In yesterday’s post reflecting upon our recently completed tour of the Olivet Discourse, I made reference to my thought that this experiment might not be quite a success, and I’ve received a number of very encouraging comments as a result. First, I’d like to thank all of those who commented; your encouragement is not only appreciated, but means more to me than you will ever know.
with that said, the thought has occurred to me that I might not have made the nature of the experiment clear. In truth, I really shouldn’t have mentioned that there was an experiment involved at all, because this is really inside baseball, and everyone knows that inside baseball bores most people to death. Yet, since I’ve already gone this far, I might as well finish up the story.
The experiment was really a technical one, it was all about how best to teach or discuss prophetic passages in a blogging format. There are many posts on blogs about prophecy, but how effective are they in practice? Do they teach anything in a thoughtful way that can be understood by people who are not all that knowledgable in prophecy, and who aren’t formally trained in Bible interpretation? In my view, most of the posts I’ve read are unlikely to reach those people, for they are either very academic, using vocabulary that most people aren’t familiar with and making references to theological concepts that aren’t in the common vernacular, or they are merely dogmatic recitations of a “party line” that leave no room for thoughtful questions.
My goal was to avoid both of those pitfalls.
My approach was an attempt to relate the passage in an informal, narrative and conversational format, using academic terms as little as possible, and while I have used such a format in many other passages, I’m not entirely sure I have quite found the mark with prophecy just yet. For one thing, it strikes me now in hindsight that I messed up right from the beginning by using the term “Olivet Discourse” as a title. Gee, dummy, weren’t you going to avoid academic terms most people aren’t familiar with? Way to go, you did it the title… duh!
Maybe that’s one reason views were down…
Anyway, in the final analysis, I’d say the results of the experiment portion of the recent study are mixed; some parts of the format are “keepers” and others need improvement, so a second experiment is indicated.
Now, all I need to do is figure out what passage or passages make good candidates, and I’ll give it another go… and that’s about enough inside baseball for one day!