Agents of God’s Invasion

Invasion-of-the-DeadSince 2007, Brian Blount has been the president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. Before that, Dr. Blount was the professor of New Testament Interpretation at Princeton Theological Seminary for 15 years. In this interview, we focus on his most recent publication Invasion of the Dead: Preaching Resurrection (2014).
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RD: What led you into researching and writing Invasion of the Dead?

BB: I initially wanted to write about our contemporary understanding and misunderstanding of apocalyptic literature. I was very interested in trying to help the church read apocalyptic literature in the context of the 21st century, particularly in light of the way contemporary popular culture was reading apocalyptic language and imagery. This concern developed because of my sense that popular culture had really taken a liking to material that the church had given up on, even though apocalyptic imagery is a part of Christianity’s birthright. The more I worked on it, the more I realized that there were many persons, like my former teacher, J. Christiaan Beker, already speaking to this issue. What they were not speaking to more specifically was the language of resurrection, which is consummate apocalyptic language. As I focused more and more, my interest went more and more to reading resurrection as an apocalyptic theological reality.
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Discipleship As Suffering

From Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary, in Then the Whisper Put On Flesh: New Testament Ethics in an African American Context (2001):

Discipleship is not exemplified by suffering; suffering is the tragic outcome of following this kingdom-preaching Jesus. This is what makes Jesus discipleship heroic. Despite the probability that one will suffer if one persists in imaging the life of Jesus in his or her own life, the disciple goes ahead and images that life anyway.