In a Star Trek episode of many years ago, the original cast had discovered a world that had mid-twentieth-century technology. A conflict existed. The ruling people of that world would take a certain persecuted people and put them in sports stadiums and abuse and kill them. They looked like police of USA in 1960. But they were reminiscent of Roman soldiers.
The familiar crew found themselves at the outskirts of the metropolis where some of these misunderstood outcasts were hiding. They told the Captain Kirk, "We worship the Sun." Pointing to the sky. James was tempted to say, why not the all-powerful God?
Later, as the crew was leaving this world, a revelation came upon them. These outcasts were not polytheists. O’ Hura said, "When he said, We worship the sun, he did not mean the sky. He meant the Son of God!" She went on to speak of how a local comedian was trying to mock and make fun of their beliefs. He couldn't.
Captain Kirk sat back and sad, "Wouldn't it be wonderful, to watch it all happen again."
In one of Gene Roddenberry’s most profound episodes, he suggests the idea of God sending His Son to another world.
Notice, in this scenario, some things are similar, and some things are different.
The main difference is scientific development. Instead of pagan Rome-level civilization, they have modern science of this world.
But, some things are the same: "the Christians" of the other world are hiding, like in the catacombs. They are misunderstood, the victim of brute games, persecuted.
Stepping outside this scenario, the author of this book is asking a profound question, an incredibly profound and bold question: if we were to stand outside the doorway of any arbitrary material world that had fallen, and knew that God planned to Incarnate Himself to that world to redeem it, are there, even possibly, some things that simply would be the same, no matter what? Even, are there some stages or developments of its history that would be like any other world? This is a bold question, I realize, but come along for the journey.
This same author is convinced that indeed, some greater spiritual developments simply would be part of its Plan no matter what, if the greatest spiritual good is to be attained before the world's end.
We will be so bold as to, for example, assert that if more than one ECF teaches, "Five are the ages of the Old Law", in point of fact, a template of five ages of Old Testament history necessarily evolves also for any fallen material world prior to the Incarnation. Sound insane? Perhaps, but simply, "Come and see!"
For, if God has a "Plan", and His wisdom transcends all universes, and since sin already presents itself in the unseen creation, making perhaps its manifestation in any seen world the same in nature, couldn't we expect some things to be similar? Again, "Come and see!"
Now, it should be emphasized, I am not here to argue if another world exists, rather, only to show that a veritable "template" can be argued for a fallen material world if we simply use what we already know from Catholic theology and history thus far.
My intent is to correlate this to Apocalypse. How might this be looked upon? Well, consider the following great episode of Old Testament history:
The Dream behind the Dream:
In Daniel 2, the Babylonian King, a selfish narcissist, has a disturbing dream, an epic dream, and wants to know what it means. He consults with the pagan wise men who say, “Tell us the dream and we will give the interpretation.” The King hadn't been born yesterday. He is like, “You fakes! if I tell you the dream, you will just pull some crap out of your rear in interpretation. No, if you are really knowledgeable, tell me the dream first before you interpret it.
In fact, the King orders that if no one can tell him the dream and then interpret it, he will have all the wise men of the court killed. Daniel's companions go and tell him, He prays, and God gives the dream and the interpretation.
Now, this is the really the Old Testament Apocalypse. St. John, unfortunately, has already given us the dream, the New Testament Apocalypse, and plenty of "wise men" have pulled junk out of their rear to explain it.
So at this point, will apocalypse ever have a rigorous interpretation other than preterism, which leaves much to be desired [The Typical, Catholic Apocalypse Approach Today: Is It Really Balanced?]?
Well, returning to Daniel and the dream, this, then, would be the solution to the dream that we already have. Again, St John already deposited the dream in the deposit, and the interpretations are as varied as snowflakes.
This eternal dream would solve the problem: the dream before the dream, the dream from all eternity, the dream of what things have to be in a fallen world, above all else.
This is the bold venture of these writings, the subject of years of pondering: the key to giving a rigorous interpretation of Apocalypse, one that is not eisegesis or wishful thinking, is to have in theological construct a rigorous argument for what phases of history in our world are simply necessary, above all else, shewing forth the ages of our history that simply must be, that are coming down the pike no matter what, regardless of whatever else might happen within those ages. Then, if a correlation of the model could be made to Apocalypse and other Scriptures, even one that is already appropriate without the rigorous theology then we are in a much better position of arguing that the interpretation is likely intended by God, and not simply “seeing things in arbitrariness.”
In conclusion, to iterate more precisely, the theory to this entire book is that there is a spiritual blueprint for the ages of salvation history if God is to redeem man to his fullest potential before the end of history. Toward that end, we will begin by standing outside the doorway of time and consider, why is God creating, and for what end? We consider, what characteristics of a world would almost "have to be" or "appropriately be" according to God's benevolence and revealing desires, among other things.
I hope, with God’s help, and any prayers that you readers out there can offer, to make this book a reality. For now, a great majority of it can be seen here, on my website:
Theology of the Ages
Thank you for reading, and God bless you.