Sunday, April 5, 2009

April Showers

It's April and the rain has been falling and flooding many parts of S.E. Queensland and much more rain is forecast for the coming week. It's a nice change from the many years of drought but there have been some personal costs for many.

For me life has been busy. I had hoped to put up a post yesterday but just didn't have time. I'm also conscious that last month there was little biblioblogging as opposed to other topics and that the state election dominated things somewhat. This month I plan to focus on biblioblogging and, as we are now in Holy Week, it seems an appropriate focus for the month. But for now I want to point you in the direction of some recent postings on a couple of other blogs.

First off Rollan McCleary, looks at the latest manifestation of that peculiarly American religious phenomenon of prophetic preachers announcing gloom and doom and, in the latest pronouncement from David Wilkerson, the penchant for visions of burning cities. As Rollan observes:

American films and culture thrive on disaster scenarios. It may have something to do with the role of the apocalyptic in American religion or the feeling engendered by the competitive atmosphere of American capitalism that life itself is one big crisis.

Wilkerson, of The Cross and the Switchblade fame, has a long track record of foreseeing US cities in flames. Perhaps the US inner city riots in the late '60s left an indelible impression on Wilkerson. Anyway, last month Wilkerson issued yet another urgent prophecy on his blog. In the American and David Wilkerson Disaster Syndrome, Rollan examines Wilkerson's latest prophecy against his previous record. Rollan then draws on some insights from astrology to further explore Wilkerson's visions of cities on fire.

Meanwhile don't forget to check out the Left Behind Fridays series on Slacktivist. When I first found this site he was reading and deconstructing the first of the Left Behind books, a reading that extended for many years. His readings were not only incisive but side splittingly funny as well. This year he has started on the second book of the series, Tribulation Force. His readings are still sharp and incisive but now there is little to laugh about. Perhaps it's because in the first book the main characters were still working out what was happening and were in the process of 'getting saved'. However in Tribulation Force they are now officially 'saved':

here the malice and contempt is premeditated and intentional. Buck Williams' despicable behavior toward Verna Zee -- and toward Alice, actually -- is not merely weak and obtuse and fearful, but careful and deliberate.And the authors celebrate this painstaking viciousness. It is our first glimpse of the newly saved and sanctified Buck Williams and the authors thus suggest that this is how godly, real, true Christian men ought to behave toward women or anyone else they regard as their inferiors.

The fruit of the Spirit, St. Paul writes, "is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."If you sat down and tried to write a scene in which a character displayed the opposite of all of those characteristics, you'd come up with something like Buck's actions in the first 20 pages of Tribulation Force.

In urging the Galatian Christians to live up to these fruits of the Spirit, Paul warns them of the alternative. "Let us not become conceited," he writes, "provoking and envying each other." And again, if you sat down to write a scene in which a conceited character was driven to provoke others out of envy, you'd come up with something like Buck's actions in the first 20 pages of Tribulation Force.

In John's epistles, he gives a name to this behavior, this antithesis of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He calls it "the spirit of antichrist."That is, again, the only place in the Bible where the word "antichrist" appears.

The really horrifying aspect of this subplot is the way it's driven by a gleeful misogyny.

Read it all on T.F.: Not Funny

UPDATE: Rollan has more on Wilkerson and his holy homophobia (as well as a swipe at Oz news media for it's handling of Rudd's reported spat over being served wrong type of meal in flight) over at his blog with Kevin Rudd's Dinner Dispute and David Wilkerson's Fireworks.

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