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 Post subject: The Bible and the Future of the World
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:33 pm 
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Is anyone familiar with the writings of Ronald L. Conte Jr. (http://www.catholicplanet.com)? Any thoughts on his theories?

Zoe

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:05 pm 
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He wants to amend the constitution???..........

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:11 pm 
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swaglantern wrote:
He wants to amend the constitution???..........


:scratch:

Actually, I was thinking about his predictions for the future. I.e. that we are now living during the Forty Years, that NYC will be newked between 2010-2013 and the Vatican will be next. That the Third Temple will begin to be built in 2009, that the Orthodox and Protestant churches will repent and reuite with the Catholic Church during the early 2020s, etc., etc.

It's actually pretty interesting reading, but I can't for the life of me figure out how he got all of that out of the Gospel of Matthew!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:11 am 
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I agree with you that its interesting reading, but I wouldn't have thought that pulling predictions for the future out of the Gospel of St Matthew was particularly in keeping with the spirit of that very Gospel: "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." - Mt 6:34

Not intending to be belligerent, but just a friendly offering of my unsolicited opinion. I personally don't think its particularly helpful to be encouaraging those who are trying to pre-empt God, or to pre-empt the Free Will that God gifted unto His by guessing at what the future holds.

God gave us a different "here and now" for each second of every day of our lifetime. We can use each "here and now" to glorify Him, or we can spend that "here and now" worrying about what future "here and now"s will hold.

Granted, I'm not a theologian, and I haven't studied these things - this is a pretty uneducated opinion. But even Conte himself repeatedly emphasises that he is fallible. So much as eschatology is an interesting branch of study, I don't think its really something for the average lay person to dabble in.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:43 am 
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aWorkInProgress wrote:
Granted, I'm not a theologian, and I haven't studied these things - this is a pretty uneducated opinion. But even Conte himself repeatedly emphasises that he is fallible. So much as eschatology is an interesting branch of study, I don't think its really something for the average lay person to dabble in.


So far I haven't seen anything to make think that Conte admits he doesn't fully know EXACTLY what's gonna happen - no ifs and buts about it...

But anyway, why don't you think that a lay person should "dabble" in eschatology?

Zoe

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:47 am 
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SalomeKaia wrote:
But anyway, why don't you think that a lay person should "dabble" in eschatology?



For the same reason that a plumber shouldn't perform brain surgery.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:00 am 
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Well, I guess it all depends on how one interprets the word "dabble," right?

I guess I was asking for a clarification of sorts - is the objection to a lay person studying eschatology or to a lay person proclaiming to know when and how the world is going to end...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:03 am 
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SalomeKaia wrote:
I guess I was asking for a clarification of sorts - is the objection to a lay person studying eschatology or to a lay person proclaiming to know when and how the world is going to end...


The latter.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:05 am 
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Predicting when the world is going to end isn't really eschatology. The "how" the world will end may fall into that category as long as it is theological and not random predictions about New York or any other city being destroyed. There is no way to know those things short of a revelation from God.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:22 am 
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Bonaventure wrote:
Predicting when the world is going to end isn't really eschatology. The "how" the world will end may fall into that category as long as it is theological and not random predictions about New York or any other city being destroyed. There is no way to know those things short of a revelation from God.


That's been my gut feeling all along. Which is why I was asking if anyone had any opinions of Conte's work - it's so detailed, down to the date NYC is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon, etc. His only explanation is "I see things in Scripture that others do not" (I'm paraphrasing).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:58 pm 
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Zoe...

Your last sentence is what's been wrong with protestantism for centuries now...they see things in scripture that others do not...which makes them think they have the inside track on scripture, whereas the Church does not. We see what's become of that.

I've read a little of his stuff...I think he has the same problem.

Gracie

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:12 pm 
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SalomeKaia wrote:
Bonaventure wrote:
Predicting when the world is going to end isn't really eschatology. The "how" the world will end may fall into that category as long as it is theological and not random predictions about New York or any other city being destroyed. There is no way to know those things short of a revelation from God.


That's been my gut feeling all along. Which is why I was asking if anyone had any opinions of Conte's work - it's so detailed, down to the date NYC is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon, etc. His only explanation is "I see things in Scripture that others do not" (I'm paraphrasing).

Zoe


I can't really take his predictions very seriously because they are so exact. Even approved mystics and visionaries, like Saint Faustina, or The Fatima visionaries, were not at all specific. The disciples wanted Christ to tell them exactly when the end was and He would not do so; why would He tell this man?

There have been lots of people claiming to know when and how the end will come and they all have been wrong. Hopefully this man has an overactive imagination and is not being deceived by demons or anything.

Zoe, have you ever seen this book?

