Thinking Out Loud

November 23, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Wednesday List Lynx - The lynx is considered a national animal in Macedonia where it is featured on the five denar coin

I’ll have whatever links she’s having…

  • Let’s start out with some great music: A new song by Northpoint Community Church’s Eddie Kirkland; help yourself to a free download of Here and Now.
  • Maybe your marriage isn’t in trouble, but it’s in struggle.  Justin and Trisha Davis offer four reasons why some marriages are hurting.
  • Julie Clawson has a very short, but very profound piece about how the spiritual conversion journey does not end with finding Jesus; in other words, finding Jesus doesn’t complete the process.
  • It’s possible that Charles Spurgeon’s view of Arminian theology wasn’t shaped so much by reading as it was by the stage in history where the movement was when Spurgeon wrote.
  • InterVarsity Press, aka IVP, has purchased Biblica Books, a publisher whose 170-plus titles are truly a great fit for the Illinois-based company.
  • At The Ironic Catholic, this take on Genesis 3: 16-19 — “There are three aspects taken from a casual reading of the passage: 1) God makes childbirth painful, 2) Eve and all women get cursed by God as a punishment for sin, and 3) Adam appears to get off way easy.”
  • Not sure of David Brooks’ spirituality, but this NY Times article shows how certain kinds of inequality are tolerated, and certain types of inequality are not.
  • I know there’s a word that means “fear of the number 13,” but what about phobias about “666”??  Refusing to wear the number on religious grounds got this Georgia man fired.
  • Of the making of Calvinist/Arminian T-Shirts there is no end.  The one pictured at right is for those who prefer the middle of the road. Click the image if you want to buy; click here for the backstory at More Christ blog.
  • For those of you who use small-group discipleship curriculum, this video about a whole new paradigm from Downline Ministries is going to rock your world.
  • Jon Acuff explains why it’s possible to have the congregation extend you some grace when yours is the first cell phone (that’s mobile for you Brits) to go off during a church service, but why you don’t want to be the second person to have it ring.
  • Some of you may know more than I about the Duggar family, but apparently they are expecting their 20th child.  (HT: Clark Bunch)
  • Michael Hyatt thinks novelists should offer a “director’s cut” of their work at their blogs; along with twelve other blog ideas for writers of what we could call non-non-fiction.
  • C201 highlights this week: A 30-minute video interview with N.T. Wright, and a summary of C. Michael Patton’s Why Do We Love C. S. Lewis and Hate Rob Bell?
  • Tomorrow at Thinking Out Loud: Remembering Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane.  Today the comic is drawn by “little Jeffy” who is actually, at age 53, not quite so little, and continues to feature church-based themes like this one from a week ago Sunday:

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September 19, 2010

A Rather Unique Explanation of ‘666’

Filed under: theology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:48 pm

I’d forgotten about this particular post at this blog until an e-mail last night jogged my memory.    I’ve made some changes to it in order to insert a longer excerpt from the original blog…

Remember those people in the late ’60s who declared that VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards were “the mark of the beast?”   Well, what if they were somewhat right?

Actually, the cards were called by other names back then.   VISA was “Chargex” here in Canada, “BankAmericard” in the U.S. and went by other names elsewhere.  Meanwhile, MASTERCARD went by the now awkward-sounding name “Mastercharge.”

Some Christians (okay, mostly evangelicals) declared this was the beginning of the end when it came to interpreting the “666″ mark in Revelation, but were strangely silent decades later when debit cards were introduced.   I’ve never understood what made the difference and the resultant silence on ATM cards.

I remember Pat Robertson commenting that the mark on the hand and forehead were symbolic.   The hand represents the work of man and the forehead represents the thoughts of man; the result being an anti-Christ figure who wants to control both.

Online, I ran into Tim Jamz.  In a post on March 28th, 2008, he suggested that “the mark of the beast” isn’t the number 666.   It’s numbers, period.    Our preoccupation with them.   Our can’t live without them.  Commenting in another forum, Tim said, “Our focus on our own contrived systems of analysis, and the reliance on these systems, separates us from our Creator.”

The road he takes to get to there, an examination of themes occurring in both Genesis and Revelation is going to seem murky to some readers, but you should read it anyway.  Here’s the highlight:

The “Mark of the Beast” is 666, right? Technically, it is “six-hundred, three-score, and six,” according to the King James Version of the Bible. Well, a friend I hung out with many moons ago … brought this up; it’s stuck with me ever since, and the more I think about it, it really makes sense.

The Book of Revelation, where the Mark is referenced, was written during the reign of the Roman Empire, in a region, which was primarily ruled by Rome. Naturally, the original text, and the number written to mean the “Mark of the Beast” would have been written in the Roman language… enter: Roman Numerals. We’ve all learned these in grade school, and most television shows and other “scholarly” works use them to denote dates, et al.

If you write out the number 666 in Roman Numerals, it comes out: DCLXVI. (500+ 100+ 50+ 10+ 5+ 1= 666) That’s right, one of each Roman Number, in descending order. So, it could be surmised that “numbers,” in general, are the Mark of the Beast. Before you exorcise your computer, think about this.

Modern civilizations are wholly dependent on numbers; for currency, for architecture, for science…. EVERYTHING! Everything except God, that is. Our quest for knowledge between good and evil… our ultimate desire and preconception that our minds are able to make determinations in general… these are what separate us from simple existence, and one-ness with the Creator.

I found the conclusion resonated more than the premise, but make your own decision.   To go directly to that post, titled ‘Lost in Translation,’ use this link.

April 3, 2008

The Devil’s In The Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — searchlightevents @ 6:05 pm

Remember those people in the late ’60s who declared that VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards were “the mark of the beast?”   Well, what if they were somewhat right?

Actually, the cards were called by other names back then.   VISA was “Chargex” here in Canada, “BankAmericard” in the U.S. and went by other names elsewhere.  Meanwhile, MASTERCARD went by the now awkward-sounding name “Mastercharge.”   Some Christians (okay, mostly evangelicals) declared this was the beginning of the end when it came to interpreting the “666” mark in Revelation, but were strangely silent decades later when debit cards were introduced.   I’ve never understood what made the difference and the resultant silence on ATM cards.

I remember Pat Robertson (see my post on him a few days ago) commenting that the mark on the hand and forehead were symbolic.   The hand represents the work of man and the forehead represents the thoughts of man; the result being an anti-Christ figure who wants to control both.

Today online I ran into Tim Jamz who has a blog page you might want to visit, www.onehigherpower.com In a recent post, on March 28th, he suggests that “the mark of the beast” isn’t the number 666.   It’s numbers, period.    Our preoccupation with them.   Our can’t live without them.  Commenting in another forum, Tim said, “Our focus on our own contrived systems of analysis, and the reliance on these systems, separates us from our Creator.”

The road he takes to get to there, an examination of themes occuring in both Genesis and Revelation is going to seem murky to some readers, but you should read it anyway.   I found the conclusion resonated more than the premise, but make your own decision.   To go directly to that post, titled ‘Lost in Translation,’ use this link: http://onehigherpower.com/archives/153

If link above is broken try this one.

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