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Rescuing Revelation: Q&A

• Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy

During our weekend services on April 12 and 13, we hosted Q&A sessions with Greg Boyd, our Senior Pastor, and Paul Eddy, our Teaching Pastor. We included all three services, so enjoy listening to ALL the answers.

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Saturday, 5:00 p.m.

  1. I appreciate your clarity on the use of hyperbolic speech in Scripture and how it was common in the 1st century. But what about John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…”? I need to be reassured that this is not hyperbolic. (00:04:13)
  2. How did the concept of a “pre,” “post,” or “mid” timeframe get associated with the tribulation? (00:06:08)
  3. Can you please explain the description of Jesus in the first chapter of Revelation? Why is it that he stands among seven golden lampstands, is dressed in a robe with a golden sash, has hair that is white like wool, has eyes like a blazing fire, has feet like bronze glowing in a furnace, has a voice that is like the sound of rushing waters, has a sword coming out of his mouth, and has a face that is shining as brilliant as the sun? (00:09:24)
  4. Even though we don’t know when the end will come, when the time does come, what will happen to those who are not Christians but still believe in God? (00:12:14)
  5. Why is there so little focus on plants and trees when you focus on how the earth should be ruled? Don’t the plants deserve our care? (00:15:19)
  6. What is the difference between the first and second coming of Christ? (00:19:19)
  7. When I was 12, I asked my pastor if my dog, whom we had just cremated, would be in heaven. He said “no,” and I gave up on God, the church, and everything else for over 20 years. I’m just beginning to give it another try, but I need to know what Woodland Hills thinks will happen to the animals we love. (00:22:14)
  8. Could the verse that says the sun and the moon will be darkened be a reference to an eclipse? (00:25:16)
  9. If Jesus being “taken up” is symbolic, where did Jesus go and how did he get there? (00:28:11)
  10. What does it mean for our relationships to see Jesus as a slain lamb? Is there ever an appropriate time to refrain from sacrificial living as a slain lamb would? (00:30:40)
  11. Does the phrase “the coming of the Son of Man” always denote judgment, as in Mark 13? If so, why is that? It seems like some positive and life-giving things should also be associated with it. (00:35:02)
  12. Since I was a child I’ve had anxiety about the future; this anxiety was intensified significantly when I learned about “the rapture” and “the tribulation period.” This series has helped, but I still have a lingering fear. The future seems gloomy. How do you overcome your anxiety about the future? (00:38:12)

Sunday, 9:00 a.m.

  1. What is the meaning of 666? (00:41:22)
  2. If our physical bodies are going to be resurrected, is there any theological reason for avoiding cremation or organ donation? (00:46:03)
  3. Why at judgment will some go to hell if God is loving and nonviolent? (00:48:34)
  4. What would you say is the practical teaching found in Revelation for the present day church? (00:51:54)
  5. What happens to everyone who dies before the resurrected earth comes into being? Are they waiting somewhere? (00:53:51)
  6. Where did the concept of the anti-Christ come from? (00:56:01)
  7. With so many various views on end times theology, how do we lovingly interact with those with opposing views? Is it even worthwhile? (00:57:22)
  8. I was taught that the two witnesses who prophesy in Revelation 11 refer to Elijah and Moses who will come back at the end, but you say everything in Revelation is symbolic, so what does that symbolize? (01:01:13)
  9. I was taught that the author of Revelation was not the Apostle John, but another significant early church leader named John; is there any reason to question the authorship of this book? (01:02:36)
  10. What do you say to Bonheoffer’s response to the Holocaust, where some evil does need to be eradicated aggressively? Do we let evil and death reign in all circumstances through loving our enemies? (01:04:46)
  11. You spoke a lot about divination during this series; could it be assumed that divination was the original sin of the world? (01:09:17)
  12. You preached that we would have new bodies and heaven will be here on Earth. What do you think people are seeing when they claim to see heaven? There are dozens of books in Christian retail that tell stories of people who died and saw people in heaven. What are your thoughts? (01:11:41)
  13. I have a sister who is a zealous “end timer.” For example, she is stock piling food and other necessities in her cabin to survive the tribulation period. And this is all she will talk about. Its destroying her marriage and her relationship with me and her other siblings. What would you do if this was your sister? (01:15:53)

Sunday, 11:00 a.m

  1. Why is the nonviolent Jesus in Revelation a minority view? Is Greg just so smart that he found something that no one else has? (01:18:49)
  2. If drinking blood is punishment for sin, is there a connection to drinking Christ’s blood in communion? (01:21:21)
  3. You have often said we need to contextualize Revelation with other apocalyptic literature of its era; yet you never really give example of other apocalyptic literature. Are the other examples “Christian”? Can you cite other similar imagery from these other books? How were these books understood either by Christians or pagan cults? (01:24:00)
  4. In Revelation it sounds like no one who has died is in Heaven or Hell yet. Is this true? (01:29:51)
  5. Who or what is “the dragon” referred to in Revelation? (01:32:17)
  6. If we believe that heaven will one day be established on Earth, how do we explain theories of extraterrestrial life? Will they all come to Earth to live here? (01:34:10)
  7. Who are the Nicolatians mentioned in Revelation 2, and why does Jesus hate their practices? (01:36:04)
  8. Revelation 22 warns again “removing or adding things to the account.” How much creative license or interpretation is permitted before we run this risk? The threat of plagues if we do too much seems scary…is that a real consequence of crossing a line? (01:38:55)
  9. You said that Daniel and Revelation were our only apocalyptic literature. What type of literature are Isaiah and Ezekiel? Don’t they speak about the end times as well? (01:40:30)
  10. I’ve heard that Revelation is circular and that this whole story of creation, fall and resurrection will happen again and again. Is there any truth to this? Or is it one final show? (01:44:10)
  11. There was so much content that this sermon series was unable to cover; how do we continue to study and interpret Revelation through a lamb-like lens? (01:46:09)
  12. Can you give an interpretation of “the New Jerusalem” in light of a Revelation reading that uses idioms and hyperboles? (01:47:25)
  13. However the end times will take place, I get very depressed when I think about all the people who don’t know Christ who will die in the end and either disappear forever or will suffer eternal torment. How can we have “the joy of the Lord” when we know the future of most people- whom we are called to love- is so bleak? (01:49:44)
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One thought on “Rescuing Revelation: Q&A

  1. M85 says:

    I found Greg’s explanation of the mark of the beast very interesting… i had never thought of it that way but it fits John’s (1 Jn 15) definition of the “world” very well.

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