Its pretty much the best there is as far as the end times and what we can and cannot know about it. It has been turned into a series on EWTN; its probably still on.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:01 am 
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Bonaventure wrote:

I can't really take his predictions very seriously because they are so exact. Even approved mystics and visionaries, like Saint Faustina, or The Fatima visionaries, were not at all specific. The disciples wanted Christ to tell them exactly when the end was and He would not do so; why would He tell this man?

There have been lots of people claiming to know when and how the end will come and they all have been wrong. Hopefully this man has an overactive imagination and is not being deceived by demons or anything.

Zoe, have you ever seen this book?

Its pretty much the best there is as far as the end times and what we can and cannot know about it. It has been turned into a series on EWTN; its probably still on.


I agree that making predictions of dates and of specific temporal calamities is not only absurd (like the Fundamentalists) but is also practically useless. For example, what would really be the advantage to know when NYC will be blown up, or how the war of the end of the world will work out in terms of specific nations doing this or that? Really, if the world has fallen away from the Gospel, then we can simply expect persecutions and terrible things to happen, because when men do not have peace with God, they will not have peace with their fellow man.

On the other hand, I don't agree with the liberal tendency of "we will really know nothing at all...". I think we need to take a balanced view of Scripture. Sure, Jesus said, "No one knows the day or the hour," which would seem to imply that temporal events and times are not really important, but, on the other hand, Jesus also says, "Therefore, when you see these 'signs', know that He is near, even at the door." In that respect, then, I think what the Apocalypses are informing us of (and what the Church will gradually discover is revealed there) is the major spiritual developments over the course of the Church's history. For, again, it is the spiritual situation that either makes or breaks the temporal one. So, in my opinion, I would say the Apocs reveal not when NYC will be blown up, or when China attacks (supposedly), or when Christ returns, but rather things like the Protestant Revolt, the Enlightenment, the secular apostasy of modern times, and, if the mystics' best scenario comes true, the Reunion of Christians and restoration of Catholic Christendom, and so forth. Not when these things will occur, but just that they will in God's Plan.

That to me, is where i tend to find balance in the subject.

Further, about that book by Birch, I agree it is a good take on things. But I would even conjecture we can take it to new levels. That is, if his analysis is correct, in that we are not at the end of the world but that the faith is going to be restored for a great era of Peace, I can't help but imagine that Scripture would tell us about it. I mean, I just can't imagine the idea that Europe would be converted, then, for various reasons gradually fall away, like in the past 500 years, then go through a "dress-rehearsal" for the end of the world (i.e., the Minor Chastisement), but then be restored to faith for a great era of Peace, and that the Scripture simply wouldn't tell us about that. After all, "there will be great rejoicing in heaven over even one repentant sinner." From that, I can't even comprehend what type of rejoicing would happen if such a repentance occurs on a global scale. Will it not be the celebration of the return of the prodigal son?

At any rate, I think we can begin to make deeper correlations of these histories than simply what Birch has done. I really see even deeper meanings than he addresses. But, again, I realize I too am fallible, but it is fascinating to try to study these things or meditate upon them.

Sincerely,
scott

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:12 pm 
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I agree with Scott that it is interesting to study these things and meditate upon them. I will rephrase what I meant by saying that "I don't think its really something for the average lay person to dabble in."

I wasn't referring to us so much as to Conte!

It is fine to study these things and discuss them, and that should be encouraged. But to study these things and then to publish your thoughts on them when you are an unqualified lay person is another matter altogether, I tend to think.

Do the works of Conte have an imprimatur or a nihil obstat? Do they have anything that lends them a shred of credibility?

I am aware that he has studied theology, but there is a theology school near where I live that claims to be Catholic, yet teaches things that are clearly contrary to the basic tenets of the Catholic faith.

Where do his qualifications come from? Has the stuff that he has said been supported by any representative of the Catholic Church with the authority to make such a statement regarding the Church's position (i.e. a bishop, cardinal, etc)??

I dare say my caution would better have been expressed as "when you're reading into eschatology, be very careful to take into account the reliability and usefulness of the sources that you consult. Make sure you know enough about the manner in which the Church acts to ensure the truth of a given work."

As far as I know, noone has yet died and made Conte the Magisterium. :wink:

One other thing - I have encountered some of this guy's work at random once before. If I remember correctly, the justification that he offered for some of his predictions was something along the lines of:

"Its happened before as documented in Scripture, and in some cases its happened before several times. History repeats itself. Therefore, XYZ (insert prediction) is very likely to happen."

I mean, this is ludicrous! How are these grounds for asserting anything as an iminent reality???

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:15 pm 
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Just as an aside, this conversation has certainly motivated me to look into exactly where this guy is coming from and what all of this is about.

I intend to investigate, and I'll present my findings on this board shortly.

If my skepticism is proven wrong, then I'm more than happy to celebrate being wrong with a nice glass of cabernet merlot. :wink:

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