The End is Near because we are nearly at the end of the semester, and thus nearly finished with these Sunday lectures.   (At least for now.)   It’s also Near because one of these two lectures is on the book of Revelation!

The lectures will be this Sunday, April 25, live on Zoom for anyone who wants to come.  They will be recorded for my undergraduate course on the New Testament and there will be a 30-minute Q & A to follow the second one.

There is no charge per se, but I would like to ask for a donation to the blog in exchange, if you can see your way clear to do it.  If not, we understand – we all have our circumstances!  But one of the main reasons I’m doing these lectures is to raise money for the Food Bank of North Carolina; as with all food banks right now, it is in desperate need.  Your donation is completely tax deductible.  To make a donation now, go to the blog home page and scroll to the bottom to find the blue “One-time Donation” button.

Here is the info you need:

  • Time: Sunday, April 25th, 2:00 pm  and 3:15 pm (Eastern Time)
  • The Lectures will last about 50 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between, and a Q&A to follow the second.

First Lecture:  Early Christian Heretics and the Rise of Orthodoxy.   Early Christianity was remarkably diverse — more diverse than what we find even today.  Christians taught and practiced things that would make most modern believers say:  Now, that ain’t Christian!   Christians who said followers of Jesus had to keep the Jewish law; others that said there were two different gods; others that said Jesus wasn’t human; others from that intriguing realm of “Gnosticism.”  In this lecture I talk about the conflict between “heresy” and “orthodoxy” and discuss how one form of Christianity came to be dominant after three centuries of back-and-forth.

Second Lecture: Apocalypse Now? The Book of Revelation.  The book of Revelation is both the most intriguing and the most misunderstood book of the entire Bible.  Millions of people continue to think that it is predicting what will happen in our own future.  Are they right?  How can we know?  In this lecture I explain an alternative way to read the book that makes sense of its images (the “Whore of Babylon,” the “Beast,” etc.) in their own context.

As you know, these lectures are meant to raise money for those in need (see below).  Can you donate a bit?  My suggested minimum donation is $10 for one of the lectures and $15 for both together (there is no maximum donation!).

Three participants will be allowed to ask the questions at the end.  These will be the three highest donors.

In weeks past we have had a number of people donate $100; to be among the top three, you’ll probably need to go to about that level.  Whatever you donate, if anything, is completely up to you.  And everyone, donor or not, is absolutely welcome to hear the Q&A.  The last few weeks we have heard some terrific questions.

In case you wondered, I have no plans to make these lectures generally available.  The recordings will be for my class only.

If you want to attend, all you need do is respond by letting us know, here: Click here to register for my lectures this Sunday

As soon as you register, you will receive a Zoom link via email from [email protected].

If you have any questions about how it will work, let me know.