We all have images of the proddy sandwich board man (women are too sensible) with the words
THE END IS NIGH
Many of us have come across evangelicals who are obsessed with Revelation and Daniel and the wonderfully bad 1970s book The Late Great Planet Earth, with the EU as the beast and so on.
Thus many of us sideline any thought of Jesus’ return and the ghastly term “End Times”, but to our cost. We ignore the fact that, when properly understood, it is an essential part of the Christian Faith. We also fail to see how “End Times” have cropped up in the past from the Donuts – sorry Donatists – of 4 th century Tun isia, right up to the Religious Right today.
This blog is a helpful corrective .
I probably look back to early beginnings – not 4004BC and what to do now rather than consider the future.
On 11 January 1638, Niels Steno was born. He was a Danish anatomist, palaeontologist and geologist. He was ordained a Catholic bishop in 1677 in Italy and moved to the Lutheran part of Germany and died in 1686. Having established the theoretical basis for stratigraphy, he can be called the Father of Stratigraphy.
In his work on geology “De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus“ (The Prodromus of Nicolaus Steno’s Dissertation Concerning a Solid Body Enclosed by Process of Nature Within a Solid, 1669) Steno describes four of the defining principles of the science of stratigraphy. These were:
the law of superposition: New layers of sediment are deposited on top of older layers (law of superposition), one can determine relative time sequence by examining the order in which strata appear – “At the time when a given stratum was being formed, there was beneath it another substance which…
This is a good survey of astronomy and the Christian faith going back to the New Testament, then the early fathers and stopping at Isaac Newton. It also has a nod to earlier Greek philosphers
On St Paul he reckons that as an educated Greek he’d be a typical Greek geocentrist of his day, but could go for a three-decker universe. I argue that Paul and Luke rejected a three-decker universe and were typical geocentrists. I would not be surprised if fishermen, tax-collectors and builders/carpenters in Galilee were flat-earthers. Not that would matter if we believe Phillipians 2.
I am afraid it had to be translated for me as my German has been totally lost!! In my chemistry course I had to sit an exam on German translation and passed. But that was the end of my German, I am afraid.
On 07 September 1952, Pope Pius XII gave a talk in Rome at the Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in which he did not mention any association between the Big Bang Theory and the initial fiat of creation. A few months earlier in 1951, while addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he had seemed to link the two together. In the time that passed between the two talks, Georges Lemaître had met with Pope Pius XII to discuss the difficulties and limits of associating the Big Bang Theory with the theological notion of creation.”
So often we are told his family was desperately poor, but here Ian Paul stresses that simply ain’t true. Ian quotes this
Homelessness awaited them…Off to the stinking stable, the dank cave. Poverty does stink,
By today’s standards, including the poorer parts of Africa Jesus’ family were poor, but were of average wealth for the time.
(A little aside, we forget how much the so-called Industrial Revolution and the use of fossil fuels has enabled most people to live linger and with greater wealth and comfort. But don’t tell anyone!!)
Above all the popular myth that Jesus was poor and came for the poor is wrong. By our standards Jesus and his family were poor, but Jesus’ mission, ministry and message were for all people, whether rich or poor. His message in challenging for all.
We are all poor before God, whether we are rich or poor
P.S. I reblog Ian’s work because I find it helpful and deals with topics I’ve only dabbled in!!