In the comments on a recent post on Revelation, Ben asked how has my changing perspective on Revelation been impacting my life.
Prior to engaging the Revelation, I knew this book had some relevancy to my life. However, except for the last two chapters and a few select passages ripped from context, I didn’t know how to access the relevancy of the Revelation. I think the greatest obstacle for me has been the futurist interpretation that I’ve inherited as an evangelical. Over the last several years, I’ve began to suspect that interpretative grid was a false one. Yet, because I’ve been so formed by it, I haven’t had any idea how to get beyond it. So every time I would read through the Revelation, my mind would automatically begin associating the futurist interpretation to the specific symbols and the overall flow of the book. It caused frustration, because I intuitively knew there was a better way to read the Revelation other than with the “end-time” charts and interpretations I learned as a younger Christian. And the other three interpretative schools (preterist, historicist, and spiritual), although offering hope of another way to read and understand the book, didn’t provide an ample solution. I didn’t feel any of the views singularly engaged the Revelation properly.
But I’ve become used to this kind of inward dissonance. I’ve faced it head-on over the last several years as other aspects of my theology have changed – what is the Gospel, what is the Church, what is discipleship, who is the Spirit, what is Scripture’s role, etc. So I’m acquainted with this inward journey of ongoing conversion and welcome the new life it will bring.
So what is the Revelation’s impact on my life? I think it’s still too early for me to understand the fullness of the Revelation’s relevancy – the journey’s only begun. But I anticipate this: the Revelation will have as much importance to my daily apprenticeship to Jesus as I’ve come to expect from the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. And I hope I can share what I discover on this blog for anyone else who may be interested in dialoguing.
For too long, the Revelation has been like a shy Jr. Higher at a school dance. With her back to the wall and watching from the margins, she has waited patiently to be asked to dance. I’ve ignored her for too long. And even though I’m clumsy and awkward myself, I know what I have to do. You want to dance?