Tuesday 8 November 2016

Matthew Y. Emerson on the Book of Revelation

Matthew Y. Emerson, Between the Cross and the Throne: The Book of Revelation, Transformative Word Series (Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2016), 88pp., ISBN 978-1-57799-658-3.

I’ve read a number of the books in Lexham’s ‘Transformative Word Series’, and they’re all good and helpful. They’re short and easy to read. They’re not trying to provide a commentary on the book in question so much as to overview it, point out some of the significant issues involved in its interpretation, and offer some reflections on its ongoing implications.

Matthew Emerson does that really well for Revelation, providing a brief outline of the book and its theological centre (in Jesus who has already won the battle on our behalf and is coming again, which means we can stand firm in the midst of persecution and temptation meanwhile), its genre and literary devices, its place as the culmination of the whole drama of redemption, its portrait of God and his people, and God’s enemies and their final defeat.

Those already familiar with literature on Revelation won’t necessarily pick up anything new, but they’ll be helped by seeing how someone else manages to package it so concisely and well. I can imagine church leaders/preachers benefiting from reading it as part of a process of putting together a series of sermons on Revelation, enabling them to get something of the big picture of the book and a handle on some of the issues involved in its interpretation.

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