Revelation for the Rest of Us
The biblical Book of Revelation frustrates and fascinates many people with its imagery and apocalyptic tone. Most popular interpretations of the book rely on a perspective known as dispensationalism, popularized by the Scofield Bible and more recently the Left Behind series of novels. Yet there are many problems with this popular way of reading Revelation, and until now, few alternatives have been available that were easy to understand.
In Revelation for the Rest of Us, Scot McKnight with Cody Matchett explore the timeless message of Revelation and how it speaks to us today with a courageous challenge to be faithful witnesses to Jesus while standing against the ever-present reality of worldly authorities. The writer, John, stimulates the imagination to see the world differently, through the eyes of God, presenting a "divine politic" that subverts the anti-god patterns of governments, empires, and those in power.
McKnight addresses the popular misconceptions about the book, explaining what John means in his use of the images of dragons, lambs, and beasts, and how the symbolism of Revelation speaks powerfully to the present day--though not in the way most people think. Drawing from the latest scholarship, they present an understanding of Revelation for anyone interested in deepening their personal study of the Bible as well as preachers looking to communicate this timeless message today.
McKnight offers in this book a discipleship manual for discerning the immoralities of political powers and how the church can be both an agent of resistance and transformation.
John designed his Book of Revelation to disciple readers into dissidents of the ways of the world and empire. John describes that empire with the term "Babylon." Babylon is a timeless image of empire, militarism, economic exploitation, injustice, and oppression. The Book of Revelation disciples Christians through worship and the courageous challenge of faithful, or allegiant, witness to the slaughtered-Lamb. John's dissident disciples can discern the presence of "Babylon" in our world and learn to speak up, speak out, and walk in the way of the Lamb. He disciples us by stimulating our imaginations to see the world and "Babylon" through the eyes of God, and in so doing John presents a "divine politic," a view of government and power that subverts the anti-god patterns of "Babylon" today.
About the Authors
Scot McKnight is Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. He is the author of more than eighty books, including the award-winning The Jesus Creed as well as The King Jesus Gospel, A Fellowship of Differents, One.Life, The Blue Parakeet, and Kingdom Conspiracy. He maintains an active blog at www.christianitytoday.com/scot-mcknight. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, where they enjoy long walks, gardening, and cooking.
Cody Matchett is a pastor and teacher from Calgary Alberta Canada. He is the former College Chaplain at Briercrest College, works with several organizations across Canada, and is currently completing his Master of Arts in New Testament at Northern Seminary, with the intention to pursue doctoral studies in New Testament.