|No correspondence of
prophecy with dates and times. Draws heavily on the symbolic Accepts the
“Seven Last Things” - or some of them
|Always correct --
and always wrong (IMO) Always a useful interpretation Strong point: 2 Corinthians 10:5
Many of the listeners will believe that the poetic view denies the inspiration of the Scripture. It does not; it merely views this as the use of images to tell the truth (a concept which should be very familiar to a television bound, non-reading American public).
The reasons for “always correct”:
• First, it is highly useful in training the imagination to Christian thought. We see this idea in the Scripture:
(2 Cor 10:5 NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
• Next, this type of interpretation (remember our example from Revelation 11:19, where we saw the ark of the covenant?) is generally correct. Scripture often has a symbolic application. All the details of the Tabernacle and the Temple were meant to teach symbolic lessons to the Jews.
It is also “always wrong”: it denies that Revelation is talking about the future in detail (i.e......, this symbolism matches thus and such an event). It seems to me this is contrary to the sense of the book. See Revelation 4:1 and 17:9-10, for example.
For those who object that “no Christian could possibly...” I would point out two examples of this:
• InterVarsity Press (no “liberal” publishing house) in its “The Bible Speaks Today” series, takes this viewpoint.
•The guest speaker for this year’s Staley lectureship at PCC, Dr.... Thompson, took this viewpoint (and was not booed off the stage).
It seems to me that good and reasonable Christians can accept this viewpoint. It also seems to me that the viewpoint is useful to some extent. It seems too that it is not, all in all, correct.