Friday, June 28, 2002

Time magazine is hyping The Remnant the next book in the Left Behind series. I'm reading the series, it's a fun read. The authors create suspense filled page turners, in a vividly imagined nightmare world. It's not great literature, but it's fun

I am however uncomfortable with the hype that treats the book of revelation as a detailed description of the End of the World. According to the article 25% of Americans think that the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 was predicted in Revelation. Really? Have 25% of Americans actually read Revelation? I doubt it, but I bet they've heard the hype about Revelation being mostly about the end of the world. Since September the 11th felt like beginning of the end of the world, it must be in there somewhere.

Luckily the end time clock watchers don't have a exclusive lock on the book of Revelation. In 1988 Eugene Peterson wrote Reversed Thunder. In this book Eugene Peterson shows how the book of Revelation depends on knowledge of the old testament to be understood. He shows us how John was retelling the story of Christ and his rule in the world. A good example is Revelation 12. Revelation 12 is scary stuff, a drangon attacking a pregnant woman and her child. Peterson makes a strong case that John is retelling the Christmas story, in way to focus our attention on the cosmic battle between good and evil and not on the cuteness of child being born in barn. If find this a much more useful approach than the commentators that get caught up in the exact meaning of the 1260 days mentioned in the text.


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