Revelation Responsibly

The last book of the Bible is most intriguing.  And most easily mis-understood.  So how should we read it?

The disciple John, now old and in exile on the island of Patmos, is given a series of visions.  And what visions they were!  Beasts and bowls, scrolls and seals , trumpets and angels, heavenly song and earthly war.  While certainly thrilling, this is not easy reading.  A certain kind of literary dexterity is needed.  Perhaps most important is a deep acquaintance with the whole long story of God which precedes this book.

The reality is that most of the Revelation is a retelling of what has already been said in Scripture.  The future is a projection of the past, but only if we can see truly what has already happened.  Memory matters, and so does imagination.

This, we come to find out, is a history told in another form.  And history, in God’s hands, is the whole long story from past to present to future:  this is God’s story, and God will bring it to a proper conclusion.