Monday, May 23, 2005

Blown away by the Apocalypse of John

New Testament scholar Conrad Gempf, in his online class notes, gives the best description I think I've found on how to approach the book of Revelation:

To me, reading Revelation is like deliberately going out into a tropical storm to see what it's like. You don't go out expecting to understand everything at your leisure, you jump out, expecting to be buffeted and baffled and amazed.

Whenever teaching Revelation, I always say we simply don't understand many details in the book but that the whole sweep is pretty clear: things may turn tough for a while, but God's in control and one day he'll make things right in a big way. Still, we tend to want a definitive explanation of every sign and symbol. And there are plenty of folks who claim to be able to give them to us.


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