faith.
Moreover, my understanding of church history is that eschatology can be very trendy ... in other words, the popular view of this subject often changes with the times, with the ebb and flow of world events. This is an understandable phenomenon, but should caution us that our interpretations are easily influenced by the specific places and times in which we live.
My guess is that, when He does return, the circumstances will be unlike anything most of us has quite imagined, yet all of us will afterwards conclude that we should have known (and, more importantly, should have been prepared), as the prophecies will have clearly foretold precisely the way it actually happened. In other words, it'll be kinda like the first time, if only in that sense ... :)
Saturday, July 3, 2010
"88 reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988" (Eschatology is Hard)
Scribbled by Jailer