Ep 150: How does the story end? | City Bible Forum

Ep 150: How does the story end?

Sun 9 Feb 2020


Bible reference(s): Revelation 11.15

Stories inspire, entertain and stimulate - we all understand ourselves as part of stories. What do stories tell us about some of life's biggest questions? A fascinating conversation as we confront the end of the world and discover our own place in an even bigger story.

Our guest: Dr. Greg Clarke is currently a Global Bible Advocacy Consultant at British and Foreign Bible Society. He was formerly CEO of the Bible Society in Australia and also a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity. His research was in Eschatology, Apocalypse and Modern Fiction.

This conversation was recorded live in Sydney in September 2019 in partnership with the Simeon Network.

Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon.

Bigger Questions asked in the conversation

To kick off Bigger Questions we like ask a couple of smaller questions - we do try to have a bit of fun on the show.

Today we’re asking Greg Clarke about how it all ends. So our smaller questions to you are about the 1916 Danish silent film, ‘The End of the World’, possibly the world’s first apocalyptic movie.

Research into the end of fiction

Greg you have a bit of a research interest in the ending of the world, now this started from your honours thesis in English literature. What were you researching?

So why the fascination with death?

What did you discover?

Your research didn’t end there - it progressed more thoroughly into eschatology - or the end times - the ending of reality and the world. Was that a move you were comfortable with?

So tell us about your research for your research was into the end of the world and modern fiction. What did you discover?

This involved reflection on literary theory and the shape of stories - so how does this help us think about how the story ends?

To what extent is fiction an explanation of the ultimate ends of humanity?

Where do you think this sense comes from?

Why would God wire a sense of ending into us?

The story of the end of Bible

The Bible deals with these ultimate questions and the book in the Bible which deals with the end of the world is the book of Revelation. The book describes, using picture language, the end of the world. Now in the middle of the book, in chapter 11, there is a vision of the end which involves seven angels. Then in verse 15 we learn that

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become

the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,

and he will reign for ever and ever.”

So Greg you think that this is a summary of biblical eschatology? What does this seventh angel in the book of Revelation say about the future?

End of the story for Greg

How has your research affected you and your personal view of the future?

The Big Question

So Greg, how does the story end?

More like this ...

Silvie Paladino | 12 Mar 2023
Something more than Carols by Candlelight
Russ Matthews | 2 Dec 2021
The influence of music
Dami Im | 25 May 2020
Singer Dami Im shares how she finds comfort, peace, and purpose
Silvie Paladino | 1 Mar 2020
Something more than Carols by Candlelight