In terms of end-time theology, do we miss the obvious? Peter Sammons considers.
FAQs versus MAQs
Many people have questions relating the End Time. Sadly, the subject can often be a cause of friction within believing circles. All humanity has, or ought to have, a vested interest in the future! As part of a ‘presentation’ on the book, I’ve suggested below six relevant questions that are rarely asked, and consequently rarely receive a proper, considered answer. I call them MAQs (meaningful un-asked questions) as opposed to FAQs. (n.b. this is not in the book, it is subsequent to).
Some people are too frightened to focus on the future at all, and display no apparent interest. Others, especially amongst some Christians, focus their questioning around issues that are high on their personal agenda, but may be completely alien to the average ‘man-in-the-street’. Such questions will typically be around the contested areas of ‘Preterism’, ‘Futurism’, ‘Dominionism’ ‘Premillennialism’, and so on. These ideas are (a) not specifically referred to in the Word of God and (b) unintelligible to most people. They do not ‘scratch where it itches’ for ordinary, struggling people who sense today’s growing uncertainties concerning the future.
Here are two totally imaginary questions just for illustration, but hopefully readers with get the point:
“Don’t you think that Amos 4 verse 99 demonstrates that the “elect” will rejoice mightily before their ‘rapture’?”
“Don’t you think that Obadiah 2 verse 44 proves that Taiwan will no longer be a separate nation when the Lord returns?”
These are not really questions at all; they are statements designed to elicit a response – of agreement or disagreement. They help to ‘pigeon-hole’ a person’s insights, understanding and theological ‘position’. In considering whether to, and how to, respond my first thought would be, will an ordinary non-Christian (the ‘ordinary man/woman in the street’) be in the least interested to know the answer to the question? If the answer is ‘no’, then the ‘question’ itself is non-pressing, probably non-relevant, and of interest only to the “specialist”.
These are the questions that rarely get asked:
- How does study of the End help me today?
- Why doesn’t God just “cut to the chase”? (n.b. why does the world have to go through all this woe?)
- Is there ‘gospel’ in the End times?
- So, what’s going to happen?
(this one may be asked, but ‘answers’ tend to focus around specific interpretations such as ‘Dominionism’, or ‘Pre-trib rapture’ etc)
- Why is there no clear roadmap? Why is prophecy about the End ‘distributed’ across Scripture as in a ‘blockchain’?
- I’m a non-believer: what ONEquestion should I take away from all this to make me ‘think again’?
Here’s a video discussion (Peter Sammons – Dan Holland) in which these questions are explored: https://youtu.be/IpOr3BfTaW8 (Approx 40 minutes).