After my wife died two ladies invited me to lunch at a nice diner. It was Wednesday, or "chicken special day". They were trying to recruit me into a program my wife had been involved in, helping the handicapped to take their college exams.
As we enjoyed our meals I mentioned that I studied and once taught Biblical prophecy. The head lady, a Phd, rolled her eyes. I could see the look of derision on her face. "Oh, one of those." As a subject of study it was, of course, not to be taken seriously.
"Things in the book of Revelation are taking place now," she said, as if to placate my supposed fanaticism.
Guess I should have asked her, "What things?" But I resisted. Hopefully, I could be induced to return to her recruiting spiel. I could have said that I had spent at least as much effort in my much aligned "field" as she had getting a doctorate in Education. Again, I resisted. I knew the thought was out there that "You can prove anything from the Bible."
I wonder how many different theories there are concerning her choice of study? I know they keep adding up. Must be hard to come up with new doctorate theses. We've come a long way from Plato's Academy, so I'm sure new ideas are there.
Since John Walvoord emerged in the 50's, the study of prophecy has come of age. Dwight Pentecost wrote Things to Come, his doctoral thesis, and in one volume, systemized the major themes of prophecy, so wonderfully and fairly that you get a good grasp of them by studying his wonderful book.
So, how do major denominations resist these intrusions into their previously exclusive domain of Biblical interpretations? I believe their approach is two fold.
Number one is to ignore it entirely--never preach on it or teach it.
But when lowly congregations clamor for the whole Bible, you can, as an exalted one, spiritualize it until it has no meaning. Muddy the waters. I wonder how many of those who strain against plain literal meaning are subject to getting hernias for there efforts.
Fighting scripture is a hopeless battle. People are catching on.
Not to worry about their hernias of course. They are non-literal. They are "spiritual".