One of the interesting things that happen as you pass 70 years, is the amount of time you spend in creative Christian speculation —speculating about heaven, the rapture, and all the things of the end. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about my end, but the end of the church, specifically. Now I’ll probably mention several things about Creation, the Flood, and the Second Coming that may set you back. If that’s the case, may I recommend my book on the subject, The Training Place of Mankind, which I wrote a few years back?
Now, I’ve changed a lot in the past decade. The main thing I’ve learned and accepted is the reality of the literal truth of scripture. The first stone to fall into place was the reality of a literal 6-day creation. I won’t go into the arguments here, check out The Training Place. But that started a complete reexamination of my foundational scientific beliefs—the humanist gospel taught to me in high school in the 1950s. Yes, I was taught all that stuff at a young age, and never heard anything to counter its reasoning. Once the Holy Spirit pried open a crack, the Truth just barged right in and turned over the apple cart.
Creative Christian speculation is built on the literal truth of scripture
The key to starting this process on a good foundation is accepting the base truth that scripture is literally true. I already believed that about so many things. I had no problem with the truth of the miracles of Jesus or the ministry of Paul. I’ve seen too many things. I have had scripture literally transform my life—rather I’ve had the Holy Spirit use the Bible to where I am “transformed by the renewal of your mind”. If that’s literally true, pretty soon you see all of it is.
But somehow there was this disconnect with Creation and Revelation—yet I knew they are two of the most important parts of the Story. In the early twenty-teens, I found myself reading a book on creationism. I was reading it because it was so poorly laid out that Pat couldn’t read it. She asked me if I would try. I was just sucked in by the reality of it—right past the incredibly bad page layout. Probably the original explosion was simply, “If Adam and Eve brought in death, then all the fossils had to come after them.” As I continued to read, I rediscovered one of the foundational truths of my life:
What I had been taught in school was lies!
I learned about all the bad reasoning tied up with dating techniques and technologies. I discovered that I had been force-fed religious dogma—humanism. Dewey and the crowd in the thirties had been correct. If you teach the children this garbage they’ll believe it. This was the reasoning behind the heavy push into public education.
We’ll forget that originally Hebrew was seriously considered as the national language of the colonies. The Ivy League schools were mostly started as theological institutes—seminaries. The Pilgrims had a theocracy. Our country was built on scripture and Christianity in many ways and many places. The freedom of religion was basically the freedom to build a life based on the Bible. That’s the primary reason the pilgrims were forced out of England.
But if six-day creation is true, what about the flood?
Scripture suggests that it had never rained before the flood. The earth was watered daily by dew and mists.m There were rolling hills, but no mountains like we know today. The earth was all one continent. The garden of Eden was the center of that continent. But sin was destroying that world. It was filled with violence.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 RSV
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:12
Josephus claims evidence that Adam had prophesied that the earth would be destroyed by water, and then later it would be destroyed by fire. But it was a year-long flood that covered everything. Remember, there were no really high mountains. But then and for the next few centuries, the single continent was broken up. The pieces slammed into each other forcing the still soft layers of sediment up in towering mountains, and the Ice Age began. There are many books on this, but the one I like is the Center for Scientific Creation. here’s a link to the formation of the Grand Canyon. I just watched the hour and a half movie again. It’s compelling.
But what about the second coming?
That’s what triggered this entire post. A few hours ago I was enjoying some more creative Christian speculation. How amazing will it be when the rapture occurs and the entire church ends up in the clouds with Jesus headed for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. In my speculation, I could see the amazing coordination of the Lord greeting all of us individually within a short period of time. I’m not going to embarrass myself by trying to guess how that will all work.
But let’s just finish with a few more speculations
There’s no more death or decay or entropy. So the skies should be clear enough to see forever. There’ll be no dust, no dirt. Grand canyons will be designed sculptures and not evidence of erosion and all of that. The same will be true of mountains, cliffs, lakes, rivers and all of that.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22: 1-2
I don’t think that’s a muddy flow of erosion, do you? What wonders we will see. If it’s true that the True Jerusalem is a pyramid, then the river of life must flow down around and around the entire surface of our city. Think on that for a while! Enough creative Christian speculation for tonight. Ciao!