Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

9/15/2006

The Playstation Prophecies

iPods have more memory than everything in this photo

We humans are pretty woefully bad at predicting the future. After all, if the future of my youth had come about, we would be zipping about on jet packs, vacationing on the moon etc. And more to the point, no one predicted the ubiquity of home computers or the creation of the Internet, much less its influence. The latest technology news to cross my screen is that IBM is harnessing the power of 16,000 Playstations to create the world's fastest supercomputer. You can read more in the BBC News article Fastest supercomputer to be built which tells of an IBM project to build Roadrunner—four times faster than the current world's fastest. And another article on how the Playstation3 itself is plagued with problems (even as the chips prove ideal for supercomputing).

ye olde computerThere is something ineffably right about this. Making toys has become a multi-billion dollar a year business. With so much creativity and techonological savvy going in to their creation, perhaps it should have been predictable that toys could be used to create an alternative to underground nuclear testing (I am not making this up). Perhaps, but I never saw it coming. I'm guessing that you didn't either (nor did Asimov or other science fiction greats).

This is a church's blog and here comes the ecclesiastical punch line: Why do Christians waste even the least little time and mental energy on attempting to figure out how current world events can or do relate to Biblical prophecies? Given the nature of prophecy and our laughably poor prognosticating performance, why bother?

Someone will no doubt claim that the non-Biblical Nostrodamus predicted a computer built of Playstations, if they don't credit the prophecy to Ezekiel or Revelation. Even Jesus said that not even he knew the hour or the day of his return, but could only look to the signs to see the seasons.

How much better to put our time and energy in to those things Jesus did ask us to do: Loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Once all widows, orphans and others in need have been provided for, we can perhaps then turn our attention to prophecy. In the meantime, we have enough to worry about. Unless you want to join the Kenyan cult that moved into bunkers this week.

In the archives is the sermon The Problem with the Rapture. Today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian, From Anxiety to Abundance is also online.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

4 Comments:

  • At 9/15/2006 10:19 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Frank,

    While I agree with you that our primary energies shouldn't be spent in trying to predict the future through interpretation of prophecy, there is a blessing for those that do attempt to understand them.

    (Rev 1:3) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    I was just curious what you thought of passages like this in light of your comments for today.

     
  • At 9/15/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Kenny,

    I do see that those who read the words of Revelation and keep the words therein recieve a blessing. I value the last book of the Bible (unlike John Calvin and Martin Luther, both of whom avoided it). But I think the blessing comes through the overarching message of God being in control of history and even in the details of being neither hot nor cold lest you be spit out, etc.

    I think the particular efforts at aligning current events with prophecy pushes the language of Revelation too far. For if Jesus said he couldn't know the hour and day, but only the season, then that level of attention is probably not in keeping with intention of Revelation to be used in that way.

    But for more on what I think about this book, we have a page of Revelation resources at kingofpeace.org/revelation.htm. So even with the cautions noted above concerning paying more attention to widows and orphans than to prophecy, I have spent some time with the book as well.

    -Frank

     
  • At 9/15/2006 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have long wondered why so many people spend so much time trying to find out the exact day and hour when Christ will return and/or the world will end. There are whole businesses and ministries built upon this most feeble of foundations. Our job is to be ready, to be people of prayer,to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, to be people of peace. Nothing we can do will hasten or delay the end times. He is omnipotent and He will decide. It is a waste of time and resources, and extremely pretentious, and to pretend to have received divine personal revelation about the exact time of the world's end. It is a mystery and apparently He wants it to remain that way.

    -William

     
  • At 9/18/2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Both you and William have hit the nail on the head. Thanks for your comments.

    I was raised in and have spent most of my life in churches where the rapture was taught. But even there, there were so many different interpretations of how it would all come together that I've eventually come to the conclusion that, since God is in control and ultimately loves us and cares for us as His children that we should concentrate on making sure we are doing what He wants us to.

    Along with several other things, I'm still working out the differences between Episcopalian/Anglican theology and my own! Be patient with me. :)

     

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