Imagine that: demystifying the imagery of Biblical apocalypse for the twenty-first century preacher

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Arnold, Susan M
Preaching; Revelation; Sermon; Apocalypse; Bible; Exegesis; Biblical Studies; Christian Denominations and Sects; Christianity; Ethics in Religion; History of Christianity; Missions and World Christianity; Practical Theology
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At the beginning of this new millennium two events converged in my life. The first event was a personal revelation that if renewal was to happen in the church of North America it must happen first in her pulpits. The second event was the beginning of a journey with my daughter that would span her childhood; a journey into J. K. Rowling's world of the boy wizard, Harry Potter. This fantasy world captured the imagination of a seven and a thirty-seven year old simultaneously. From the converging of these two events came an idea that we mainline Presbyterians might be missing out on a wonderful renewal tool for today's audiences by not studying and preaching the fantastical world of Biblical apocalypse. I was fairly sure the majority of Presbyterian preachers in the PC(USA) would not take their preaching cues from the popular exegesis of apocalypse. If this group of preachers was presented with viable exegetical alternatives they might reconsider preaching apocalypse. I propose these alternatives are determining the original meanings of these fantastical images and finding modern images to which our audiences today can relate. Discovering and presenting these alternatives to Presbyterian preachers is the subject of this project.