Friday, January 30, 2015

A Gospel Pageant: A Reader's Guide to the Book of Revelation

I got this great little freebie from Meredith's book giveaway last year.  I couldn't wait to get started on it.

It's not the first book I've read on Revelation, but it's definitely the shortest.  I've heard Allan Chapple preach before and he's a very learned bloke who preaches in everyday language for the everyday Christian.  You don't have to be an academic to read this book!

One thing I recommend (which I didn't do) is to have the book of Revelation open alongside this book as you read it.  This is not a commentary, it is a reader's guide.  He doesn't address every verse and chapter of Revelation.  It's more a sweeping overview on how to read and understand the book.  As you may well know, Revelation causes a lot of controversy among Christians, but Chapple cleverly focuses on what the text itself says - not on preconceived ideas.  Although it is difficult, try to cast aside your cherished views on the book (i.e. pre-mil, a-mil etc.) as you approach it.

One thing I found enormously helpful is how he calls Revelation 'a gospel pageant'...because the whole of Revelation is not some new truth.  It's all about the gospel.  It's reinforcing the gospel.  It is a new presentation of known truth. (page 11).  Revelation is a prophetic book, but not all prophecy is to do with what will happen in the future, biblical prophecy is also about the past and present.

Another helpful aspect of this book is how Chapple likens Revelation to a printing press.  First the printing press does its first run, then it goes back over where it has already been to lay down the next colour.  This is how Revelation is.  Each event mentioned is not necessarily a different event one after the other.  Sometimes it is a replay of the same event.  The event is written about (the first print run), then written about again later with more detail (the next colour).  A sermon series I listened to on Revelation a few years ago described it as like a sports replay.  A player scores a goal, then we watch replays from several different angles...but it's all the same goal.

Definitely read this book!

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