Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tigers massacre Indians

That might have been the headline in Detroit this morning. Granted, the Detroit Tigers did not massacre the Cleveland Indians, but they did win the baseball game 3-2 last night. But what if the headline did read something like "Tigers kill Indians?" Even if we aren't die hard baseball fans, chances are we understand the context of the headline, especially if it is on the sports page of the newspaper. But what if that headline was buried for hundreds, maybe even two thousand years? What if people on the other side of the world picked up the headline and read that the Tigers killed the Indians? Do you think they would be thinking about a baseball game or is it possible they would assume the reason why Native Americans no longer populate North America is because of a tiger rout. Better yet, could this be seen as a prophecy to the nation of India? Some great Bengal Tiger might come and demolish one of the most populus nations on the planet!

It sounds silly to us because we understand the baseball symbolism. We know that when we are driving down the road and a pickup truck has the number "3" on the back, that he/she is a Dale Earnhardt fan. We know what the numbers 401k and 1099 mean in terms of the IRS. But people two thousand years from now in another culture may not.

This is the point when reading the Apocalypse (Revelation) of St John. The imagery and symbolism must be looked at in regards to culture and time. Does a beast mean the same to us as it did to them? What about horsemen? Locusts? Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My (all of which are NFL teams, by the way). Tonight we are looking at the symbolism in John's Revelation. Some symbols we will never understand. Some, however, we can make a pretty good guess. In either case, reading Revelation is not near as scary as we once may have thought.

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Steve

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