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February 14, 2005
An Exegesis of the Book of Revelation: Preamble
Filed in: Biblical Studies, Current Affairs, The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Through the prompting of several people and my own interest, I have decided to do a series of posts on the Book of Revelation.

This may turn out to be a very large number of posts - the last time I conducted a small group study of this book it took us about eight months to get through it with once a week two hour discussions. That was about nine years ago I think. We'll just have to see where it goes.

I've been motivated to do this for several reasons:

1) My pastor is doing a series on Revelation and he is primarily taking an 'application' perspective that is certainly an effective form of teaching today as well as good 'daily life' ministry. But it is not informed by the rich history and meaning that I believe is intended by this epochal apocalyptic book. Blogging about it will allow me to express these views but in a context that isn't confrontational with my spiritual leadership - though it may provoke good discussion as many people that attend with me read this blog.

2) I have long seen eschatological issues as poorly discussed in general in the church - mostly because of the strong disagreement on positions - and I think relatively few Christians could have a cogent discussion on Amillennialism, Post-Millennialism, and Pre-Millennialism (in its various Tribulation forms). This is unfortunate given the times in which we live. Many emerging cult practices feature a strong eschatology and it is attractive for people to hear a prospect for the future. The success of the Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins "Left Behind" series demonstrates that there is keen interest in 'end times' literature. The fact that Babylon is in the heart of Iraq should not be lost on the Christian populace.

3) Though I am no scholar, I have a long background (more than 40 years) of eschatology studies with both a Baptist (Dispensational Pre-Millennialism) and Presbyterian (Amillennialist) background - and a reasonable working knowledge of the primarily Catholic 'Post' position. I would like to foster a discussion that attempts to explore the views with an agenda towards unity in the face of disagreement. I know that's pretty lofty but I'd like to try.

4) I believe in using the Old Testament to inform a discussion of Revelation. I personally do not believe that the Book of Revelation can be approached without a thorough grasp of Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and parts of Jeremiah (pretty much in that order). I had an old Bible teacher that repeatedly told me: "The New is in the Old concealed, The Old is in the New revealed." I think that's a pretty good prescription. I think that this relation between the Old and New - especially in the apocalyptic literature is no longer well studied within the church at large.

A couple of people have expressed some interest in participating in this process. I'm thinking about taking contributions from additional authors especially promoting the Amillennial and Post-Millennial views. Please let me know if you have some interest in contributing to this effort.

This is not intended to be a scholarly work - my ultimate aim for doing this is to see what unity is achievable among those with a Christian world view. If you are someone that does not subscribe to the Christian faith, there may be some value for you to follow the history, arguments, and the actual 'end times' literature of the Bible.

The first few posts will be set up material. Look for one post a week for the time being.

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People Pulling

I have been writing and teaching on this wonderful book for many years. I do not try to argue from any view of eschatology but instead I examine the book through the eyes of those who first recieved it. The Bishop of Sardis, Melito actually wrote the first commentary on Revelation. If that commentary would have survived we would certainly see the book in a whole new light. Eusebius tells us that it refuted the gnostic views of Cerinthus about a perverse earthly reign of Christ during the millenium. I break the book down for small group consumption using the principle of Marcus Aurelius in questioning everything in order to understand a thing. I have never been a big fan of Revelation seminars because they do not work in equiping or bringing the book back into the body of Christ to be used on a regular basis by everyone.

Posted by: Roger Carr at Feb 3, 2006 8:11:31 PM

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